Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

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Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

Providing a pergola attached to your dwelling can benefit your home by providing some handy shade benefit’s plus useful ambience to your outdoor area..pergola attached to dwelling

This relative simple sun screen styled pergola is located on the western side of an East Brighton bayside home in Melbourne. On what was a “hot side of dwelling” the slatted pergola was incorporated into a long structure to outdoor paved area. Being filtered light ensured home during the winter would not be too shaded or dark.

With a louver roof located down one end to provide shelter from rain plus light upon demand. This benefit from louver roofs to be “opened or closed” when required. The louvers also providing a similar slatted appearance (when open) but with verandah roof protection for rain when closed.

The extended pergola structure featuring the partially slatted pergola. This area was designed to provide filtered shade to dwelling walls and windows to “cool” the house on hot summer days plus a wonderful ambience to area.

“This pergola and verandah project was designed and constructed by Totally Outdoors used extremely durable merbau hardwood timber for frame and slat’s to provide sensational visual appeal and performance. Another design feature is the extended design of an open frame beyond the slats portion to create space rather than crowd the walkway to external sitting area.”

Mixing up your outdoor area with varied types of covering is just another thought when planning your outdoor area.

The Project Centre assisted with design and provided plans and permits for this project. Contact us when requiring professional design outcome’s and permits for your outdoor area.

Illegal Building Works

Illegal Building – Think again

complaintIn now over 40 years of supplying, designing and being involved with the  building industry the cost to the home owner of being found with illegal works (building or structure) has never been greater. Roll the dice or better still we recommend think again and then again before proceeding without a building permit.

In years past quick fixes have been allowed whereby if building or structure might have been considered by Municipal Building Surveyor as somehow acceptable or minor through undertaking either minor further works –under building permit or compliance via designers and engineer’s was enough. Often cost was low and the world went on.

Today things are vastly different. With so many more building & planning controls and careful enforcement of every dot and T within the Building code has made enhanced requirements the minimum standard. This includes requirements of full building plans, engineering, all applicable council or government approvals, building surveyor review and compliance reports etc. etc., depending upon the project. Even from our perspective our involvement and requirements from client double and triple to find a way to get existing project “over the line”. Our fee is generally twice or three times what is normal for the same project if done prior to building.

Often now pulling down the project is valued under say $20K might be the solution as the minimum cost to gain compliance could be well over $8000.

We find ourselves recommending starting again as the reasonable outcome hard to say and ofter even harder to hear. With normal permit and plans generally under $2K for say a verandah or a shed / garage., Why we might recommend to pull down – if any further works required such as reducing area, significant modification of building method, applying for approvals after the event with no guarantee of outcome isn’t a great starting point and outcome not always assured. Roll the dice or start again always a hard call.

What to do when building a structure – any structure.

Building PermitOur suggestion is “get a building permit”.

Its that simple. The stories of significant cost or heartbreak abound. Most won’t tell you what happened or what it cost to retain their extension, carport, retaining wall or verandah. Illegal building become a secret and a problem best kept to themselves and I do understand why.

At present I have a client who is rebuilding the whole project with costs and fee’s in excess of $8K just to see what can be done and to get a permit plus and this the killer now the cost to remove and replace. Simply it will cost $25 to $30K more than it should have.

So think again and get a permit first and don’t trust the builders word. Seek out and discuss with a registered building surveyor to confirm if your project needs a building permit.

Builder’s without Registrationregistered builder

To undertake a project above a cost of $5K a builder he or she must be registered. By choosing a registered builder provide owner’s with a level of confidence the builder has demonstrated to government competence and experience plus financially viable to undertake projects back by insurance safety net.

What type of Builder – A registered Builder either DBU xxxxxx or BD-Lxxxxxx

There are different levels and types of building registration. When getting your permit, the building surveyor checks this out for you prior to issuing a permit. This assist’s with ensuring the builder is registered, insured and qualified to undertake your project. Also ensure your builder and their registration noted on your permit application.

If project exceeds $16K in Victoria – home owner insurance is required if employing a builder.

Can I be the Builder

In Victoria, an “owner builder” you can undertake a project if under $12 without building authority consent (if above $12K then consent required). But you still need a building permit. Not just a Planning permit which some owners get confused by.

