frequently asked questions

Want to ask something from us?

We can create additional spaces for your family to enjoy, from stunning modern kitchens, to comfortable bedrooms, to exciting indoor and outdoor entertaining areas.

Our designs will complement your home with total consideration for your home’s period, place, and culture as well as your budget. We keep your family’s lifestyle in mind.

In Victoria, a builder is required to purchase domestic building insurance on your behalf for domestic building works valued at $16,000 or more.
Domestic building insurance provides cover to the homeowner where the building works is incomplete or defective. Please refer to the attached information sheet ‘What am I covered for’ for an overview and examples for what may be covered.
No. Cover will only be provided under your domestic building insurance policy if your builder has died, disappeared or become insolvent. If your Certificate of Insurance was issued after the 1 July 2015, it may also provide cover if your builder has failed to comply with the Tribunal or court order. For free advice about resolving building disputes, you can contact the building information line or seek the assistance of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV). DBDRV is an independent government agency that provides free services to help resolve domestic building disputes without the cost and time often associated with courts and tribunals, and has the power to issue dispute resolution orders to resolve disputes. Find out more about DBDRV at dbdrv.vic.gov.au or call the Building Information Line on 1300 557 559.
Check that the information on the certificate accurately reflects the building works being undertaken. To do this, check the builder name and the ABN/ACN on the certificate against the information on your building contract as illustrated on the back of the certificate. If you are satisfied the information is correct, file the certificate in a safe place. You may need this document if you need to lodge a claim with us. You will also need to pass on the certificate to any subsequent purchasers of the property. If the information on the certificate does not match your domestic building contract, please contact VMIA immediately.
The claim form is available for download via our website. To lodge a claim you will need to complete the form, attach the relevant supporting documentation and submit to VMIA.

Preliminaries (or ‘prelims’) provide a description of a project that allows the builder to assess the work required to formulate a scope and or a cost analysis.

Depending on what stage the client is at, some of the preliminary items required includes:

• Detailed and Contour survey

• Identification Survey

• Feasibility study

• Soil or geotechnical report

• Engaging of designer/architect to draw up a concept and

  subsequently detailed design

• Engineering design

• Town planning advice

• Other specialist consultant report

• Locating existing infrastructure within the site

• Cost analysis/Quoting

In the very early stages, ie: purchasing land, clients most likely will not have engaged a designer/architect and as such may engage Goycon pty Ltd to perform all tasks in the list. If the client has already got these documents in order, Goycon Pty Ltd may be required to review the documents and produce a quote for tender.

We get asked that a lot. How much per square meter?

The reality is, for a custom built project, there is no set rate. That’s because no two projects are ever the same, no site conditions are the same, and no clients are the same.

A square meterage rate can be useful at the outset when formulating a starting budget. If the client has X amount of budget, then the size of the building is approximately that divided by the rate. This rate needs to be verified by the builder by doing a detailed quote. More often the rate applied at the beginning of the design process is different to the ultimate cost. One reason four this can simply be effect of inflation during the planning process which is often longer than 12 months.

The cost of building in Victoria increases approximately %5 per year. 

A detailed quote requires the builder to fully understand the plan, the scope of work, site condition, and time constraint. Like building lego pieces, each component is priced accordingly before assembled to produce the final figure.

In order for a quote to be meaningful, it has to be accurate, contain clear and detailed information for both parties. An accurate quote takes a significant amount of time to prepare as each project is different in scope and site conditions.

Most builders who provide free quotes will not want to spend the time or effort. They can apply an unrealistic square meter rate to knock out the competition only to make up their margin by lowering standards or adding extras during the build. Too often the owner engages the lowest cost builder because it is hard to understand the quote. What sounds like a good deal in the beginning can end up more costly or the project just fails to achieve the desired outcome.

Our belief is that the entire process should be an enjoyable and exciting process with an absolute minimum of disruptions and surprises for the client.

A professional  service allows us to spend more time to investigate deeper. In particular for renovation work, multiple site visits and confirmation may be required. If we are willing to enter into an agreement with you, we are committed to producing a quality quote with all the scope assessed, unforeseeable items allowed.

If a major domestic building contract is signed, %100 of the costs incurred preparing a quote and consultation will be credited to your first progress payment.

If we are provided with accurate and detailed documentation, the quote produced will be precise. For a typical project, 4 week turn around can be expected.

On the other hand, if the document is lacking, the quoting process can be done in a couple of days. This is often the case if the client is seeking an estimate during the design process. A basic concept drawing can be used provided that the client understands accuracy will be limited to the information provided.

Ideally, a detailed set of architectural drawings(minimum 20 pg.s),  engineering design, soil test report, schedule of finishes and fixtures as well as detailed elevations for bathrooms, laundry and kitchen would be a basic minimum requirement.

The fee ranges between $500 to estimate a simple extension to $5000 for a fixed price quote for a complex new build,  (charged at an hourly rate of $90/hour+ GST)  depending on the complexity and size of the job.

For a custom build project over $1,000,000 it is normal practice to engage the service of a Quantity Survey (QS) and work of Bill of Quantities (BoQ) early in the design process. The main purpose of a BoQ is to itemize and define a project so that all tenderers are preparing their price and submission on the same information. It is not uncommon to find that the quotes from builders differ to the BoQ report, this can be due to:

• Tendering builder’s capacity and workload in their pipeline

• Quality of the trades that the builder employs

• General market conditions at the time of tender

• Builder’s different assessment of the project risk

Each builder has a different assessment to the project risk and applies a different methodology to run the project. Goycon pty ltd ensures all projects we deliver are tested through our rigorous quality assurance program before it is handed over. We have developed systems and procedures to allow a consistent level quality.

