Shannon & Kami's story

A busy young couple who were looking to build. They needed help finding the right land and designing a home to suit their lifestyle.

This young couple were looking to build a home for the mid term (10 years), however both work long hours. Kami has a job that requires travelling around Perth and Shannon’s job requires him to work a combination of day and night shifts. Finding time to spend together, let alone discuss a new home, was tough. 

This was their first time building but they were keen to give it a go. They had loose ideas of what they wanted in a home – single storey, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, big outdoor entertaining area, lounge room, big kitchen, scullery, plus some other items. 

They didn’t have land at this point but had some ideas on where they wanted to live. Near the beach but not too far from the freeway due to Kami’s work being mobile. A location close to friends was also important. They wanted a green leafy established area, not in an estate.

Why they contacted IBA

Due to their busy lives, they wanted someone to make building easy by:

    • narrowing down areas and finding the right land.
    • designing a great home.
    • helping work out the right inclusions.
    • shortlisting builders.
    • negotiating on their behalf.
    • thinking of the things they hadn’t.
    • making sure it all goes smoothly

How IBA helped

During the first meeting with Shannon and Kami we:

    • discussed their ideas and shared some of our own.
    • went through what is involved with timeframes, budgets and payments.
    • explained the hidden costs and potential issues so there was no grey area.
    • discussed design options.
    • narrowed down areas for building.
    • began hunting for land.

After the first meeting we:

    • narrowed down a few areas, eventually finding a great block in Kardinya that would meet their home ideas and budget.
    • helped them negotiate a good price and then went about deigning the home.
    • went back and forth with design amendments until they were 100% happy with the home.
    • took it to some great builders,
    • negotiated the price on their behalf and recommend what we felt was the best option.
    • Kami and Shannon then signed up on their builder of choice and the house was off to a great start.

Ryan and Michelle's story

Busy couple living with two young boys in an established inner suburb of Perth. Undecided whether to build or renovate. 

Michelle and Ryan have two boys with the eldest a few years from being a teenager. Both parents work extremely long hours. Michelle as a business consultant and university lecturer and Ryan working for a major engineering firm. Outside of work, both are extremely active and the epitome of life-loving, busy people. 

Their life couldn’t be more full, add renovating to the mix and they just upped their game.

Ryan and Michelle lived in an old home on a good sized block and they were happy with the location but they had simply out grown out the home. Unsure, whether to renovate or build, they went down the track of getting some renovation ideas drawn up. This included the rearrangement of a few internal walls, new kitchen and bathroom and adding on an additional bedroom and bathroom. When they got the concept back they decided to get IBA in for some unbiased advice before proceeding any further.

Why they contacted IBA

Due to their busy lives, they wanted someone to make building easy by:

  • reviewing plans and providing clear feedback on whether their renovation was a good layout and if there were any suggestions to improve the design.
  • providing recommendations on what builder to go through and any other general advice.

How IBA helped

Over a series of meetings and discussions with Ryan and Michelle we:

  • viewed their current house and had a look at their plans and how they related to the exisiting house.
  • delved a little deeper to establish what they were trying to achieve from this renovation and what they were planning with the home in the long term.
  • came to the realisation that the mini renovation would just be putting a band-aid on a bigger issue and more work could have to be done to the home at a later date.
  • weighed up the option of building versus full renovations. Based on the home being old, with no major features and poor positioning on the block, building new was the clear choice.
  • put together some home ideas that would maximise the block and solar orientation, suit their lifestyle and provide a few wow items.
  • helped to source the right builder and price for the job.

Joshua and Amelia's story

Professional couple with 3 kids, love their location and weather board home, but are outgrowing it fast. They are keen to renovate and have even had plans drawn up. They now need to find a good builder within their budget.

Joshua and Emilia both have high profile jobs in mining, one as a Marketing Executive the other an Engineer. Their jobs are demanding and they have 3 wonderful kids that they balance their lives with. Their family commitments, as well as social engagements, have them stretched pretty thin.

They love their character home, its location and the sloping block allows for a great outlook.

They decided to approach an architect to get some plans created. The plans are awesome but Joshua and Emilia were nervous that the price would come in too expensive.

Why they contacted IBA

Joshua and Emilia had the plans and loved them but they wanted help in the following areas:

  • they were seeking someone to give them straight answers.
  • they wanted help identifying the right builder to approach.
  • independent advice on whether the builder they chose would be good and would deliver a quality home.
  • they wanted someone to take the reins of the project and keep it moving as their days were taken up with living their lives.
  • they also wanted to make sure they were getting a good deal.

How IBA helped

When we met with Joshua and Emilia at their house we:

  • reviewed the plans and asked them if they loved them, which they did.
  • identified some potential planning issues, and later put together a plan of attack.

