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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

More Thought Built In to helping you find the answers to all the questions you have!

  • Will Porter Davis organise asset protection?

    An Asset Protection permit is applied for through local Council to ensure public assets and infrastructure are not damaged as a result of building work (including demolition work). You will be required to obtain an Asset Protection Permit through Council prior to the commencement of your build – or for knockdown and rebuild clients prior to any demolition works. An application fee along with a bond will be required to be paid which covers any damage to existing council infrastructure, such as footpaths, nature strips and driveway crossovers.

  • Will Porter Davis demolish my existing home?

    No, Porter Davis does not personally provide this service however we can help you with this process by recommending reputable and qualified demolition experts. Ideally, you should engage with a registered demolition contractor as early as possible. Remember to get 2-3 quotes as pricing and inclusions can vary; where some contractors include service disconnections, tree removal and asbestos removal in their scope of works, others allow for demolition works only.  Please speak to your Building Coordinator for a recommendation.

  • Why doesn’t construction start as soon as my contract is signed?

    There are still many administrative matters to cover off including variations, building permits, developer/Council approval, asset protection, PIC, soil reports, engineering, Formal and ACC (finance approval to commence) – just to name a few!

  • Why do I need soil tests?

    A KDRB will require several soil tests; one preliminary before the build begins and a second (final) soil test and survey and re-establishment survey (confirming your title boundaries are the same as your fence line) after demolition is completed. This is an important part of your build process, as it is necessary to determine how reactive the soil is and ensure there aren’t any chemical or physical conditions that can damage your new home. For more information, visit the Porter Davis blog.

  • Why do I have to have privacy glass on some of my windows?

    Windows within 9 metres cannot directly look into adjacent property windows that contain habitable rooms or onto private outdoor areas like an alfresco or backyard. To build within regulation, you may need to use frosted glass, install fixed screens or consider windows over 1.7 metres high in your design. If you’re building in a development, this cost may not be incurred upfront but later down the track if your neighbour beats you to site. As a legal requirement, this decision is not one that can be made by the client or Porter Davis.

  • Why do I have to ensure there are boundary pegs on my property?

    Boundary pegs (also known as title or survey pegs) are used to mark out the boundaries of your lot before construction can begin on a development site. A Land or Building Surveyor will accurately measure out your site and establish boundaries which they will then mark out with pegs or stakes. It’s important to ensure your block is maintained before the construction stage as if pegs are missing or have been moved, sometimes you may have to bear the cost of having the land re-surveyed.

  • Why are display homes never standard?

    To ensure the optimal outcome, our designers will have included certain design elements and additional floorplan options within our displays that are not included in the base house price. These things can be structural such as adding a grand Alfresco, through to design-based such as increasing the thickness of an island benchtop. Should you want to know more about a certain display, please speak to the Sales Consultant on site.

  • Who are my key contacts in each stage of the building process?

    Post sales stage and pre site start your point of contact will be your Building Coordinator. Once construction has commenced and up until Base Stage, you will be liaising with one of our Base Supervisors. Once the base has been poured you will be contacted by a Build Site Supervisor who manages the rest of the process, all the way through to completion. Post completion, we have a New Home Care (Maintenance) Team that will tend to your needs.

  • Where do you get your display furniture from?

    We do source some pieces from different companies but the majority of our furniture comes from CoCo Republic.

  • Where do you get the artwork in your display homes?

    Most of the artwork in our display homes is from Biella Art. – you can visit their retail website here. Please note, a lot of custom work is created for the displays and therefore you may not able to locate exact pieces on their site.

  • Where can I find my closest display home?

    To search for a display home, please visit the Porter Davis website and use our display finder.

  • Where are your build zones?

    Most builders limit where they build and this is known as the ‘build zone’. To qualify for a KDRB, the first thing we would need to establish is if we are able to build in your region. Please note that surcharges do apply in some areas.

    Click here to see our Queensland Build Zone.

  • Where are your build zones?

    Most builders limit where they build and this is known as the ‘build zone’. To qualify for a KDRB, the first thing we would need to establish is if we are able to build in your region. Please note that surcharges do apply in some areas.

    Click here to see our Victorian Build Zone.

  • When would I need to hire a crane?

    A crane may be required to move building materials should your home be too close to neighbours or other obstructions. It is also necessary if your building is two storey. Throughout your build, a crane will be required for various deliveries and processes such as steel delivery and install for the frame and brick steel lintels, plaster delivery, and roof truss delivery as a minimum. Depending on your KDRB conditions and house type, this may increase.

  • When should I start demolition?

    Demolition should only commence once Porter Davis has applied for your building permit. This will be applied for the day you sign your contract. It will then take approximately 3 to 5 days after the signing of your contract to receive a checklist with the items required to be completed/provided prior to obtaining your building permit. Your Building Coordinator will contact you once this is received and assessed, to confirm demolition can commence.

  • When should I contact EHA (Emergency Home Assist)?

    For any emergency issues related to broken hot water units, taps, heating/cooling, doors or windows, or if you lock yourself out of the home, notice a blocked toilet, ceiling leak, gas leak, burst pipe or power loss to your home, Emergency Home Assist is your best point of call.

    Your EHA package allows for eight call-outs per year and they can arrange an emergency plumber, locksmith, etc. with fast resolution times.

  • What should I expect to see in my land contract?

    Plan of subdivision
    This shows you the layout and dimensions of all the land lots within a stage of subdivision. This plan also indicates the size and location of any easements.

    Civil engineering plan (Functional layout plan)
    This plan shows the civil design, including site levels, depth of any fill imported and any previous land features of significance, such as trees and drains.

