Builders Toowoomba

Well allow us to wish you all the best for 2012, trust that the year is the best one yet for you!   Building in Toowoomba certainly seems to be picking up somewhat, certainly off to a better start than all the dramas of 2011!   Enquiries are steady and with the $10,000 state grant for new homes getting some extra mileage, along with lowering interest rates and the booming mining industry, things are hopefully looking up for Toowoomba and the surrounding regions.  New work place health and safety legislation has kick in from the 1st of January bringing QLD into line with the rest of Australia in some areas – one aspect is working on heights above 2m which now requires edge protection (used to be 3m).  This may not seem much of a change but the 3m rule meant all homes built on a slab (most) didn’t require expensive scaffolding – now they do.  These changes along with considerable price increases in quite a number of supplies and materials means unfortunately building,  is only going to get more expensive in 2012.  We hope this doesn’t put a dampner on things, and whilst we welcome safer and better environments for our workers all round – unfortunately all these things come at a cost.   The building industry is one of the most regulated industries in Australia now,  and without a doubt the red tape and legal ramifications of it all has been a huge factor in the increased cost of new building works – it only seems to get worse.   I remember the days well,  of simply going around to a potential client, discussing their building desires, writing down a few things on a piece of paper, draw up a couple of plans, agree on a price, a firm handshake, and away we go.  One building inspection,  no industry “policemen” hiding around the corner,  just simple things like common decency, honesty, and common sense undergirdered our contractural obligations and building relationships.  Sure the changes have helped in some areas and provided some levels of protection, but I’m convinced at the end of the day the same rules apply now as they did then, and always will.   Make sure you get an honest fair dinkum builder whose been around a while and you’ll end up with a good job and a fair deal.

At Ross Turner Building we’ve built our business around these simple old fashion values of quality work, committed service, open honest communication and looking after our clients and workers  – basically a fair dinkum product for a fair dinkum price.   We started that way, and we continue on.  All the red tape and bureaucratic nonsense that  plagues our society has actually changed little accept make everything more complicated and more expensive.

We’d love to share some of that old fashion service with you so if you are thinking of building – either new or renovating,  we’d love to hear from you.  Our desire is for you to enjoy your building experience – our pledge to you is a commitment to excellence in building and service.   In these regards nothing has changed!   Happy 2012!!

Builders Toowoomba

It’s hard to fathom but it is only 9 weeks till Christmas!   What a year 2011 has been!   With the extreme weather and world wide natural disasters,  extreme world money market crashes,  the extraordinary events like we’ve witnessed in Egypt and Libya,  our own extraordinary domestic politics… has left most of us fairly dumbstruck I think.   It’s not surprising that people have gone into conservative mode and the building and real estate industries (along with many others) have been suffering.   We are starting to see things picking up some what with inquiry’s on the increase and people starting to try and lift the heads out of the bunkers a little – so to speak.   It’s still a great time to build if you are in that market as prices are still extremely competitive and you are still able to get the state government grant of $10,000 if you sign up this year.

Another thing that should be on your mind as a home owner as we head into what is predicted to be a year of considerable wet weather, is that of storm water drainage.  Storms that dump considerable falls very quickly in a hilly place like Toowoomba will cause flash flooding.   You don’t need big volumes of rain over days to cause flooding,  you just need a big storm – remember the events of Jan 2011 happened in just 1 hour.   It’s important to realize that standard storm water drainage from residences (like storm water pits in your rear yard) will not handle these types of deluges.  It only takes a few minutes for them to be at capacity and then storm water begins to flood and back up in your yard.   Your neighbours, and your neighbour’s neighbour all have the same thing happening and the water has to flow somewhere.  You don’t have to be real smart to realize that water will flow to the lowest point.   It would be a good idea to do an analysis of your yard and work out how excess water is going to get through your place and into the next or onto the street.  It’s vitally important that ground water can have a free flight of passage through your yard without being restricted by things like fences, garden beds etc.   Flooding happens when the water cannot get away and begins to back up.    Things like paved paths set down lower than your grass and garden beds can serve as a natural storm water course – it makes a lot of sense to incorporate things like this into your landscaping design.   Another pre-caution is to have some sandbags stacked away in your shed that can be wedged against the weep holes in your brick work and accross the door openings if the water does start to back up.   There were a lot of homes in Toowoomba this year who were flooded through these that could have been avoided.   Lets hope that we don’t see anything like Jan 2011 again,  but if we do we can be better prepared and maybe fare a little better with some careful thought and planning.

