Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)?

Bushfire Attack Levels are broken up into 6 sections. Each level has increasingly stringent construction requirements based on the likely intensity of heat during a bushfire and the probability of direct flame contact.

They are broken down like so:

  • LOW (No additional construction requirements)
  • 12.5
  • 19
  • 29
  • 40
  • FLAME ZONE

The numbers indicate heat the building is designed to withstand measured in KW/m2. Most properties in metropolitan Melbourne are classified as BAL- LOW and no additional construction requirements would be required.

Towards the outskirts of the city and in regional areas designated bushfire areas are common and the minimum BAL is 12.5. Bushfire Management Overlays (BMO’s) are established in more hazardous bushfire areas by local councils. The construction of a building in a BMO area requires a planning permit and often have high Bushfire Attack Levels.

What are covenants?

A Covenant is a restriction on the land that is registered on the certificate of title. A covenant remains associated with the land indefinitely unless removed by the land owner. Covenants are common and most date back to when large tracks of land were subdivided and sold off. Common covenant restrictions include preventing quarrying/excavating/mining the land, restricting the materials and colours used to construct buildings on the land and restricting the number of dwellings allowed on the land.

A Covenant that restricts the number of dwellings can prove difficult for people intending to build a granny flat (Dependant Persons Unit). Whether or not a covenant restricts the construction of a DPU comes down to the way that particular document is written. If purchasing property people should always check the certificate of title for covenants and if they exist do their research into what it means.

What are problem trees?

Often large established trees exist when building DPU’s in client’s backyards. These trees can either be in the owners garden, in which case they can usually be removed or managed appropriately but often they are in a neighbours garden, ruling out removing the tree.

If a tree cannot be removed when it is in close proximity to a proposed unit much deeper footings will need to be installed. Depending on the soil classification the footings may need to be designed by a structural engineer.

What are easements?

An easement is a specified party's right to use a defined part of another person’s land without owning it. Easements usually protect the rights of utility suppliers to enter the land to maintain their assets.

Easements are a common issue when building in client’s backyards. Most easements contain one or more assets such as sewer mains, storm water mains etc. Some easements do not contain any assets and some assets run through land without being designated by an easement.

Client’s often want to build over an easement. This is usually achievable if the easement is does not contain any assets. An application needs to be lodged with the appropriate authority to build over the easement which attracts a small fee and takes a couple of weeks.

However if the easement contains one or more assets the likelihood of an application to build over being approved reduces dramatically. We would recommend trying to position the unit away from the easement particularly if there is ample space.

What are planning permits?

DPU’s generally do not require planning permits. Instances that would trigger the need for a planning permit special planning overlays associated with the site or green wedge/rural conservation zoning.

Roughly 25% of DPU’s we construct require a planning permit.

A planning permit application can be a time consuming process. Depending on the complexity of the application it can take anywhere from 3 -6 months.

What is the connection of services?

It is important for our clients to understand that a DPU is not connected to services independent of the existing house.

All services are connected to existing water and electrical meters as well as drainage of the home (much like building a shed or pool house).

This means that clients will not receive separate bills for each dwelling. The units can however be fitted with check meters that give an indication of much water and power the occupant has used.

What is a soil test report?

A soil test report is a report based on a series of soil samples taken from your block of land.

By testing the soil in various locations it enables our engineers to classify your soil type and provide the appropriate footing system for your home.

Why is a 6 star energy rating required and what does it include?

Improving energy efficiency of buildings is one of the measures taken by the Australian Government to address global warming issues.

As a result on 1st May 2011, the Building Commision introduced regulations for all new dwellings, including dependent persons units, to conform to a 6 star energy rating.This means you will enjoy a better quality and more comfortable, affordable and environmentally sound home.

Standard 6 star inclusions are 'R' rated particle board flooring, R2-5 insulation to walls, R4 insulation to ceiling, perimeter baseboards, and double glazed awning windows (except wet areas).

What are the ‘standard inclusions’ for Granny Flats/Dependent Persons Units?

