Proud Members of the
Master Builders Association of NSW since 1968
O'Mara is not a project home style builder. We like to think of ourselves as contract builders. The difference is there is NO restrictions of the style of the home constructed or the materials used. We can build any home at all, no matter what the design. We do not charge excessively for different designs or changes as we have no standard method of construction. There is no restriction on which materials to use. For example bricks can come from PGH, Boral or Austral Bricks. Windows can be supplied from Airlite, Stegbar or Bradnam's Windows. Doors can be Corinthian, Hume or Doors Plus. Ceramic tiles and bathroom fittings can come from any supplier in Sydney or beyond. We even allow owners to supply materials directly if they prefer. Builders get large discounts on structural materials such as concrete, bricks, frames & trusses, timber, roof tiles, metal roofing, windows & doors. However they do not receive such large discount on some of the finish items such as bathroom fittings, ceramic tiles, paint, kitchen cooking appliances, carpet and blinds. Therefore many of our clients now prefer to supply some of the items directly. Fine with us. We can offer a full "turn-key" handover service or construction using some owner supplied materials. The owner should enquire with us about how this can affect insurances, warranties, home owners warranty insurance and the construction program. More information is available upon request.
O'Mara does NOT have any standard designs as we build such a wide variety of projects. We can show you pictures or plans of our previous projects. However with every site having such different conditions and every council having their own specific requirement every project needs to be designed and constructed specifically. We recommend that a "concept plan" first be prepared. It is best to set a brief for the designer of a "Must have list" plus an optional "Wish List' with a budget construction cost. This is a much better system than designing the house yourself and simply have them redraw your design. The designer is the best person to evaluate the reality of your budget vs your requirements. Once this concept plan is prepared we can this cost the project exactly, price any alternatives in design or materials and obtain verbal council approval.
O'Mara is not a kit home builder. Not to say we would not construct a kit home supplied by another company however we do not see any value in erecting kit homes. Everything you get from a kit home company you can purchase directly from other suppliers. You are just paying the kit home company a premium for processing the orders that the builder would normally make. You will also need to sign one contract with the kit home company for the supply of the kit and another second contract with the builder to erect the kit home. There is often the disagreements between the parties on the quantity and quality of the materials supplied. In our opinion it is a better method to sign one building contract directly with the builder to supply and install ALL materials.
KNOCK-DOWN AND REBUILDING
O'Mara will happily knock-down and rebuild any home. To be honest so would any builder. It is only a matter of arranging a demolisher and that's it. Many companies advertise they can knock down and rebuild but this is just a clever marketing campaign rather than a special skill.
O'Mara does NOT offer an owner builder advisory service. There is simply too much to advice. We believe what makes a good builder is the quality of his tradesman. You can be the best builder in the world but if you employ poor quality tradesman you will produce a poor quality product and a angry client. Approximately 50% of any building project is labour. Therefore you need to spend it wisely and invest it in quality, experienced tradesmen. What makes our tradesmen perform so well is the following;
1. They we for us repeatedly on repeated projects in some cases for over 30 years. This means they are happy, ensured of payment and will complete any maintenance items if they occur. Some trades do vary over time but when we find a good tradesmen we stick with them and don't change
2. They have great experience. As we build such a wide range of projects and tradesmen also have gained a wide range of experience in their field that many of their competitors do not
3. Our tradesmen all know each other. Many of our staff are long time friends or relatives. This means that will be considerate of the next trade when completing their own task, resulting in a better run job and a high quality product.
4. We have preferred tradesmen for each and every trade. We do have back-up tradesmen if we get busy but we have a group of preferred trades and they know who they are. This means they know if they quote the job competitively and complete the job well they will be virtually guaranteed of getting the next job. We do not screw down each subbies after they starts the job or give the job to someone else because he is a few dollars cheaper which is the common complaint of the project home industry
5. Our carpenters are full-time staff. Carpentry is the back bone of the domestic building industry. We believe you need good quality carpenters that work also as a on-site working foreman as well as carpenters. Some builders use framers, eaves fixers, fixout carpenters separately but we think this is poor building practice.