If your thinking of building or renovating we’d love to hear from you,  our pledge is to be committed to excellence in building and service so that you enjoy your building experience.

Builders Toowoomba

Well August sees the building industry in Toowoomba beginning to pick up a little from what has been one the lowest lows we’ve seen for quite awhile.   It’s interesting to see this industry fluctuate between high’s and lows,  like they say “it’s either a feast or a famine!”   Recent months it’s been a famine with a lot of consumer uncertainty in the air.   However I’m reminded of what a wise investor once told me – “watch the markets and do the opposite to what everybody else is doing and you’re sure to make money!”   We seem to get on the waves of fear and greed – as they say – and everybody clams up at the same time, and then everybody opens their wallet at the same time – it’s not hard to work out – supply and demand rule the day, at the end of the day!    It is certainly a good time to build if you can secure the finance and take advantage of the governments $10000 incentive for new homes.   Masterbuilder’s is also lobbying the government to drop the stamp duty on the purchase of new homes as well as trying to help the government see the need for no extra charges to be inflicted on this industry in the for-seeable future.  It’s encouraging for builders to have these leaders in the industry working hard to protect our future and provide opportunities for business and jobs.   They are often the unsung heroes who work quietly in the background avoiding all the media attention that our politicians seem to love.

At Ross Turner Building we are simply continuing to work hard to provide a quality building product and service for the best price we are able.   If you are thinking of building or renovating, we’d love to hear from you,  we have our doubts that you will ever get a better price and service than in these times.  Maybe the wise thing to do is to buck the trends,  and buy or build while everybody else is sitting on their hands.  Get in before the demand goes up, and almost certainly the price.   Enjoy your building experience, we’d love to join you on it!

for further reading on the latest trends on this region, feel free to visit the below website

http://www.masterbuilders.asn.au/zone_files/Reports/qmba-11741_state_of_the_regions_-_toowoomba_08_10.pdf

Builders Toowoomba

Well the latest Master Builder’s report does not paint a pretty picture for the short term future of the building industry both in Queensland and I suspect further abroad.   One wonders just how much buffeting a fairly fragile industry can take!   With the governments carbon tax announcements Master Builder’s predictions are that it will add a further $7000-$9000 cost to a  – 200m2  – home.   Throw in the fact that approvals are on a continual slide down due to lack of confidence by consumers,  banks not wanting to lend money (because it’s not profitable at the moment) it’s seems inconcievable that the government just calmly decides to give it another kick in the guts – so to speak.  It’s amazing in the light of how integral the building industry is to our economy and employment for 100’s of thousands of Queenslanders.  From the marketing sector, to regulatory authorities like building certifiers, design and engineering, builders, subcontractors, building suppliers, cars/plant and equipment, hire companies,  the local fast food outlets, transport….   the list just goes on and on of people and businesses that are affected by these alarming trends.   The state governments $10,000 grant get’s offset by stamp duty – one wonders what planet all these bureaucrats are on!

On the positive side industry groups like the Master Builder’s are lobbying and working their innards out to let these bureaucrats know just how much they are really hurting us, and surely it’s only a matter of time before real action and policy is developed to save one of our most important industries.  Also on the positive side is that the slow in new homes means better bargains for the consumer – although it does cost what it costs to build and builders are working on almost impossible margins to survive.   But the bottom line is that now is a great time to think of building a new home or renovating your existing.   It will never cost less – that is for sure, and if you act quickly you can get the $10,000 building grant, avoid the stamp duty, and build before the carbon tax costs are passed onto consumers.   Make no mistake the governments compensation packages just soften the blow a little for a few,  the greatest majority of this tax will be passed onto consumers through rising industry costs that will not be compensated.

At Ross Turner Building we are committed to being here for the long haul, to keep making the most of these circumstances and to keep building a great product at competitive prices and to make your building experience enjoyable.   We are still getting a lot of enquiry’s for particularly the renovation market and we are well poised to provide this service to the community.   If you are thinking of building or renovating why not give us a call, we’d love to hear from you.

