Contact Us

Phone
(02) 4577 4912

Email
luke.omara@bigpond.com

Address
Unit 1, No.103 Railway Road (North) MULGRAVE NSW 2756

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Proud Members of the
Master Builders Association of  NSW since 1968
 

Tips For Home Owners

Mosman
Mosman
Mosman

[ How Builder's Rip Off Their Clients ]

[ Finance ]

[ Progress Claims - When you need to pay the builder ]

[ Site Checklist ]

[ Schedule of Rates ]

[ Council Approval Process ]

[ Insurance ]

[ Owner Supplied Materials & Owner Nominated Sub-Contractors ]

[ 2nd Storey Additions Construction Program ]

 

 

How Builder's Rip Off Their Clients
There are numerous ways builder's can rip off their clients. Some things owners should be aware of are listed below ;

  • PC ALLOWANCES. This an allowance for an item that cannot be costed exactly. For example ¡V Kitchen cupboards, supply of tiles or bathroom fittings, siteworks, etc. Some PC allowances may be unavoidable but a tender should NOT have PC allowances for basic items such as frames & trusses, windows, roofing and alike. The best quotes have little or no PC allowances so that these costs cannot increase during construction
  • UNREALISTIC PC ALLOWANCES. If a PC is to be included it should be a realistic figure and if possible with a schedule of rates. There may need to be an element of trust between the owner & builder in estimating this amount of PC allowance.
  • UNQUOTED VARIATIONS. Most variations can be quoted for before any work is completed. However if in the rare case it cannot be quoted (eg replacement of termite damaged timber) the variation needs to be proved by supplying a copy of any material purchase invoices to the owner plus a charge for labour at an agreed rate and a builder percentage for overheads and profit
  • CONCRETE PIERING. Any concrete piering should be completed at an agreed rate. The owner should inspect the amount of pier holes completed to ensure they have been charged for the correct amount of piering completed. The builder is the only person who usually keeps a record of the amount of concrete piering that has been actually completed on site. The engineer or council does not usually record the depth of pier holes drilled on site.
  • ROCK EXCAVATION. This can be expensive and should be completed at an agreed rate of charges of machine fire, float charges, truck hire, tip fee's that might be required.
  • GST. This can be double charged. Owners should ensure any invoices clearly state whether GST is included or not. The builder can easily double charge for GST on the sub-contractors invoice and then again on his invoice to the owner if t is not clearly checked.
  • LABOUR RATES. These should be fair and reasonable. It is common for many builders to include excessively hire labour rates for any extra work that may be required. All labour rates would be clearly stated in the building contract so that the owner knows exactly what labour rates will be charged for.
  • EXLCUSIONS. Builders can make more money by excluding an item rather than completing a variation by not passing on the full amount of any excluded item in the contract to the owner when an item is deleted. If the owner is thinking of excluding an item during construction they should ask the builder to include what the credit amount would be in the contract prior to contract signing.
  • TENDER VALIDITY. All good builders will state in their tender how long their tender is valid for before they can revise it for industry rise and fall. This is usually between 30 and 90 days. Owners should not sign a contract until plans are passed by council and the builder is ready to start on-site immediately. Otherwise they run the risk of being charged for excessive price rises imposed by the builder. The owner can also ask for evidence from builder's suppliers proving they have actually incurred the price rise they are claiming for.
  • WRITTEN INCLUSIONS. Owners should insist that all of there requirements are included in the tender in writing. If it is not written in the tender the owner will have no legal right to claim for the inclusion. The tender should be attached to the contract and every page signed by both parties with a copy for each party supplied. The most important element will be communication & trust between both parties. The above are only a few of the ways builders can rip off their clients. Owners should check the builders experience, check references and evaluate the builder not only on price but also on professionalism
Japanese house kitchen

Progress Claims - When you need to pay the builder
There are numerous ways that progress claims can be made. They can be made every 2 weeks for up to 95% of the value of the work however this method gives no incentive for the builder to perform and complete the work ASAP. We prefer for claims to be made at set intervals when a construction stage is met. Each schedule of progress claims is customized to the job but a common break-up of claims is as follows;