    Building envelope plan
    This plan shows you the depth, width and height restrictions applicable to a specific block. This effectively gives you the dimensions of the build area to show you where your house can be positioned on your block.

    Estate Design Guidelines
    This will give you the developers’ design guidelines for your estate. It is important to understand the impact these may have on the house you intend to build.

    Memorandum of common provisions
    This document informs you of council enforced controls and restrictions associated with the title of your land. These are fixed controls that are registered on the title.

  • What other things should be considered when land shopping?

    There a number of other considerations to make when looking for land, most of which will depend on your personal preferences and the lifestyle you have in mind. If buying in an estate, look into whether this development has on-going body corporate fees for things like lifestyle centres or clubs (these details will be in your land contract).

  • What other costs do I need to be aware of?

    The price of your home won’t be the only cost you need to bear upfront and there are other considerations to make when working out what you can afford. Stamp duty, taxes, Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), as well as conveyancing and legal fees are just a few of the costs associated with purchasing a new home. There’s also other factors you’ll need to consider closer to your move in date such as council and utility rates and building and contents insurance. To get an idea of the amount you’ll need to save on top of your house price, please speak to a finance professional.

  • What is the difference between titled and untitled land?

    Titled land simply means there is an official record of who owns a certain section of land. As the name suggests, Untitled lots do not have a title as they may still be under development and in this instance you’ll need to wait for the relevant ownership certificate to be issued. The benefit of titled land is you will only need to do a title transfer, which has a much quicker turnaround that the issuing of a new title! In saying that most of the land in Victoria is going to be untitled, particularly in developments, so make sure you factor in ample time for this process when deciding to build.

  • What is stamp duty and when is it applicable to pay this?

    Stamp duty is a one-off ‘Government fee’ you will be required to pay when you buy land or property in Victoria or Queensland. For new homes, stamp duty concessions are available for first home buyers.

    In Queensland, all dutiable transactions of property or land involve a stamp duty payment. Unless a concession is applied, the amount is calculated based on the market value of your house. As a first home buyer, you may not be required to pay stamp duty on properties under $500,000 and can receive a discount for properties valued between $505,00 and $550,000. Please check the state relevant website for more information.

  • What is stamp duty and when is it applicable to pay this?

    Stamp duty is a one-off ‘Government fee’ you will be required to pay when you buy land or property in Victoria or Queensland. For new homes, stamp duty concessions are available for first home buyers.

    In Victoria, if your home has a dutiable value of $600,000 or less, you’ll receive the first home buyer duty exemption (visit the State Revenue Office’s website for more details). But you’ll still need to pay a fee for the registration of your property’s title to the Land Titles Office (maximum $3,606) and you might need to pay GST too.

  • What is an underground power pit and why do I need one?

    Porter Davis constructs all new dwellings with underground power. If you are undergoing a KDRB, your overhead power will need to be abolished and you will need to arrange the installation of an underground electricity pit through your provider. If you are undergoing a new build, an underground power pit should be allowed for by the developer but if not, you will need to speak to your utilities company to organise this. Porter Davis will arrange connection to the home from there.

  • What is an easement?

    Easements often exist on blocks of land to accommodate utility services and connections such as power and sewerage – not just for your home, but for all the people on your block that are connected to these services. Your new home will require clearance from these easements to ensure access for maintenance workers etc. Be sure to consider the size and location of any easements as these will impact where you can build your home and may also impact the size of the home you can build.

    Typically in new estates, the most common easement is at the rear of the lot and they are usually 2 – 3 metres wide. Best practice is to ensure the house is located at a minimum 1 metre clearance from an easement.

  • What is a variation?

    Post Contract & Building Variations are standard and common place within the building industry. A Post Contract or Building Variation is simply an amendment to the scope of works, in the form of an addition, deletion or correction to the original contract documentation. Once signed it becomes a formal part of the contract documentation.

    Some common reasons for variations to be raised include but are not limited to;

    • A change required by a land developer
    • A change due to a dispensation or planning permit outcome
    • Any other amendment required to inclusions, plans or selections
    • Variations are widely accepted by lending institutions and provision is made for these in the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Victorian New Homes Contract. For more information please refer to Clause 23.0 – Requested Variations.
    • Any cost reflected in a Post Contract or Building Variation will be calculated at the final payment stage and will be added or deducted from your Final Invoice.
  • What is a tender appointment and how long will it take?

    A tender appointment in simple terms is an explanation meeting – meaning we go through your house design and siting (including site works) based on your sales quote, soil test, site survey and preliminary engineering. We also cover off any floorplan changes you’d like to make, the costs involved in these and more. At the end of the appointment, you will also receive a HIA contract for your review, prior to your contract signing appointment.
    Not all builders offer a tender appointment but at Porter Davis we like our customers to feel reassured and ‘in the know’ throughout the entirety of the process. The ultimate goal of a tender appointment is to have you feeling confident with the details of your build and have your deposit finalised so we can set your build in motion. This appointment usually takes 4-6 hours, so it’s best to allocate a full day.

  • What is a soil report and why do I need one?

    Believe it or not, dirt isn’t just dirt and some soil can be reactive – meaning the moisture content in the soil causes it to shift and change in volume. A soil test and survey is an integral part of every build as the information from these tests will influence the slab design, piering, cut and fill requirements, finished floor level, retaining wall considerations and much more! All of these factors also affect site costs, and it’s impossible to know what’s lurking underneath your block until you start digging.

  • What is a PDRE home?

    PDRE stands for Porter Davis Real Estate and is a selection of pre-built homes that are close to finishing stage so they’re ready to move in when you are! The benefit of these is you get all the perks of a quality Porter Davis build but your home is ready to move into in 90 days or less. They’re good for buyers who are leaning towards an established home but still like the idea of something brand new.