For further reading on Masterbuilder’s take on the current issues facing the building industry feel free to visit these websites

http://www.masterbuilders.asn.au/zone_files/Media/11.07.11_carbon_tax_to_bring_housing_industry_to_its_knees_final.pdf

http://www.masterbuilders.asn.au/zone_files/Reports/qmba-13933_state_survey_of_industry_conditions_report_07_11.pdf

 

Builders Toowoomba

Many factors – including difficult to get finance, unavailable suitable land… has meant a slump in the new housing sector accompanied by an increase of people choosing to extend or renovate their existing home – this is certainly the case in Toowoomba at present.  However a number of instances have occurred in recent weeks that are of real concern to us,  so maybe a few words of caution is timely.

It’s important to realize that renovating (particularly old homes),  is a very different prospect than simply churning out your average “project” built new home – which in reality are very simple.   Older homes are built differently, and there is a requirement for a whole different level of experience and knowledge ensuring that new works are done properly,  while creating  a seamless addition to your home that is in keeping with it’s character.   With the down turn of new homes there is a flood of younger, in-experienced tradesman (in this type of work) turning their hand to renovations who are  1/  under pricing, and only finding this to be the case when it’s too late and trying to charge extras creating nightmare scenarios for themselves and the owners,  2/ doing grossly deficient work spending your valuable money and being knocked back by building inspections and 3/  whilst they are learning (which is fine) you are paying!     A few safeguards maybe helpful…

1/   Be wary of builders who are rediculously priced – either too cheap or too expensive.   The only way to combat this is to get a few quotes.    Be extremely wary of a builder for example – who is claiming they can do a job for 20% cheaper than others.  It simply costs what it costs to build well, and most builders are pricing very competitively at present.

2/  Make sure you are comparing apples with apples.   The only way to make sure of this is to ask for detailed quotes and specifications.   It’s so easy to only include a part of the costs and to word contracts and specifications to cover yourself giving the license to demand extras – the building industry is notorious for this because price has power!  Little things like,  who removes excess soil from the site,  how much allowance has been made for PC items,  does the job include painting, floor coverings, tapware, lighting…  These allowances can make a quite a difference to the quote.

3/  Only use BSA licensed contractors, and then ask them for a list of clients they have built with in the last 12 months and if they mind you ringing them to get a reference.   Also ask them for details of people they have built with who are doing a similar project to yours,  or whether they have done anything like this before.   Reputable builders will not be afraid to give you these details.  Probably the safest path is to use builders you know through friends or family who have had work done by them.

4/  Contact local building certifiers who certify your builders work,  and ask them for their opinion of your builders work – after all they are the one’s who inspect the work most closely.   You can also do an online license search with the BSA to see if they have had any defective work breeches,  or contact the local Master Builder’s office.

In summary do your research on your builder and come to the conclusion in your mind that you can trust them   There is no substitute for this it may well be the difference between your renovations fulfilling your dreams or becoming your worst nightmare.   Whilst budget is always a key factor remember,  that cheaper is not always better.

At Ross Turner Building we have decades of experience,  and have won regional and state awards for renovation work, and we are members of Master Builders Queensland.  It is our pledge and commitment to make your building experience enjoyable, and we are more then happy to give you the details of all the clients we have worked for in any period of time you desire.   If you are thinking of building or renovating we would love to hear from you.

For further tips on renovating why not visit the below website

http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/pfproperty/investing/8125156/ten-steps-to-a-successful-renovation

Builders Toowoomba

Lending is tight – new government requirements have meant that property evaluations are more stringent equaling lower evaluations,   deposits need to be higher, combined with the probability of rising interest rates, are all squeezing the life out of the building industry at present.  People who want to build are struggling to get finance and they are worried about job security!    Despite government media reports stating the economy is in great shape and the future looks bright, our industry sources continue to report that building in Queensland is in a slump – and in real terms has been for some time.   With the education revolution winding down there are a lot of larger builders who are struggling to find work and the new house market is struggling also with approval rates down considerably on this time last year.    The government stimulus packages are running out of steam!    The Queensland Master Builders Association are strategizing at present with the government on some key initiatives to try and get the industry kicking along again to try to keep up with the high demand for houses in Queensland and Australia – particularly in growth areas.  This is the great irony of it all in these interesting times with these conflicting pressures making it anybody’s guess as to what is going to happen in the short term for building and real estate.   Throw into the mix the mining/energy boom and the growing number of tradies who are being syphoned off into these sectors (because they are out of work) which will create a shortage when things kick back in again.   So what does all this mean for us here in Toowoomba is the million dollar question?

