Building a house is a complex process, so it’s only natural that you’ll have lots of questions! Below are the building questions we’ve been asked most often over the years. If you can’t find your answer here or you’d like to know more, please contact our friendly team. We’d love to hear from you.

How do I know if I’m choosing a reputable builder?

Great question! Unfortunately, the Northern Territory is rife with unqualified builders who deliver poor-quality buildings and even disappear mid-build, leaving home owners in financial and emotional disarray. Unfortunately, many home owners simply don’t know what to look for or what to ask. To help you pick a reputable builder and ensure a positive building experience, we’ve created a useful checklist: Ten Questions to Ask before You Engage a Builder. Print it off, get answers, and protect yourself.

Why is GreenSmart important?

GreenSmart homes deliver better results for both you and the environment. It’s not as straightforward as simply looking at important areas such as insulation, air flow, and waste reduction. GreenSmart also takes into account more complex concepts such as natural surveillance and ease of extension, to both reduce energy consumption and make your home more comfortable to live in. To ensure these benefits, look for a builder that is qualified to make recommendations regarding your options for GreenSmart. Your energy bills and the environment will thank you for it!

What impact do housing materials have?

Different materials have massive effects on the acoustics, cooling, air flow, strength, integrity, and the perspectives of space in your home. Your builder should offer a range of options in terms of insulation, wall types (both external and internal), different roof forms, and how to maximise the tropical value of your home (things like sunlight and air flow) depending on your home site.

Older properties seem to be cheaper than new homes in developing suburbs. Why is new better?

Ultimately, this is very much a personal choice, but most people prefer to live in a brand new home. New properties might seem more expensive at first glance, but they offer a higher quality of living and the latest in construction methods, building design, technology, and amenities. Ever-increasing land and building costs also mean each new project usually costs more than the last one.

Some other factors you should consider when weighing up new versus old:

  • The full tax benefits are only available on new builds, not existing homes.
  • By building a new home you’ll save thousands on government stamp duty, and possibly also legal costs and bank fees.
  • An older property will not come with warranties or guarantees, and will need upkeep and renovation before a new one – a significant expense.
  • As a home owner, it’s likely that you’ll have to make some compromises when choosing an existing home. A new home gives you an entirely blank slate, with endless possibilities. It’s difficult to put a price on the joy that comes from living in a home that’s been designed and built especially for you. Just ask our clients.
  • As an investor, you need to be mindful of the modern conveniences that tenants demand – things like open plan living, energy efficiency, and the level of community provided by newer areas.
What advantages are there in regards to stamp duty and construction?

Stamp duty is a Territory Government tax on the transfer of property and is charged in all Australian states. In the Northern Territory, the simple rule applies that if you purchase an established property, full stamp duty is payable on the total purchase price of the property. If you purchase a house and land package as a construction, however, you only pay stamp duty on the value of what physically exists at the time of purchase “ad valorem” (i.e. if construction has not commenced, you pay substantially less stamp duty). This saving is usually between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on how much of the construction has been completed when you purchase.

Ultimately, the earlier you buy the less stamp duty you’ll pay and the more you’ll save.

Can my contracted sale price be varied?

This depends solely on your builder’s contract of sale, so make sure your contracted sale price is fixed for the duration of your contract before you sign. The only variables in your contract should be a variation requested by law, or in the event of latent conditions – the latter of which concerns your site and not the construction of your home directly. A reputable builder will assess and estimate this prior to you signing your contract, ensuring you’re protected against any unexpected costs.

Can I buy a pre-built or half-built home from Killarney Homes?

Currently, we only offer construction with vacant land to completion. We prefer to build houses with this method as it’s consistent with our belief of matching houses to customers. This method also gives you significant stamp duty advantages, as discussed earlier.

Where do you build houses?

We build houses in Darwin, Palmerston, and Litchfield Shire. Most houses are built in Palmerston or the new area of Muirhead in the Northern suburbs, as the new suburbs are expanding rapidly there. More recently, Coolalinga is now also in the mix. If you’re looking to build outside these areas, we are able to do remote work. Please contact us to find out more.

Finally, it’s worth noting that our designs vary depending on whether you’re building in a rural or town location, as both have unique characteristics that we leverage for maximum efficiency and comfort. Make sure your builder has the expertise to take full advantage of your home site.

Do you build duplexes, units, and townhouses or commercial buildings?

In short, yes! As Licensed Building Practitioners, we’re able to carry out a wide range of residential and commercial works, and we have a large portfolio available on request. Please contact our sales team to discuss your development ideas further. 

Do you build pools?

Absolutely (this is the tropics after all!). Pools feature in around 50% of our homes, and most of our designs have been created with pools in mind, incorporating integrated living areas inside, outside, and poolside. There is a portfolio of pools at our display homes available for viewing.

Still have some questions? No problem, we’d love to answer them for you. Please contact us and we’ll be in touch promptly.

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