Do you have questions? You may find answers here.
Building a home is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to make the right choice, when it comes to the people you trust to invest with. We can’t speak for our competitors, but here are some important aspects you should consider, when you compare us with our competitors.
We build our homes from Perth, to Geraldton in the north, Esperance in the east and most country areas in between, including the South West.
We supply component homes throughout Australia and export overseas. However, anywhere in Western Australia is our main market.
Our Fully Built and Built to Lockup base prices are for Perth. Ask one of our Building Consultants for an estimate for building our standard designs in various country regions, and when we give you a written quote for your specific home on your site, it will be a fixed price quote for your building site.
Yes. Our Component Home prices include free delivery to your site up to 200km from the Perth GPO. If your site is over 200km, we will quote you a fixed price for delivery.
Yes. In fact, we very seldom sell a standard house. Almost every client makes changes, from simple things such as adding verandahs, garages and carports, through to completely remodelling the interior room layout. Common sense usually dictates how far we will go with some changes. For instance, if you are building the house yourself as an owner builder, we will endeavour to keep the design and structure easy to build, using components that can be readily handled and used by owner builders. But, if we are building the home for you, or, you are using experienced sub-contractors, we can make radical changes, knowing that people with the skills to build a more complicated structure are involved.
Most of our homes are specifically designed to make them practical and easy for Owner Builders to build. We recommend using experienced sub-contractors, unless you have a trade, or competent handyperson background and feel comfortable doing some of the work yourself. Many of our clients have built their homes from the ground up, excluding electrical and plumbing, which must be done by registered trades. We supply you with a comprehensive and very detailed Construction Manual and detailed plans, which are specifically drawn for your house. Plus, we give you a Construction DVD, which takes you through each construction phase, step by step. We also have several staff members who are experts at building our homes and their advice is only a phone call away.
We are by far, the biggest Kit Home Supplier in WA and have been so since we started business in 1981. Our reputation for quality and service is the envy of our competitors and we intend to keep it that way. Our policy is simple. If we make a mistake, we fix it, no questions asked.
We suggest you visit Building Commission of WA website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission which has comprehensive information for Owner Builders. It also has application forms etc, that can be downloaded.
We have tradespeople in various areas, who have built our homes in the past, or have been used successfully by our Owner Builder clients. We are happy to pass on the contact details to you.
No. There is no fee for making changes to our homes. But obviously the cost of materials and labour involved in the change will decrease, or increase the house price accordingly.
Yes. Our standard specification is there purely as a starting point for us to provide you with a price of a home, including quality products, fixtures and fittings which, from our experience, are generally sought after by many of our clients. Obviously there are countless different products that you can include in your new home, and provided it is practical for us to include a product, we are happy to make changes.
Yes, but we will not infringe another builder’s copyright, or quote on a design that we think is inappropriate for our building system and the materials we use. Show us your sketch, or plans and we will tell you if the design is suitable for us to build.
Yes, provided you have reasonably firm ideas on what you want, along with a budget to match your ideas. Plus, your ideas will need to suit our systems and the materials we use. If we are designing a home from scratch, there will be a small design fee, which will be credited to you if you proceed with the home.
We also use steel roof trusses if the client requests steel. We have our own in-house steel wall frame and truss manufacturing plant, but we still use timber trusses as our standard specification, for four good reasons.
Yes and No. Unfortunately, no house is termite proof, regardless of what the builder may claim. As a standard inclusion, we make the structural components of our houses termite resistant by using steel, or treated pine wall frames and anti-termite treated timber roof trusses and roof frame members, or by using optional steel roof trusses. But, this does not make the whole of the house termite proof. Unfortunately, it is common practice for some builders to claim that their houses are “ termite proof,” thus leading the home owner into a false sense of security.
The structural elements of a house, such as the concrete floor, brickwork, wall frames and roof frame can be made termite proof, but if termites gain access to a house, they can do considerable and expensive damage to many items, such as timber floors, kitchen cabinets, furniture, books, ceiling & wall linings, contents of storage cupboards, skirtings, door frames, doors, staircases etc. etc.