In short it means a time of opportunity for savy investors and prospective building projects.  Industry sources continue to assures us all that the long term picture looks good, you’ve just got to work out how to survive the volatile seasons.   I guess it’s about like the weather seasons,  you just need to rug up and try and find a sunny sheltered spot somewhere out of the wind!   At the same time it is a buyers market.   It’s unlikely that you’ll get a better deal than you will now.   Toowoomba continues to be a place where building and real estate prices are cheaper than anywhere else.   We are continuing to find that people who shop around with the banks and financial institutions and are prepared to think outside the box can get finance – you simply don’t have to settle for one or two opinions.

At Ross Turner Building we are committed to being here for the long haul and can put you in touch with financial brokers who are getting finance over the line.   We are commited to travelling the journey with people in terms of their building goals and aspirations so if you are thinking of building or renovating we’d love to hear from you.

You may like to visit the below Master builders link discussing further the current building climate in Queensland.

http://www.masterbuilders.asn.au/zone_files/Reports/qmba-13427_state_survey_of_industry_conditions_report_05_11.pdf

Builders Toowoomba – local flooding

Many people in Toowoomba have been severely affected by flash flooding in the rain events we’ve had this year.   One property we looked at was no-where near the center of town, no-where near a storm water creek or gully, was on quite an elevated block of land –  yet have had water through their house twice!  Once in the big deluge,  and again in the following week after a quick downpour.  It was a difficult and sad circumstance for this older couple that could have been avoided – so what happened!

It’s an interesting case study, and one worth taking notice of if you live in a hilly place like Toowoomba.  The problem was caused by 3 factors – the neighbouring blocks were above them and they were receiving their storm water,  they had a retaining wall as a part of their garage that had not been installed properly and water was gushing straight through, and the yard had been landscaped in such a way that excess water could not get to the street but would dam up in their back patio area.   We are constantly amazed at the number of new homes we see built in Toowoomba that have very little for-sight given to what will happen in large down pours.   We do live on the range, and whilst we have had 10 years of drought, Toowoomba is historically a town that can have huge rainfall, in short periods of time and is very prone to flash flooding – as we found out in January.   One false assurance if you are building a new home,  is that your council application and builder will automatically take care of these risks.   Unfortunately this is simply not true.  We have done work on other builders projects where storm water drainage has not even been thought about until the end.   Whilst we hope the flood enquiry may change the laws on this, council does not have the power to stop you from building right in the middle of a flood zone, if you want to.    We are staggered at the lack of responsibility that land developers take, and council’s lack of  power to stop these things from  happening.  You have to take responsibility for these things yourself.

A few safe guards – Ask your builder for a drainage plan that accounts for flash flooding.   A common and good pratice is to put storm water pits in the low lying areas of your yard that is dispersed from your block effectively (but don’t send it onto your neighbours place!).    This is a good way of getting rid of excess water but it may not be enough.   In huge down pours like we’ve had this year, these drains will fill quickly and then the water will track across the lay of the land.   It’s important to take levels and create a water course that surface water can travel along that takes it away from your house and off your block of land.   It’s also important to build your house pad up high enough so that these diversions can be achieved.   This can be difficult in high density land developments when the house is on the low side of the street but you also houses below you as well.   This is common in Toowoomba and one of the beefs we have with council and land developers who allow these situations to occur without adequately devising a storm water plan that accounts for flash flooding.   These are things that are really worth considering when you purchase a block of land that most likely will not be mentioned by the real estate agent, land developer or council.

In conclusion very simply – be aware and think about where the water will go in a huge down pour.  Make sure before you buy a block of land that you’re block is not going to become the local dam in your neighbourhood (like the poor people above).  Build your house pad up to allow for adequate site drainage – an extra couple of thousand dollars here may save you a lot of heartache down the track.   Insist that your builder provides you with a clear drainage plan that will work.

