Think like a builder. Act like a builder. - Owner Builder Club

Think like a builder. Act like a builder.

It’s time to get the site ready OBs 😃

So you're officially an Owner Builder, the quotes are in, you've got your team together, the extreme planning has been done now you're ready to break ground!

Here's some insight for this part of the process.

Ok Neil, what happens at this point in the build process?

You’ve got to do a preliminary site set-out, marked out on the ground ready for the excavator. A full set-out can be done once the excavation is complete however it’s possible a specialist will do the full set out prior to excavation.

The set-out sets out the perimeter area of the concrete slab or if a foundation is being poured, the set-out sets outside the brickwork.

Note: A building surveyor will not check the set-out. He only checks the set back from the boundary and performs the critical inspections.

It’s worth spending time with the excavator to discuss plan.

Who interprets the plan to set-out?

Ask your carpenter if he's confident with doing the set-out. Or, get someone local who specialises in set-outs.

Is it worth an owner builder getting a specialist to do it?

The set-out is one of the most important parts of the process.

If the set out is not done accurately, the house is not going to be accurate. Everything built on that set-out would be wrong. Slab, frame and roof will be wrong.

An owner builder who doesn’t know what he’s doing shouldn’t do it.

Can we get get clear on some terminology…

What does site cut mean? Excavation – cutting out the ground.

What’s a peg survey and where does that fit in? When you buy a block of land (or a house), your conveyancer will tell you to check your boundaries by doing a peg set out.

A building set-out is different to property survey set out.

Great, so what can go wrong at the set out stage?

Not correctly identifying the block – it happens.

Not setting out the block correctly – it happens.

Where there is no fence around a block (in estates) and survey pegs are used to identify the block but pegs have been moved.

The set-out is the most important part of the project! It has to be 110% accurate so it’s worth getting a check survey done (the boundary) by a land surveyor.

Land is measured on a horizontal plane and if a block is on a slope, knowing this is important.

To check a square, measure on the diagonal.

Always check, check and re-check!

A straight-to-the point Q&A that should get your head around one of the most important parts of the build process.

Until next time,

Happy researching, planning and building 😊