Understanding Developer`s Requirements & Bushfire Requirements

Developer`s Requirements:

Whether you have purchased land or are currently looking to purchase land for your new home, you will potentially come across a lot of land estates, each offering different land sizes, prices and infrastructure.

Prices will vary based on location, availability, surrounding and proposed infrastructure.

Remember, these estates are being developed and constructed by various land developers. Each of these estates will have their differences and one of them is the developer’s requirements.

Developers requirements are specific requirements that have been set out for all the purchasers to follow when building their new home. These requirements are mandatory and are there to ensure the visual integrity of the development is not compromised.

You will find the developer`s requirements are outlined in a document which is usually referred to as “Estate Design Guidelines”

Depending on the Land Developer, these could be very simple requirements, but it is always best to read through the Design Guidelines and obtain an understanding of the expectations.

Not only is it important to understand what you can and cannot build in an estate, including colour palettes and style requirements, but also what potential added costs could be incurred during the building process to meet the guidelines.

Examples of some developer’s requirements:

Developer`s RequirementDescriptionEstimated Cost
Broadband / NBNProvision for services including conduits, a cabinet hub to the garage and cabling throughout the house for Internet Connection$1,950
Recycled WaterA separate water meter is installed to the property which connects to the toilet systems and additional garden taps$2,600
Rain Water TankA rainwater tank of either 2000 Litres or 3000 Litres connected to the toilet systems and a garden tap$3,200
Two or more Materials to
the Façade
A mixture of either Render / feature cladding and brickwork$1,500
Awning WindowsWind Out windows instead of sliding windows$650
450mm Eaves to the permitter of the RoofRoof Overhang of approx. 45cm which includes cement sheet lining to the underside$1,500
Low Profile Roof TilesA flat profiled roof tile in lieu of a standard profile$500
Low Profile Evaporative
Roof Tiles
A cooling unit which is contoured with the roof to reduce visibility$450
25 Degree Roof PitchIncrease in the overall angle of the roof from 22.50 Degrees which is a standard angle$550
Coloured Concrete
Colour-on or Colour through to a concrete driveway$3,500
Fencing RequirementsColourbond Panels or double sided Pailing fencing in lieu of standard Pailing fencing$1,500
Landscaping RequirementsFront Landscaping to be completed prior to moving into home$3,000

As you can see the above items can add up to a substantial amount of money.

These items are not included in the base price (starting price) of a home as each estate has different requirements.

Of course, all the items add value to the home, but the issue is knowing what you will need to spend and ensuring it fits within you budget.

Example of a customer who has a budget of $500,000

Scenario OneCostComment
Buys land for$300,000Estate with a few basic requirements
Selects a single storey home$190,000
Developers Requirements$7,000
Total Cost:$497,000Budget requirements achieved
Scenario TwoCostComment
Buys land for$300,000Estate with substantial requirements
Selects a single storey home$190,000
Developers requirements$19,000
Total Cost:$509,000Over Budget

As you can see, if you were to purchase the land in Scenario 2 you would potentially exceed your budget which means you may have to compromise on the home either by choosing a smaller home or alternatively removing some of the inclusions to reduce the price.

Bushfire Requirements (BAL):

Not buying near bushland? Don’t be fooled. Bushfire requirements can in many instances be required in homes which are being built within less the 25km of the CBD in areas where there is not a tree in site.

Firstly, let’s begin by explaining what Bushfire Requirements are. Effectively the government introduced the requirement due to the devastating bushfires in Victoria several years ago where lives were lost.

Land across Victoria is categorised in different levels of risk which is known as a BAL rating ( BAL – Bushfire Attack Level ). This is determined by the area and surrounding areas that may be effected by bushfires, land slopes, and surrounding buildings.

If you are buying in a new area which has a lot of surrounding land yet to be developed, you might fall in a category of BAL12.5. This is due to the fact of potential neighbouring grass fires spreading.

The rating will change as the area gets developed and the risk is reduced.

So, what does it mean to you if your land is in a bushfire area?

Your home will require additional works to be carried out to ensure it complies with the appropriate bush rating and a building permit can be issued. There are extra costs associated in the building process.

Examples of some of the additional work that ay be carried out include:

  • Sarking to the underside of the roof tiles
  • Upgrades windows & door frames
  • Upgraded entry & external doors
  • Flyscreens to all windows with aluminium mesh
  • Special seals to all external doors including the garage door
  • Special seals to solar hot water service panels
  • Upgraded roof vent from PVC to galvanise steel

This additional work will reduce the risk of embers getting into the structure of your home as a preventative measure.

Now, to put things into perspective, on an average sized single storey home ( approx. 22 squares), the cost to carry out the additional work can range from anywhere between $3,000 – $5,000.

This again is a considerable amount of money from your budget that you may not have been expecting.

Buying a lot in a bushfire zone could potentially restrict you from adding additional upgrades to your family home, if the extra costs have strained your budget.