When owner building you need to use untested tradesmen on a one off project, which is a recipe for disaster. Many tradesmen charge up to 20% more to owner builders as projects are not as well organised and there is no chance of repeat work. Builders also receive large discounts (of up to 60%) on many of the structural materials. Owner builders legally have ALL of the same responsibilities of a licensed builder now and in the future. They cannot blame poor tradesmen for poor quality of work. They must guarantee all work under their control to any future home owners just like a licensed builder.
We believe it is a better method to have the builder construct all structural elements and the owner supply minor finish items or complete non-structural work only, such as painting.
ARCHITECTS & DRAFTSMEN
When designing new building work you have a choice between engaging an architect or a draftsman, the difference being as follows ;
These are usually TAFE college educated professional who will design everything an architect can but at a much cheaper cost. A good draftsman will draw simple but clear plans. Draftsmen are perfect for simple additions when you need to match into existing work or for new homes when you already know basically what you want. When designing additions, if you have your existing house plans your final fees are likely to be cheaper.
Although the fees of architect will be likely to be more the standard of plans will normally be much higher. Architects train at university for usually 5 to 6 years and not only learn to draw plans but can offer additional services, such as ;
ₕ Preparation of detailed specification
ₕ Bathroom and kitchen layout plans
ₕ Construction details drawn on plans for difficult construction or problem area's
ₕ Evaluation of builder's tenders and approval of builder's accounts
ₕ On-site supervision and consultation during construction
Architects will usually design something out of the ordinary and include their own style in the plans. Therefore you should go to an architect who has a similar theme to what you require. There are architects that specialise in heritage, contemporary and various period styles. In theory, when you engage an architect the final product will be of a much higher standard and return a higher resale figure.
Please contact our office for contact details or for our opinion on which professional is most suited to your project.
Once you have decided to build a contract home there are various steps that council require to be followed before you can commence construction. They vary depending on the type of building but include;
1. Draft concept plans
2. Budget estimate by builder
3. Final building plans
4. Check price by builder
5. Council application
6. Engineers design
7. Surveyor set out
8. BASIX report
9. Acoustic design
10. Landscape design
11. Stormwater detention or hyrdaulic design
12. Colour scheme
13. Tree reports
14. Strata or torrens title sub-division plans
15. Sydney water & council fee¡¦s & contributions
16. Telstra & Integral Energy certificates of compliance
17. Council fee¡¦s for long service leave levy
18. Submission of builder¡¦s fixed price tender including all site costs and council conditions
19. Home owners warranty insurance
20. Council or private certification for inspections and construction certificate
Owners can either decide what steps are required for their development or alternatively we submit a quotation for getting a project to "READY FOR CONSTRUCTION" stage or include all of the above steps in a fixed price written tender.
OMARA now has numerous draftsmen & architects that we can utilise for every type of building project possible. From the simple one bedroom addition using old style hand drawn plans to the new 3D computer generated model plans to extremely detailed architect design detailed plans & specification with supervision for complex luxury designer homes. Each building project requires a different style of building designer. Building design in Australia is unregulated meaning anyone at all (e.g. even the local butcher) can design building and submit plans to council. This means there are many poor quality designers in every are of greater western Sydney. O'Mara has spent many years sourcing & working with various building designers and now has an extensive list of reliable, cost effective designers to suit any building project. If you are planning a building project our advice is to call or email Luke O'Mara with a brief outline of your proposed building project. He can then refer you to the most suitable building designer in your area that has experience with your type of project and construction knowledge of your method of construction. You can then choose to engage this building designer directly, obligation free at no charge or alternatively O'Mara will oversee the designer to ensure they meet your requirements and design the project in the most practical and economical way. We believe building should be open in every way with no secrets or special contracts, just good old fashioned advise, that's free with NO obligations. At O'Mara we give free advice & references to quality designers and you only sign a contract until you have your plans approved and are ready to start construction. That's it, no tricks, no clauses, no exceptions !