To make the quote/contract as accurate as possible, you need to define what exactly is going to be included down to details such as what light bulb you are going to use. Sometimes, that is not possible at the time of quoting or contracting. 

Recently builders have been forced to use PC and PS items in a contract due to the unpredictable price of certain building materials, and the availability at the time of ordering during the project. As global supply chains and economies stabilize this will improve.

Prime Cost Item (PC):

Is an allowance made in a tender or contract for the supply and delivery only of an item or items of material (e.g. taps, baths, light fittings etc.) that have not been selected at the time of tender or before the contract is signed or for which the Contractor was not able to provide a fixed price on entering the contract.

The Proprietor/Owner would normally make the final selection of the item, which is subject to a PC allowance.

Provisional Sum (PS):

Is an allowance made in a tender or contract for particular work which could not be finalized before tendering or signing a contract and which includes the total cost of the supply and installation (e.g. joinery, landscaping, air conditioning, rock removal).

Where Prime Cost Items (PC’s) and Provisional Sum (PS) allowances have to be shown in a tender or contract document, the amount shown should be inclusive of GST. e.g.:

• Tile supply allowance PC $50/m2 (inclusive of GST)

• Landscaping Provisional Sum $10,000 (inclusive of GST)

Unlike a variation, PC and PS are adjustments to a contract. If you want a water tight contract, it is better to have as little PC and PS as possible, making the builder carry all the risk of supplying the items.

If you want to share some of that risk, having an agreed PS or PC can work in your favor. A good example is site cut where it is difficult to work out how much soil will be excavate and carting off the excess spoil due to clean fill location, traffic conditions of the day.

This example shows agreed PS allowance of $10,000 (GST inc) and the total cost to cut the site in 3 different scenarios: Work is done less than the allowance at $8000, work is done as per allowance $10,000 and work is done for more than the allowance.


A survey which is required for the purpose of identifying existing buildings and improvements on a parcel of land is referred to as an Identification Survey or just Ident. It may only be undertaken by a Registered Surveyor.

It is always recommended to engage a Surveyor for an Ident survey when you are purchasing a property. Your solicitor will normally obtain an Ident report as a matter of course. He does so to protect you against any problems which can only be 

detected by a Surveyor. The Vendor Disclosure Legislation requires obligatory warranties and other statutory information from a vendor of the property. The Ident report can supply other required information and speed up the sale.

Through your Ident Survey you can be sure that you are not buying any problems that may make the property difficult to sell in the future or create anxiety with neighbors or public authorities before you even move in. More importantly, you are sure that you are buying the property that you have been shown and whether or not the property has any defects which may devalue it.

A Surveyor measures the site involved to determine the location of buildings on or adjacent to the land and any fences present. He will check for the existence of Easements (for drainage, etc.), Covenants and Restrictions on land use, and whether or not the subject land complies with the terms of these conditions. The Surveyor pays special attention to any encroachments by or upon the land or upon any Easements. In the instance of a residence the Surveyor will report on the distances of the walls or eaves and gutters from the side boundary of the land.

Source: Consulting surveyors NSW


There are a number of site features and levels required by architects and planners. A topographic survey is a vital component of a successful development application for any development of your land.

Features of general detail surveys include:

  • Levels & contours related to Australian Height Datum (AHD)
  • Tie into cadastral reference marks & plot approx boundary on o
  • plan
  • Field survey of site detail & features
  • Field location of visible services
  • Spot levels & contours over site
  • Detail of significant trees on site over 0.2 diameter trunk
  • Note of retaining walls, changes of grade etc onto adjoining
  • sites
  • Location of existing and adjoining houses/structures and floor
  • and apex levels
  • Pickup of road & kerb details at site to crown
  • Place site level datum

Dial before you dig searches

Projects involving excavation will require an assessment to find out what services are underground around your property. Common searches include:

  • Telecommunication location
  • Gas lines location
  • Sewer main and water supply lines
  • Storm water main
  • Underground electricity supply
  • Unavailability connection to the sewer main or sewer main,
  • Man hole located on your block
  • Unavailability of storm water main for legal point of discharge

   Final connection to your new house or renovation may require you as the account holder to engage directly with the retailer. This is most common for power and phone/data.

Part of the preliminary searches will involve extracting information from

council regarding your property. Most of these searches are done through

publicly available data. Goycon pty ltd can help you make sense of

the search result. We pay attention to these common constraints:

  • Zoning of your property
  • If the old house is protected if you are seeking to knockdown and
  • rebuild
  • If the property is affected by flood, or is in the overland flow path
  • If there are protected vegetation
  • Heritage listing
  • Bush fire zoning
  • Indicative contour of the site

The result will determine if we need to call on other specialist consultants such as a town planner, or hydraulic engineers.

The types of soil usually present under the top soil in land zoned for residential building can be split into two approximate groups – granular and clay. Quite often, the foundation soil is a mixture of both types. The general problems associated with soils having granular contents are usually caused by erosion. Clay soils are subject to saturation and swell/shrink problems.

Soil classification for a given area can be obtained by getting a geotechnical report (or soil test report). As most building suffering movement problems are founded on clay soils, there is an emphasis on classification of soils according to the amount of swell and shrinkage they experience with variation of water content. The table below is Table 2.1 from AS 2870, the Residential Slab and Footing Code.