    To see all the Porter Davis Real Estate currently for sale, please follow this link.

  • What is a floorplan?

    This is the layout of the home and will show you what design options you can make to the standard floorplan. For example, you may want to add an alfresco or rumpus room. The floorplan will give you the dimensions of each room and tell you what size block you need to build this house.

    Please note: The required block sizes nominated for each house are based off the standard plan. If you start to add design options (which affect the footprint of your home) you need to check that your block can accommodate these changes.

  • What is a facade?

    This is the front of the house aka what you see from the street. If you are looking at a display home and love the internal layout but don’t like the look from the front don’t be disheartened; it will be interchangeable, meaning you can have the same house design with a completely different external look. We have Hamptons to Contemporary designs and everything in-between.

    There are usually around 4-8 different facades for each house type, so ask your Sales Consultant to see the range for your desired design.

  • What is a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)?

    Government legislation ensures every block of land is classified for a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL). BAL is a means of measuring a building’s potential exposure in the event of a bushfire and includes 6 levels of severity, all with varying associated build costs. Your land agent will be able to confirm the applicable rating of a particular lot and your builder can advise any associated costs. These can relate to windows, flywire screens and more. BAL ratings and land identified as Bushfire Prone Areas are subject to change, but only at the discretion of the Government/CFA, and not the developer.

  • What is a 6 Star Energy Rating and why is it necessary?

    A 6 Star Energy rating means that a building has achieved a higher rating of energy efficiency compared to a lower scored product. All new homes are required to comply with Energy Efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code – an option of which is the 6 Star Standard.

    Why it’s required
    The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) provides new homes with a star rating based on the dwellings calculated energy use. NatHERS makes Australian homes more comfortable and helps residents save on energy bills through a reduction in the use of heating/cooling throughout the year. As outlined in the National Construction Code a 6 Star NatHERS energy rating must be achieved before a building permit can be issued.

    How it works

    Porter Davis’ house plans have all received a 6 Star Energy rating in standard form however many of your personal selections including can affect this energy rating.

    Some examples of items you may change during the selection process which may affect your energy rating are:

    • Change in building materials (flooring type, external wall type, roof type etc.)
    • Windows/glazing (size/location/frames material/type of glass etc.)
    • Insulation (ceiling/roof/wall/floor)
    • Ceiling height
    • Roof and Wall Colours
    • Ceiling Fans
    • Recessed ceiling lighting
    • Alfresco’s and Eaves
    • Heating vents in bathrooms
    • …and much, much more!

    Some items that are related to your land which may also affect your energy rating are:

    • Fencing location and height
    • Shading created from neighbouring houses
    • Site cut depth (Changes fence height calculations relative to house floor level)

    After you have finalized your selections an independent consultant, Energy Lab will assess your Contract Drawings to determine your specific home’s energy rating. The final result of Energy Lab’s assessment is an overall star rating which determines the energy use required to heat and cool the building to a comfortable temperature year-round. The higher the star rating, the less energy is required by the building.

    Clients will be charged for any additional items, such as upgraded insulation or double glazing, which may be required, based on your specific house and land, to reach a 6 Star Energy Rating. This cost will be available to the client at the contract appointment.

    How it benefits you

    • Save money on energy bills –Victorians with 6 Star homes can potentially save an average of $100 off their energy bills each year.
    • Make your home more resilient to climate change – On average, 6 star homes are projected to use 24% less energy than a 5 star home.
    • Increase thermal comfort.
  • What if I want to put in a swimming pool?

    Swimming pools present a serious hazard on construction sites if adequate control measures are not in place. Should you have an existing pool or wish to install a pool before construction, you will need to notify your Sales Consultant or Building Coordinator before your tender appointment in order for us to assist you with the correct pool installation procedure. If you are planning on installing a pool post-construction, please ensure you have provided your Building Coordinator with your pool specifications including:

    • Length, width and depth of pool
    • Pool location and setback from house
    • Pool heater gas megajoule requirement
    • Pool heater location

    Please note: Porter Davis does not factor pool installation before construction into your site start timeline and highly recommends installing your pool post-construction. For more information about how this will affect your build timeline please speak to your Sales Consultant or Building Coordinator.

  • What home designs are available in a KDRB?

    All homes in the Prestige and Lifestyle ranges are available for a KDRB. The Charlton from the Advantage range is also an option however, please note that the shape and size of your block will ultimately determine what is available to you. For further information, please speak to your Sales Consultant.

  • What happens leading up to my handover appointment?

    Once construction of your home is complete, we will organise the Building Surveyor to do a final inspection of the home and ensure it has been built to Australian standards, codes and regulations. The Building Surveyor will then provide Porter Davis with a Certificate of Occupancy which states that the home is legally allowed to be lived in and we will provide this document to you. You will need to provide this document to the lender you have gone through for your construction loan, if applicable.

    During your Handover appointment, you will meet with your Construction Supervisor on site at your new home. They will walk you through and show you where everything is, including how to use items like security systems, garage roller doors, the thermostat for any heating/cooling, etc. They will also provide you with the original copies of your compliance certificates for items like electrical, plumbing and insulation as these works are required by law to have been done by a licensed trade. Your Construction Supervisor will also provide you with the keys to your entry door, any external doors and any windows across your home.

  • What goes into preparing a site to be built on?

    Site survey and soil test
    A Geo-technical engineer will conduct the testing and will deliver a report on your block of land. The site survey records key features on both your block and the area neighbouring your lot. The soil test will determine your slab classification, as well as indicate if any rock removal is expected.