DEPOSIT Max 5% of the contract price

  1. CONCRETE POUR
  2. DELIVERY OF FRAMES & TRUSSES
  3. DELIVERY OF BRICKWORK
  4. FASCIA & GUTTER INSTALLED
  5. ROOF TILES / IRON DELIVERED
  6. PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL ROUGH-IN COMPLETED
  7. PLASTERBOARD / INTERNAL LINING DLEIVERED
  8. LOCK-UP (HOUSE IS SECURE)
  9. FIXOUT DELIVERED - DOORS & ARCHITRAVES
  10. CERAMIC TILING COMPLETED
  11. PAINTING COMPLETED
  12. PRACTICAL COMPLETION

Final payment is required at "Practical Completion". This is the stage when either the owner moves into the house / addition or when the house is complete, except for maintenance items.

Owners have 13 weeks after they move in to supply a maintenance list of minor items to be completed or rectified. O'Mara does not usually enforce this 13 week period and we often return to inspection any owner concerns may months after the work has been completed.

Each project O'Mara completes is totally different. A schedule of progress claims is prepared and included in every building contract to suit the project. Adjustments can be made to suit both parties when required.

Site Checklist
We complete a site checklist for each new job as a quality control measure. The following is a common checklist, but each job has a customized checklist 

EXISTING HOUSE DETAILS

Roof pitch

Roof span from overall frame width

Height of roof truss from apex to bottom of bottom chord

Plumb cut height of truss

Wall frame height 

Size of stud frames

Eave overhang

Barge overhang

 

 

degrees

mm

mm

mm

mm

mm

mm

mm

EXTENSION WALL FRAMES

Wall frames Height (extension)

Width of external wall frames

Width of brickwork cavity

All cedar windows & doors to extension

Robe doors

Strip flooring cut in by builder later

Particleboard flooring to wet areas

 

 

mm

mm

mm

yes

swinging / sliding

yes / no

yes / no

EXTENSION TRUSSES / RAFTERS

Wind category

Roofing 

Trusses Roof pitch garage

Trusses Roof pitch house

Eave overhang

Barge overhang

RAKED ceiling to living room

H2 treated pine frames, trusses, and ancillaries

Exposed rafters (verandah) - F17 kiln dried hardwood

Exposed Tas-beams

 

 

W33

Corrugated iron / Concrete roof tiles / Terracotta tiles

degrees

degrees

mm

mm

yes / no

yes / no

yes / no

yes / no

EXTENSION FLOOR JOISTS & FLOORING

Ground floor  

Garage beams

Any steel beams required

Steel T-bar with brickwork to front gable

 

 

posi-strut H2 floor joists / hyne-beam / LVL's

Wall plates only / verandah beams

yes / no

yes / no

ANCILLARIES

Verandah posts & beams 

Size of verandah posts

Size of verandah beams

Timber fascia

Ply bracing OK due to cladding

Roof battens - (Radiata / H2 / Merbau)

Valley boards

 

 

prime coated / Merbau

mm

mm

yes / no

yes / no

yes / no

yes / no

SITE ACCESS

 

DATE OF DELIVERY REQUIRED Approx:

 

SPLIT DELIVERY REQUIRED

 

OTHER SITE CONDITIONS TO CONSIDER;
ₕScaffolding required for construction
ₕJoist layout check for drainage & air-conditioning
ₕAny insulclad wall cladding
ₕAerial power that needs to be relocated
ₕNeed to check on-site overall dimensions
ₕCrane required? Possible driveway damage?
ₕAny excavation that can be booked or other materials ordered
ₕMark window sizes of existing windows if to be replaced

good / poor

 

weeks

 

yes / no

 

Check dimensions of existing plans add up and any changes that might be required

Schedule of Rates
A schedule of rates is included in each contract. These rates are constantly updated for industry rise & fall. Following is a list of our latest schedule of rates (subject to review)

