Tips for building a new home

First Home buyer advice 3

Mark Bryson - Thursday, March 19, 2015

I had some clients come to me to discuss their first home requirements over the weekend nothing out of the ordinary there I thought. Over the next few days I found them a great block of land in the Mernda Villages estate and I priced an Onella18 Berstan home on the site and fixed the price no more to pay. I then sent the details to the client who replied back with a much lower price with a major volume Melbourne home builder and the price was for a similar home design. The problem was the land the builder had quoted on had 2.5 metres of fill over it and this is where the issue will begin. The builder had stated a (fixed site cost allowance) problem being the allowance was well under the amount required engineering due to the fill. Unfortunately the first home buyer couple have proceeded with this builder and they will find out about it the hard way with thousands of extra costs coming their way. 
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Timber Feature walls

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A great way to cover an ugly area or create privacy in part of your garden is to introduce a timber slatted fence screen. These pre-made timber screens are readily available at your local hardware shop at a reasonable price and look amazing. 
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First Home Buyer Advice 2

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I recently was at a Developer Function talking with some other builders and they were expressing concern about a particular Melbourne home builder's dubious method of financing homes. They are promoting and advising First Homes Buyers to take out credit card debt as part deposits for their home loans. This practice is a very poor form of advice leading to many First Home Buyers being in financial hot water before they even move into their home 
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Bamboo pricing for new homes

Mark Bryson - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The cost of bamboo flooring is very similar to the cost of tiling with a quality floor tile. The benefits of bamboo in lieu of tiled floors are many.  
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Balcony design

Mark Bryson - Thursday, January 08, 2015

Many home designs fail to allow enough size to their balcony area rendering the area near unusable. A good size balcony can not only be a great useful living space but a great asset to your home. Positioning of the balcony is paramount to its usage and I like to design our homes with the balcony facing the North which allows the area to catch both morning and evening sun. 
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New home builder wall fail

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New home builder wall fail.
A client came in last week with a problem and with photos showing a failed retaining wall. I was asked by the client to inspect the wall and I found the builder had not installed any drain behind the wall. Another issue was the lack of crushed rock behind the wall and just earth was behind the wall. These two items are essential for the construction of a successful retaining wall. The crushed rock is used for several reasons easy flow of water to the drain and an ability to move unlike earth which just compacts over time. The drains are also required for the water to egress easily and be moved away from the wall. I wrote a report and the matter will be going to VCAT to get sorted out. 
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How much should a power point cost?

Mark Bryson - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Extra power points installed at construction time should be charged out at around $50 if installed at the right time during build. If the contractor is asked to install extra power points after the wall linings have been installed then there would be the added costs due to the obstacles and extra time involved.  
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New home builder with a difference.

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I have notices lately while looking over our sites in Melbourne there are many builders not finishing their porch entries to their new homes.  What they are leaving in most cases is just concrete which is unsightly and certainly not a finished product.  We offer our clients as a standard finish a small deck or tiling and find this a much better finish instead of the roar concrete left by most builders. 
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Retirement home living with Berstan Homes

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stop don’t buy into a retirement village without looking into the facts about them. A client came to me last week and explained how some friends of hers had purchased a home in a retirement village and the costs were very high. Some of the fees are as follows site fee for having your home on their property. A 30 year lease was offered and at the end of that period the lease would need to be renegotiated. The homes offered were portable style homes similar to cabins you would find in a caravan park. Site management fees that increased yearly and common areas that were all to be maintained at another cost. Basically not a very good deal at all and no equity in the cabin what so ever. The cabin would be more of a liability than an asset. At Berstan Homes we offer a home and land package combination without any fees other than rates and energy use. All properties have their own title and are located near shopping centres and public transport. The properties are designed with easy maintenance in mind. Enjoyable easy care gardens, timber decked areas, stainless steel appliances including dish washer, gas ducted heating and quality floor coverings. These great properties are available in Mernda, Wollert and Craigieburn. Cost of these great value packages are all around $310k. 
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Polished concrete floors

Mark Bryson - Wednesday, November 12, 2014



Many feel that polished concrete flooring is expensive this is not true the costs are very similar to quality porcelain floor tiles. There are many advantages to having a polished concrete floor instead of tiled floors. There are no grouted joints to clean and very easy to clean in comparison to tiled floors. There are an amazing range of colours to choose from and the process is about the same as for tiled floors time wise 
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