A Sad StoryUnfair

A client recently trusted the tradesman (as noted above) and it went like this

Builder – “Oh you don’t need a permit for this project”

Owner – “Oh that’s great when can you start because your $3K cheaper”

but look what they have left them. $25K+ extra because work was not only done without permit but was not done correctly. Clear visual deterioration of works within 12 months and now needs full rebuild to comply plus also expensive compliance and investigative work undertaken to try and save work done or as was the case reveal the worst case – full rebuild. These matter plus council work works and notices threaten different outcomes. It’s a disaster.

Can We help You Now!

Yes – The Project Centre does undertake coordinated building design of illegal building matters for domestic & industrial projects and can assist with process based on our prior experience in a range of projects.

Frankly however we would prefer to meet you prior to building and assist with getting the right design and outcome for you.

Summary

Do things once and get it right this include getting building permits for all structural works. Yes, I also feel system not perfect. Certainly more costly for small home projects than it should be and could be vastly improved but the its cheapest and safest way forward is be getting a building permit first and this will not change.

10 best ways to get the most from your Verandah

10 best ways to get the most from your VerandahOutdoor Room - Brighton

In no particular order we consider the 10 best or most important component’s we consider when embarking on designing your Verandah.

  1. Size – by providing suitable size to cater for your furniture and usage when people are present is a must consider component. The size needed is not just under the covered project covered area but the whole or extended uncovered area’s. If you have a large family or family (or friend) occasions where you use area for large functions often, and the Verandah is the location your will use, then your needs will be different to others who might have a less entertainer need for this area. Size is not everything as too large can feel just as odd as too small. Your proposed usage will determine your size needs for this area.
  2. Light & Shade – ensuring that good light comes into the area is important. Often your inside light can be too restricted by “fully roofed external Verandahs”. Considering louver roofs (if the budget fits) or ensuring some skylights to provide filtered light will ensure a balance between “roofed & dark “ rather than “roofed but light” (not hot – using insulated roofing) and not feeling too dark under the Verandah just because it’s sunny outside. Where the Verandah location is situated will be important to ensuring a great outcome to your area.
  3. Open Space – a strange plus maybe but ensuring there is adjacent open space to allow uncovered areas adjacent to your roofed Verandah will actually assist with making the whole area feel balanced and useful for all activities. After all we don’t go outside just to sit under another roof. Providing shade to open areas for afternoon light (particularly in summer) will provide great benefits to your outdoor area.
  4. Quality – using quality products ensure long durability and therefore lower cost but also generally provides better visual outcomes. Look for proven manufacturers within the product mix plus long product warranties. Quality will provide you’re the payback in performance, visually and cost over the life of your Verandah.Verandah & Deck - East Brighton
  5. Permits – Why, because there’s nothing worse than the council entering your property providing a “cause to view” action that can cost many $1000’s to fix or having to remove your Verandah completely. Getting permits are a fact, doing it ensures your builder must comply with the rules and your outcome and peace of mind assured. With the digital world not having a permit could be a problem when selling your home. So getting it done just has too many benefits than not.
  6. Design – getting the right design will not only provide usage benefits such as correct style, size, light, quality as mentioned but also to adding benefit’s from blending with your home from an architectural perspective to adding value to the overall asset of your home. Having an experience designer and builder will ensure your project outcome what you wanted.
  7. Maintenance – ensure you review your gutters both of Verandah and dwelling to ensure good passage of water (rain) and other areas of your roof from wind, plant or animal damage that might need attention at least annually. Cleaning roofing, gutters, downpipes and any metal or painted structure will prolong the life of your project materials and ensure effective roofing plus makes things look nice.
  8. Floor – without a stable and well drained floor using your Verandah can be restricted. Many options include paving, concrete (plain or coloured) and timber such as decking (cooler but more maintenance required) at the normal options. Providing a reasonable level non- slip area will ensure your Verandah can deliver in terms of multi usage – furniture tables and chair’s, animal area’s, BBQ and other cooking area’s plus general traffic areas that can be easily navigated. Different areas require different floor outcomes so try to provide the one that looks right for your area.
  9. Colour – whether your using pre-finished metal or painting your project consideration for match your dwelling colours and tone where possible but also ensuring colours match the relaxed nature that “being” in your Verandah warrants. Newer “double sided” coloured roofs do provide a nice clean light outcome to the grey of standard colorbond and metallic outcome of zinc.Verandah & Deck - Vermont
  10. Landscape – providing welcomed privacy via plants (firstly) and items such as screens, planter boxes is a must to ensure an inviting feel from being in your Verandah area. Plants often provide the first and best outcome due to the many benefits of plant life and their colour and pleasant scent around your home. Ensuring those plants selected remain maintainable and functional. Getting the right advice will ensure you select the best plants for your area.

