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First Time Owner Builder Granny Flat Sydney

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by nzhorsey, 26th Apr, 2016.

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Is doing an owner builder granny flat really worth the savings and pain?

  1. Yes, it'd be rude not to!

    62.5%
  2. Nope, not in your life!

    37.5%
  1. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
    Posts:
    16
    Location:
    Penrith
    Hey everyone

    Firstly, a little about us: we live in the Penrith area and bought our first home in Dec 2011 for $335k and we had the house Bank Valued late last year for $580k. We have 4 sons ranging from 10 down to 3 and we are going to use this equity to build a granny flat in our backyard with the main intention being to eventually rent both the main house (a 3br and 1 shared toilet/bath is to small for 6) and the 2br granny flat out. My wife has just started a 2 day a week job and will be going full time in the next two years, so in the mean time we will rent something after the GF build.

    I have just done my Owner Builder's and White Card Courses. I have 1 best mate and about 3 other builders/carpenters who are helping me out, I have other good mates who are an architect, plumbers, and sparky's. Hence why I'm doing a GF owner Builder.

    I am starting a thread to discuss my Owner Builder GF and also diarise/log the whole experience (mistakes and all) so it really empowers and helps others to do the same.

    So, thanks for having me and any thoughts or input you might have would be heaps helpful as I'm basically learning as I'm going and obviously starting from scratch and loving this whole thing so far.

    So where am I starting?

    I have my 149 Cert
    I have my sewer diagrams (YES, I am going to need to encase my sewer:()

    Now in the process of finding a Registered (very important) surveyor to get the following done:
    1. A site/detail/contour survey (needs to be done asap so architect can do plans)
    2. A peg out survey (done later for the builder when you are physically about to start building)
    3. Final Identification Survey. (At the end once whole process is finished to officially show it is ready to be lived in)

    Will keep this updated as I go and add more stuff in. Please feel free to give any input advice on any stage:)
     
    Blueskies likes this.
  2. Liela71

    Liela71 Active Member

    Joined:
    4th Oct, 2015
    Posts:
    26
    Location:
    Narellan
    I am building a GF through a company and started the process of design and approvals in Nov 15. My plans were finally approved last week after knock back by council and knock back by Sydney Water.
    Hoping this means I don't have to mow my very large lawn again after next week and we can finally get it built.
    Good luck I'll be watching with interest. Unfortunately I don't have the time to project manage the job myself so am trusting it to a company.
     
  3. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
    Posts:
    16
    Location:
    Penrith
    Update: Surveyors

    I rang around a whole stack of very reputable Surevyors and I'll have to say they were all excellent in trying to be accomodating and helpful. The prices I got quoted though were quite different. At the moment things are pretty crazy for Sureveyors though and it will usually take 2-3 weeks to get one out.

    The price you should be expecting to pay for:
    1. Site/detail Survey $1000
    2. Set Out or Peg Out Survey $500
    3. Final Inspection Survey $400

    But as an owner builder you only really need to concern yourself with the Detail Survey. If you can get your Detail Survey done then you can hand that to your architect or draftperson so you can get on to the next part which is the actual Plans/Floor plan and design of your Granny Flat.

    Anything I've missed or info you'd like me to include? Then let me know:)
     
    Peter P and Terry_w like this.
  4. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
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    Location:
    Sydney
    How much do you think you will save? For me, owner builder for a granny flat wasn't worth the hassle, but I am pretty time poor.
     
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  5. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
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    Location:
    Penrith
    I'm hoping to save 20-30k. I was originally going to go with an established outfit and they were brilliant on every level except for price. For example one massive price difference was they were going to charge me 20k for sewer Encasement and from the research I have done including water servicing coordinator fees and then the actual work for the Encasement it is going to sit between $5800 and $6500 for 9 lineal metres.
     
    Peter P, Excalibur1 and wylie like this.
  6. Blueskies

    Blueskies Well-Known Member

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    24th Aug, 2015
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    Location:
    Brisbane
    Good on you! I'm on the same page as @neK, way too time poor to undertake something like that but take my hat off to you for having a go and from the detail in your opening post sounds like you are taking it pretty seriously so positioning yourself for success.
     
    Leo2413 likes this.
  7. Gingin

    Gingin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    90
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hi nz horsey,

    Same boat. My GF is with certifier at the minute. Had to DA route.

    Prequalified me three times for two months then, after submitted Lost in council world for 10 months for no reason and approved with no revision. Go you pointless exercise. 1 year + ...

    I got a water board approved certifier to do all the run around. Really happy I did. They organised peg out to locate their asset on your property. Listing with water board. Provided spec . Also provided option for me to use my own plumber and them to sign off. Little expensive, but really easy.

    Allow 5 k for it all at least for peg out, stamps, certification and inspections. Keep in mind they can inspect piers and junction.

    Not sure about the CDC route but I suspect you'll need to provide engineering slab details to the water board for stamping prior to approval from them.

    I'm an electrician and tossing up whether to do it myself or go turn key. I got a quote for 30 k just to encase and replace 16 lineal metres.

    Thinking to do all ground works slab, my self. Fence the site . Rent the front and PM the rest to tradesmen that are mates or mates of mates.

    I also have the joy of being in an aircraft affected zone and have all the trimmings associated, and the main tenancy is vacant looking for tenants.

    Ps your surveyors are well priced.

    Building own GF ..... So no I don't think it's worth it, in way of opportunity cost, (labour inputed to opportunity of not doing work elsewhere and lost rent) but if it's your PPOR you can afford to take your time and not lose work hours and turn it over in a short time...yep go it!
     
