Answering your all your questions!

To make the design and build process easier for you, we have answered some of our most FAQ. However, if you have anymore questions beyond these listed, we would love to help! We’re always available to chat on (03) 7019 5515 or contact@strengthgroup.com.au

Do you design and build on sloping sites and other difficult blocks?

Yes, we do. Our team has had experience building on several different site typologies. Therefore, no matter the site constraint, we can work with you to try and come up with a solution to meet your needs.

Do you build outside of Metropolitan Melbourne?

We generally build within 50km from Melbourne CBD which pretty much covers Metropolitan Melbourne. We do however from time to time build outside of this radius for one-off bespoke projects. So, if you do have a need for a project outside of Melbourne, please contact us and we will review and assess as to whether we can take this on.

What are Strength Group’s sustainability standards in your designs?

All Strength Group homes meet the minimum 6-star energy standard. We work closely with our environmentally sustainable consultants to produce higher star rated homes and seek to incorporate best practice sustainability initiatives that are also sensitive to our client’s budgets.

Do we have to both design and build with you or can we just do one of those services?

Whilst we highly recommend making use of our one stop shop Architectural design and Construction services due to accountability and efficiencies provided, we understand that sometimes you may already have another Architect or Builder in mind for your project. In this case we are happy to work with your Architect or Builder as long as their values and workflow processes, work in well with us.

What are all the documents needed for you to provide a building quotation?

Generally, we need the following:

  • Architectural Plans
  • Architectural Specification and associated Materials Schedule
  • Soil Report
  • Land Survey (Feature and Levels and Re-Establishment Survey)
  • Structural Engineering Drawings
  • Civil Engineering Drawings (Won’t be required for most renovations but is required for houses and multi-unit developments)
  • Energy Rating Report
  • Any other Consultant Documents (I.e., Bal Report, Arborist Report, ESD Report, Traffic Report etc)
How long will it take to get a building quotation?

We generally turn around quotations within 2 weeks. However, from time to time where our workload is higher, this could take slightly longer. You can confirm a timeframe when contacting us for a quote. Please note, we refrain from providing square metre rate quotes as these are generic rather than specific to your project.

What is generally included and excluded in your building quotation?

Being a custom service, we can include or exclude anything you like. There will be certain things that will be outside our scope such as paying for Authority Services, but other than that, we can include anything else.

What Contracts do you use?

As we are a Master Builder’s member, we use Master Builder’s produced Contracts. We are also willing to work with HIA Contracts and Architect based ABIC Contracts.

How long will it take to build my house?

We generally allow 9 months for extension/renovations, 12 months for new homes and 15 months for multi-unit developments. This is to ensure there is the adequate time taken to carefully plan and craft the home of your dreams.

Can I visit my home during the construction phase?

By all means you can. All you need to do is contact your dedicated site manager and make a time with them prior to attending.

What warranties do you provide?

Along with a 90-day defects liability period under Contract, our Domestic Building Insurance provides you a warranty cover of 2 years to fix non-structural defects and 6 years to fix structural defects after the completion of your home. Australian Consumer Law further stipulates those implied warranties are attached to a property up to 10 years from completion.

When would you go with a slab and when would you go with a stump and bearer system for your subfloor?

Ultimately the decision to go with slabs or stumps comes down to several factors with cost usually being a decisive factor.

The benefits of a slab include:

  • Better thermal energy rating.
  • When built as a reinforced concrete slab and combined with deep screw or pile footings, almost effectively limits movement and is long lasting.
  • Generally, less expensive due to a lower labour component.
  • Can incorporate other energy efficient features such as hydronic heating.

The benefits of a stump and bearer system include:

  • Better in terms of termite protection.
  • Better in areas where the land is sloping. A slab on a sloping site will usually require retaining walls and stormwater drainage pits further adding to cost.
  • Easier to service plumbing and heating services which are in the subfloor space.
  • Allows flexibility for future renovation work if one wants to relocate services in the subfloor space.
How do you know if the soil is contaminated or not?

Areas that were or are industrial have a higher chance of having contaminated soil. Usually one would determine this by getting an environmental consultant to undertake testing and reporting of a site.

How long is warranty insurance covered for?

Domestic building insurance covers implied warranties under the Domestic Building Contracts Act. This includes costs up to $300,000 to fix structural defects for six years, and non-structural defects for two years in Victoria. Furthermore, there are also further consumer guarantees afforded to the consumer according to the Australian Consumer Law.

Is an energy report a must-do? Or is it only ‘nice’ to have?

The Building Code of Australia stipulates a mandatory 6-star energy rating for new homes which is assessed under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). There are cases where this is not mandatory when it comes to certain renovation work. We however at Strength Group believe in homes meeting the minimum requirement and pushing for a higher rating. These higher ratings in turn provide for a more energy efficient home and become a good selling point to what is now an environmentally conscious market.

Do you need insulation?

External wall and roof insulation is generally placed in new homes as it is called up by the Energy Report. In the event where it is not needed, it is still recommended due to providing a more thermally stable environment within the dwelling.

What are commercial windows and their benefits?

The reasons for choosing a commercial window system in a home are as follows:

  • Aesthetics – Homeowners may like the appearance of a bulkier, squarer frame which are well known to be used in modern and contemporary buildings.
  • Performance – The thicker and larger frames provide an allowance for thicker glass including for single or double glazing which in turn improves the thermal rating and performance of a dwelling.
  • Size – This is a big factor. The larger frames allow for bigger openings without the use of transoms and mullions and therefore led to a better look.
How do you achieve a 6-star energy rating?

A 6-star energy rating is usually achieved by a combination of initiatives suggested by the Energy Rating conducting a Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) report. Initiatives include wall and roof insulation, double glazed windows and use of thicker wall types.

What is the benchtop material to use?

There are many different types of benchtops available for use. These include:

  • Engineered Stone benchtops
  • Laminate benchtops
  • Timber benchtops
  • Solid surface benchtops made from acrylic resin
  • Stainless steel benchtops
  • Polished concrete benchtops
  • Marble benchtops
  • Granite benchtops
  • Porcelain benchtops
  • Bamboo benchtops
  • Ultra-compact surface benchtops

Each have their pros and cons, however the ones we generally find ourselves installing are engineered stone benchtops which have a clean look to them and are durable and easy to clean.

Is engineered flooring good quality flooring? (“don’t want a ‘plastic feel’ look”)

Engineered timber floors are a good flooring option as they provide the timber floor look but are a much more cost-effective option. They are quick to install and generally don’t need to acclimatise prior to installation. However, compared to a solid timber floor, they don’t age gracefully and are generally not as durable.

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