The standard inclusions for Granny Flats are:

  • Building Permit, soil test report & 6 star assessment (permit fees excluding planning permit fees if applicable)
  • Gable roof design with raked ceiling to living areas
  • Colorbond roof, gutters and downpipes
  • HYspan timber subfloor with particle board flooring
  • Insulation batts to roof and walls
  • Low maintenance James Hardie Primeline Chamferboard cladding
  • Powder coated aluminium windows with insect screens
  • Sliding glass entry door & screen door or solid feature entry door as per design
  • Plasterboard wall and ceiling linings
  • Acrylic external and internal painting throughout with gloss enamel to internal trim
  • Fully laminated kitchen, stainless steel sink, electric cook top, and electric under bench oven with slide out rangehood. All appliances in stainless steel finish.
  • Fully tiled shower with preformed base and sliding or pivot door as per plan
  • Vanity cabinet as per design, dual flush toilet, laundry tub and tap sets as per design
  • Vanity mirror, double towel rail, toilet roll holder and grab rail to shower recess
  • Full height sliding or opening door robes with shelves and CP hanging rail
  • Electric hot water system (Supplied loose for installation with connection of services)
  • Electrical installation provides for a generous number of power and light points and each design includes a nominal allowance for light fittings and smoke alarm.
  • Quality vinyl to kitchen and wet area floors
  • Quality carpet on underlay to living and bedrooms
What are the ‘standard inclusions’ for Transportable Homes?

The standard inclusions for Transportable Homes are:

  • Building Permit, soil test report & 6 star assessment (permit fees excluding planning permit fees if applicable)
  • Gable or Skillion roof design (dependent on design) with raked ceiling to living areas
  • Colorbond roof, gutters and downpipes
  • DuraGal steel chassis with particle board flooring
  • Insulation batts to roof and walls
  • Low maintenance James Hardie Primeline Chamferboard weatherboard cladding or Sycon Axon vertical cladding (dependent on design)
  • Powder coated aluminium windows with insect screens
  • Sliding glass entry door & screen door or solid feature entry door as per design
  • Plasterboard wall and ceiling linings with 55mm coved cornice
  • Acrylic external and internal painting throughout with gloss enamel to internal trim
  • Fully laminated kitchen, stainless steel sink, electric cook top, and electric under bench oven with slide out rangehood. All appliances in stainless steel finish.
  • Fully tiled shower with preformed base and sliding or pivot door as per plan
  • Full width vanity mirror, double towel rail to bathrooms, toilet roll holder & privacy lock to W/C
  • Vanity mirror, double towel rail, toilet roll holder and grab rail to shower recess
  • Full height sliding or opening door robes with shelves and CP hanging rail
  • Electric hot water system (Supplied loose for installation with connection of services)
  • Electrical installation provides for a generous number of power and light points and each design includes a nominal allowance for light fittings and smoke alarm.
  • Transport within 200km from our Lang Lang facility and complexed on site (No allowance for crane)
  • All homes are 6 Star energy rated including “R” rated particle board flooring, 3000Lt Slimline water tank with pump to service sanitary flushings (supplied loose for installation with connection of services), quality insulation throughout & double glazed awning windows.
Do I need to obtain a building permit?

All buildings will require a building permit. Todd Devine Homes will take care of this for you.

How do I find out if I require a planning permit?

Todd Devine Homes can advise you if you require a planning permit, alternatively the planning department of your local council can give you advice.

If a planning permit is required, is Todd Devine Homes able to obtain this for me?

Yes, Todd Devine Homes is more than happy to take care of the planning process. However a planning application fee will be payable. This fee is required upfront and is non-refundable, however a partial credit will be applied to the total contract price should you proceed with Todd Devine Homes.

How long does the planning process take?

A planning permit application can be a time consuming process. Depending on the complexity of the application it can take anywhere from 3 - 6 months.

Will my property require a septic tank?

Most rural and acreage properties do not have reticulated sewerage available and in this case you will need a septic treatment system.

What is a soakage pit?

A soakage pit is an excavation filled with crushed rock that stormwater from your roof is discharged into. The stormwater will gradually disperse through the rock and into the ground.

Only large properties with no stormwater mains are appropriate for soakage pits.

How long does it take to build a Granny Flat?

Once the contract, working drawings and specifications have been signed & the deposit has been paid, construction usually takes between 12 - 14 weeks.

How long does it take to build a Transportable Home?

