Updates from our home builders in Murray Bridge

Design your home to reduce rising energy cost.

  • By JAC Homes
  • 30 Oct, 2017

House orientation and why it matters

Building a new home involves much more than just picking bricks and working out what room should go where - consideration for the orientation of your home on your site should be the utmost important priority when designing your home.
WHY? Well good orientation increases the energy efficiency of your home which in turn is both a huge step towards more sustainable housing, as well as a large reduction in the running cost of your home.  With rising energy costs once again a hot topic of discussion, it seems a logical step to optimise the location of your house on your site, especially considering that optimal house orientation costs you no more than a little additional upfront thinking.
Believe me I have lived in a home where all the windows were facing west, I was miserable in that house the summers were scorching the air conditioner struggled to make any impact and was always running at the highest setting. Winters were freezing.  I can tell you I did not last very long in that house.  Now I live in a house orientated to take advantage of the northly aspect, kept windows to a minimum on the east, no windows on the west, large verandahs to protect us from the hot summer sun but able to allow the low lying winter sun into the rooms, I increased the insulation and added double glazing to my windows, orientated the windows to catch the breezes, now I barely use an air-conditioner and the house is comfortable all year round.
So a well-designed, well orientated house is much more comfortable to live in during both summer and winter. In summer, a well orientated house is kept cool by minimising the heat gain into the house and capturing cooling breezes.  Whilst in winter, a well orientated house is kept warmer by allowing the winter sun into the house and preventing any heat loss.
By JAC Homes 30 Oct, 2017
Building a new home involves much more than just picking bricks and working out what room should go where - consideration for the orientation of your home on your site should be the utmost important priority when designing your home.
By JAC Homes 27 Oct, 2017
There was a comment from Deb on our Facebook page deb is half way through her build in actual fact her kitchen is not too far away.
By JAC Homes 11 Oct, 2017
So where do you start?  First of all you need to determine a budget, to do that you need to know all the little extras that creep in e.g. Cost of land, land valuations, legal fees, rates and taxes the list goes on, then you need to consider the size of your home and any extra cost associated with building your new home, earthworks, landscaping, furnishings, moving expenses.

Now you know your budget, choose your land, look out for any nasty surprises, slope, easement but also consider location, orientation or council requirements.

Now you are ready to build, set up a filing system for your research, make sure you understand everything that is in your quote or contract, is everything you need included and if they are have they been properly quoted or are they just an allowance.

Building a home is going to be one of the biggest financial commitments you can make so it really pays to do your homework and make sure that you have considered every aspect.

The more prepared you are the better your experience is going to be, and you will find the whole process enjoyable and exciting.

There are so many factors to consider lucky for you we have set up a comprehensive checklist to ensure that you haven't forgotten anything.

By JAC Homes 05 Oct, 2017

Practical, eco-friendly and comfortable is the trend for creating functional, pleasant and modern interiors.

Concentrating on families, love, relationships and work, which is the basis for creating welcoming spaces and improve the quality of the communication between people. Friendly rooms, which encourage people to act selflessly, happily and generously, but allow to save money and effort at the same time.

1. Coziness

Emphasis on reading nooks and small spaces for different tasks allows everyone to be united in one open space yet able to incorporate cozy zones. Beautiful and comfortable micro-zones fill homes allowing you to relax, unwind, and enjoy peaceful moments in style.

2. Modern color palette

Choose between a palette on the grey-scale or earthy tones and add interest with texture, muted tones, or where appropriate, a single pop of vibrant colour. The results will speak for themselves and your interiors will work for you for years to come.

3. Dark wood, cork, bright lights

Earthy tones and dark woods will also make a comeback. “Rosewood, Walnut, the tonal marbling effects of Mango Wood and Shou Sugi Ban charring techniques that result in a wonderful blackened surface effect.   Filled with wood and soft textiles combinations.

By JAC Homes 25 Sep, 2017

Before you sign your Domestic Building Contract you should make sure on a few key points to avoid disputes and costly mistakes.

  • Builders conducting work for new residential buildings must be licenced.  Licenced builders must also carry indemnity insurance which  covers you if work has not been completed or faulty work has not been rectified, or the builder dies, disappears or is declared bankrupt.

  • Next, find out how many years the home builders has been constructing homes with specifications similar to what you want. Having a contractor who has built homes similar to the one you want is most definitely a great advantage.

  • Make sure your home builder has the ability to build custom-designed home to ensure that everything goes according to your specifications, potential home builders must be flexible and accommodating. As with most endeavours, communication is vital. Your prospective builder should be upfront about their ability to meet your needs and work with you until they are able to turn your ideas into reality.

  • Knowing the procedures and sequence of events and what to expect from your builder is key to better communication with them. Having clear communication with you builder is crucial so find out what systems they have in place for effective communication.

