Beware the Hidden Fees

The last couple of months have been an exhausting and expensive process to try and get this project underway. We have only just (April) received all the ticks in the right boxes to start our renovation. 

I blogged a little while ago on dropping $7K before our reno had even started - thinking naively that this would be the end of the unforeseen costs and we could get going - how very wrong I was indeed! 

The hoops we have had to jump through and the costs we have incurred over the past couple of months have been insane. Let me talk you through the start to end process to renovate your property (provided you're doing substantial work that will need council approval).

1. Have your block surveyed so an architect can start your plans - fork out around $900. Check.

2. Find an architect, design the house - fork out upwards of $1500. Check. 

3. Submit plans to ACTPLA (or your local council) - pay around $1800. Check. 

4. Wait for a few months. Check. Check. Check.

5. Consult an engineer regarding the structural integrity of the proposed dwelling - pay around $1100. Check. 

6. Find an energy assessor to give you an energy efficiency rating which must attain six or more in the ACT - around $500. Check.

7. Commission a Certifier to grant building approval and certify the correct completion of each stage - around $2500-$2750. Check.

8. Pay the government a fee of around 1% of your build cost or $3,800 for....I"m still trying to figure out what this is for - for us it cost us $2,350. Check.

9. Appoint a builder or have your partner apply for their owner builders license (Callum got his through ozob- he paid around $150 and another $238 application fee to ACTPLA (or your local council). Check. Wait four weeks for the local government to process this application. 

10. Invite the surveyors back around to peg out the site prior to your site cut - pay between $900 - $1200. Check.

SO if you're adding this up in your head as you read along you will by now have realised that we have spent almost $12,000 paying fees, contractors and jumping through red tape to start our renovation. Always consider these costs into your budget, especially if this is a flip for profit job. 

When we finally did get started with the garage site cut, our excavator almost dug up a gas line, so we are back to waiting on the government to come and move it so we can get going again. God knows how much this is going to cost us! 

Happy renovating! 

 As far as we got with the excavation out front, then we found a gas line!

As far as we got with the excavation out front, then we found a gas line!