At Ross Turner Building we take these areas seriously and will work all these details through with you before we start.   Our goal is to be committed to excellence in building and service and to make your building experience enjoyable.   For a range of some different types of storm water pits available you may like to click on the below link.

http://www.draingrates.com.au/products.html

Builders Toowoomba

Well it’s hard to believe that we are celebrating Easter and that over 1/4 of 2011 is done!   It’s been an amazing start to the year with all the natural disasters and the aftermath, and now according to the weather bureau,  things are settling down and we can look forward to a cold but dry winter.   Certainly a typical cold but dry Toowoomba winter would be most welcome by us all wouldn’t it!  –  a little certainty and stability!

It’s quite fitting I think,  that Easter and Anzac day fall on the same weekend as both are times to stop, reflect and remember the great sacrifices that have been given in order for us to enjoy freedom and hope for the future – certainty and stability of a different type.  We can think of the many who have sacrificed even this year in all the disasters,  to bring hope and comfort to those who were in great danger or in difficult circumstances.  These responses to great needs are inspirational,  it’s the Aussie way isn’t it really!?   Maybe it’s a good time to remember that in life it’s just simply true that  freedom and hope have always come at great cost to somebody.  Whether you think about Jesus Christ and the message of Easter,  our fallen Aussie soldiers, the rescue workers, volunteers,  the parents working hard for their children’s education, the revolutions in the middle east….  the list goes on and on of this pattern of cost and sacrifice born out of  love that brings new life and hope for people.  It really is the stabilising pattern of life – it’s just the way it works.

These celebratory and reflective times are certainly great opportunities to stop and remember, and to maybe re-set our sails a little in terms of what we really believe life is about.   I’m pretty sure that as we do we’ll realize that the thing that matters most to us is love,  and that much of our lives is simply modelling ourselves after those who have gone before us – sacrificing and working hard to procure  freedom and hope for those we care about.   I think the author of Easter itself,  Jesus,  summed it up pretty well when he said “he who wants to find his life must be prepared to loose it for my sake” .

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our workers, subcontractors and clients a safe and enriching Easter and look forward to working with you after the break.   Also travel safely,  enjoy your freedoms, and be greatful.

For more about Easter messages why not visit the below link.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-message-of-easter-is-one-of-sacrifice-and-hope-20110421-1dqn6.html

Builders Toowoomba

Builders in Toowoomba are finding that things are beginning to pick up a little particularly in the area of renovations and extensions.   All our industry sources though are still warning caution saying that the building industry – in spite of the mining boom reflecting elevated figures – is still in a fairly fragile state in QLD.   However the long term picture looks good and we are expecting things to pick up and gain momentum as the year continues to unfold.   Prices in the Toowoomba and surrounding area for land, new houses, building costs still all have downward pressure on them meaning it’s still a buyers market for real estate, and also for those who are wanting building works done.   The long and the short of it is that you’ll probably go a long way to get a better deal than you can get now.

We’ve been finding that while banks and lending institutions are still fairly stringent in their lending conditions, things are loosening up a little and people are finding it not quite so hard to get finance.   If you were knocked back in the early part of this year or late last year, you may want to have another go, you may well get a better result.   We also would encourage you to shop around and not just rely on what your current lending institution will loan you.   We are finding different banks have different attitudes.    We can put you in touch with reputable financial brokers who are having a very high success rate in getting people over the line.

It’s a good idea if you are wanting to build new or to renovate to go the path of getting pre-approved finance.   This does not cost you but will take you through the process of learning how much money you will be able to borrow and can give you something concrete to work with in relation to your building plans.   Often when people are wanting to renovate or build they start with what they want to do,  then find out they can’t afford it, so they abandon the prospect of building all together.   By starting with how much you can borrow and knowing what your budget is,  it’s amazing how you can fine tune things by cutting and pasting a little and the end result is that Plan B is a pretty good option too.

At Ross Turner Building our passion is to go the journey with people in building their dreams and to make that experience achievable and enjoyable.   If there is any way we can be of assistance to you feel free to contact us, we’d be glad to help.   Feel free to contact us for the details of financial brokers who can assist you with pre-approved finance.