    Excavation works
    Your new home needs to be built on level ground. The land is levelled by a combination of cutting soil away from the higher end of the block and/or adding new fill to the lower areas. The fill must be compacted properly to ensure your land is stable. If this can’t be achieved satisfactorily, concrete piers will be put in place to make it stronger. Where required by the council, crossover protection may also be used. If there are rocks underneath the surface, these will be removed and taken away where appropriate.

    Retaining walls
    These are used to retain the earth on your land if required. In the case where a block of land is too close to a boundary and we can’t fully cut or fill it, we will need to build a retaining wall that holds the soil and ensures a flat building platform can be achieved.

    Concrete piering
    Where soil conditions are not stable to a satisfactory level, or if your house is in close proximity to mature trees or easements, an engineer may specify the use of concrete piers in the ground to support the house foundations. To do this, holes are dug until they reach solid foundations and concrete is poured into them to achieve stability.

    Slab pour
    The engineering company determines your slab classification in accordance with the soil report. In some instances there may be a need to increase the stiffness of the slab, which can be achieved by increasing the steel mesh size, and the amount of concrete used.

  • What factors do I need to assess before knocking down my current home?

    There are a number of things to look at when assessing your suitability for a Knockdown Rebuild.

    Planning regulations
    The first thing on your list should be a call to your local council to establish if there are any overlays (heritage or vegetation) affecting your land or alternatively you can access this information online.

    Street frontage and depth of block
    Keep in mind the size of your block when choosing a new home plan. In established areas, Council generally requires the setback of the principal frontage of your home to be the average of both of your neighbours. Should you wish to be further forward than this, a Report and Consent approval would be required to be obtained through Council. This process can commence post the completion of your tender appointment and the expected time frame of assessment is approximately 6 weeks.

    Setbacks
    All new dwellings need to comply with building regulations where minimum front, side and rear setbacks need to be met. Discuss these requirements with your Sales Consultant when considering your new home.

    Easements
    An easement is a legal right to use another’s land for a specific limited purpose. Easements can impact which designs will work on your block. This information can be obtained by contacting the owners of the easement (ie: council, water authorities) or from your Plan of Subdivision.

    Slope
    Porter Davis need to understand the gradient of your block to determine if it is suitable for construction. This can be done by arranging an initial site assessment through your Sales Consultant.

    Orientation
    When considering the position of your new house on your block, consider the orientation of your new home to maximise the amount of natural light you receive.

    Driveway position
    Keep in mind that if you wish to change the existing location of your crossover (driveway) you will need to obtain approval to do this directly with your Council.

    Drainage
    All sites require a legal point of discharge (LPOD) and a sewer tie within the property boundary for drainage prior to site start. In some cases in established areas, your existing LPOD may be unsatisfactory for a new dwelling. If LPOD is not within the boundary it is the client’s responsibility to ensure it is brought into the boundary. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the owner. Council will determine the satisfactory LPOD and Porter Davis will order this information prior to your tender appointment for presentation. Any additional construction required will also be determined at this point.

    Street access
    Take into account how accessible your street is for demolition and construction. Size of roads, schools in the area, overhead power lines and the requirement for traffic management (if you are on a busy road or in a difficult to access area) will need to be factored in.

    Power supply
    Porter Davis constructs all new dwellings with underground power. As your existing dwelling will have overhead power which will be abolished prior to your demolition, you will need to arrange the installation of an underground electricity pit through your provider. Please speak to a Porter Davis Consultant for more information.

    Neighbours
    Your neighbours may need to be engaged during the process as any objections down the track can lead to delays in your build time.

    Pool
    If you intend to install a pool down the track this will need to be discussed with Porter Davis as it may have a bearing on the house plan you proceed with and may impact on the cost your slab design. A minimum distance of 1800mm is required between your home and pool and if there is one existing, you will be required to install a hard pool cover to Australian Standards prior to construction commencing. Please discuss this in further detail at your tender appointment.

  • What does abolishment of services mean?

    This means organising the abolishment (not just disconnection) of all gas, electricity and telephone services. Demolition can not begin until all services have been removed from the property.

  • What do I need to consider before buying?

    What will fit on your block?
    This is what will ultimately guide your choice of home design, as even though you may love our Plaza Grange, your block may be too narrow to accommodate the width of the house. Ensure you check the depth, width and slope of the block against the dimensions of the house design you would like to build.
    Ensure you also check the dimensions of your block for setback requirements, easements or other conditions that will limit where on the block of land your house can be positioned.

    What is your budget?
    Another big one is budget. Make sure you’re not only factoring in the base cost of your new home, but all the associated loan and build costs, as well as costs for any upgrades or floor plan modifications.

    How many living areas do you need?
    How big is your family? Perhaps you need a kids zone separate to your entertaining area for when you have guests.

    How much bench space do you need?
    Does your family congregate in the kitchen? Do you need a lot of space when cooking?

    How many bedrooms?
    Are you planning on having more kids? Try to think about the functionality of the floor plan you have chosen – not just for right now but well into the future.

    How many bathrooms?
    Can the kids share a bathroom peacefully? What about when you have guests?

    Will you need a guest room?
    How often do guests come and stay? Does it need to be on the ground floor for elderly parents?

    Do you want split level living?
    Perhaps you feel the older kids need their own zoned bedroom and living areas.

  • What concessions will be available to me if I build with Porter Davis?

    As a first home buyer you might be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant scheme (FHOG), a Government assistance program designed to help you get into the property market. Incentives for people living in Victoria include a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for new homes valued up to $750,000 (or $20,000 if you’re in regional Victoria) as well as stamp duty concessions. Incentives for people living in Queensland include a $15,000 FHOG for eligible first home buyers who are buying or building a new home up to the value of $750,000 – including off-the-plan. Please check the Government website relevant to your state to assess your eligibility for this concession.

  • What building inspectors do Porter Davis provide?

