Things to Know When Planning to Build Your Home
It’s probably the most puzzling thing when one decides to venture into the unchartered territory of rebuilding a home. Where to start? Who to ask? What to acquire? These questions have pondered almost every homeowner’s mind at one point.
This issue I will address the key points a homeowner will find useful to have as a starting point to rebuilding their home and especially so when going with the Nic & Wes Design & Build route.
What are the relevant plans a homeowner would need when approaching a builder?
It is essential to acquire the following plans when embarking on a reconstruction or addition & alteration route:
- Architectural Plans – Maps out the current floor plan of the home
- Structural Plans – Provides information of the pillars, columns and sub-structure work of the existing home
These plans can be obtained through the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The authorized person will need to fill in the BPD LS02 form paid together with a search fee of $20 per address. After which the next step will be to log-on to Application for Inspection and Making Copies of the Approved Building & Structural Drawings to submit the request. BCA will send a notification within approximately 7 working days on the search results where the authorized person may go down to view and print the relevant plans.
For more detailed information of the procedure, please visit the BCA Website.
What should I prepare upon meeting the builder for the first time?
Along with the architectural and structural plans a wish list comes in very handy during a first meet. This wish list will encompass the wants and needs the homeowner require. This includes the mandatory number and types of rooms, a brief family profile to give insight on whether the house should be constructed in a child-friendly or senior citizen-friendly manner and special features such as a swimming pool, movie room or gym if need be.
Bringing along visuals of the look and feel of the home will also help the Nic & Wes team draw inspiration to get a better idea of what the homeowner wants to achieve. Preparing a set of questions will not only give insight to the process but will assess the competence and reliability of the builder as well.
What is the difference between rebuild/new erection, reconstruction, addition & alteration and renovation/makeover?
Rebuild/New Erection is a complete demolition of the existing house whereby the land becomes a blank canvas to build the new home on.
Reconstruction much like rebuild requires major demolition works of the existing house structure however still keeps certain parts untouched. An increment of more than 50% of the existing Gross Floor Area (GFA) is achieved and new build works fuse with the remaining existing structure.
Addition & Alteration is usually when less than 50% of the existing GFA is achieved.
Renovation/Makeover generally happens for more aesthetic purposes. These type of projects while applicable throughout the various residential property types are typically seen in condominium, apartment and HDB units where the structure of the house is untouched but walls within the property can be torn down or added for a facelift. Generally paint jobs, new cabinetry works or minor space planning modifications will occur.
What type of works will require submissions? Who will handle these submissions?
With the exclusion of renovations/makeovers, the other construction processes will typically incur the need for submissions. For clients who engage Nic & Wes services, we will procure the necessary submissions through the relevant professional and government bodies on behalf of the clients to simplify the process.
What is the difference between Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) and Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC)? When is the home livable?
Upon the completion of the building works of the home, an inspection date will be scheduled for a BCA officer to review and inspect the house to see if it is compliant with the regulations (typically for new erection and reconstruction projects). After the inspection and necessary regulations are met the BCA officer will then certify the house livable and a Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) will allow the homeowners to occupy the premises.
The Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) will then be issued when all compliance measures are met. This entire process will be coordinated as part of the mandatory submission process of the build for clients who engage Nic & Wes as their builder.
What is provisional sums and why is that different from the actual quotation?
Within a Nic & Wes quotation, the quotation will include 2 sections – the build costing and provisional sums. The build costing includes the entire scope from start to completion which will result in the full structure, architectural and M&E works.
The provisional sums are an estimated but accurate cost which is included within the quote that typically covers a category of items that is important to set aside a budget for but will vary in price based on the homeowners’ preferences. Mostly items for the finishing stages, these will include sanitary ware, lighting fixtures, carpentry etc. which depending on the preference of brand and quality will vary in terms of pricing.
These provisional sums can also include pre-requirements of the home build such as piling which is dependent on the soil integrity of the land and required in certain residential areas. With years of experience in the field of building, Nic & Wes aims to provide a realistic costing that will cover every aspect of the design & build process to ensure that our clients have catered to the sufficient funding for their complete home-build.