  • Know that all cost associated with your build have been included.  The concrete slab and footings is critical to the strength and longevity of your home. Always ensure that what the salesperson tells you is true and correct. Your total price should include the slab and footings – not a TBA or Allowance – as this can add thousands to the contract price. Unfortunately some builders are in the practice of 'estimating' the design requirements of your slab when pricing, by categorising it as needing to be of the minimum requirement. Then after contracts are signed you find out that your concrete is going to cost you thousands more than you expected - which is not a very nice feeling. This is the reason that most ethical builders always have engineering and design details of your slab requirements before giving you a price to build your home. Whilst the cost of this is normally borne by you prior to signing a contract with a builder - it alleviates very expensive surprises down the track.

  • Avoid where possible “PC Items”, or “Allowance for….” or “Estimate only” or “No allowance” or “TBA” in your contracts. These are the source of many Domestic Building disputes and are often misunderstood. Occassionally some less reputable builders would underquote on price of a Domestic Builder Contract and thereafter seek unrealistic costs from the Owner.  It’s best to get to the bottom of things right away you should know exactly what the cost of your house will be. Ask them how much the whole project is going to cost and request a fixed price with as few “provisional sum” allowances as possible. This helps to avoid surprises and cost overruns along the way. Signing a contract you can’t get out of before you know the real cost can leave you open to being taken advantage of. Don’t risk it.

  • Make sure that the allocated supervisor working for your builder is fully focused on your project. You don’t want your builder and their trades spread too thinly, or it could affect the time-frame or quality of their workmanship. The more they are able to focus on your project, the better they’ll perform and the sooner your home gets completed.

  • Before signing the contract, make sure the home builders can provide a definite timeline indicating the home’s start and completion dates.

You can never be too prepared. You are making a large financial commitment, so get as much information as possible from the professionals and take your time comparing the pros and cons of each.

NEVER choose a builder simply because they are the cheapest. Remember – you get what you pay for.

If you want more information on what to do before signing a build contract then get your FREE - Building Checklist to ensure a positive building experience.

By JAC Homes 03 Jul, 2017
Do you know just how many houses a construction company is building at any given time?

Its all well and good to go to a big construction company because they have the numbers but have you asked them the question, how many houses do you have under construction? 50, 100 those numbers initially sound great "they have so many houses they must be a great company".

But then you do the numbers, the next question you need to ask is how many supervisors do they have? 1 for 30 homes maybe, now you got to use common sense here, 1 supervisor per 30 homes the houses maybe across 50km radius, that supervisor has to organise tradesmen for each of those houses, not only that the supervisor has to visit each house to ensure the tradesmen are doing what they are supposed to be doing, that supervisor has to get in their car and drive from site to site, now tell me how much time do you think that supervisor has to spend on each house.  This particular supervisor would struggle to get to a 1/3 of these houses in a day, alot can happen in a day.

A builder with low volume work can take the time necessary to inspect every house thoroughly to ensure everything is done correctly and that trades are where they should be, not only will you have a house that is built correctly but will be built on time.
By JAC Homes 28 Jul, 2016


Does the site need to be cut and if so how much cut and fill will you need will you need to remove soil or import soil and how much will this cost, if you cut will you need to install retaining walls. All of this can really add up and needs close consideration before purchasing your block.

Driveway access

where can you place your driveway, how close to the corner, are there trees in the way, do you need to cut the kerb, how will all of this affect the layout of your design.


Orientation of House

Ideally you will want your living areas facing North to get the best of energy efficiency, if you cannot then you will need to think of the design and how to make it work for passive solar heating. What are the council’s terms on setbacks these can differ vastly in certain areas.


Covenant requirements

Are there building envelopes to consider in regard to where exactly on the land your building can sit, some council also have requirements on this. Is there specific design requirements for that particular location, e.g. style of house, materials you can use, colours, design requirements, this list can be a very long one.


Soil quality

Anything from rock which will require a rock breaker to reactive soil that will need larger footings, the price can easily blow out and when building you will need to set aside funds for the inevitable, all of this cannot be determined until a soil sample is attained. Investigate what the land has been used for in the past as toxic soils can be an expensive issue to rectify.


Bushfire requirements

SA has strict bushfire requirements so you will need to check with your local council to see what classification your block comes under and what requirements you need to comply with that particular bushfire code.


Services and easements

Check to see if you have all the services and how far away they are, if you cannot find them then you will need to contact your local service provider to see if they are available for your land and if not how much it will cost to get them installed or what alternatives you can use, e.g. Water, power, phone, gas, sewer, NBN. Also are there easements on the land as you will not be able to build over that easement and is that easement only to service your needs or everyone else’s.


Land classification

Torrens title, the purchaser owns the land. Community or Strata Title You own land and house but any common property, e.g. driveways, services are maintained and handled by a community corporation. Other types are land classifications which may have special requirements, residential, rural residential, primary industry, commercial etc.



Take a good look around at who your neighbours will be. If you are near the river you need to know where the flood levels are and where you can build. Shape of the land will you need a special design, are there height restrictions. Privacy.


Conveyancers, Council and JAC Homes can help you with this, it really does pay to do your homework.

Are you looking for reputable home builders in Murray Bridge?Call 08 8531 2286 today to find out more.
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