    Quite apart from any independent building inspectors that you engage, to ensure complete peace of mind, Porter Davis voluntarily engages the services of BPI Group to provide three independent inspections throughout the course of construction.

    BPI's inspections are in addition to the  Building Certifier Inspections, Engineer Inspections & Local Council Inspections that are mandatory on your new home.

    Our Engineers inspect your Slab and our Building Certifier ensures the balance of the house is compliant with the relevant Australian Standards.

  • What building inspectors do Porter Davis provide?

    Quite apart from any independent building inspectors that you engage, to ensure complete peace of mind, Porter Davis voluntarily engages the services of BSS Group to provide thorough independent inspections throughout the course of construction. BSS is a Registered Building Practitioner with the Victorian Building Authority.

    BSS's inspections are in addition to the mandatory Registered Building Surveyor inspections.

    The Registered Building Surveyor (RBS) completes statutory inspections at slab, frame and completion stages. They will send to you the "pass" certificates of each of these stages and issue the occupancy permit for your home. The RBS is appointed by the customer and is independent of the builder.

  • What are the benefits of a KDRB?

    There are many benefits to deciding on a Knock Down Rebuild for your next home. A few of the main ones are as follows:

    • You can move into the dream home you’ve always wanted.
    • Continue living in the same suburb and street.
    • Keep your children at their current schools.
    • Stay close to the local shops, amenities and services you love.
    • Enjoy a brand new home more suited to your lifestyle and personal style.
    • Less maintenance required in a newer home.
    • More cost effective than a complicated and lengthy renovation to an older home.
    • Keep the equity in your land and avoid hefty stamp duty and selling costs.
    • Avoid restrictions and compromises associated with renovating.
    • Improve the energy efficiency of your home with a 6-star, or more, energy rating.
    • Potentially increase the value of your property when you’re ready to sell.
  • What are standard inclusions?

    Standard inclusions are those included in the base price of your home. You will have the option to upgrade many of these and should speak to a Sales Consultant if you wish to do so, alternatively you can see what upgrades are available at World of Style.

  • Site Costs

    Before building can commence we need to establish a level and stable block of land to ensure your home sits at the right level and that drainage, easements and neighbours foundations are protected. As a guide, the biggest impact to site costs will be fall of land and the soil conditions. Therefore site costs will vary from block to block, depending on the complexity of the work required.

  • Setbacks

    Setbacks are the controls that limit the footprint of your home and relate to all sides of your block (front, sides and rear). Setbacks also apply to building height, for example a single storey wall may be allowed closer to a boundary than a double storey wall.

  • Planning permit

    A planning permit authorises a change in the use of land and/or the development of land, if required by the municipal planning scheme. If a planning permit is required, the building permit cannot be issued until the planning permit has been issued, and must be consistent with the planning permit. What gets built must be consistent with the issued permits. The client is responsible for the application process and for any associated application fees.

  • Overshadowing

    This controls the limit of shadowing impact your home has on your neighbours yards.

  • Overlooking

    When building a house, particularly a two storey house, it is important to take into consideration the location of the windows and private open spaces of the adjoining houses.

  • Orientation

    Orientation is the positioning of a building in relation to seasonal variations in the sun and wind. Good orientation, taking into account your climate, can increase the energy efficiency of your home, making it more comfortable to live in and minimise your heating and cooling costs.

  • Niche

    A niche refers to a shallow recess in a wall, often used to presenting something like a TV and built-in joinery.

  • Lock up stage

    Means the stage when a home’s external wall cladding, roof covering, external doors and windows are fixed, thus closed off from the elements. This does not necessarily mean some of the lower storey roofed projections such as the garage, alfresco and porch will be completed.

  • Is there ongoing support after my build is completed?

    Yes. At the end of your build you will be provided with a New Home Information pack which details the services available to you, as well as manufacturer’s warranties. We provide a warranty inspection 12 months after settlement and your New Home Care Coordinator can be contacted at any time to discuss any concerns you may have. We encourage any issues or disputes to be communicated to us via tellus@porterdavis.com.au or 1300 799 105.

  • Is there ongoing support after my build is completed?

    Yes. At the end of your build you will be provided with a New Home Information pack which details the services available to you, as well as manufacturer’s warranties. We provide a link via your Porter Davis Customer Portal within 7 days after settlement. This will allow you add any items you wish to be considered for your 90 day maintenance claim. Your New Home Care Coordinator can be contacted at during business hours Monday to Friday to discuss any concerns you may have. We encourage any issues or disputes to be communicated to us via tellus@porterdavis.com.au or 1300 799 105.

  • Is the furniture in a display home ever for sale?

    Yes. When we close a display, the person who has purchased the actual display home has first choice, and we will then hold a sale on what’s left. You must attend on the day of the sale and arrange any transportation for purchases where required. Lists of sale items are not made available prior.

  • Is my new home under warranty?

    The construction of your new home will adhere to comprehensive coverage, 6 years 6 months warranty, in line with the QBCC’s Home Warranty Scheme. Should any structural or non-structural issues that are clearly the fault of the builder become apparent after your New Home Care Inspection, Porter Davis will do an assessment on these items and arrange for them to be fixed.

  • Is my new home under warranty?

    The construction of your new home will adhere to the industry-wide 7 year structural warranty and the 2 year non-structural warranty. Should any structural or non-structural issues that are clearly the fault of the builder become apparent after your New Home Care Inspection, Porter Davis will do an assessment on these items and arrange for them to be fixed.

  • Independent building inspectors

    How does Porter Davis deal with independent building inspectors that you engage?

    We recognise the role played by independent building inspection services during the construction of your new home.