The only answer to combating termites is, DO NOT LET THEM GET INTO YOUR HOUSE. It is very important for any builder to properly chemically treat under floor slabs and around the external perimeter of the house. The owner must then make sure that it is regularly inspected by a professional pest controller and retreated when necessary.
There are physical barrier systems available for concrete slab floors, which are installed under the external walls of the house and around slab penetrations, such as where drain pipes penetrate through the slab. We do not recommend using these systems, unless it is not possible to use a chemical barrier, or they are used in conjunction with a chemical barrier. The physical barrier systems rely on the termite trails having to bridge over or around the barrier, making the termite trails visible during inspection of the barrier. The down side of these systems is that the barrier can be damaged during construction, in places that are impossible to see. It is also easy to unintentionally damage, or cover the barrier, when paving or gardening around the edge of the house. Very dangerous and quite common practices for home owners are, to brick pave, or concrete pave over the barrier, to stack fire wood against the house, to build up garden soil against the house, to lean timber against the house, all of which provide a bridge for termites to enter the house.
Where our homes are built above ground level on stump floors, it is not possible to use a chemical termite barrier, as we would under a concrete slab. We generally choose to use steel, or CCA treated pine pole stumps, which are termite resistant. It is then quite easy for a professional pest controller to regularly inspect the stumps for termite trails leading up the outside of the stumps. Termites cannot live in sunlight, so when they have to bridge a barrier, such as a steel or treated timber stump, to gain access to a house, they build a tunnel made from soil or sand over the outside of the stump. These tunnels are visible on the outside of the stump and are easily recognised by a trained pest controller, or a home owner who knows what to look for.
The treated timber used in our roof trusses and ancillary roof timbers is chemically treated to resist attack by European House Borers, which are a recent pest problem, found in some of the Perth Hills areas and some outer suburbs of Perth. They are a flying beetle, which is suspected to have been introduced in timber imported to Perth from infected areas in Europe. They live in, and eat untreated timber. The authorities in Perth are currently running an eradication campaign against the borer. Your local Council will tell you if your land is in an effected area, or visit www.ehb.wa.gov.au for more information.
Yes. We regularly build, or supply component homes with steel and/or timber floors and decks. Due to the additional cost of stumped floors, as compared to a concrete slab on ground floor, pole homes are usually built on steep blocks, where site works costs for a concrete slab become prohibitive. Pole homes also become economical in remote areas where ready mix concrete is expensive, or difficult to obtain. Other clients have chosen stump floors, just because they want that “pole home look”. If you want a quote for a stumped floor on one of our designs, you will need to provide us with a contour survey of you building site. We need this to give you an accurate costing on stump sizes and lengths, scaffolding requirements etc.
All our homes are structurally designed by a Certified Structural Engineer and the structural details are signed off by an Engineer. The structural design is specifically designed for your block and takes into account such things as soil type, wind speed, local terrain, earthquake regions and cyclonic regions. This Engineers Certification is included in our standard prices.
Framed houses are the vastly preferred type of construction in West Australia’s cyclone regions and earthquake zones. The reason being, is because they are very strong and can be readily designed to take the harshest of conditions.
This falls into 2 categories.
Everyone’s financial circumstances are different, so it is difficult to give a general answer to suit all circumstances, but your Ross Squire Homes Consultant can give you a good estimation of whether you are likely to qualify for finance, either as an Owner Builder, or, if we are building your home. We can also recommend an independent Finance Broker, who will guide you through the finance application and approval process, and help you find the best lender to suit your particular needs.
