1. Land Questions
1.1. Will you view my land before I engage you to undertake any works?
Once you have engaged us to complete design or pricing of plans we will visit your land is part of that process (Note – this service may not be available at no cost in some locations). At that stage you benefit from the value we can add to your building experience. Over the years we have designed and built on some extremely challenging blocks of land (eg: sloping, small, odd shapes, rock, poor soil, services running through property, flood prone, overland water flow, DA restrictions, etc). Therefore, it is unlikely that your land will present any challenges we have not overcome before. That said, if we visit your land after you pay for the design fee and it is immediately apparent that we are not able to build on the land then we will refund your design fee immediately.
1.2. If I have flood prone land (i.e: a designated flood level to build above) can you build on it?
YES. One of the original reasons for the construction of Queenslander homes on stumps was to raise the important living area floors above the flood levels. In times of flood, you often see Queenslanders in this circumstance though perhaps not always in extreme circumstances. However, they are certainly better off than the slab home next door inundated to its roof line! We will design the home to satisfy local council requirements and have floor levels above the designated flood levels.
1.3. If I have land with “overland flow” can you build on it?
YES. This generally presents some additional restrictions to having just a flood level on the property and may require some additional engineering and council approvals.
2. Design, Pricing, and Specification Questions.
2.1. How long does the design and pricing process take?
This will depend upon the design and nature of the project. If you are building a standard design with little or no design changes then the process could be completed in 1-3 weeks. If you are proceeding through a custom design process then it could take 3-6 months. However, a large part of this will be how quickly you, as the client, make decisions on concepts and ideas presented to you. Your design consultant will provide you with an estimate of time once they understand your design brief, budget and expectations.
2.2. How long does the entire process take?
Again, this will depend upon the design and nature of the project. For a standard design with little or no design changes the process from start to construction finish could be completed in 6 months. However, given the nature of our typical client and construction detail, generally the entire process will take around 12 months from the time of design engagement.
2.3. If I pay you to design my home who owns the copyright over the plans?
The Company you engage to complete the plans always retains copyright to the plans, concepts, and ideas presented to you. The design process is heavily discounted and does not represent the commercial value of the work. Garth Chapman Queenslanders, through its associated companies, takes this issue very seriously and will legally pursue any breaches of their copyright. Since the design process is heavily discounted we rely on securing the construction work in order to be successful. We do this by ensuring our quote is competitive and represents good value for the service and product we will deliver.
2.4. Will you tell me how much it will cost to build what I want before I have any land?
We can only inform you of this for a standard design based upon one of our inclusion levels. Once you have land our designers will treat you with absolute priority. To facilitate this we are unable to spend much time with the many hypothetical situations that exist. Of course, if you are in a serious process of considering purchasing land then we will assist you where we can. You can rest assured that our designers will be able to provide construction solutions for almost any land situation you can purchase.
2.5. Will you tell me how much it will cost to build what I want before I have any land?
No. Our design and construction knowledge and experience is very valuable information from which our clients benefit. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to give this away. In fairness to those clients who have paid for our service we must afford them priority in our dealings.
2.6. Do you only design and build Queenslanders?
No. We are passionate about great design and apply it to many different styles of homes. Our clients inform us of their passion within their brief and we turn it into reality. Whether you like Traditional Queenslanders, Contemporary Queenslanders, Colonial Homes, Beach Houses, Ashgrovian, Cape Cod, American Colonials and Hampton-style homes, Contemporary inner city small lot homes, or a whole host of other styles – we can design to suit. We specialise in providing solutions for families within an energy efficient environment driven by value, quality, and detail.
2.7. If I have my own plans, will you provide a quote for them?
We build Australian Architecture in a very particular way. We have unique building techniques that achieve the Garth Chapman look. Garth Chapman has spent many years developing these techniques that will not be replicated by ABC draftsman or architect. For this reason we do not price other professionally drawn plans. We will however incorporate all your ideas into a plan drawn by our design people. This way we ensure you receive all the benefits of the Garth Chapman look. For designs of other styles we will consider pricing your plans upon review of them and discussions with you. Both partners (if applicable) will need to bring them into our display home/ office by appointment with all the relevant documentation. An assessment will then be completed in consultation with you.
2.8. Why do your homes seem more expensive than others?
The word expensive implies a generic product is being sold for a higher price and is thus expensive. If you would like to receive a high level of service from the beginning of your journey through to well after construction; if you would like a really well-designed home in which our designer has used all his skill and experience to create; if you would like a very well built home that is built by craftsmen who genuinely care about their finished work; if you would like a home that is constructed with standards and techniques above the general building code; if you would like a home with detail you may not fully appreciate until you have lived in it for some time; if you would like a home that will still be admired and enjoyed by future generations – all that costs a little more to provide than many of the homogeneous houses built elsewhere. Is that expensive? No, it’s valuable!
2.9. Are site works costs included in the price?
Our standard price list does not include site works cost allowances. Whilst we rarely build on a site that doesn’t require some earthworks, every site is different and needs to be assessed as such. We will certainly include these allowances in your fixed price quote and it will be governed by actual costs rather than a desire by us to generate excessive profits.