Frequently Asked Questions
Tap or Click to read the answers below.
How long does it take to build a home ?
Our building time frames are 32 weeks for a single storey house and 36 weeks for a double storey. There is also a period of 8 to 12 weeks prior to construction starting where the council & certifier approvals process takes place. This period is also used by customers to finalise their bank loans. If your contract includes landscaping, it will add another 3 weeks to the construction time.
How much money does it cost to obtain a quote or tender ?
We provide a free quotation with up to two revisions.
What is the fee to start the process once we accept the quotation ?
There is a $1,900 commencement fee that locks in your price and enables us to draw the plans for your new house.
Do you provide finance on your homes?
Yes we do, in fact our finance options are among the most competitive in Sydney for first home buyers and investors. You can see if you’re eligible with this quick online check here.
Are there any hidden costs ?
Kaplan do not have tricky fine print or hidden and unknown charges. We quote all items that are required for us to build the home you select and we cap the price. We also clearly describe and advise of any items that are not included that are relevant to you or your home construction. Many builders will try to charge extra unknown and undetermined fees to their customers in the thousands of dollars after they have signed contracts. These are for essential items like removing excess excavated soils after excavating the site and after drilling piers or digging plumbing trenches. They can charge for additional concrete slab engineering or additional pier drilling as well. We include all of that and more in the quote we provide.
Why do Kaplan say Capped Price and not Fixed Price ?
We say capped price because many builders are now abusing the term “fixed price” by fixing the price only to a certain extent. They use tricks like stating “fixed price site costs” on their quote and then in fine print they make restrictions to how many metres of concrete piering or what type of slab class design they will do or how many tonnes of excess soil they will remove from the site. We say capped because we cap the price and not the work involved. The work still must be done to make the home meet the engineering standards, therefore they will charge you additional and exorbitant fees to do that essential work, knowing that you must pay the fee to complete the home.
Am I allowed to change or customise the standard Kaplan designs ?
You can make your home bigger or smaller, keep the same size and move walls and doors or simply swap room locations, as long as the changes are allowed with the design constraints. We love our designs and have designed them to be feasible, practical, furnishable and great value for money but we also understand and respect that our customers all have differing needs and requirements. In short, changes are allowed but its dependent on the house design and the land. Please contact us to discuss any changes you’d like with our building consultants.
Can you design a fully custom home for me and build it?
Unfortunately no, we are no longer providing this service due to the length of time it takes to finalise custom designs.
Do you have dual living designs?
Yes we have designs with attached granny flats and even full sized paired home designs. You can see our current dual living designs here.
What are the differences between duplex, dual occupancy and dual living houses?
The exact definitions of these terms vary around Australia, but in Sydney these terms mean:
Duplex – two full size homes attached and strata subdivided or torrens title subdivided. Duplexes almost always require council DA and can take a long time to be approved.
Dual living – A full size home with a granny flat attached or detached on one block of land without strata or subdivision allowed.
Dual occupancy – two full size homes on one block that can be strata subdivided or can exist on just one title without subdivision.
And just to confuse everybody, ‘dual living’ can be a blanket term for all three.
What is a CDC building approval ?
CDC stands for Complying Development Certificate and it is an alternative certificate of approval to build a new home via NSW State Legislation instead of your local council rules. If your land is eligible for this type of approval like most land in new subdivision estates, the approval to build process can often be completed within about three weeks if the design complies with all the rules and regulations of the state legislation. It is generally a private certifier that will assess the building plans and advise of any changes they may require before issuing the approval. CDC rules are the same throughout the state of NSW and although now becoming complex, they generally remain consistent. So if you are building in Marsden Park north west of Sydney, the same rules apply to land in Gledswood Hills in the south west area of Sydney and in a different council area.
What is a DA approval ?
DA stands for Development Application. For housing it is the approval to develop a specific design on a block of land via submitting an application to council for the design. This process can take between two months and twelve months or more depending on which council and town planner is assessing the DA and how busy they are as well as all the local councils’ own set of rules and regulations for building within your specific street and area. Every council has a different set of rules to each other and they even have differing rules between streets and suburbs in their own council areas. If the development application if approved, then there is still a construction certificate to be applied for. The construction certificate provides approval for the technical aspects and specifications of the building.
Who looks after and manages the CDC or DA process ?
Kaplan will manage this process and the cost is included within the quote. Kaplan Homes will identify the best method that suits your home design and submit an application to either the council for a DA or a private certifier for CDC approval. DA is only applied for when the home design does not comply with CDC. Some special projects like duplexes, dual occupancies and/or difficult councils will require additional fees and works. Kaplan will always include or advise of these possibilities upfront on the quotation so there are no hidden costs.