There are quite a few major items where you can save considerable money by arranging sub-contractors yourself, or actually doing the work yourself. It is important to note, that you personally cannot work on the house during the period, from when we start work on site, to when we hand over the house at Practical Completion. This is due to Workers Compensation and Public Liability Insurance requirements. However, the things you can do to save money are:
Many builders will not allow you to do any, or most of the above items yourself. This is purely because they will be missing out on the profit margin on this work. We actively encourage our clients to arrange all the above items themselves, thus saving the builder’s profit margin. Where possible, we will even help you to arrange things like the site works, retaining walls and septic systems, by organising quotes and recommending qualified contractors. Usually, it’s as simple as a few site meetings with subbies, some phone calls to arrange times to be on site etc, and paying the bills to the subbies.
Site works is one area where you can make considerable savings. Many other builders will tell you that they will not build your house, unless they do the site works, because they are responsible for the structural integrity of the site works. It is a fact that we, as the builder, are responsible for the site works, regardless of who does the site works. But, provided you use a reputable site works contractor and follow the engineer’s instructions & details we provide to you, and provide us with a structural engineer’s certification and compaction certificate, we are happy for you to do the site works and save thousands of dollars. The vast majority of our clients arrange their own site works, and it is not difficult to do.
As an indication of the saving you can make, just on site works alone, most builders will charge anything from 25% margin, on top of the site works costs. For example, where the site works costs are say, $30,000, you could save the builders margin of at least $7,500.00 and sometimes considerably more. The savings on many of the above items will also start at around 25% on top of the cost of the materials and labour.
Other builders may also tell you that they have better buying power than you on the site works costs. We have found this is not the case. Most site works contractors will give you the same price they quote to us.
If you are buying a “Finishing Pack” component home as an Owner Builder, you are welcome to delete any of the finishing items where personal choice is involved. This includes items such as tap ware, plumbing fixtures & fittings, cabinets, appliances and hot water systems.
If we are building your home, we limit the finishing items you can supply, to stove, hotplate and solar HWS (if applicable). The reason we limit these items, is to avoid logistical nightmares during construction, and to avoid slowing the construction programme. Experience has taught us, that Owners often give us information on the product they are supplying and then deliver something completely different, or, they don’t supply a product on time and construction is halted until they provide the product.
Because our homes are built in the coldest and the hottest parts of West Australia, we include insulation for both climate extremes. The external walls of all our Fully Built and Finishing Pack homes come standard with reflective foil insulation, a minimum R0.2 "thermal break" between the external cladding and the steel wall frame, plus minimum R2.5 batts to the external wall frame cavity. The ceilings are insulated with minimum R3.5 batts and a 50mm glasswool building blanket under the main roof areas. This insulation package meets or exceeds the minimum energy efficiency requirements under the Building Code of Australia, for the vast majority of homes built in West Australia.
The savings will vary considerably, based on how much work you do yourself.
For example, if you do most of the building work yourself, using your own labour, excluding the concrete floor, plumbing and electrics, you can expect to save around 25-35%.
If you build the home as a project manager and just do some of the work yourself, such as painting and paving, and sub-contract out all the other trades, you can expect to save around 15-20%.
The above savings are based on the percentage saved off the price of an equivalent home, fully built by Ross Squire Homes. EG. If our Fully Built price is say, $200,000, a 30% saving would be $60,000.
We encourage all our potential Owner Builder customers to discuss their capabilities as an Owner Builder with our Consultants. They can give you an indication of the savings you can make, based on the work you intend to do yourself, as well as an estimate of other costs involved.
Most rooms in a house don’t need to have added sound insulation, but where a design includes a bathroom or toilet next to a living room for example, adding sound control batts to the wall, will reduce transmitted noise through the walls. We have clients who work shifts and require a bedroom to be an extra quiet room, in which case we also add solid core doors and thick, laminated glass to the window in that room.
Yes, with the popularity of timber decks in recent years, this is a common change. We need to know where you want the decks, so we can thicken the concrete footing in that area. Then it is a simple matter of digging the sand away from the face of the footing, allowing enough depth for the deck bearers and joists to be installed. If your site has a slope, the slope can be utilized to build the deck on elevated stumps, which can give the appearance of the whole house being on stumps.