The terms and acronyms within the building and construction industry can be strange and foreign. So to help you better understand the build process, below are some key definitions.
What is a soil report?
A soil report is a report based on a series of soil samples taken from your block of land. By testing the soil in various locations it enables engineers to classify your soil type so the appropriate footing system can be used for your project.
What is a building approval (BA)?
A building approval is a formal document issued by a Registered Building Surveyor that confirms the plans and documentation for a proposed building project meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and the appropriate local council. A building approval provides approval for work to commence and is required for most new buildings, demolitions, major renovations, extensions and alterations.
What is an easement?
An easement is a section of land registered on your property title, that gives someone the right to use the land for a specific purpose even though they are not the landowner. An example is a shared driveway or council access to sewage and stormwater pipes. If you wish to build over an easement, you are required to get local Council consent.
What is a variation?
A variation is a request to change an item in your contract that has been agreed upon in writing. Your contract will specify in detail how variations are dealt with.
What is double-glazing?
Double-glazing consists of two layers of glass with a space between them. This is generally used for energy efficiency (reducing loss of heat) and noise reduction. This is a good option if you are building on a busy street, especially on front windows.
What are obscure glazed windows?
Obscure glazed windows are opaque windows you cannot see through. These are often used to maintain privacy yet still allow light into the home.
What are acoustic batts?
Acoustic batts are made up of sound-insulating material used for noise reduction and are usually used in theatre rooms.
What is a bulkhead?
A bulkhead is a change in the ceiling heights. It’s a stylish feature in modern homes, especially used in the kitchen to define it as a separate area from the living and dining spaces. It also serves as a practical solution to house pipework and/or services where they can not be concealed within a ceiling or floor void.
What is a niche?
A niche is an alcove or indent in the wall. Niches are often used in hallways for artwork or in a lounge area for the TV and built-in joinery.
What is the difference between a ‘site scrape’, ‘excavation’ and ‘cut and fill'?
A ‘site scrape’ involves removing the very top layer of the block to make it clean.
An ‘excavation’ occurs when the site is required to be at a certain level. A cut and fill process is usually used.
A ‘cut and fill’ refers to cutting into a hillside or slope of the site. The material removed from the area is then used to ‘fill’ the site to achieve the desired level.
What does 6-star energy rating mean?
A house’s star rating (energy efficiency) applies to the design of the ‘building shell’—roof, walls, windows and floor, as the building shell influences the indoor comfort and energy efficiency of a residence. The rating is out of 10 stars and does not include major fixed appliances like air conditioners, hot water systems and fridges. The minimum energy efficiency rating for new houses and townhouses in Queensland is 6 stars. This standard also applies when undertaking renovations to an existing house, such as additions, alterations or re-locations. Meeting 6 Star compliance is about good design, particularly at the planning stages so it’s important to talk with your builder early.
What's a 'community infrastructure levy'?
Homeowners may need to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support funding of community facilities for residents of a defined area. This commonly applies to new estates and is governed by the developer of the land and the local Council. These community facilities include local preschools, maternal and child health centres, community halls/multi-purpose buildings, and other recreation facilities. Check with your local council to see if you are required to pay a CIL.