You may want to visit the below link which will give you further direction in these regards

http://www.home-loans.com.au/pre-approval/

Builders Toowoomba

Many people are often torn between the decisions as to whether to build a new home,  or to renovate and extend their existing home.   There are pros and cons both ways.

Renovate & extend  – one of the key reasons people will choose this option is that they actually like the home and the area where they live – it just needs some extra work to make it suit their changing desires and needs.   Along with this is the idea of improving the property to increase it’s value.   The other major factor is costs.   It is usually a cheaper path (means a smaller mortgage) mainly due to the fact that land costs have gone up so much since they purchased their home.   There is also something very enjoyable about restoration work, the challenge of  “making a silk purse out of a cows ear” so to speak.   On the down side restoration and extension work is considerably more costly than building new – it’s obvious  “your paying to pull down as well as to put up”. It can cost up to 50% more per m2 to extend/renovate than to build new.   There is also the challenge of getting the design right so that the new works are a seamless addition,  and that they blend with the old yet create a new feel to the whole home.   This is quite a challenge even for experienced designers and builders.   The other thing to consider is that once you start doing new works you may well find you’ll have to spend considerable amounts upgrading current services – like electrical, plumbing, hot water systems etc.   Council & The Australian Standards make sure that a condition of approval is that old services are upgraded to meet new standards once major changes begin to occur to an existing residence – eg a new kitchen and bathroom will most likely mean you have to upgrade to an energy efficient hot water system.

Building New – there are many obvious advantages to building new.  You can buy your land and design your home to tailor suit your desires and needs.  Everything is new of course so you can take advantage of the latest ideas, products and services that the building industry has on offer, and the ideas are endless for whatever style home you like.   The downside is of course that overall it will most likely mean a larger mortgage,  and it is a lot more work and stress involved in terms of decision making and building processes.

At Ross Turner Building our goal is for you to enjoy your building experience.   Our passion is to travel with people and to help them fulfill their building dreams – which ever way you’d like to go.   We have decades of experience in both renovation/extensions and building new homes of all types and sizes.   We work hard to keep in touch with the latest building products available as well are members of Master Builders who regularly keep us informed of building law and standards.   If you are thinking of building and not sure which way to go,   please give us a call, we’d love to help you work through which is the best option for you.

For further consideration on the pro’s and cons both ways you may want to visit the below link which discusses a similar decision making process – of building new or buying second hand.

http://www.buildinganewhome.com.au/building-a-house-vs-buying-an-established-one-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-the-best-option/

Builders Toowoomba

One of the issues that is of increasing concern for the home owner is termite infestation.   Last year the head of Amalgamated Pest Control said in the media “every Australian home has a termite nest within 500m of  it” – or in other words, the ground is riddled with them – they’re everywhere.   It’s a part of living in Australia.   Recent research has reported they are in epidemic proportions in their increase.

Termites pose a very real threat to homes and we find people are often unaware of this threat, and unaware of how to combat it which is relatively straightforward and very effective.   Can we offer 3 simple solutions

1/  Materials.   It is important to build the structural components of your home from termite protected timbers.   We have noticed around Toowoomba many of the larger high turn over builders are using untreated radiator for their framing – this is termite fodder!!  Insist they at best use treated radiator.   This is simply a cost saving strategy to keep their homes cheaper but you are taking a large risk.   Many of the termite protections systems have failed over the last few years, termites do enter the structure, and they will eat out your wall frames in an alarmingly quick time.   For this reason at Ross Turner Building we still use cypress pine wall frames, termites simply do not feed on it (they may go through it to get to other timbers) but despite the odd wild story you’ll hear, termites very rarely will feed on cypress to the point of doing any structural damage.   Our family has been milling cypress pine for over 50 years and we are yet to hear a reliable case where cypress pine frames have been completely eaten out with termites.   At best use treated radiator or hardwood with a 25 year warranty, although in our opinion 25 years is not a very old home.