    In keeping with our commitment to quality, we will respond formally to your independent building inspector provided they are suitably qualified and hold an appropriate QBCC Builders Licence.

    Licencing and registration of professionals ensures consistency and quality, and most importantly protects you as consumers. Some customers might elect to engage building inspectors who are not registered, licenced or appropriately qualified. We will continue to engage with those customers directly, openly and transparently.

    Should you or any representative you have engaged on your behalf require access to the site during the construction of your home, you must arrange access with your site supervisor each and every time. There is nothing more important at Porter Davis than Health and Safety and this is paramount on site for our employees, trades, suppliers and any other visitors to prevent injury and keep people safe.

  • Independent building inspectors

    How does Porter Davis deal with independent building inspectors that you engage?

    We recognise the role played by independent building inspection services during the construction of your new home.

    In keeping with our commitment to quality, we will respond formally to your independent building inspector provided they are a registered building practitioner, licenced engineer, or licenced building surveyor, and appropriately qualified.

    Licencing and registration of professionals ensures consistency and quality, and most importantly protects you as consumers. Some customers might elect to engage building inspectors who are not registered, licenced or appropriately qualified. We will continue to engage with those customers directly, openly and transparently.

    Should you or any representative you have engaged on your behalf require access to the site during the construction of your home, you must arrange access with your site supervisor each and every time. There is nothing more important at Porter Davis than Health and Safety and this is paramount on site for our employees, trades, suppliers and any other visitors to prevent injury and keep people safe.

    In view of Government guidelines and pursuant to our commitment to health and safety, during stage 4 Covid restrictions private inspectors must determine if they can attend site as a permitted worker and if so they also must meet all other Covid requirements. Any inspections must be coordinated through your site supervisor.

    Our dynamic customer portal provides status updates, documentation, photos and videos, so even if you can't be on site, our team can keep you informed of the progress.

  • If I see something in a display can I have it in my home?

    Yes. If it is in the same display home that you are asking for a quote on. All the items that are showcased in our displays (design elements or structural) are available in that particular house design. (Furniture, rug, prints, etc are excluded). Your sales consultant can add any additional items you have seen in the display home into your quote as per your request.

    Please note: Should you have seen a display enhancement or floor plan you like in one home and want this item or change applied to a different house design, you will need to speak to a sales consultant. Please be aware that this may not be feasible due to the structural differences between the two individual house designs.

  • If I live on a busy road do I need traffic management?

    Please be aware that restricted access blocks may incur additional charges due to the management of traffic if you are on a busy road, there are schools close by, or if your property is difficult to access.

  • If I buy in an estate, what considerations do I need to make?

    Estate Guidelines
    You need to understand these. They are rules put in place by the land developers to ensure that your asset is protected by controlling what build form is allowed within the estate. These guidelines vary from estate to estate and land developer. They could be something simple like every house in the street needs a wooden look garage door, or they can be more complex where you might like a certain type of façade but they won’t allow that type of façade in the estate. In other instances, a rule may be that you must have 3 different building materials used on the front (façade) of your home.
    Estate guidelines have to be met (not negotiable) and they can have a cost impact on your build if what you were initially proposing does not comply. You may end up having to pay additional money to add materials or change your façade selection to achieve compliance.
    Please note: These guidelines are determined by the land developers (not the builders) All house and land packages have already taken estate guidelines into account.

    Amenities
    Location is the key when selecting your desired estate and purchasing a block of land. Access to amenities will make all the difference to your lifestyle. How far away will the proposed shops, parks, schools and public transport be? You need to check this out with the land agent before you purchase.

    Location within the Estate
    Are parks or living close by to family and friends important? Locations near a park are sought after and blocks abutting them are in even more demand and come at a premium. Likewise, blocks with a view and those on the high side of a street often command higher prices. Be sure to consider the orientation of your lot and how this will relate to natural light for your indoor and outdoor areas.
    Are you looking at a corner block? Generally corner blocks will provide a greater sense of space and can also prove to be great value for money. Keep in mind however that there could be some additional build costs such as fencing, landscaping and façade extras to meet estate guidelines.
    Please note: Without any structures on a lot, even a poorly oriented block can look elevated and light filled. Ideally you should obtain an expert opinion on how your block’s exposure to the elements will affect the home you hope to build. Consider meeting with your builder on site.

  • I think I want to Knockdown Rebuild - where do I start?

    Once we’ve established that you’re in our build zone and your block has been deemed suitable for a KDRB, it’s time to decide on a design that fits both your lifestyle and your block. Porter Davis has a large range of quality double and single storey homes that have proven very popular with people looking to Knockdown and Rebuild. Every house plan, design option and façade treatment can be viewed on our website.

  • How much will my repayments be per week?

    This is something you’ll need to sit down and work out with your lender based on your total loan amount. There are loan repayment calculators online that can give a rough indication, but for specific and tailored financial advice please contact a finance professional.

  • How much of a deposit do I need?

    As a general rule, people aim to save 20% of the property price (excluding other fees). It means you can avoid paying costly Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) and you’ve got a great head start on paying off your loan. If you’ve got 5-10% saved, paying LMI is a small price to pay to crack into the property market. It’s also included in your loan repayments so that it’s spread out over the term of your loan.

    Please note: All financial advice is a general guide only and not an indication of your personal circumstances. Please contact a finance professional if you wish to receive tailored advice.

  • How long does the KDRB process usually take?

    The length of this process varies depending on the condition of your block, chosen home design and your council, so unfortunately there is not one answer for everyone. If you’d like more of an indication please speak to your Porter Davis Sales Consultant.

  • How do you choose land for your House and Land Packages?

    We choose the land most suited to the home design in order to maximise the house position on the block, sighting, functionality, value and to take advantage of the best possible location in an estate in regards to amenities.

