Budget, plan, prepare.

As January rolls around, it’s common for people to think about what they would like to achieve in the coming year. For some joining a gym or planning a holiday may be a priority. For others, a renovation, extension or new home might be something to work towards.

When deciding to embark on a building project, there are some aspects you may need to consider or undertake before construction work can commence;

Wants and Needs

Decide what it is you want and need from your building project. Do you require a certain number of bedrooms, living spaces or bathrooms? What items are must-haves and which are on the wish list?


How much money are you willing and able to spend to achieve your building project? It’s important to be realistic and clear about what you are able to spend or how much you can borrow to pay for the build.

If you’ve ever watched Grand Designs, you will often hear them speak of a “contingency” when building. Essentially, a contingency is a sum of money set aside to cover future unforeseen circumstances or changes along the way. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the build cost, on average around 10%. A contingency acts like a buffer during the project which may or may not need to be used along the way. It is recommended practice to plan with a contingency in place to help minimise financial risk, stress and delays when building.  More detailed breakdowns of building contingencies and cost planning can be found on the Australian Institute for Architects website.


Before getting too deep into any project, it’s always wise to do a bit of research. For example, if you are building to sell, we recommend discussing the financial projections with reputable, experienced real estate agents and/or accountants to ensure your dreams to build are financially viable. Alternatively, if you think a particular renovation to your home will add value, discuss this with a real estate agent or property valuer to ensure the property market would have the same opinion.


Many projects require council Development or Complying Development Approval in order for work to commence. This may mean engaging an architect to design and submit plans to council. Depending on the scope of works, A site survey may be required and possibly other supporting documentation from town or environmental planners. There are certain fees and charges payable at this point in order to obtain building approval. These differ depending on the type of Application. More information about the Approval Process can be found on the Sutherland Shire Council website.

Information about the Development Application Process in the Sutherland Shire:

Sutherland Shire Council Development Application Process.

Decks and Patios: Do I need Approval?

Sutherland Shire Council Decks and Patios

Is my development a Complying Development?

Sutherland Shire Council Complying Development


When you are ready to commence your building project you can engage a builder. Builders such as Twofold Building Projects are quality, experienced builders who are able to completely manage the entirety of your construction.


When it’s time to start building, you may need to prepare for the upcoming construction. This could mean packing and storing furniture or items, relocating within the home or moving into temporary accommodation throughout periods of major works or for the duration of the build. It’s important to make any necessary arrangements before commencing the building process and to calculate any of these costs into your budget and planning.

Depending on the type of construction, building certifiers or the council may need to issue a Construction Certificate before work may commence.


Sometimes, in order to go forwards, you must go backwards first. Particularly in a knock-down re-build project, it’s important to factor demolition costs into the project. Depending on the size and the era of the house, demolition costs can vary, particularly if asbestos is discovered during the process.

If a building project is on your horizon, contact Twofold Building Projects at any stage of your building journey. We are happy to discuss what may or may not be required for your project and can provide recommendations. Twofold Building Projects are complete home builders and are able to manage your build from the start until you move in.