Piering
Piering will be required for any poor soil conditions, any foundations within the zone of influence of sewer mains, through any filled ground or for any poor or uneven soil conditions
Any concrete piering will be charged at the following rates;

Concrete piers 300mm diameter $50/m
Concrete piers 450mm diameter $70/m
Concrete piers 600mm diameter $90/m
Concrete piers 750mm diameter $110/m
Concrete piers 900mm diameter $150/m

$50/m

$70/m

$90/m

$110/m

$150/m


A minimum charge of $1,500.00 applies to any drilling rig concrete piering.
NO minimum charge applies if pier holes can be drilled by bobcat on site
Mass concrete piers dug with excavator and poured as part of standard concrete pour is charged at the rate of $200 per m3 of the extra concrete required

Electrical

POWER
Single or double power point 
External weatherproof power point 
15/20amp power point (eg Spa) 

 

LIGHTS
Light point (batten holder only) 
Low voltage gimble downlight 
Two-way light switch 
Dimmer switch 
External wall light (supply by owner) 
Fluro light 36 watt twin 

Ceiling fan with light (white) 
Exhaust fan (no ducting) 
Bathroom 4 heat IXL
Ducting for exhaust fan or IXL

Install light fitting supply by owner

 

OTHER ITEMS
TV point in RG6 for digital / Foxtel

Telephone point 
Smoke detector
Air-conditioner circuit 20amp 1 phase
Extra underground mains (meterbox, water tank, septic tank)

 

$100.00

$140.00

$250.00

 

 

$100.00

$120.00

$90.00

$70.00

$20.00

$90.00

$200.00

$90.00

$380.00

$350.00

$40 ea.

 

 

$100.00

$100.00

$150.00

$250.00

$48/m

 

Points are allowed to be installed pre-gyprock in roof or wall cavity with good access. Any poor access site, chasing of brickwork or conduits for face mounting on existing brickwork will incur additional charges
All fittings are as per electrician's sample

 

Brickwork

Extra brickwork (large areas) 
Bagging brickwork 
Brick headers 
Install vents 
Brick cleaning

Supply sand, cement, lime & ancillaries 

Concrete blocks 
Supply bricks or blocks 

$900/100 bricks laid

$15/m2

$25/m

$20 each

$65/1000 bricks

$150/1000 bricks
$4 each
at builder's discounted rates

 

Strip Flooring

Labour to lay 80mm wide strip flooring on existing floor joists
Extra labour to lay 133mm wide strip flooring over cost above Extra labour to supply & lay battens to concrete slab 
Floor sanding of new strip flooring

Minimum charge for floor sanding (areas under 27m2) 
Cypress pine strip flooring 80mm finish (Supply only) 
Blackbutt strip flooring 80mm finish (Supply only) 
Jarrah strip flooring 80mm finish (Supply only) 
Bluegum strip flooring 80mm finish (Supply only) 
Tassy Oak strip flooring 80mm finish (Supply only) 
Spotted gum strip flooring 133mm finish (Supply only) 
All select grade
Mixed hardwood 133mm finish UTILITY GRADE (Supply only)

$40/m2

$5/m2

$15/m2

$35/m2
$650.00

$40/m2

$80/m2

$90/m2

$85/m2

$95/m2

$85/m2

 

$65/m2

 

Shelving & Joinery

Extra vertical or horizontal shelving to owners design 

Melamine shelving up to 600mm wide 
Melamine shelf with hanging rail  

$48/m

$65/m

 

Ceramic Tiling

Porcelain tiling in lieu of ceramic 
Border tiling wall or floor 
Additional tiling

$10/m2

$20/m

 $50/m2

 

Garage Doors
The additional price for high-lites to sectional panelift garage doors is $450.00 plus GST each of pattern design to be selected from samples provided by builder
The additional price for automatic control, including power supply is $750.00 plus GST each.