Its your ideas and your needs plus considering the options for your property location plus what your budget can offer mean choices made for one property changes to another. It doesn’t mean that one outcome can’t be just a inviting or appropriate if budget is workable cutting corners will reduce outcome. Location (where’s the prevailing sun rises and falls), terrain, privacy needs, dwelling exit’s and location and size open areas ensure that almost every backyard area is different from another. These are the issues that create difference and determine approach.

Getting your project suitability designed to suit your needs, complying with building and council requirements and ensuring this valuable area of your house get’s the right consideration to make it work can at times be a challenge. Knowing what you can and can’t do (from a permit perspective) is not always apparent.

At The Project Centre we have been specialising in designing outdoor area’s for over 20 years so ensuring our ability to assist you.

To Contact us Monday to Friday ring 9796 6899 during office hours.

Outdoor Rooms – what are they

Outdoor Rooms – What are they?

One of the great things about designing is in the watching and witnessing the changing of peoples needs, trends and visions of whats good or otherwise. Being part of this is invigorating in that watching and learning provides constant ideas and inspiration. Its why we do it. Certainly it’s not about the permit process which need I say more. All this brings me to my thought of the month about Outdoor Rooms – what are they?

In the over 20 years of our direct involvement in backyard developments the Outdoor Room has also undergone a birth and then a continual evolution.

Years -1960’s to mid – late 1990’sMelbourne house before2000

This period saw the minimal change from very simple lean to verandahs to side and rear of dwellings often only 3 or 4 meters long and only 2 or 3 meters wide. Generally just flat roofs and mainly built without plans or permits (or even the thought of one) with simple needs and outcomes. Sometimes these may have be partially enclosed with a cement sheet wall possibly a fixed window but with emphasis on simple and practical. This might loosely therefore be called the outdoor room.

Years !995 to 2010gable verandah timber

In the mid 1990’s we started to see growth and change to what people expected from their outdoor area. TV was starting to feature programs about “doing up your backyard” like Bert’s Backyard plus a range of other like programs. The advent of Bunnings and the active home renovator saw the backyard pergola (although really a Verandah or Patio) becoming a major investment. The new norm now became Gable structures, sunrooms and the development of a range of building product specifically directed to outdoor areas. Improved timber products and colorbond product now had the outdoor backyard in their sight’s. The outdoor room was still not really an item. The big Verandah’s were making their mark but most structures were open and minimal furniture and cooking only the basic BBQ affair.

2010 till nowLouver Projects P1

Now we find the advent of real outdoor living and with that more requirements from what is now being termed The Outdoor Room. What is it?

Well it’s no longer the pretend room that a sunroom 1990’s style was. It really is an outdoor area specifically designed to lounge, dine, cook and play within. The out door kitchen has arrived, smart lighting, heating, sound and TV entertainment, expansive deck’s, feature walls and blinds plus affordable insulated, louver or fixed roofing all providing extended living options for a faction of the cost of extending the existing dwelling or moving home.

Insulated Verandah - brightonWith these changes plans and permits now are a must. Why – not only to ensure your project is legal but also to ensure it works. The budget has moved up but so has the requirements.

These extensive living areas do require the proper consideration to ensure they blend with existing, take account of proposed usage plus add to your total property investment. They require respect and experience to ensure you get the best out of the design.

Outdoor Rooms – What are they?Solarspan Outdoor-room-p2

Well they are still taking shape and the juries out on saying there is any one fixed outcome. This is because they should be what add’s to the dwelling and surrounds plus be a reflection of the owners and their needs and interests.

Your Outdoor Room design should be a reflection of those components and more. There what is it….. well it’s about you and your lifestyle, your needs, your interests

At the Project Centre we can provide you the experience and insight needed to deliver on your outdoor room. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Telephone: +61397966899

Email sales@projectcentre.com.au

Web: www.projectcentre.com.au

Building a Pergola without a Permit

Building a Pergola without a Permit

building permit

No one should be thinking if building a Pergola without a permit. Many clients ring us seeking answers to this is a commonly asked question. Does my Pergola need a Building Permit!.

Facts are clients are generally considering a Verandah or Carport (roofed structures) and sometimes also a deck generally for the external outdoor entertainment area and to provide shelter to rear or side exit from dwelling. Pergolas are strictly non- roofed structures.

