FAQ - POSTBEAM

What is the time frame involved between me submitting an order for one of your Post & Beam homes and you planning and building it for me, entirely to registered completion?

1. Development of house plans - 4 weeks
2. Obtaining building permit - 2 weeks
3. Construction of home to registered completion - 20-26 weeks

Please bear in mind that a planning permit is likely to have to be obtained, and that the time taken to obtain the planning permit varies from council to council. Also there may be some variation in the above timelines, but these serve as an accurate approximate guide.

Where are your timbers sourced from, is there any endangered or old growth area timbers used?

There are four particular timbers generally used in the construction of our Post & Beam homes.

(a) White cypress (callitris glaucophylia) for the main posts
(b) Radiata Pine for the ceiling lining and battens
(c) Canadian oregon (Douglas Fir) for the beams and rafters
(d) Western Red Cedar or Californian Redwood for door/window frames.

Please note, each of these timbers is sourced from either plantations or forest reserves managed by the relevant state forestry authority to ensure resource continuity. None of our timber comes from old growth or endangered forests.

What's included in a POST & BEAM kit home package?

All materials to build your home to LOCK-UP stage - the massive cypress posts, external wall materials, doors & windows, roofing, insulation & ceiling lining - in fact everything right down to the nuts and bolts.  Concrete slabs (or concrete strip footings for paved floors) are not included but can be arranged if you require.

I have never designed a home before and don't know where to start. I am having major problems getting my ideas down on paper. Can you give me any help or advice as to how I should go about this?

The problem you are having drawing a preliminary house plan is normal. Most people find it a challenging process. Envisaging 3-D space and also putting together a workable design layout is generally not easy for the uninitiated.

Over the years I have developed a DIY House Design Kit. The package contains a DIY grid plan and an explanation of how to use this plan design guide together with an example of a house design created using this DIY grid to show how simple it is. It also contains a booklet explaining the basic principles of passive house design and another booklet of "thought starter" house plans.  There is also a questionnaire which will help you to provide the additional information I will need to be able to determine any project cost estimates you require.

Many of my clients have found this information package very useful to help with their house design. You can download a copy of this pack from our website, see our homepage for details.

My wife and I are very interested in you helping us design a house and arrange its construction. Are you available to take on a project?

All of my homes are hand crafted at my manufacturing facility at Buxton. Because my homes are built all over Australia I always use local builders, no matter where the job is, because that is the only cost effective method of constructing a home. I will work with you to produce the necessary tender documentation, etc. to get quotations from builders. I will also assist with drawing up contract documents if required. I am also available throughout the building works to assist both yourselves and the builder wherever I can.

I have a network of builders throughout Victoria & NSW. Naturally I will approach them to provide a quotation for your job if they are available to take on your job within the timeframe that suits you. However, if they don't have a work schedule opening that suits then other local builders would be approached. Since the kit components that I supply are prepared so comprehensively that an owner-builder with only basic handyman skills can construct them, it means that for builders, the whole process is much simpler than normal building, and they don't have to be a specialist in building "Post & Beam" structures.

How much can I save by building my own home?

This depends on how much you do yourself but our clients quite often save about 35% of the cost of having their home built by a builder.  And remember that every $10,000 saved is about $25,000 you don't have to pay as interest to the bank.

If I sub-contract the building of my home can I still save?

It is possible to save many thousands of dollars by simply `project managing' the construction of your home (i.e. arranging and co-ordinating subcontractors to build your home).

How do I get finance for a kit home?

Banks and other lending institutions lend to any owner-builder in the normal manner.  We also offer a progress payment system so that you can pay as you build thus minimising the interest burden.

If I build my own home is there any difficulty selling it in a few years time?

The government legislation controlling domestic building specifically provides for `owner builders'.  If you sell more than six years after completing your home then no provisions apply.  If you sell in a lesser time an inspection is carried out by a particular agency and a fee paid to an insurance company and your house is then guaranteed in exactly the same manner as if it had been built by a registered builder.

If I build my home to lock-up stage can you tell me how much it will cost to complete it?

We can provide project estimates for building any stage of your home.  Simply phone any time and these estimates will be provided.

What external wall materials can be used with POST & BEAM homes?

Basically any material you want - Timbercrete, brick or brick veneer, timber cladding, mud brick, rammed earth, Colorbond® steel cladding or just about anything else - it's your choice.

Will POST & BEAM assist with construction of my home?

Yes!  Help can be given with any stage of the construction.  It really is up to you how much or how little you do yourself.

Why should I build a POST & BEAM kit home instead of buying all the materials and building it myself?

Post & Beam has over 35 years of building experience.  Backup support is always available.  The kit components have been prepared in such a way that construction is simple - even for someone who has five thumbs!  Furthermore, top quality materials are guaranteed.  In effect, this means that your home is built quicker and you obtain a professional result.

How difficult is it to build a POST & BEAM home?

All components are pre-cut and can be assembled by someone with basic handyman skills.  A comprehensive, well illustrated and plain English instruction manual is supplied with the kit.  Telephone support is only a phone call away.  Just ask our previous clients - they'll tell you how easy it is to build a Post & Beam home.

How many people are needed to construct a POST & BEAM home?

Most of the building can be done by one person.  Two people are needed to assemble the frame.  The only tradesmen required would be a concretor (for homes with slab floors), an electrician and a plumber.  These tradesmen can be arranged for you if you wish.

How long does it take to build a home?

For an average 15 square house, two people working forty hours per week could complete the lock-up works in about five to six weeks.

Can I design my own floor plan?

Simply tell us what you want and we can accommodate.  Our unique construction system affords total design flexibility because internal walls don't support the roof structure.  Nearly all our homes are individually designed (at no extra cost) to meet our client's specific needs.

Do I need any special tools?

No.  The only tools needed are those an average handyman would already own such as a hammer and power saw.

What are the advantages of TIMBERCRETE walls compared with other building materials?

Timbercrete walls have a unique combination of thermal mass and good insulation properties which helps keep your house cool in summer and warm in winter.  Their sound insulation qualities give homes a quiet ambience.  They have a lovely rustic charm, blend harmoniously with any environment and are chemical free.
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