 

Shower Screens

Upgrade shower screen to semi-frameless shower screen
Upgrade shower screen to fully-frameless shower screen 

 $200.00

$1,800.00

Machine Hire

DROTT BULLDOZER 
EXCAVATOR

BOBCAT

TRUCK HIRE

 $150/hour

$110/hour
$70/hour
$80/hour

Minimum charge of 4 hours applies
Float charges of $150 for drott & excavator, $90 for bobcat applies

 

Plant & Equipment

MINISKIP - 2m3
MINISKIP - 4m3
MINISKIP - 2m3 for AESBESTOS FIBRO 

  $150.00

 $300.00
$300.00


Labour Rates
The following labour rates apply to any variations that cannot be quoted as a fixed lump sum (e.g. replacement of white ant damaged timber). Please note that this is rare as most variations can easily be quoted as a lump sum

BUILDER ON SITE 
FOREMAN 

CONCRETOR 
CARPENTER 
CARPENTER APPRENTICE 
BRICKLAYER 
BRICKLAYERS LABOURER 
ELECTRICIAN 

PLUMBER 
PLASTERER 
CEMENT RENDERER 
CERAMIC TILER 
METALWORKER 
ROOF TILER 
LANDSCAPER 
KITCHEN MANUFACTURER ON SITE 
PAINTER 
LABOURER 
CLEANER 

$80/hour

$60/hour
$45/hour

$50/hour

$30/hour

$50/hour

$25/hour

$50/hour
$50/hour

$45/hour

$45/hour

$50/hour

$50/hour

$45/hour

$45/hour

$50/hour

$45/hour

$25/hour

$30/hour


 

Builders Percentage
A builder's percentage of 20% applies to all of the costs listed above GST
GST of 10% applies to all of the costs listed above

Council Approval Process
To obtain council approval there are 2 main steps;
1. Building Development approval (DA) - this can ONLY be done by council and NOT by private certifiers
2. Construction Certificate (CC) - this can be issued by council directly OR by a private certifier

1. DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL DOCUMENTATION

The following documentation is supplied by council when the project has been approved;
ₕ Building plans with council approved stamp
ₕ Building approval conditions
ₕ Statement of environmental effects
ₕ Waste Management Plan


Councils can be ANY of the following;
ₕ Hawkesbury City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Hornsby City Council, Gosford City Council, Wyong City Council, Penrith City Council, Baulkham Hills City Council, etc

2. CONSTRUCTION CERTIFICATE DOCUMENTATION

The following documentation is required to obtain a construction certificate from a private certifier so that work can start on site;
ₕ Building plans with council approved stamp
ₕ Building approval conditions
ₕ Home Owners Warranty insurance policy

ₕ Specification
ₕ Surveying setout 
ₕ Evidence of payment of LONG SERVICE LEAVE LEVY from council
ₕ Engineer certification of the existing house to support the additional work ¡V only required for 2nd storey additions
ₕ Engineers design of all concrete and steel work (usually Pat Meares)
ₕ BASIX report of energy efficiency
ₕ Sewer or hydraulic stormwater design (McKinley Morgan)*
ₕ Acoustic reports (RSA acoustics)*
ₕ Bushfire report*
ₕ Landscape design*
ₕ Compliance certificates from Sydney Water, Integral Energy and AGL *
ₕ Evidence of payment of council Section 94 *
ₕ Evidence of payment of Sydney Water Section 73 contribution *
* means not always required, usually only for multi-unit developments

Basalt stonework in perimeter plinth wall

Stone entry steps in new Blue Mountains home

Mt Wilson croquet Pavilion guest bedroom

Croquet Pavilion kitchen 2013

Insurance
Is everything covered ?

HOME WARRANTY INSURANCE
This insurance policy covers the owner against fault by the builder. If the builder may dies, gone broke, retires or will not rectify faulty work the insurance company will pay out the owner and pursue the builder. The builder must obtain the insurance policy. If the builder cannot obtain his own home owners¡¦ warranty insurance policy it is probable because he is unlicensed, has had previous claims against him or is unprofitable. The better the builder is the more insurance he is able to obtain and the lower his premiums will be. For example a small builder may be able to obtain only $100,000 per year worth of insurance.