Generally by the time client have contacted us we find they have been provided, for some reason, many different responses. Often incorrectly. This information might from a friend, a tradesman or even from council. Reason being often the term “I want to build a pergola” can be met with a “no a permit is not required” response. Often this response is not qualified because Items such as height, location, size, roof etc. etc., needed to be known for the correct response haven’t been requested or provided.

Essentially there is not many times a pergola doesn’t require a building permit. Pergola’s if above 20m2 it will always require a Building permit. Whether your project requires council or developer’s approval will relates specifically to your project and your site.

Do I need a Building Permit

The following links will provide you valuable info on if a permit required or not.

VBA logo

Link to Victorian Building Commission to see if your project needs a permit CLICK HERE. Download PDF info HERE

Local Council – these valuable local council pages providing details concerning building permit’s.

City of Casey logo

City of Casey web site page dealing with Building advice CLICK HERE

 

Cardinia-logo

Shire of Cardinia web site page dealing When are building permits required? CLICK HERE

 

one stop shop

 

What we can offer you! -‘The Project Centre with over 20 years experience can provide proven professional design and building advice covering a wide range of home building projects from ‘start to finish'”.

We can provide

  • Architectural Drafting
  • Town Planning applications including Easement & Report & Consent application
  • Soil Test, Engineering and related reports including Bush Fire reports
  • Building Permit

Louver Projects P1

What you need to provide

  • Copy of Existing House plans.
  • Copy of tiles, sub-divional plans and any covenants or agreement including Design Panel agreements with land developer (if applicable)
  • Measurements and details on your project idea.

Contact us on (03) 9796 6899 during business hours to arrange your FREE consultation at our offices.

Offices & Display Centre – Factory 1, 26 -28 Abbott Road Hallam Victoria Australia.

“Making Projects Come Alive”

Bayside Council Planning Amendment

Bayside Council Planning Amendment.Bayside CC logo

Developers, Home Owners and those considering major or minor developments on there home in Bayside should be aware that Bayside City Council has announced a proposal to amend the Bayside Planning Scheme.

Some of the main points include

  1. Amends Schedule 3 to clause 32.09 – Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ3) to:
  • Introduce a minimum lot size for subdivision of 400 square metres (this means that if your lot is less than 800sqm, you will not be able to subdivide it)
  • Vary Standard A6 and B9 to increase the permeability requirement to 35%
  • Vary Standard A10 and B17 to introduce a 4 metre rear setback requirement
  • Vary Standard B28 to increase the private open space requirements to 75 square metres, with one part secluded private open space with a minimum area of 60 square metres and a minimum dimension of 5 metres
  • Introduce decision guidelines to support amenity considerations in accordance with the Housing Strategy
  1. Update the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS – Clauses 21.02 – 21.12) to reflect recommendations and policy within the Bayside Housing Strategy 2012
  2. Amend clause 22.06 Neighbourhood Character Policy to update terminology to accord with the Housing Strategy
  3. Amend clause 22.07 Discretionary Uses in Residential Areas Policy to provide further guidance on the preferred built form for these types of applications in accordance with the Housing Strategy

Interested owners and other practitioners are urged to make a submission, as the proposal has the potential to significantly impact development in Bayside. For more information, CLICK HERE.

I can see many disappointments coming, even on simple renovations and extensions as simple as Verandah’s and Patio’s, where rear boundary restrictions and increases in minimum private open space to 75 square metres and permeability requirement to 35% may impact single home developments if this proposal allowed to be pushed through. No refection on restrictions due to land affordability due to planning requirements is considered. Certainly any multi-town house or simple land splitting will now increase in difficulty significantly no matter what brightly painted outcome council paints to support this proposal. Already considered over governed and unresponsive in terms of planning and under performing in terms of real services this continues the Bayside story.

Be warned If you live here be interested or be sorry. Problem is however no matter what objection will be noted they will propel this proposal forward then say “well you had your chance to object” even if we didn’t listen. I see another sad outcome on the way.

Submissions to these proposals close on 17 September 2015.

New Home – Classic Weatherboard

New Home – Classic WeatherboardNew Home - Olive Road

The recently finished new home in Hampton Park, a suburb in Melbourne’s south east, is a dwelling who’s brief was to provide “a classic weatherboard in the Anne of green gables approach (without the green)” After now a few short months of occupying the home we find the outdoors is now starting to take shape with much credit to the owners.