2/  Termite Protection Systems – the best form of termite protection is to simply keep them outside – stop them from entering your home.   There are numerous systems on the market from physical barrier systems to sprays etc.   At Ross Turner Building we prefer the reticulated spray systems where the entire perimeter of the building has an underground spray system which is re-charged every 12 months.   This system saturates the underground perimeter where termites will gain access and in our opinion is much more reliable than the physical guard systems – as it only takes a few millimeters of guard not installed correctly for them to gain entry.   It also means we can take advantage of the latest technology in sprays.   When you use reputable termite treatment company’s as we do there is a guarantee that termites cannot enter, and if they do the company will fix the damage that occurs.  With the right materials, and the right protection system with fair dinkum warranty,   you really do have peace of mind when it comes to termites.   We offer both of these at Ross Turner Building.   When it comes to your home – cheaper is not always better, make sure your builder is using the right materials and is using the best termite protection systems on the market as the threat is very real.   It can be easily dealt with, it just costs a little more.

3/  Home owners responsibility – It’s important to realize that once the builder has finished your home with all termite treatments in place – you can very easily undo the good work!    Gardens, trees, lawns, paths, fences…   anything that you plant or construct in your garden must have a clearance from the outside edges of your house.   People make this mistake all the time not realising they’ve just  created a bridge for the termites to gain straight forward access avoiding  the termite treatment systems.   A common mistake is deciding to build a fence from the house to the boundary and simply attaching the woodwork directly to the brickwork or cladding.   Understand the termites can travel up through the fence posts, along your rails and straight into your house undetected.   You must finish the fence shy of the house with a clear visible gap.   Another common mistake is putting garden beds up against the house building them up to  your weep holes giving the termites right of easy access.   Or planting shrubbs or trees close to the house so that the branches eventually are rubbing against the house – welcome termites!

Just having this simple knowledge and avoiding a few common mistakes can save you a lot of heartache.   With the right materials,  the right protection system, and good landscaping practices,  you can eliminate the risk of termite infestation to almost zero.   At Ross Turner Building we are committed to excellence in building and service – we take no short cuts when it comes to termites.   If you are thinking of building or renovating we’d love to hear from you – our goal is that you enjoy your building experience.

Further information on termites visit the below link

http://www.termite.com/termites.html

Toowoomba Home Construction

If you are thinking of extending or renovating your home there are a few things to consider.   As I have said in previous posts most people choose to go this way for 4 reasons – 1/  they like the area and home they live in  2/  they are planning to stay there for some time  3/  they want to improve their home for re-sale and/or to better suit their lifestyle 4/  it’s more cost effective than selling and building new.    One of the key concerns if overcapitalizing – ie spending more than what the property will be able to return.   This is less of a concern if you are planning to stay in the home indefinately as history suggests it will grow in value over time – this is true within reason.

Of even greater concern is the need to do the job properly.   We looked at a job for some people recently who had the front of the home renovated beautifully,  the back section of the home also done beautifully,  it was just this large section in the middle that was the problem.  There were numerous sections of roof intersecting that will potentially cause water problems and is impossible to fix.  The only way forward is to completely demolish this whole section and start again.   This is not only wasted money by the previous owners, but is a costly exercise for the new owners.  This type of thing can be avoided by following a few simple guidelines.

1/  Always get professional advice even if you are going to do the work yourself.   It’s smart to get the opinions of those who make their living by doing this type of thing

2/  Develop a long term plan and strategy.   Don’t just think about the little extra room you may want, but think about the dream way you’d like your home to finish and then do the improvements step by step.  It’s satisfying and more managable to do things in stages.

3/  Remember you may want to sell one day and it’s wise to improve in a way that will appeal to the general public – don’t get to radical with your own artwork!

4/  Finally always use BSA licensed contractors to do your work and ensure that it is all within legal guidelines with  proper council approvals.   There will be always be an abundance of “tradies” or “handimen”  who’ll promise to do the work cheap for you who do not have the proper knowledge or licenses to make your improvements legal.   This can be money down the drain and eventually may come back to bite you when you want to sell and building searches are done.   Council and the BSA are quite within the legal rights to demand that new works be demolished if they have not been done in accordance with local government requirements and by licensed builders and contractors.   Anyone who does work for you cannot just be a tradesman,  they must have a BSA contractors license, otherwise they have no real accountability, and you have no comeback for defective work.

Just a few things to think about if you are thinking of building or renovating.   At Ross Turner Building we are continually talking to people about how to improve their homes.   Just a simple phone call may save you lots of hasstle and money.   We are here to help,  our 2 pledges remain at the core of all we do – “committed to excellence in building and service” and “to make your building experience enjoyable”.

