I just bought my land and have been advised it is Class ‘S’ soil. What does this mean?
Great question. First up, Class ‘S’ is the most favourable result as it means the soil on your particular block of land is only slightly reactive and is only subject to slight movement due to moisture. This means you should not incur any additional costs for site preparation and we can pour a standard concrete slab. For a full list of soil classes, please see below:
Different classes of soil
- Class A - This denotes very 'stable' ground - mostly sand and rock, not affected by moisture
- Class S - Slightly reactive soil, slight movement due to moisture
- Class M - Moderately reactive soil, moderate movement due to moisture
- Class H - Highly reactive soil, a high amount of movement due to moisture
- Class E - Extremely reactive soil, extreme movement due to moisture
- Class P - 'Problem' soil, which experiences land slip, mine subsidence and so forth. If you are building on Class P site, you will typically need to consult an engineer.
Do you have Fidelity Fund Coverage?
Make sure your builder provides you with a Fidelity Fund certificate before you pay them anything. This covers you for financial loss up to 20% or 200,000 (whichever is the lesser) should the builder die or become insolvent. For more details, the Fidelity Fund has a number of fact sheets on their website.
What is the name of the design of the display home you had in Moth Court, Zuccoli?
This is certainly a question we get asked often! This is our very popular ‘Beach House’ design that comes in a variety of renditions to cater to all budgets. Whilst this version is a larger family home with 4 bedrooms and a media room, the design is available in a more compact 3-bedroom version to suit buyers who require less room.
Are the products displayed in the display home the same as Bendella's standard Schedule of Finishes?
YES, Absolutely! - Bendella Group is highly respected for building our display homes with a “what you see is what you get “approach. Finishes can be changed if required should you have a higher or lower budget in mind. Our display homes are built based on our schedule of finishes, all product fittings and finishes that you see to our display homes are your standard finishes.
Will you ensure my house meets developer design guidelines?
We certainly will. As I’m sure you can appreciate, each estate we build in poses different challenges and requirements to meet the developer’s guidelines. A lot of our homes already satisfy many of the guidelines in place, but we will discuss with you any potential changes to be made.
Can you help me understand the slope/contours of my land?
This is something we do! If you are unsure of your contours to your chosen block of land, bring these in and we can have someone take a look at these for you; this can also be done prior to purchasing land if you’re unsure.
Is a final walk through offered at the end of the build?
YES most definitely, you will receive notification from the team once we reach practical completion enabling a walk through to be carried out onsite with the home owners and foreman to ensure all aspects of your home are to satisfaction.
How long is my Build contract valid for?
Building Contracts are valid for 6 months from signing, which allows time to arrange finance and titles/settlement to take place.
Is tiling to all wet areas (including laundry) included?
Yes, it is. All you must decide on is the type of tile you prefer.
Are things like shelves included in linen cupboards and built in robes as standard in ALL of your home designs?
More often than not, what you see in our homes is what you get. If there is anything in one of our display homes that is out of the ordinary, we will point this out to you as an optional extra.
Do you have fixed site works?
Site works can often put your budget at risk with many builders underestimating the costs of siteworks, which can lead to cost blowouts. Once we survey your block and provide a price for the proposed siteworks, this price is locked in.
Do you import your own products?
We do not import products and for very good reason. Imported products aren’t always covered by the same warranties as Australian made products and it can be difficult to get replacements and parts for imported products. You can also find that the quality isn’t the same as Australian products which must adhere to very high-quality standards (that are also made for Australian conditions). Tip – Ask around as a number of NT Builders import their products to save on cost to give the illusion of better value.
Is your drafting outsourced?
All our drafting is carried out in-house. In-house drafting will mean that you receive your preliminary and final contracts sooner. An in-house team can also do same-day compliance checks, and should a change be required, it can be done that day – getting your home to site quicker.
How long does it take you to build a home?
Some builders claim to build a home between 6-10 weeks. This is very alarming and should raise concerns about the quality of finishes and what corners are being cut to achieve completion in such a short time span. At Bendella Group we allow 20 weeks which means your home is ticking over at a swift pace with regular quality assurance checks and utmost care being taken to build a quality home you’ll be proud of. Being a man-made product, this also allows for mistakes to be corrected and any unsatisfactory workmanship to be improved upon.
