External piers used in alfresco and portico areas are not usually bricked as standard. Consider upgrading to brick or rendered piers if you want them to blend with your home's external façade.
Bricked Alfresco/Portico Pillars
FC sheet/cladding is a painted panel used to fill the gaps above external windows and doors. It may be required if you've chosen to increase the ceiling height but not the standard window size.
These panels are an effective way to keep the base build cost down; they can be upgraded to brickwork infills with the use of a steel lintel installed above your windows and doors. It can be expensive to cover all windows and doors with brickwork infills, but it will give your external façade a more consistent look.
We recommend upgrading your ceiling height if your builder offers 2400mm ceilings as standard. This can be costly, but it will make your home feel more spacious throughout.
Common ceiling upgrade options are:
Take note of the ceiling heights used in various display homes to better understand what your personal preferences are. You may want to consider upgrading to 2700mm as this will give you the option to increase the height of your garage door.
A Colorbond® roof may not be standard for your new home - if you prefer this brand of roof, make sure you discuss it with your new home sales consultant.
Colorbond® roofing is lightweight and long lasting; it also comes in a wide choice of colours to give your home a modern appearance.
Double Glazed Windows
Double glazed windows improve energy efficiency and help your new home meet 6-star building requirements by adding additional thermal resistance to outside elements. This will reduce heat loss in winter and keep your house cooler in summer by keeping the warmer air out.
Double glazed windows can also improve the acoustic performance of your home, depending on the glass type and thickness between glass panes. Double glazed windows are an expensive upgrade but having them will dramatically reduce the cost of heating and cooling your new home.
More information on window glazing can be found at YourHome
Eaves are a visual element, but they also provide your home with extra protection from the weather and can reduce energy costs. Some facade upgrades include eaves however this often doesn't include installation for the entire home and garage.
Common eave overhang options are:
If you want a fireplace, we recommend you have it installed during the build, even though this is likely to be more expensive than having it installed after construction. Having your fireplace installed by your builder will ensure a more seamless integration and minimise the need for unnecessary/ugly flue patterns to avoid things like roof trusses.
If you do decide to have a fireplace installed after construction, make sure you discuss fireplace specifications and requirements with your new home consultant to avoid install issues.
Garage - Door Motor
An automatic garage door opener isn't always a standard inclusion. It's also worth checking with your new home sales consultant that the door motor will include at least two remotes and a wall switch.
Garage - Extend Dimensions
Some home builders have a standard garage width of less than 6 meters. Consider extending your garage width if you plan to park more than one car at a time in the garage - 6.5 meters will provide better access for two vehicles or more space for shelving and storage.
Garage - Increase Door Height
The standard double garage door height is 2010mm. If you're upgrading your ceiling height to 2700mm or higher, you will have the option of increasing the garage door height to at least 2300mm. This will allow larger vehicles to access your garage.
Common garage Door height options are:
- 2300mm (ceiling height at least 2700mm)
- 2400mm (ceiling height at least 2700mm)
- 2700mm (ceiling height at least 3000mm)
Garage - Rear Roller Door
Depending on your floor plan, having a rear roller door fitted to the garage will allow easier access to your backyard and provide somewhere safe to you're your trailer or boat.
Hebel (also known as autoclaved aerated concrete) is a lightweight construction material that is fast to install as it requires less labour than conventional brick. Homes built with Hebel have higher thermal and sound insulation properties and excellent fire resistance, making it a perfect choice if you're building in a fire danger zone.
Hebel will restrict the weight of items that can be attached to your external walls compared with brick, and the render requires an annual wash with a hose and repainting every ten years.
Insulation Between Upstairs & Downstairs
Reduce noise transfer by having acoustic insulation installed mid floor in double story homes. You should also consider having the upstairs plumbing insulated so the people downstairs can't hear the upstairs toilet being flushed.
Internal & External Door Dimensions
Most builders offer a standard door height of 2040mm. If you're considering upgrading your ceiling height to 2700mm or more, we recommend upgrading door heights to 2340mm. Don't forget to upgrade all external doors including front, alfresco, laundry, rear, and pedestrian garage doors, and any non-standard internal doors like wardrobes.
Pivoting Front Door
Pivoting doors rotate on a pivot box rather than being hung on hinges, and are better suited for larger doors. This upgrade makes good sense if you are upgrading to a large front door, however the pivot box, frame and installation are usually expensive. Speak to your new home sales consultant for more information on upgrade costs.
Provision For Large Wall Mounted Items
If you're planning on attaching heavy items like TVs or large pictures to your walls, consider getting your builder to install additional provisional framing noggins in these locations. Having these noggins installed during the framing process is an inexpensive way to ensure the wall mounted item is well supported once hung.
A raked ceiling follows the slope of the roof and may be shallow or steep depending on the roof pitch of your home. Raked ceilings are usually an expensive and luxurious upgrade that can transform a space, making it feel larger and more visually pleasing. Unlike a cathedral ceiling, a raked ceiling won't have exposed beams.
Render Membrane Cover
Darker render absorbs more sun and fades more quickly than light coloured render. A membrane seal prolongs the colour of darker render, provides a more solid and consistent colour and makes the render easier to clean.
A mandatory cost for any new home built in Victoria with a Bushfire Attack Level rating of 12.5 or above, roof sarking is a pliable laminated membrane installed under the roof. Roof sarking will improve your home's thermal performance, resist ember attacks during a bushfire and help protect the roof cavity from rain and dust during storms.
Skylights allow natural daylight into rooms while maintaining privacy, making them perfect for bathrooms and WIRs. Skylights also make a great roof feature in large open plan areas when used with a raked ceiling. Skylights can be combined with electric blinds to help shade your room in the warmer weather.
Square Set Cornices
Upgrading to square set cornices means the traditional cornice between walls and ceiling is not required. Square set cornicing uses an internal angle to cover the join; it's then filled with a compound giving a modern, square edge appearance. This can be an expensive upgrade for larger homes - you can reduce the cost by using a less expensive traditional cornice for bedrooms, cupboards, and garages, and square setting only in more visible living areas.
Three Coats of Internal Paint
Having less than three coats of internal paint is not ideal as it is likely to show paint imperfections. To address this, we recommend your new home is painted with undercoat plus three additional coats internally. Some builders will claim they provide three coats as standard but this usually includes the undercoat - which means only two coats of internal paint in total.
Flyscreens are not always a standard inclusion; ensure you ask your new home sales consultant if they're included in the base price.
If you're building in Victoria and have a Bushfire Attack Level rating of 12.5 or above, flyscreens will automatically be included in your build cost.