This brief was to provide a compact home for owners that provide good access to dwelling (due to restrictions of one owner), provide a classic but modern style that appealed to them, ensure internals accounted for mobility restrictions whilst “not in your face”, had fittings that reflected their persona’s, age and interest’s and that the outdoors was efficient but classic in design and outcome.New Home - Olive Road - front

A large prominent tree was retained onsite with a view to provide a kick start to outdoors plus provide balance between a highly new dwelling and what can be a bland featureless outside.

Often we see that what can be a wonderful new dwelling can appear very tactile and lonely on a newly cleared bare landscape. We all wanted that the new dwelling that might appear to have had just a new coat of paint. Whilst realising that this might be a tall order to ensure that the paths, gardens, shed and other external features were planned to ensure come 12 months we might be somewhere along our goal path.

These pictures of the new home – classic weatherboard show a dwelling only 3 months after completion.

Olive Road - rear yard

Olive Road - west ear yard

 

 

 

 

 

We believe that owners have done a fantastic job of creating an outdoors that reflects them plus kick starts the goal of have the new dwelling become a home.

We’ll let you be the judge if we achieved some of the aims and brief we were administrating.

Olive Road - View to east rear

Olive road - entry to garage

Non Compliant Cladding Materials

Non Compliant Cladding MaterialsDockland fire building

The Builders Designers Association Victoria (BDAV) have advised further in regards revelation that some high rise buildings were found that the external cladding used was not non-combustible. The  Lacrosse building at docklands fire started from a smouldering cigarette on a second floor balcony of the Lacrosse tower in the Docklands in November 2014. It quickly spread to the 20th storey, causing $2 million in damage and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate. No one was killed however it raised the possibility of Non-compliant Cladding materials being used.

I Quote

“The Victorian Building Authority issued an announcement yesterday afternoon advising of its actions in relation to the audit of cladding on high rise buildings. This follows on from the fire at the Lacrosse Apartments in the Docklands precinct in November of 2014 in which it was found that the external aluminium cladding on the building contributed to the fire spread and did not meet compliance with the National Construction Code. The VBA noted it has contacted more than 20,000 building practitioners requesting information about possible non-compliant use of cladding, and is also requiring the builders and building surveyors of some 170 high rise buildings in inner Melbourne and surrounding suburbs built in the last 10 years to provide evidence that the external cladding complies with the NCC. To read the VBA announcement, CLICK HERE.

James Hardie have provided a technical bulletin relating to this issue CLICK

Domestically we are often challenged with the facts that choosing products is a daunting issue. To ensure the quality is not just a visual factor but a tested and proven factor is important. No more or less than the workmanship demanded from your builder. When selecting material it’s best to ensure the products tested and certified for the usage proposed.

We will find due to the above issue the requirement from Building Surveyors for designers and builders to produce documentation to confirm that the specified product meets Australian Standards and is fully installed, not switched out to a non-suitable product will become common place.

 

 

Building Design Awards 2014

Building Design Awards 2014

Building Design Awards 2014 is conducted each year by Building Designers Associate Victoria.This year’s BDAV Building Design Awards were just announced at the BDAV’s Annual Dinner.

Top honours went to Melbourne Design Studios Pty Ltd for their exemplary design project Birkenstock Australia HQ which won a total of four awards, including the coveted Building Design of the Year. The new Birkenstock headquarters – who specialise in healthy footwear – is a testament to the brand’s core values of craftsmanship and quality, honesty and integrity, sustainability and healthiness.

To view all of this year’s stunning winners, CLICK HERE. to to see a range of the winners for this year’s awards.

Your Home – Guide to Building

Your Home – Guide to BuildingYourHome

Your Home is your guide to building, buying or renovating a home. It shows how to create a comfortable home with low impact on the environment – economical to run, healthier to live in and adaptable to your changing needs.

This Australian Government Web site is an excellent starting point for your home project. The web site deals with 4 main segments of sustainable housing.

Your Home – guide to building is a web site very worthwhile to research before you begin. Reviewing items of location, orientation, heating and cooling to enable home owners to understand more about the real cost’s of owning and maintaining your home.

It allows couples to try and decide some important principals for when they are briefing their designer or in fact when considering a building block to ensure the location and options for siting a dwelling are provided to a specific block of land.

We trust you will find this web site worthwhile.