Will I be able to meet with the designer to discuss my specific needs during the design stage or will I just be dealing with a salesman?
We meet with the Owner and designer till you are satisfied with the design, at which stage planning drawings are produced along with a 3D elevation, ready for costing.
Can I arrange for my own plans to be produced and will the builder price these?
We will price owner supplied plans subject to proof of copyright ownership. An external party like an architect is not required which will save you considerable money.
How many homes will be under construction and supervised at any one time?
We limit the number of homes we build every year to ensure superior quality control, access to quality tradesmen, faster response times and a more personal experience for you.
Will I have an Interior design service available to assist with selections?
We have a complimentary Selections Consultant available to assist with Wall & floor tile selections, paint colours and laminate selections to ensure a stress-free process. This is all done in-house at our Northcrest display home.
Will I be allowed to make changes during construction and will there be any additional variation fees?
We do allow on site variations during construction (conditions apply). The cost for any variations is $200 + GST for each request. We would however encourage you to forward plan as much as possible to avoid any additional charges or delays to your build.
Will I be able to supply any items myself for the builder to install as part of the contract?
We do allow owners to supply certain items such as Electrical Appliances or Wall & floor tiles for the builder to install (Insurance conditions apply). Typically anything that can affect certification will not be permitted. Painting is not an option due to the level of preparation that is required to achieve the high standard of finish and the impact it can have on the entire home's presentation.
Once I enter into the building contract, will there be any change to the price.
We use an HIA Fixed price building contract which guarantees that the price won’t change, subject to any variations you wish to make during the construction period.
Will I be able to see some examples of previous homes built and can I contact any past clients to hear about their building experience with Bendella Group.
To respect the privacy of our clients, we prefer not to contact previous builds but we are more than happy to take you through homes in construction. We can also provide testimonials from past clients to assist with your decision making.
Is the alfresco included in the base price?
The concrete slab, roof and tiling of the alfresco adds valuable living space to your home and is included in the price, regardless of your chosen specifications.
Does your base price include fly screens, a TV antenna, a letterbox and a clothesline?
These are all little things that you may expect as a part of any home, but not all builders include them as standard. At Bendella Group, TV antenna, letterbox and clothesline are all included and in regard to fly screens, we go one step further and provide InvisiGard security screens as standard.
What type of paint is used?
If it is not a 3-coat paint system you are getting an inferior quality finish. This is standard in all our homes.
How long has Bendella Group been around for?
Bendella Group has been operating in the Territory for over 8 years. As an NT owned and operated business, Bendella only employs local contractors and only uses local products and suppliers.
Are you part of a builder’s association?
Bendella Group is part of Master Builders NT and HIA NT. Master Builders is the peak construction industry association in the NT and represent the entire industry to ensure the highest standards are maintained.
Are you licensed & insured?
A good indicator of a quality home builder is one that’s fully licensed and insured – we can provide you with these details if you require them. It’s important for both you and Bendella Group as your builder to be covered during the building process in the event that unforeseen circumstances cause any issues.
How Will I Be Kept Informed Throughout the Building Process?
It’s imperative that you’re kept in the loop along the homebuilding journey. The best builders will be excellent communicators, making sure you know about all the changes occurring onsite as they happen. At Bendella Group ,you get direct access to both your Site Manager and Client Services Manager and you'll receive a weekly progress update (email) phone call from your Client Services Manager with updates on everything happening onsite.
What Kind of Warranty Do You Provide?
Be sure to confirm the warranty periods offered by your builder. A long warranty is a sign that your builder is willing to back its ability to construct a home that lasts, which is fantastic reassurance for you, the homeowner. At Bendella Group, we pride ourselves on providing warranties that are testaments to the confidence we have in the quality of our homes. We offer a 6-year structural warranty and 12 month defects maintenance warranty to give you complete piece of mind.
We also provide a homeowner’s manual outlining all product warranty information so you are crystal clear on what’s covered. Should you need to request maintenance on anything once you move in, you’ll you can lodge it directly from your phone via our convenient WEBFORM so we can prioritise and manage maintenance items in the best way possible.
