Thursday, 24 October 2013

Variations = $!

Since land settlement and working out our new budget to cater for mortgage payments while renting, we have also done some research on heating/airconditioning.

Since the beginning I have been quite vocal with my requests to have decent heating and air-conditioning.
Homebuyers Centre provides a standard 3 star energy efficient Brivis ducted heating system with the house package but the reviews are not so great when it comes to handling airconditioning as well. 
We knew early on we wanted a suitable system that would cater for "add on cooling" later on down the track so we went to visit a local Brivis dealer with our house plans.
We were quoted up for both systems which included zoning areas of the house. We were happy with the quotes and went back to HBC to discuss. 
We upgraded the system to a 5 star zoned heating unit, paid a "a few k" upfront and had the relief knowing we could get a well priced decent airconditioning system down the track.

We were then advised that it was time to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy fee to the local council in order to move forward in the process with obtaining building permits. $800 towards the beautification of our estate paid by each resident when they buy should be the next botanical gardens by 2023!

Then back to the bank account to pay an unexpected variation: Bushfire Provisions! Over $4k in upgrades to the house to meet building requirements as our address has been deemed to be in a bushfire zone.
I contacted the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure for further information because when we purchased the lot we were advised we were not in a bushfire zone.
I found out that:  It was originally determined as BPA on 8 September 2011 (along with the rest of Victoria after the dreaded Black Saturday devastation).  On 25 October 2012 it was removed from BPA as part of a review of growth areas.  On 8 August 2013 it was determined to be back in BPA, as upon the state-side review of the BPA, the development had not progressed as first advised and the bushfire hazard (grassland hazard) was still present at the time of review and ground truthing. 

As we are the closest house to grassland being at the end of the street - we are deemed a bushfire zone and our neighbours 3 houses down are be it. In the name of safety we actually weren't too fussed with paying this one in the end (once we had an understanding of it). So $4241 buys us:
- Sarking to the entire roof area
- Roof ventilator (whirly bird) to roof including ember guard due to roof being fully sarked
- Weepholes with corrosion-resistant steel mesh inserts
- Above ground, exposed water and gas supply pipes shall be metal (standard inclusion)
- Provision of ember seal to standard garage sectional door
- Additional Raven seals to rear hinged garage door
- Provide flyscreens with aluminium mesh in lieu of standard nylon mesh
So now that the variations have been drawn up and paid we are currently in the process of HBC applying for our Home Owner Warranty Certificate and waiting on reports for plumbing/sewage. Then Developers Approval can be obtained and finally.... The building permits!!

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