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Advice Hub

Get the answers to your property development questions or view the latest industry news.

​Answers and advice for your next property development

Whether you’re considering your first development, or you’re a seasoned property developer, you’ll find practical advice, information and news in our Advice Hub, including frequently asked questions across a range of categories.

Frequently asked questions

Construction FAQs

What is a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)?

A Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) is a walkthrough inspection of the property or unit development with the supervisor, once the construction is completed. It is a chance to inspect every aspect of the property to note any outstanding items with the final product, so that the builder is able to rectify any issues before keys are handed over. The builder will rectify any outstanding items and a second PCI walk through will take place if requested.

Some people may contract an independent building inspector to do the PCI at the owner’s cost. If you are personally doing the PCI, take your time walking around the property and inspect everything.

The Ventura iD FAQ’s video contains tips on how to ensure nothing is overlooked.

Other tips to remember:

  • If unsure of anything during the PCI, ask the construction supervisor.
  • Invite a friend or family member to attend the PCI as they may pick up things you do not.
  • Check your addenda before the walk through to refresh yourself on what is included.

How Does My Electricity Get Connected?

An application is required for Western Power to install a Power Dome. Upon application, a Western Power MP number is issued to provide reference to any future queries.

If existing dwellings make part of the project, they must be connected to the new power dome or distribution board in accordance with Western Power regulations.

Multiple dwelling sites will require a distribution board either on a mini-pole, built into brickwork, or a freestanding approved cabinet.

Multiple dwelling sites may opt to have internal fuse boxes with connection to a main board as this may be a cheaper option.

On multiple dwelling sites, a strata body meter is required.

If multiple dwellings are being constructed it is possible the transformer supplying power to the area may need to be upgraded. This is due to the additional load being drawn by the new project. Western power will advise if this is a requirement and inform you of any additional cost for the upgrade.

If construction is adjacent to overhead power lines, protection may be required to ensure the safety of workers and the public. This is achieved by placing sleeves or “tiger tails” over the power lines.

The cost to provide electrical infrastructure may vary if:

  • Lots are not eligible for the subsidised connection fee.
  • An extension of the network is required to reach the subdivision.
  • The supply is required in an unserviced area.
  • You are installing heavy-duty or three-phase equipment.

Pre-Construction FAQs

What is a geotechnical report?

A geotechnical report is produced by an engineer to communicate the site conditions and what is required to make the site appropriate for the construction of new dwellings.

Some shires require a Geotechnical report to be conducted in order to receive a planning approval for multiple or grouped dwellings.

Recommendations are made by the engineer in regards to, building design and construction personnel. Site investigations for building design projects have the purpose of providing specific information on subsurface soil, rock and water conditions.

Interpretation of the site investigation information, by a geotechnical engineer, results in design and construction recommendations that should be included in the site-specific geotechnical report.

What is the property development approval process?

There are a number of approvals that are required in order for your property development project to commence. There may be a demolition license required, approvals for boundary walls, retaining, planning applications or building licenses.

Some of these approval forms can be found from various Local and State Government websites.

To receive the Building Permit the following approvals or licenses are required if applicable to the job:

  • Demolition license – to get this license the property is required to be vacated and the demolition company rat bait the premises.
  • Neighbours approval for boundary walls.
  • Neighbours approval for dropped footings.
  • Neighbours approval for retaining walls.
  • Neighbours approval for removal of existing fencing.
  • In addition to the Building permit approvals from Water Corporation and Western Power are required prior to the fob going to site.
  • Proof of ownership of the site is required before the builder can start construction. Either a copy of the settlement statement or title is sufficient.
  • Proof the project can be funded is the last approval required before the file can go to construction. Subject to how you’re funding the project, the Builder requires written confirmation from the lender that you have sufficient funds to cover the construction amount.
What are head works in the Property Development process?

Head works are a fee payable to the Water Corporation.

The head works contribution fee is a compulsory payment to the Water Corporation for the construction of additional dwellings on the building site in order to receive the building permit. A credit is given for the original dwelling, resulting in the fee being payable only for additional dwellings.

It is payable by anyone increasing the potential demand for water, waste or drainage services to an existing site in Western Australia.

The Water Corporation has standard fees for each additional dwelling that can found on the Water Corporation website.

On larger unit sites, it is recommended that you consult with your builder to determine the most economical outcome for the project.

Site FAQs

What is cut and fill earthworks in property development?

What are Earthworks?

Earthworks is the process of getting your block ready for construction. It is the site preparation that ensures that your properties will be built on firm ground and in the right place.

Find out more about all the Earthworks process here.

What is Cut and Fill?

Cut and fill is the name for the earthworks process that requires moving earth from one place to another to make the ground more level.

Cut and fill is required where a site is sloped either front to back, back to front or side to side.

How it’s done?

The ground is ‘cut’ into the high side and sand from this ‘cut’ is placed on the low side to ‘fill’. This creates a new sand pad level (SPL) on which the slab (or slabs in the case of multiple units) is placed.

By using materials already onsite, cut and fill can reduce the cost of site preparation.

Ventura iD cut and fill development sites to a finished floor level, as determined by the shire and Builder’s draftsperson.

Cut and fill includes a compaction and engineer’s certificate to ensure the sand pad is firm enough to build on.


 

What is panel and post retaining?

Why Retaining Walls?

If your neighbouring block is higher or lower than yours, or is a sloped block, you will need retaining walls. This is to ensure the higher block’s soil does not fall into the lower block and also helps prevent soil erosion.

Retaining walls can also be used for terracing and garden edging.

What is Panel and Post?

Panel and post is made of concrete and is the most common form of retaining wall due to the ease of installation and lower cost.

The posts are dropped into holes and secured. The panels are slotted in between to a maximum height of 1800mm.

 

What is stormwater disposal?

Stormwater disposal collects rainwater from catchment areas such as the roof and paving surrounding the dwelling. There are two types of stormwater disposal.

If the local council has provisions for connection into the shire stormwater system, it will be made a condition of the building permit that the builder is required to complete the connection. Generally, the local shire will require the owner to pay a contribution fee relating to the supply and installation of an approved spigot/s within the lot/s.

To retain stormwater on site an Engineer will design a proposed stormwater system which must be submitted and approved by the local shire. Soil conditions and the amount of paving will affect the design of the stormwater system and therefore the volume and size of the soak wells and therefore the price.

Ventura iD development

When do I need to box out existing limestone in my property development?

In areas where there is limestone, sometimes we will need to cut out the limestone and add sand between the slab and the top of the limestone.

What does access requirements during construction mean?

In order to begin construction of your property development a 3.8m wide x 3.0m high access clearing is required on your site.

Items that can interfere with this access include existing structures on the site, trees on the block and overhanging trees.

If the required access is not available when it comes the construction of your properties then additional costs involved with materials handling will apply.

 

Earthworks

 

 

What happens during Demolition to Adjoining Structures?

The demolition process can be a complicated process.

The demolition of adjoining structures may include:

  • The removal to asbestos fences, carports, patios, shed, consumer poles or retaining walls.
  • These items are not covered in the builder’s scope works, and must be outsourced to other companies that specialise in this area.

It is recommended that a specialist asbestos removal contractor be used to remove and dispose of any asbestos material.

Failure to correctly address all impending adjoining structures may cause delays in the building process and additional costs.

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