If a builder asks you to obtain the home owners¡¦ warranty insurance policy instead of the builder beware. This puts all of the responsibilities on the owner and NOT the builder. The owner losses all rights to claim against the builder. We strongly recommend against this. The builder should always obtain the policy.

O'Mara has NEVER had a claim by any previous client against home owners' warranty insurance. We are rated by our insurer as a CLASS 1 builder. The highest rating available. We can obtain insurance usually within 48 hours.

CONTRACT WORKS INSURANCE
This covers all new materials delivered to site and all new work is fully insured against theft, vandalism, fire and any other damage.
O'Mara is fully covered for this insurance at all times.

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE & SICKNESS / ACCIDENT INSURANCE
All people working on site need to have insurance to cover any accidents and injury on site
Companies need to have workers compensation insurance, sole traders only need to have sickness & accident insurance.
O'Mara is fully covered for this insurance at all times.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
This covers all anyone who enters the site and hurts themselves on site. It does not matter if they were allowed to enter the site or if they were trespassing. They still need to be covered. Council¡¦s usually require cover for up to $10,000,000.
O'Mara is fully covered for this insurance at all times.

HOME CONTENTS INSURANCE For HOME ADDITIONS & RENOVATIONS
O'Mara cannot cover your house "contents" with our standard construction insurance. You will need to check with your insurance company that your house contents is covered while renovating against theft or damage (eg water damage), some companies will cover you, others will not. If your current insurance company will not cover your contents while renovating you may need to take out a separate policy to cover your contents during construction. O'Mara cannot cover your contents as they are not our property.

EXISTING HOUSE "STRUCTURE" INSURANCE
You should also check to see if your current house insurance will cover your existing residence "STRUCTURE" during construction. This is to cover your existing home against damage during construction not caused by the builder. (Eg water damage, fire, electrical shorts, etc). If the builder caused the damage the builder is always liable for any damage. However if the damage is caused by a fault in the existing home and has nothing to do with the new work being completed then insurance is required to cover the existing house structure. Many insurance companies will not your existing house while building work is being completed. We can take out a special insurance cover for your existing residence  "STRUCTURE" if your current insurance company will not. The cost of this policy can be obtained upon request

Owner Supplied Materials & Owner Nominated Sub-Contractors
O'Mara covers all elements of all work completed that is under the control of our company. However when the owner supplies materials directly or when they employ sub-contractors to complete the work they then take on all the insurance responsibilities that a builder usually covers. Owners will need to ensure that NO claims can be made against them and they are covered for ALL of the above insurances
 
2nd Storey Additions Construction Program
There are a few items to remember when planning a 2nd storey addition;
  • After signing the building contract all materials will be ordered and construction may not commence for 3-4 weeks until floor joists, flooring, frames, trusses, fascia, gutter, roof tiles & windows are delivered to site.
  • Depending on the project we can usually reach the waterproof stage within 10 working days. That is roof tiles laid and walls sarked
  • There is NO need for owners to vacate the premises during construction of 2nd storey additions.
  • We will install floor sheets over the staircase opening and tradesmen will enter the addition via ladders over the roof.
  • The staircase opening will only be created when the house is at lock-up stage and the house is secure.
  • We use a custom waterproof tarp that covers the entire new floor area. In extremely heavy rain minor leaks may occur. O'Mara will rectify any leaks at NO cost to you.
  • Upon request we can price the extra cost to vacuum out the existing ceiling of all existing vermin, dust & debris. This will be the last opportunity to access this area before the new floor is installed.
  • Upon request we can price the extra cost to install special downlight protectors around any existing ceiling downlights as this is one of the major causes of home fires
  • We can program our work so that any ground floor alterations to the existing house is completed after the first floor addition has been finished and owners have moved into the addition, even if there is a delay of a few weeks.

Mt Wilson new kitchen

Mt Wilson kitchen 2013

Lounge room in Mt Wilson home 2013

Mt Wilson project in heavy snow 2012