The Building Process for Major Renovations or New Buildings

A step-by-step guide to the building process when undertaking a major renovation or building a new home in Melbourne.

Building a new house, home extension or renovation is a huge undertaking – financially and emotionally. It’s essential to understand the various stages involved in the process.

Stage 1
You need to decide whether to use an architect or draftsperson or a design and construct building company for your Design Drawings. These drawings will probably be used to obtain a planning permit (and you want to find out at the start whether you’ll need one – ring your local council). You will also need a Soil Report and possibly a site survey.

Stage 2
If you do need a planning permit you may need to engage a professional town planner unless you have an architect or draftsperson handling what can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

Stage 3
After you’ve got your design drawings & the planning permit organised, you’ll now need the working drawings. These will be given to builders to quote on and they’re essential to getting a building permit. Specification documents can list the scope of the work involved if these aren’t detailed in the working drawings.

Stage 4
Once you have your working drawings, you need to find a builder. Talk to as many people as you can when seeking recommendations. After checking out a few, including their recent work and speaking to the owners, you can narrow your list down to 3 – 4 to get quotes from.

Stage 5
This is an important legal step – contract negotiations & signing – where both parties sign a legally binding contract. It is essential that both you & the builder are clear about what is expected from each of you.

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Stage 6
You’ll need a building permit before you can start building which is obtained from a building surveyor. They carry out inspections throughout the building phase and are authorized to take action if an inspection is failed.

Stage 7
The final stage involves contract administration. It includes assessing & authorizing contract variations, builder’s progress payments, and determining that all the materials & workmanship comply with contract specifications.