Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Charity and fundraising auctions for the Canberra community

Recommendations for good, reliable builder?

By NewCanberran - 25 February 2015 17

ask-riotact-default

I know there have been lots of comments regarding builders on the site (most advising that I should run to the hills in fear), but we have taken the plunge and we are building a house so I would love some feedback.

We are looking to build a sustainable, energy efficient, modern feel house and would like any recommendations on a good reliable builder if possible.

Does anyone know of Reliabuilt, run by Warwick? or Jigsaw constructions?

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
17 Responses to
Recommendations for good, reliable builder?
Elboy 7:30 pm 20 Jul 15

These guys are really good, http://www.mastro5design.com.au/
Ask for Pietro, 0413 133 362
They do everything and I would highly recommend them. They did some work on our house a while back. Really good bunch of guys, easy to deal with, reliable, honest and well priced.
They specialise in solar passive heating for new homes which ticks your energy efficient criteria.

Mess 12:48 pm 03 Jul 15

Future Building Company. Have done a number of things around our place and also for our parents in law. Well priced, reliable and quality projects.

Turbo25 9:40 pm 02 Jul 15

Check out http://www.beforeyoubuild.net.au . They can conduct due diligence on your intended builder before you sign a contract with them.

Kazzzzzzz 8:29 pm 05 Jun 15

And he’s done energy efficient homes before… He knows what’s involved!

Kazzzzzzz 8:28 pm 05 Jun 15

Look in to Exceptional Constructions. They did a fantastic job for us. V friendly. V honest. Pleasure to have around and trustworthy. We had an unexpectedly very positive experience!

zllauh 4:58 pm 29 Apr 15

Hi Mate,

If you are looking for sustainable, energy efficient? new home that does not look like the third house on the street I would reckon that you look into Mud Bricks as well – http://www.yourhome.gov.au/materials/mud-brick? . The houses made of mud bricks have a character of its own and have other benefits like Sound insulation?, ?Fire and vermin resistance? etc. Had visited one of my dads friends house in Nowra which was built using Mud Bricks , they had the personalised hand prints of the little kids. Apparently they are called Personalised mud bricks. The mob who did was http://www.mogomudbricks.com.au/? . When the money is saved up for the next house, I will surely be using Mud Bricks.

My 2 cents.

Maya123 2:01 pm 23 Mar 15

McGreggor said :

I would like to encourage you to touch base with Laros Technoligies if efficiency is a high priority

The most efficient building is one that is designed like an Esky, airtight and insulated. Thermal mass isn’t so much of a concern if you meet those first two requirements. Then include heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps and you have a world class home in terms of efficiency

If you havent heard of the concern of Passive House I strongly encourage you to learn of it so you have a full picture (it is much more than solar passive design!).

It is a voluntary building standard that far exceeds what section J of the building code merits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

Disclaimer – I have just started working at Laros Technoligies, we provide Passive House certified products and can assist on the design work as consultants.

ps thank you for the comment 66rainhailorshine99

Good suggestion that a person building a house learns about energy efficient building first.

The advantage of thermal mass (with insulation) is that you don’t need heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps. I live in a house that doesn’t need that. I have no air-conditioning and rarely heat. The mass keeps the temperature comfortably stable year round. The mass, as a side effect, also makes for a quieter house. The major disadvantage is that it can be hard to get a mobile phone signal.

McGreggor 1:20 pm 23 Mar 15

I would like to encourage you to touch base with Laros Technoligies if efficiency is a high priority

The most efficient building is one that is designed like an Esky, airtight and insulated. Thermal mass isn’t so much of a concern if you meet those first two requirements. Then include heat recovery ventilation and heat pumps and you have a world class home in terms of efficiency

If you havent heard of the concern of Passive House I strongly encourage you to learn of it so you have a full picture (it is much more than solar passive design!). It is a voluntary building standard that far exceeds what section J of the building code merits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

Disclaimer – I have just started working at Laros Technoligies, we provide Passive House certified products and can assist on the design work as consultants.

ps thank you for the comment 66rainhailorshine99

vintage123 12:58 pm 26 Feb 15

oh no, recommend you dont buy a block before investigating and quoting builders. we did and it was a disaster. lowest quote in canberra was 600k for a 12 square solar passive house, this was build cost only the land was 400k total required was 1million. needless to say we sold the block as quickly as we could and purchased existing for half the price for the twice the size one double the size land. new builds are waaayyy over priced in canberra.

