In these uncertain times, some people may be hesitant to embark on their largest investment: building a new home.
With the global COVID pandemic still affecting us, high building costs, supply chain issues, and recent reports of large builders in other states experiencing financial difficulties, it is understandable that there are legitimate concerns about engaging and/or proceeding with a builder at this time.
Home Owners Warranty
Firstly, it is important to note that building in NSW is very different to other states, particularly Victoria. In NSW it is mandatory for builders to provide Home Owners Warranty (HOW) insurance for any works over $20 000. This provides a safety net for homeowners in the event of a builder’s or contractor’s insolvency, death, disappearance or licence suspension where, the builder or contractor has failed to comply with an NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or Court money order obtained by the homeowner.
The insurer (icare HBCF) also assists homeowners with incomplete or defective residential building work where the builder or contractor is no longer able to meet their contractual obligations.
A builder must have a current Certificate of Eligibility from the insurer for the insurer to issue this insurance. This confirms that the builder or contractor's Eligibility Risk Manager has assessed and approved them. This Certificate of Eligibility is issued each year following an audit of the builder's cash reserves and building margins.
Hall & Hart has a current Certificate of Eligibility and complies with all requirements by applying and confirming the issue of this insurance prior to our customers signing a building contract and paying their deposit.
For more information, please refer to icare NSW
Further, Hall & Harts payment schedule is different to many other builders. Most (predominantly large project) builders have you commit by signing a contract and paying a large deposit (5% or greater) very early on in the process usually prior to any detailed design or compliance work being completed. This can mean you are potentially "locked in" with a large financial commitment, which can be problematic when significant design and compliance issues arise, frequently resulting in large cost increases or major compromises to designs and finishes.
Hall & Hart, on the other hand, only charges fees as you progress to fund reports and services as they are required. Because these payments are staged, your exposure is reduced, and additional payments are made only upon completion of the previous stages. Hall & Hart only requires a signed contract and a deposit at the end of the design and planning process, just prior to the start of construction. Because the HOW insurance is in place prior to accepting your deposit, you are covered for any losses that may occur during the construction of your new home.
Providing Peace of Mind - The Hall & Hart Difference
Stories abound of ever escalating costs against budgets when designing & building a new home. For many designers and builders, the process starts with an intense focus on design and inclusions where unfortunately planning and compliance is an afterthought. Due to the ever-increasing regulations and complexities of different planning bodies and councils, compliance and planning issues can deliver some very significant cost increases and delays as they are uncovered.
Traditionally these have included issues such as flood management, acoustics, trees, bushfire, hydraulic design, heritage etc but lately are now involving, more stringent environmental (BASIX) and biodiversity.
While these issues are less exciting than diving into the thrill of home and interior design, Hall & Hart places them at the forefront of your design and construction journey with us. We identify and cost the compliance and planning requirements for your site by conducting a thorough survey and compliance review by qualified town planners and compliance professionals, ensuring that you can budget accordingly for the design of your new home.
By doing this our customers can have peace of mind that nasty surprises and cost increases are greatly minimised as we progress through your project.
Holistic Design Process
Another major reason for projects going over budget as they progress is a misalignment between the home's designers and eventual builders. The progression of your project in traditional and project building is from department to department. Typically, sales hands off to a designer or architect, then interior design, compliance and planning, and finally a QS and a builder. These numerous handoffs not only cause errors and delays, but they can also result in serious misalignments in expectation and execution typically resulting in rework and redesign.
From the start of your project with Hall & Hart, you will be working collaboratively with a holistic team of compliance and town planners, qualified, Senior designers, interior designers, estimators, drafting, and construction personnel. We will update pricing from real jobs that are currently being built as you design your home, ensuring accuracy and completeness. Our interior designers collaborate with our qualified Senior designers to deliver your design brief, and you will be assigned a dedicated Project Manager who will coordinate both our team and you the client, while completing much of the planning and approvals concurrently.
Further, by integrating construction and building professionals into your design we can value engineer the design before approvals and ensure most problems are eliminated while on paper ensuring a trouble-free build.
We do this using the same cloud-based project management tool used by many Fortune 500 companies to ensure frictionless collaboration.
Making a Difference One House at at Time
Hall & Hart is dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place "one house at a time."
We are committed to achieving nett zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, and despite having little control over the manufacture and distribution of construction materials, we continuously monitor and review carbon-reducing products, materials, and construction techniques, and incorporate them into our standards or selections where practical.
To fulfill this commitment, we will:
Integrate sustainable design and construction practices into all of our projects, with the goal of reducing energy consumption, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Recommend to our clients materials and products where practical and available that are low-carbon, renewable, and recyclable, and that have been sourced and manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner.
Use renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, to power our operations and our projects.
Partner with suppliers and contractors who share our commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction.
Monitor and track our carbon emissions and energy use, and set targets for continuous improvement.
Educate and engage our employees, clients, and stakeholders about the importance of sustainability and carbon reduction and encourage them to support and participate in our efforts.
We are excited to announce our partnership with Carbonhalo as we take steps towards reducing our carbon footprint. Carbonhalo is a business focussed on reducing the complexity of carbon accounting and streamlining the process of becoming carbon neutral. We value sustainability and environmental responsibility, we understand the urgent need to address the impact of our business on the environment. By partnering with Carbonhalo, we are taking proactive steps towards reducing our carbon emissions and minimising our impact on the planet.
We are committed to this goal, and we are confident that, by working together, we can make a positive impact on the environment and on the future of our planet.
Furthermore, we are a staunch supporter of the new 7 Star BASIX regulations, which will go into effect on October 1, 2023, and are in the process of rapidly developing our own in-house assessment/design capabilities and working with our suppliers to ensure that all H&H designs exceed the 7-star rating.
Systems & Processes
The design, planning and construction of a custom home is a very complex endeavour with an almost infinite number of variables. Critical to the success of any project is the seamless collaboration and co-ordination of the many experts and stakeholders involved in taking a design brief to a fully finished new home.
We at Hall & Hart are zealots for continuous improvement, where each project is meticulously broken down and reviewed for improvement. These insights, combined with cutting-edge systems and tools such as cloud computing, BIM, VR, and AI, have enabled us to revolutionise custom building, and we are aware of no other fully custom builder operating at our scale.
Extensive Management Expertise
Finally, Hall & Hart is managed by hands-on owners and directors who have a wealth of management experience both in the corporate and building sectors and is a business supported by integrated financial, planning and reporting systems typical of large corporates. (Learn more about our management team.)
During the recent home owners stimulus package that drove excessive demand across the whole industry, Hall & Hart took the unusual step of capping sales to minimise the impact of resourcing constraints being felt by the industry at present. We are a business that is continuing to grow with strong foundations and a high level of optimism for a post COVID world.