Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let's get started ...

You've seen in our previous posts (way back when) Our Old House.  We've chosen the Liberty 42 to be our new home. And M3tric0n is going to build it.  Now we need our old house demolished.

A few things need to be done, we never thought it would be this difficult and tedious.

Firstly, choosing a demolition company...

This was late February 2011. After a number of calls here, look at some websites there, exchange a few emails here and there, get the best price, we finally chose a demolition company.  They were not necessarily the cheapest, but we liked what we saw in the quote they sent us:

Scope of Works

  • Obtain demolition Permit
  • Supply Risk Assessment Audit and Clearance
  • Supply and erect temporary fencing as per WorkCover requirements
  • Remove & dispose of asbestos house eaves in accordance with Vict. Gov. Regs.
  • Demolish & remove house, including standard footings down to 500mm depth
  • Demolish & remove garage including standard footings down to 500mm
  • Remove and dispose of trees and vegetation as per client instructions
  • Remove and dispose of all concrete paths
  • Remove and dispose of concrete slab including standard footings down to 500mm
  • Demolish and remove front fence including standard footings
  • Clear block as discussed
Pretty standard quote, it is. But not all demolition companies would "Supply and erect temporary fencing". You may have to do that yourself, for some demolition companies. "Demolish & remove garage".  Seems standard, but this company actually came to have a look at what needs to be done. We have a separate/detached garage with the garage wall dividing mine and my neighbour's property. Actually significant, considering that this demolition company actually have to talk to our neighbour, ask their permission, and tell them that they are going to tear down the garage wall by hand with minimal impact to our neighbour's property. Good, eh? I like that. They got my business.

Demolition company sorted, what's next?

Secondly, Tree Removal...

Yes, demolition company will remove the trees. But if you live in an area where there's a VPO (Vegetation Protection Overlay), you're in for a nasty surprise.

We need to get a Town Planning Permit. To remove the trees.  And this is NOT a one-day process.
We will not go into details, but to cut a very long story short, if you need to get trees approved to be cut, here's what's required:
  1. Check yourself which trees are deemed "significant". Significant trees are (a) more than 10 metres in height, and (b) more than half a metre (.5m or 50cm or 500mm) in width.
  2. Tell the council that you have "significant" trees to be cut, and they'll send their arborist to confirm.
  3. The council will then advise you that you require a permit to cut down the trees.
  4. You would need to get an Arborist Report from a reputable, qualified and licensed arborist. Not just some dude who cuts down trees for a living. (Words of advice: arborists claim that they are not greenies or "tree-huggers", but they provide reports with regards to the height, width and health of trees. They will not "advice" to have trees cut down just because they are impacted by the building plan. They will only advice to have a tree cut down if the tree is unhealthy.)
  5. Apply for Town Planning Permit (Tree Removal) with the Arborist Report part of the submission.
  6. Now, if you are like us and all the trees that you need cut are significant and are of "excellent specimen of its kind", you may need to bring your most diplomatic self when applying for the permit.  You may need to "compromise".
We finally got our Tree Removal permit by early April.

Thirdly, Asset Protection Permit ... no brainer, just one trip to the Council office to get the permit paid and you're done.

Lastly, Power and Gas Abolishment ...

It's not enough that you get the power company to cut the electricity and the gas company to terminate the gas account.  Need the gas and electricity to be abolished. Meaning, we need to have the electric meter and the gas meter to be taken away by the suppliers. Taking away the meters means that the energy supplier is actually removing the (gas and electricity) supply to our property.  This takes between 2-3 weeks from requests submitted.

Water, no need. The water meter remains.

You may also need to have the sewer connection to be "capped and sealed". Work done by your local friendly plumber.

All requirements done. We're all set.  Let the demolition begin ...

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