Pete123 12:20 pm 26 Feb 15

You can’t go past Classic Constructions. I know they’re working on a home at the moment using Laros technologies, triple glazed windows, double wrapping system and more. They design homes from scratch and can deliver the best energy efficient options to suit any budget.

Maya123 9:58 am 26 Feb 15

MrPC said :

You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra, but that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately they’re too popular for their own good. Expect to wait a year to even get to the front of their queue.

Whoever you choose, the house will be compromised by Canberra’s tiny and poorly orientated blocks and our byzantine planning regulations. At least in other towns the blocks are big enough that you can tilt the house off-square so that you get a long wall of windows facing as close to solar north (about 12 degrees west of magnetic north) as is possible. Here your postage stamp sized lot forces you to build the house at a suboptimal angle, unless you paid extra for a block that’s well oriented.

“You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra”

I had a quick look at their site, but I couldn’t find what their internal walls are made from. Do you know? They need to have mass, such as concrete or brick to be really effective. Orientation and good insulation alone are not enough. In fact, they say on their site, “It is standard procedure for Jigsaw houses to use efficient electric appliances for space heating (small radiator panels)” If you need these heating panels your house is not built to high energy efficient levels. A house that is, and there are houses in Canberra that don’t need in built heating, don’t need “small radiator panels”.

Their are building firms and architects that do energy efficient houses in Canberra. See my previous post for examples. Do your research on what a truly energy efficient home is for a Canberra climate. Learn what makes a good double glazed window for example, and what many builders supply as standard might be the cheapest (and worse) that they can call a double glazed window. Check the gap between the glass, whether the frame has thermal breaks, type of glass, etc. Choose your own windows; don’t take the builders word for it (without proof) that they work well enough. A bad aluminium double glazed window without thermal breaks is no better than a single glazed wooden framed window for example. Check what the internal walls are made from, the insulation, etc.
Then after your house is designed correctly and built correctly from the right materials, look forward to needed no cooling, and most winter days no heating.

MrPC 11:39 pm 25 Feb 15

You mentioned Jigsaw Constructions. They’re pretty much the gold standard for energy efficiency in Canberra, but that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately they’re too popular for their own good. Expect to wait a year to even get to the front of their queue.

Whoever you choose, the house will be compromised by Canberra’s tiny and poorly orientated blocks and our byzantine planning regulations. At least in other towns the blocks are big enough that you can tilt the house off-square so that you get a long wall of windows facing as close to solar north (about 12 degrees west of magnetic north) as is possible. Here your postage stamp sized lot forces you to build the house at a suboptimal angle, unless you paid extra for a block that’s well oriented.

Maya123 2:14 pm 25 Feb 15

“We are looking to build a sustainable, energy efficient”

If you are looking to build this, in Canberra the house needs to have plenty of internal mass (Concrete/brick/stone, etc internal walls and floor), large north facing windows to all main rooms (such as lounge, dining and bedrooms). If a builder’s designs don’t have this, they are not building an energy efficient design for Canberra.
Doing a quick internet search, none of the homes mentioned here so far by you or others appear to be of energy efficient design.
Here’s one firm that does solar design. Not cheap though. Note the size of north facing windows. http://strineenvironments.com.au/
Perhaps speak to TT Architecture as well, and there would be others too I imagine. An energy efficient design in Canberra means no air conditioning is needed in summer and almost no heating in winter, if any, is needed. Any house failing this, is not really energy efficient, only maybe less worse than the average house.

Ezy 12:06 pm 25 Feb 15

Nick Rowe at NJR Homes is fantastic. His attention to detail, vision, passion and knowledge is something that is missing with a lot of other builders.

namci 11:38 am 25 Feb 15

Empire Homes are amazing! We built with them a couple of years ago and they also did an extension for a friend- cannot be faulted. Ian is fully qualified carpenter, as well as the builder, so he’s he knows his stuff. He was there every day, overseeing the entire process and kept us informed. We’ve seen friends homes built by the big companies and the quality doesn’t even compare to our home – and Ian never had to come back to fix anything! I think being a smaller company, the communication is a lot more open, they never seem bothered by our contstant questions.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site