  • How do I organise my New Home Care Inspection?

    New Home Care is a maintenance service that Porter Davis provides 12 months after handover of the home. This is designed to fix any minor defects which may become apparent after the house settles after handover. You will receive a phone call from the New Home Care team to arrange a comprehensive inspection of the home with a New Home Care Supervisor in 2-3 weeks time. Mon-Fri during business hours.

  • How do I make my block of land build ready?

    It’s important to make sure your block of land is maintained as to not delay any works once you have reached the construction stage. For your block to be build ready, you’ll need to make sure you clear anything that can get in the way or be deemed a hazard such as rubbish and unnecessary vegetation. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you should allocate to this, as unfortunately sometimes people can dump their waste on un-fenced blocks and if your land has been left for a while, it may be quite overgrown.

  • How do I know how much I can borrow?

    This is subjective and depends on your personal circumstances so there’s no one answer fits all. Income, living expenses and number of dependents are just a few factors that will influence your borrowing capacity. Organising pre-approval is a fantastic way to get an indication of your borrowing capacity and to help guide you when looking for a home within your price range.

    For tailored personal advice, please contact a finance professional.

  • How can I find out the colours, materials and finishes in a specific display home?

    Speak with the Sales Consultant at the display as they usually have this document on hand. In the event this is not the case, they can source specifications through our World of Style and Display teams for you.

  • How big should my block be?

    In new estates the average block size in Victoria is 448m2. Typically this lot size refers to a 14m x 32m lot. The width and depth of the lot will determine the type of house you can build. Ensure you check the width, depth and slope of the block against the dimensions of the house design you would like to build.

    Do you want a big garden/backyard or are you looking for something with a smaller footprint and less maintenance? Are you near parks? (this could impact how big your backyard needs to be). Do you want a double garage? Typically you will need a lot with a minimum width frontage of 12.5m to do this.

    Ensure you check the dimensions of the block for setback requirements, easements or other conditions that will limit where on the block of land your house can be positioned.

  • Home ranges explained

    Here at Porter Davis we have a multitude of home designs to ensure there’s something for everyone.

    For our Victorian customers we have…

    Prestige
    Our award winning Prestige range offers luxurious and distinctive home designs for those looking for sophisticated and contemporary features that they can tailor to reflect their own unique style. Experience a new level of opulence, with many of the high-end design features and dream finishes included as standard. Both single and double storey floor plans are available in this range, developed with elegant living top of mind.

    Lifestyle
    The ultimate in family living, our Lifestyle range has a deliberate focus on growing families including many features designed to complement and enhance today’s busy lifestyle. Offering home designs and finishes to ensure that the requirements of the modern family have been well considered, this range is truly a reflection of our customers’ physical and emotional needs. And with our luxury inclusions you have the opportunity to personalise your new Lifestyle home to reflect your personal style even further.

    Advantage
    Our Advantage range gives you the freedom and scope to select the key features and finishes that matter most to you. As our most diversified range there’s home designs to suit everyone, and the great price means you don’t miss out on the designer touches!

    Smart Living
    The smarter way to build! We know how stressful the idea of a first build can be, which is why we created a range of home designs to help reduce anxiety amongst our First Home Buyers! We understand for a lot of people owning your own home may seem out of reach; The Smart Living range is about making your dream of home ownership a reality, with a choice of single and double storey house and land packages to optimise living space and suit your lifestyle.

    For our customers in Queensland we have...

    Prestige
    You will experience exceptional design and a new level of luxury. Our Prestige range includes many of the high-end design features and dream finishes as standard.

    Collection
    Our Collection range gives you the freedom and scope to select the key features and finishes that matter most to you. With a deliberate focus on growing families, our Collection range includes many features designed to compliment and enhance today’s busy lifestyle.

  • HIA Contract

    Industry-wide standard building contract prepared by the Housing Industry Association (HIA). It sets out terms and conditions, obligations for both parties, period for completion, contract price, payment schedule and a process for dealing with variations. It is a legal and enforceable document.

  • Frame stage

    Means the stage when a home’s wall frames and roof trusses are completed. This often excludes window and door frame installation, and the construction of any lower story roofed projection such as a garage, alfresco, external projections or porch. The reason for this is due to some more practical build methods Porter Davis undertake, especially related to roof framing for the garage whereby the garage boundary wall often needs to be constructed first before the garage roof frame can finish being built onto it.

  • Fixing stage

    Means the stage when all internal cladding, architraves, skirting, doors, cabinets and cupboards of a home are fitted and fixed in position. This will often exclude items like stone benchtops, baths, basins, sinks, troughs and cupboard shelving however, as they can run the risk of getting damaged as the remainder of construction works are undertaken.

  • Exposed aggregate

    Exposed aggregate is a decorative method of finishing concrete perfect for pathways, outdoor entertaining areas, pool surroundings and driveways; created by removing the surface layer of the smooth concrete with a high pressure wash when freshly curing to expose the aggregate within the concrete mix.

  • Easement

    An easement is a legal right to use another’s land for a specific limited purpose. Easements can impact which designs will work on your block. This information can be obtained by contacting the owners of the easement (ie: council, water authorities) or from your Plan of Subdivision.

  • Double-glazing

    A double-glazed window (also known as Insulated Glass) is commonly made up of two panes of glass and is a great choice for someone looking to conserve energy with the added benefit of minimising noise.

  • Does my KDRB include landscaping?

    No, landscaping and fencing is not included.

  • Do you have Feng Shui home designs?

    We have several Feng Shui floor plan options that can be chosen on various designs across our ranges – dependent on factors like size and layout. To find out if these options are available in your desired home please speak to a Sales Consultant.