Once the contract, working drawings and specifications have been signed & the deposit has been paid, construction usually takes between 14 - 16 weeks.

What is a variation?

A variation is an agreed change to the contract documentation, for example the drawings, specification or quote. Most variations attract a fee.

What is double glazing?

A double glazed window is a window where two panes are sealed within a frame to trap air or other gas between the glass. This has a significant affect on the performance of the building.

What is a screw pile?

A screw pile is a steel pipe with a steel helix that is 'drilled' into the ground with an excavator. When the pile has reached a specified torque rating the pile is capable of bearing the weight of the structure.

What is the standard ceiling height?

The standard ceiling height is 2400mm.

What are your standard payment terms for Granny Flats and New Homes?

The standard payment terms are:

  • Deposit: 5%
  • Lock-up: 65%
  • Fixing: 25%
  • Completion: 5%
Can I design my own home?

Todd Devine Homes are happy to look at any designs that you have come up with and provided they are feesable, we will build your design.

Can I relocate my home/unit down the track?

As long as you have had your home built as a transportable, you will be able to relocate the home.

All Granny Flats (Dependent Person's Units) are built as transportable, even if they are constructed onsite.

Are your homes environmentally friendly?

Our homes achieve a minimum 6 star energy rating. They also use plantation pine framing which is one of the most sustainable building products on the market.

How do you ensure the homes are not damaged when transported?

Years of experience in the industry as well as trusted partnerships with our transport companies.

However, if damage does occur during transport, Todd Devine Homes will ensure all damage is rectified before handover.

Do I need to arrange for the connection of services?

The connection of services are not included in the costs for Granny Flats or Transportable Homes, however it is something we can take care of for you at a fee.

Generally if transporting a home a great distance away though, it would not be economical for our Melbourne based trades to travel long distances to complete these services. In these situations, we would recommend that the client organises local trades to carry out the connection of services.

What warranties and guarantees will come with my home?

Our homes come with the standard 6 year Home Warranty which covers the structure only. Appliances and other fittings are covered the individual manufacturer's warranty.

How do I tell if my property will allow for a granny flat/dependent persons unit to be built?

We will be able to build a Granny Flat (DPU) on most properties. Call us with your site address and we can advise you.

Our Ranges

New Home Designs of our Melbourne Builders - Small Image

New Homes

Perfect first home, holiday home or retirement living.

View Designs

Granny Flat Designs of our Melbourne Builders - Small Image

Granny Flats

Relative accommodation to bring families closer.

View Designs

Holiday Cabin Designs of our Melbourne Builders - Small Image

Cabins

Lifestyle cabins available for every holiday seeker.

View Designs

  • Bob and I would like to thank you for our beautiful new home

    Demolishing and republishing which we thought would be daunting, was made so much easier when we were recommended to go through your company. We asked and you delivered!

    In particular, we would like to thank James for his expert advise - Scott Tobias who has been exceptionally helpful to us when we didn't understand certain aspects and promptly addressed any issues that we encountered - and Pat who managed our account with great skill( I am sure it was a challenge at times!)

    Once again many thank Todd and we will be use that happy to be a reference for your company.

    - Bob & Maureen

    Read All Testimonials
  • We would like to thank Todd Devine Homes for the fantastic job constructing our B&Bs. We highly recommend this company.
    To find out more about these gorgeous B&B units, visit http://www.basscoastcountrycottages.com/
    D & George

    - Di & George

    Read All Testimonials
  • Robert and I would like to thank you for all the help you gave us with the building of our new home.
    It made the whole adventure stress free Eileen & Robert

    - Eileen and Robert

    Read All Testimonials
  • Thank you so much for all your assistance over the year with our planning for the unit.

    Eric and I are loving it! Pass on our regards to James and Tony who were marvelous in their endeavours to enable us to have a comfortable home.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, Dane and Dome. Eric & Jerric

    - Eric & Jerric

    Read All Testimonials
  • A special thanks to the team at Todd Devine homes who have as always excelled in the delivery of our Hastings project.
    Your ongoing service, quality and timeliness have continued to ensure that you are amongst the best builders in Australia.

    - James Kelly

    Read All Testimonials
Like and Follow Us
Subscribe to our Newsletter