  8. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Real Estate Professional

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2015
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    504
    Location:
    Sydney
    It sounds like you know what you are doing and have the resources and time to do so.

    Why not go for it then.
     
  9. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
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    Location:
    Penrith
    @neK @Blueskies thanks guys. I guess one of the main reasons I'm bothering with documenting this experience is to try and help you time poor people with a comprehensive (well that can be) list of all the things to try and take some of that leg work out for you:)
     
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  10. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

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    25th Apr, 2016
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    Location:
    Penrith
    @Gingin yeah don't those main sewer lines through your backyard suck! Sounds like it's been a really tough and long road for you. Any other lessons you've learned that would help me along the way?

    I have locked in a Water Services Coordinator who really knows his stuff and done heaps of granny flats. Yes, the structural engineer will need to be involved but all up not to painful. For him and the plumber doing the Encasement I'm very happy for a 6k job for 9 lineal metres. This alone is a case in point with some of the other granny flat specialists I've had contact with, pretty much all of them have said to budget around $1000+ per lineal metre but as I have said I'm already in front with finding a great local guy with a good reputation who does it for $500-550 plm.

    Mate, as inexperienced as I am I'd say go for it with the slab etc yourself. You'd know more than what most people would. Good luck bro, and thanks for your input:)
     
    Peter P and Gingin like this.
  11. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
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    Location:
    Sydney
    That is definitely pricey.
    I got the certifier to organise the encasement for me. Worked out at around $800-$1000 per meter. I believe there are only two mobs in Sydney who can do it. Either way, i went with the cheaper one.

    $20k, they are taking you for a ride. The project management work for the encasement is pretty simple, there are only two people to co-ordinate.

    You should check how much money you save by going owner builder vs non owner builder AFTER the encasement piece is done. Not sure if there is that much to be saved.
     
  12. ashish1137

    ashish1137 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12th Sep, 2015
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    Location:
    Sydney
    Go for it @nzhorsey . I think it is all about your time vs the money saved.

    At the end of the day, you need to compare the time devoted vs the savings you got.

    Even if you dont save much, who knows this might be the start to something else. It is still worth the experience.

    Cheers
     
  13. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
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    Location:
    Penrith
    Appreciate that @ashish1137 I'm absolutely loving every minute of it at the moment.

    @neK totally understand where you are coming from. I have a really great builder friend who is an exceptional tradesman, and has a huge wealth of experience in managing building projects, and is also a very savvy investor himself, so He absolutely knows that he is doing. I was quoted from different well known granny flat builders that a realistic turnkey price including everything was going to be 110-130k. At 110k it is a very very basic and no frills GF at 130 it's pretty nice. My mate, thinks we can do nice GF all up for around 80-90k. That is my goal, and now a dream that I am going to put my heart and soul into:)

    Even if it blows out a little I'll have to say that I have the extra finance to cover it but the experience is amazing, I'm learning so much and really enjoying the challenge of finding bargain quotes from reputable industry trades. As for time, well yes there will certainly be an investment there but so far with all the information that has got me to where I am I reckon up to about 2 full days, so not to bad in the grand scheme of things:)
     
  14. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

    Joined:
    25th Apr, 2016
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    Location:
    Penrith
    Update 27/04: Surveyor Locked In!

    So got another 4 or 5 quotes back today and I'm going to be going with a great local Penrith Firm Richard Hogan Surveyors. They have a good reputation, they were able to do the survey 8am this weds (which is a miracle considering every other surveyor couldn't do it for 3 weeks!), and their service is excellent. I gave their initial quote to my architect who wanted some extra things added in and they did so quickly and cheaply only adding another $50 to the quote:

    Detail Survey $1050
    Set Out Survey $660
    Final Identification Survey $385
    Total for the whole project: $2095

    I was quoted from a Granny Flat Builder $1800 just for the detail survey:) so already we are saving big time!
     
    Last edited: 27th Apr, 2016
  15. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

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  16. Ulysses

    Ulysses New Member

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    Sydney
    I have PM'd two subdivision projects without any experience except Dr Google and yarning with people. I understand what people say about 'opportunity cost' a project like this will certainly get you away from the TV. I reckon the challenge of doing something 'out of your comfort zone' is good for the soul.

    Once you've done it once, you can do it again, utilising all the new skills.

    NZHorsey, you said you have 4 kids. Imagine them going to school a telling their friends that their dad is building a house!

    Two important considerations
    1. Scheduling of project tasks (in the correct order).
    2. Work out what project tasks can be completed simultaneously. Reducing the project timeline doesn't just save money, it can also make you money as you receive rental income earlier.
     
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  17. Ulysses

    Ulysses New Member

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  18. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

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    Location:
    Penrith
  19. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Brisbane
    I can't add anything as I'm clueless about granny flats (but I have a granny - hubby's mother - that I could send down if you want to fill it with an actual granny :D:p).

    What I'd like to say is that having a thread about the "how to" and "timeline" for this is a really good thing for anyone else wanting to know about granny flats. There are plenty of questions about granny flats on the forum, so having a detailed case history is a good thing.
     
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  20. nzhorsey

    nzhorsey Member

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    Update: Structural Engineering Info

    So, found out yesterday from a structural engineer that because I'm encasing a sewer it will be a little more complicated to do the structural engineering plans and apparently it will need to be a different type of slab as well to make sure the load bearing doesn't weigh down on the Encasement?

    Does this sound right guys?

    Anyway, he has quoted me over the phone $1500 for the structural engineering plans, inspection and approvals etc. He is the first one I tried so hoping to get a little better. Does it sound like a good price????