  • Do you have a First Home Buyer range?

    Porter Davis have several product options designed with our first home buyers in mind:

    Smart Living
    The Porter Davis Smart Living range is our most affordable range of designer homes. This range is exclusive to our house and land packages, whilst also having the opportunity of a custom (house without land) package. There are limited selectable options available to add onto your Smart Living home, including a set of pre-designed colour scheme options hand-crafted by our interior design team at World of Style.

    Townhomes
    These are low maintenance homes with functional, well thought out floor plans. With anywhere between 2-4 bedrooms, they are spacious, include everything you need to move in and are all at a great price point.

    Porter Davis Real Estate
    These properties are ready to move into in 90 days or less. They’re good for buyers who are leaning towards an established home but still like the idea of something brand new.

  • Do I need a specific kind of permit and how can I obtain this?

    There are a number of processes and permits that are necessary to obtain for your KDRB project. These include things like an Asset Protection Permit, a Demolition Permit and a Tree Permit should you wish to remove large trees. For full legal requirements, check with your local council and discuss in detail with your Porter Davis Consultant.

  • Do I need a septic tank?

    This is generally only necessary for rural builds where a sewer connection has not provided by the developer or Council.

  • Do I have to have downpipes to the front of my facade?

    Depending on your house type and any modifications that you may make, this could be the case due to design regulations.

  • Do I get insurance during my build?

    What is covered
    During the period of construction, Porter Davis will put a public liability insurance policy in place for the construction site. This policy covers the Builder and Owner for liability for physical loss, destruction or damage to the building works we are undertaking, as well as the goods and building materials kept on your site as described in your Contract documents.

    What is not covered
    Whilst Porter Davis is in charge of the construction site during the period of construction, our policies do not cover the Owner for any loss of their own personal property kept on the construction site during the period of construction. Owners personal items should be removed from the site prior to commencement of construction as any personal items left on site during construction are left at the Owners risk.

    This information is outlined in the H.I.A. Plain English Contract which is a document you will sign at your Contract Appointment.

  • Conveyancing

    Conveyancing is the legal process undertaken to arrange a transfer of ownership of land or property. A conveyancer or lawyer is the legal representative who will facilitate the transfer process from the seller to the buyer.

  • Contract drawings

    Contract Drawings are provided at the Contract Appointment, showing a full set of client specific drawings, including upgrades/variations to the standard plans. Items listed in the Fixed Price Tender document will be reflected on the drawings for Client approval.

  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

    The Community Infrastructure Levy is a one off fee, payable to the relevant Local Government. The levy covers one off set up costs of services in new estates such as street lighting, parks etc. The Community Infrastructure Levy is the responsibility of the Client as they are the purchaser of land in that particular municipality. Often we are unable to obtain a Building Permit until the CIL has been paid in full.

  • Can we use our own tradies?

    Only contracted suppliers and subcontractors can work on our homes but once the home is considered complete then it’s all yours! The reason for this is that all builders aim to provide a complete design and build service for their clients so will have rules around using unlicensed contractors, relatives or other tradespeople. This is also because of their responsibility to maintain a certain quality of work and reputation and for liability reasons. (Current Statutory requirements hold builders responsible for all structural issues and therefore we can not partially complete a home).

  • Can I purchase a display home?

    Yes, we usually put our display homes on the market after 3 months and then we rent them back under a 2-3 year lease agreement however, this is dependent on the length of the display village being open and our need for exposure in that area. For further details on our display home sales, please contact our display team at displays@porterdavis.com.au

  • Can I extend my garage?

    This is dependent upon block size and house type. Please speak to a Sales Consultant to determine if this is possible for your desired design and lot.

  • Can I access my home during construction?

    Yes but only via a scheduled appointment with your Site Supervisor. Building sites can be potentially dangerous and this is covered in your HIA Contract and relevant OH&S regulations. Technically, you require a white card in order to enter a domestic building site but when accompanied by a qualified Porter Davis Site Supervisor this is acceptable and you are not putting yourself or family at risk.

  • Bulkhead

    This refers to a section of ceiling with different heights. This is typically used to conceal services or to hide changes in ceiling heights however, it’s also a stylish feature that you can incorporate throughout your kitchen or bathroom.

  • Building Variation (BV)

    A Building Variation is an amendment to the contract to correct, delete or add items shown in the original documentation including contract and Post Contract Variations.

    A Building Variation is usually raised once the job has gone to site and construction has commenced. It is used to document any corrections or changes that may be necessary to be made on site.

  • Building permit

    A building permit authorises the construction of a building or structure if it complies with the relevant building regulations. These cover things like the siting of dwellings, protection of adjoining properties during construction, structural adequacy, light, ventilation and drainage.

    Porter Davis Homes handles this process and is responsible for the associated application fees for the owner and applies to have a building permit issued through an independent Building Surveyor. A copy of the building permit will be supplied to you for your records.

  • Building period

    The days calculated and presented in the HIA contract. It includes the Porter Davis completion guarantee, any additional days added due to Client variations, 10 days for inclement weather and 28 days for the Christmas period.

  • Building envelope

    Building envelopes are designated areas on a property which all building work must be contained. Property owners will not be permitted to build structures outside these areas unless written approval is obtained from the local council.

  • Base stage

    Means the ground floor concrete slab is completed. (Excluding any site works for drainage, retaining walls, landscaping, paths, driveways and/or backfilling soil around the perimeter of the slab)

  • BAL Rating

    A BAL rating measures the severity of a building’s potential exposure to fire, and this rating dictates both the construction methods and materials used in bushfire prone areas. Government legislation ensures every block of land is classified for a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL).

  • Acoustic batts

    A sound-insulating material that can be used to soundproof walls and ceilings.