Advice on how to best project manage a two townhouse construction

Discussion in 'Development' started by Tinaandalex, 5th Jun, 2020.

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  1. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,
    We are planning to owner build two side-by-side double storey townhouses in Bayside area of Melbourne. We are looking for your precious advice on how to best manage the construction.
    We've had some experiences in managing house renovation (single storey) but won't have enough industry experience by development project of this scale so are thinking of engaging a building supervisor or project manager to assist.
    Questions:
    - if we are happy to be onsite on a daily basis and coordinate tradies, is it more suitable to engage a building supervisor and not project manager?
    - Can you recommend a good building supervisor and/or project manager in Bayside?
    - Any other matters we should be mindful of during the construction process?

    We are also looking for the below consultants/tradies and if you happen to know someone good please let us know
    - Building surveyor
    - Truss fabricator
    - Steel fabricator
    - Carpenter
    - Electrician
    - Plumber


    I understand this is a massive question and would like to thank you in advance for your recommendation.

    regards,
    Tina and alex
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Are you able to build a duplex as an owner builder? You'll need to confirm with fair trading.
     
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  3. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I'm with @Scott No Mates . Pretty sure you can only build one dwelling as an owner builder
     
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  4. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Good point, @Scott No Mates. My brother and I apply for two separate owner building certificates so it will be one dwelling each.
     
  5. shorty

    shorty Well-Known Member

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    Sure it works that way?
     
  6. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Well-Known Member Business Member

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    I'm wondering if that would require you to subdivide prior to the build?
     
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  7. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    that's what's been advised by RBA. Applications have been lodged with RBA and will definitely circle back once we hear from them
     
  8. Tufan Chakir

    Tufan Chakir Well-Known Member

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    As an owner builder you are prepared to engage a building supervisor, or project manager. Why not contract to a builder? Much less of a headache, you'll have guarantees, quality control, committed time frame, their trades etc.
    Seems like a bit of a false economy trying to be an owner builder?? Especially if you are going to pay someone to take a lead role
     
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  9. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I would add that you might not be saving as much as you think by owner building a development anyway (even if you do project manage it yourself).
     
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  10. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    +1 here.
    I "build" anywhere between 5-10 dwellings a year and I choose to have a builder do it. Simply because their buying power, access to trades, committed subcontractors, qualified supervisors, price and warranty is cheaper than I could do it if I got my builder's license.

    It only takes one schedule mistake or a trade not showing up delaying the next trade whilst scaffolding is up for the cost overruns to really hurt.
     
    Last edited: 6th Jun, 2020
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  11. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    @Westminster, @Tufan Chakir & @Joynz: all valid points and in addition to that there will be stress (both emotional and financial) and other challenges that we need to be prepared to handle. But we also look forward to the experience and learning curve to be a learner developer. We are both inquisitive in nature and believe we can do it with the right guidance (of course there will be mistakes made at our own cost but it's part of the learning process isn't it?).
    Our project is architectually designed/high specs and we've been getting estimates between $24-$27k per square from a couple of custom builders. We hope with us project managing it won't go higher than this range provided we are armed with good PM/supervisor to ensure we don't make silly/costly mistake along the way.
    cheers
     
  12. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Do you both have day jobs? If you intend to be onsite every day that is going to be an issue and/or available via phone during the day for questions from the trades. Your trades will finish work around 3 so if you want to meet/instruct then you'll need to do it every morning before work.
    I'm a developer and I've learnt on the job but as mentioned never owner built. If you want to learn to be a developer there is no need to take on the risk of being an owner builder. Especially if you want to use the end value equity in this build to do another development one day. There is a time limit between owner builder projects so the next one you'd probably have to use a builder anyway.
    There is also a stigma and structural warranty issues/insurance that you will need to get if you want to sell your project after awhile. Bayside fetches nice money and you don't want to put your eventual buyers off your property.
    I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer but I just want to point out that you can learn from a builder as well and if you want to be a developer you don't have to actually build. Recognise your strengths which can be project management, good design, clear communication, interior design, landscaping etc and concentrate on those whilst learning about the whole building process during this build.
     
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  13. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Well expressed. You only need to know so much as to express what you want and how it is to be done, you don't need to be an OB to do that.

    Also, as others have pointed out, buyers are more wary of OB developments whether it's their own home or OTP.
     
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  14. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Westminster, we will definitely consider what you pointed out.
    One reason for this construction to be OB is it will be our home so it's more suitable to be the one to learn from and one less hassle dealing with re-sale value of OB property or buyers' perception (hopefully). We however understand where you are coming from and the risk OB will be facing.
     
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  15. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for your input, @Scott No Mates
     
  16. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    One other aspect to consider will be finance - lower LVR for OB and this may also affect how much banks are willing lend for future developments.
     
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  17. MKM

    MKM Member

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    I would suggest that you take a few more quotes from other builders. We are currently building a side by side in Bentleigh East, about $16k per square. Another 2 architecturally designed detached townhouses on a corner block in Brighton East - about $20k per square.

    I agree with most here - going OB for architecturally designed townhouses on expensive bayside land is probably not worth the risk. If it was 2 simple single storey dwellings then perhaps.
     
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  18. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Thanks MKM. Do you mìnd sharing your builders contacts for the Brighton east development? Thanks heaps
     
  19. MKM

    MKM Member

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    Sorry I should have clarified in my post. We are the builders building for our developer clients. The cost per square I quoted is based on the contract price (inc of gst) for these projects.
     
  20. PropDir

    PropDir Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Just reading through this thread, which is interesting.
    Want to confirm that you mean if an Owner Builder does a building project, the bank will provide less ratio of funding? Could I get an idea of the difference in how much banks will provide in LVR when we compare an Owner Builder project versus getting a 'real' professional developer to do it?

    Thanks in advance.