You may like to check out the below link which further discusses the way to renovate wisely.

http://www.archicentre.com.au/media-releases/poor-renovation-design-can-lower-resale-value

Toowoomba Construction News

Builders in Toowoomba are finding it an interesting time to be in the construction industry.   There is no doubt about the 2 speed economy we continually hear about.  One is booming (the resources and mining sector) the other is struggling (small business and rural).  The government is committed to supporting the mining and gas industry for obvious reasons – big dollars into government coffers – however their rapid fire decisions are simply squeezing the life out of small business and making life hell for farmers and local communities.   Costs are rising at a rate we have not seen for a long time, and with the carbon tax, flood levy, increases in fuel, electricity…. – somehow all have to be paid for.  We recieved correspondence from just 2 of our suppliers this week with major prices rises (over 10%) which will add about $5000 to the average house in one hit.   All that does for us as builders is puts pressure on to squeeze our already tight margins and labour  rates,  to try and make our product affordable for the average Aussie.  It really is time for our political leaders to stand up and be counted, and start making decisions for this country which are not just short sighted grabs for big cash to make them look like they can balance the books.   The truth is our current governments have an appalling record!   I believe our focus needs to turn to home first, start thinking about all the industries and the average wage earner to try and give us a break.  Government stimulus packages are only short term solutions, we need to think creatively about our local communities,  this great land of Australia that is so rich in all the resources – both in the ground and in hard working people – we should not be in any financial trouble at all!   I fear we are following the trends of the middle east and moving towards becoming a “one type of industry” country – big business and mining – like the oil based countries and primarily focusing on exporting our natural resources.   What happens when they run out!  This is such small and short sighted thinking – we really need a new influx of gutsy, visionary leadership.   I don’t think we are going to get it from our current governments!

Anyway, enough of my griping,  that’s just how I feel about it,  more importantly I’d love to hear what you think so feel free to write a response.   On a positive note I was touched by the story of a young man who was willing to live on noodles to save for a deposit on his home.  This young man has encaptulated I think what we need to do in these times – both for our governments and for each of us individually.   It’s pretty simple really,   be prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve long term benfits.   Have a read by clicking on the below link,  it’s a good story!

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/03/05/young-home-buyer-puts-saving-first-toowoomba/

Builders Toowoomba

Well somebody said to me yesterday “how about we turn back the clock and start 2011 again!”  I’m sure there would be many people who would love to simply do that!   However what a reminder that “life as normal” can be turned on it’s head in an instant and that for all our hustle and bustle in life, our lives are really very fragile, and our material possessions very temporary.   The force of nature showed her hand in an incredible display leaving behind a trail of devastation and heart break beyond belief across QLD.  What a summer!   As Anna Bligh stated the summer of 2010 – 2011 will be remembered as the “summer of sorrow”.   Our whole-hearted condolences,  sympathy and prayers go out to those who were were affected so tragically and deeply by the natural disasters of 2010-11.   It has been a heartbreaking time to watch the media,   hear the stories and to still simply debrief with people as we go about trying to rebuild our lives, this great state, this great country.    Rarely a day goes past where I do not find myself simply listening to somebody,  hearing their story and trying in some small way to share in their pain.  For sure that has been one of the great outcomes of these tragedies,  that people are drawing closer,  barriers are broken down – and I think we actually live more like we were made to live.   I trust that as time goes on we do not loose the comradary and friendship that has been born through these difficult times.

Without a doubt all these events have had a huge impact on building in Toowoomba and surrounding areas.   You may like to follow the below link to an article in The Chronicle which pretty well sums up the situation – the rain has slowed things down!  Also whilst there is plenty of rebuilding to do,  the process is not really that straight forward with insurance companies, builders and owners all trying to get on the same page.   We do hope that you are getting a fair deal from your insurance company if you have been flood affected.   It’s going to take time to rebuild and people do need to be patient.

If there is any way we can be of assistance to you we’d love to hear from,  please feel free to give us a call.

Click on the below Link to read article from The Chronicle

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2010/12/15/housing-starts-depressed-by-rain/