Do you cater for feng shui in your home designs?
We often receive requests for design changes that encompass feng shui principles. We are more than happy to discuss changes and implement solutions to help you achieve your desired goals. Please speak to your sales consultant who will discuss what's possible with your chosen home design.
How much would you allocate for landscaping in your average home?
This is obviously subject to a lot of variables such as the size of the land and the extent of landscaping you require. However, we do find that typically $10-15k can go a long way on a small to medium size block of land.
Do you supply polished concrete?
We certainly can and it’s a beautiful feature of our ‘Banksia’ display home. We love it for it’s hard wearing and easy to clean properties.
How will I know if my fridge fits in the fridge cavity?
We build our homes with a generic fridge in mind; however, there are many shapes and sizes available (including double door fridges), which may mean your fridge will not fit in the space we have built. Please provide your fridge dimensions to your sales consultant if you have an existing fridge that you want to use in your new home. Otherwise please refer to your plans and ensure you purchase a fridge which will fit within the dimensions provided.
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 our engineers to classify your soil type and provide the appropriate footing system for your home.
What is a building permit number?
A building permit number is the number allocated by the registered independent building certifier that issues the permit. The number can be located within the building permit document.
What is an easement?
An easement is a section of land registered on your property title which gives someone the right to use that land for a specific purpose (such as council access to sewage and storm water pipes.) We cannot build any permanent structures on an easement. Your final slab design may also be affected by any easements on your property or your neighbour’s property.
What is exposed aggregate and do you use it?
Exposed aggregate is a method of finishing concrete which washes the cement/sand mixture of the top layer of the aggregate – usually gravel. We use exposed aggregate in driveways and external surfaces.
What is the difference between a ‘site scrape’, ‘excavation’ and ‘cut and fill’?
A ‘site scrape’ is to simply remove the very top layer of the block to make it clean.
An ‘excavation’ is needed when the site is required to be at a certain level and usually consists of a cut and fill method.
A ‘cut and fill’ refers to the process of cutting into the hillside or slope of your site. The material removed from area is then used to ‘fill’ the site to achieve the desired level.
What is a retaining wall and why do you need it?
A retaining wall can be made of different materials, such as sleepers, blocks or bricks, but it’s essentially a wall built to retain fill. A retaining wall ensures soil doesn’t move from the allocated area.
Anything higher than 600mm will need to be engineered and certified.
Can I go out on site?
You are more than welcome to attend your site regularly; however, you will need to be accompanied by your Client Services Manager for safety reasons.
What is fill?
Fill is the soil added after a site has been excavated to create a level building platform.
Does Bendella Group apply for my First Home Owner Grant?
We are unable to apply for your First Home Owner Grant but we can certainly get one of our finance specialists to assist you with your application.
Established properties seem to be cheaper than new homes in developing suburbs. Why is new better?
Ultimately, this is very much a personal choice, but most people prefer to live in a brand new home. New properties might seem more expensive at first glance, but they offer a higher quality of living, more choice and of course, warranties for peace of mind.
Some other factors you should consider when weighing up new versus old:
The full tax benefits are only available on new builds, not existing homes.
By building a new home you’ll save thousands on government stamp duty, and possibly also legal costs and bank fees.
As a home owner, it’s likely that you’ll have to make some compromises when choosing an existing home. A new home gives you an entirely blank slate, with endless possibilities. It’s difficult to put a price on the joy that comes from living in a home that’s been designed and built especially for you.
Where do you build houses?
We build houses in Darwin, Palmerston, and rural areas including Virginia, Coolalinga, Howard Springs and Herbert. Most houses are built in Palmerston or the new areas of Northcrest and Muirhead as the new suburbs are expanding rapidly there. More recently, Coolalinga is now also in the mix. If you’re looking to build outside these areas, we are able to do remote work. Please contact us to find out more.
Do you build pools?
We certainly do!! Pools feature in a great deal of our homes, and most of our designs have been created with pools in mind, incorporating integrated living areas inside, outside, and poolside. The Beach House design is a prime example of this.