Following our meeting we:

  • took the plans and spoke to a few builders about giving us a ballpark price, based on the drawings.
  • established that the plans were over the budget, which can sometimes happen. This is why at IBA we prefer to design internally as we know what things cost.
  • we chose the best builder option and had them over to the home to see how we could reduce the price to get a great home but on or closer to budget.
  • we broke down the home costs into sections to see how we could make it work.
  • signed off with a builder and we then addressed the potential planning issues.

Chris's story

Chris was eyeing a block in Leederville that he was thinking of developing but wasn’t sure of the potential. 

Chris was a single guy (at the time) who had a great job and was looking to invest some money in property. He was looking at doing a development but hadn’t done one before and needed some guidance. He was eyeing a block in Leederville and wasn’t sure how many homes he could fit on the block, what the hidden costs were or if it was good value and if he would get a good return for his money.

Chris wanted to maximise his return and be as risk free as possible.

Why they contacted IBA

Chris wanted unbiased advice on the following:

  • What money would he need to fund the project?
  • How many homes could he fit on the block?
  • What would the properties be worth if he sold them immediately after finishing the build?
  • What would the properties fetch if he rented them?
  • What were the hidden costs for the project?
  • How long would the project take?

How IBA helped

We sat down with Chris and discussed the following:

  • the full process and what was involved with a timeline.
  • what money is paid and when.
  • what the holding costs would be.
  • what the hidden costs would be.
  • how to maximise his resale.

Mike and Mel's story

Couple looking at building a home, they had met with the builder liked the salesperson and signed with them. However, they felt something wasn’t right.

Mike and Mel were thinking about building a home and went the usual route. They looked up some builders online, went to a few display homes, met with a few different builders. One of them was super friendly, a good laugh and made them feel comfortable. The home looked good (well so they thought) and they decided to pay a deposit of $2000 and get the home moving.  

Once they had signed with the salesperson, the communication dropped off and they started re-reading the plans, they noticed that items they thought were included in the home weren’t there. When they did get hold of their salesperson he claimed to have told them that this was the case.

Mike and Mel got a bit fed up and thought they would have a quick chat to us at IBA.

Why they contacted IBA

Mike and Mel were getting a bit fed up with their builder and thought they would have a quick chat to us at IBA to make sure everything was how it should be and that they were not heading for more mistakes. 

They also wanted to know if there was anything else they hadn’t allowed for and if the design they were sold was any good. So, they called IBA for a chat.

How IBA helped

We had a chat to Mike and Mel on the phone and asked them to send through their design.

We then called them and asked for a meeting. We explained the following:

  • the home they designed does not comply and has a tonne of issues.
  • we outlined these issues and showed solutions to fix them.
  • there were a lot of things not included in the quote and that the current home with everything added in would blow their budget.
  • how to redesign the home so it was more functional and also more cost effective without taking away from the home’s feel.
  • how they should approach the builder about either getting a refund or getting the plan redrawn and re-costed.

The people and scenarios on this page are real, however some of the names and locations have changed due to protecting peoples privacy. 

Single Storey build times

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Two storey build times

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What Our Clients Have to Say

Until I found Independent Building Advice I found the whole building process to be overwhelming - the knowledge we got from the tutorials gave us the confidence to build. The course being broken up into sections and available in the order we wanted allowed us to access the right information when we needed it and not too much information at once. The training was informative and easy to follow - and I referred back to when I needed it. Once you have decided to build, completing the tutorials Is invaluable. Even a year down the track the information is still there and so helpful.
Annie H
Building in Beeliar
We had signed up with a builder and everything was going great.
When we got the kitchen plans back, the builder had changed it and we hated it. They tried to push us to just accept it.
We were not sure what to do. Our friends suggested one thing but we were not sure. We reached out to Behan and the IBA crew. They redesigned the kitchen to work better within the builder’s requirements and then told us what to do and say.
Today we’re living in a kitchen we love thanks to IBA.
Kristy O
Building in Southern River
Behan brought 20+ years of being immersed in the home building industry to our project. From lifestyle considerations when choosing layouts and finishings to insightful knowledge about every stage of the process, his advice really helped us navigate the complexities of building - most importantly, knowing the motivations of the builder and when to ask the right questions.
Jerome L
Building in Balga
After we’d had our house designed and had chosen our builder we started getting advice from lots of sources and from friends & family. Most of this was conflicting or very confusing . Bringing Independent Building Advice in allowed us to focus back on what we wanted and also understand what was realistic. With their experience we were also able to include items we hadn’t even thought of and rearrange a few items that could have cost us thousands in variations during the build.
Andrew S
Building Kensington

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