New Home Landscaping
Uniq Spaces is up to date on all the latest trends in home improvement, repair, and renovation. Are you? We want to make your job easier by offering tips and advice that may help you avoid pratfalls and extra expenses. See our tips and advice before starting your next project.
Stormwater - What is it
Stormwater is a drainage systems used to collect and transfer rainwater to either storage areas for later use ( ie rainwater tanks ) or directed to the street by the use of PVC pipes.
In Residential and Commercial flow of the rainwater is typically off roofs, down drainpipes, through drainage pipes, into underground pipes or other drainage systems and eventually into mains stormwater discharge drains. Some houses also make use of storage systems like rainwater tanks - these are particularly useful and common in rural areas where access to the main water supply network is limited, or where water restrictions are in place.
Gravity fed systems - Drainage pipes are strategically positioned and angled so that the stormwater's fed down through to the drainage system using the pull of gravity. The sizes of the pipes will depend on how large an area rain is being collected from, and how intense the rain gets in your region.
Pump-based systems - Pumps might be necessary when your land doesn't provide a sufficient slope to allow gravity to do the job alone. Pumps are also often used in systems that incorporate rainwater tanks.
Stormwater discharge and harvesting - Large stormwater pipes and channels in populated areas transport stormwater directly into rivers, lakes (sometimes man-made) and into the sea.
It's becoming increasingly common to collect rain water for re-use - either in the garden, or treated for domestic use. Water restrictions in recent years, and a general push towards sustainability and self-sufficiency have led to a big increase in the number of people installing domestic tank systems, even if only to water their plants with.
Site Preparation ( excavation )
‘Site works’ describes the work required on your building site to prepare it for your home to be built, as well as the ongoing management of the building site. In effect, it’s all the work that’s carried out on the site that doesn’t directly involve putting up your house.
Good, effective site works are essential not just to ensuring that the build process runs along smoothly, but also to guarantee that you’ll have a house that’s well built, stable and secure.
The second aspect of siteworks is the work that needs to be done on the building site to ensure that your home can be built properly, that it’s built in the right place, and that it will be stable and secure.
This part of the process includes:
demolishing any existing structures (which also includes cutting off existing electricity or water supply and drainage services, protecting adjoining properties and removing waste)
testing the soil and structural engineering assessments
clearing the land
stump removal and grubbing
termiticides and other soil treatments
levelling or grading
cutting and filling the land
installing retaining walls if they’re needed
surveying and setting out where buildings will go
connecting water supplies, drainage and other necessary services
Preparing trenches for slab subfloors, or holes for pilings or stumps
Fencing and Retaining Walls
In terms of fencing and neighbouring properties, there are two basic types — a dividing fence and a boundary fence. A dividing fence is typically a fence that separates two privately owned properties, and is constructed along the common boundary line between the two. However, it can also be built off the boundary line when the land’s physical features prevent it (which makes the fence owned by whoever’s land it’s built in). The term doesn’t include a fence running along the boundary of a road — this is known as a boundary fence.
Retaining walls are built to support excavated or built-up earth. They are normally not a matter of joint responsibility for neighbours as they usually benefit one neighbour more than the other
A dividing fence isn’t just a line of wire, panels or posts either – it is anything that encloses an area of land, including a hedge, ditch, an embankment and even a creek, and it doesn’t have to extend along the entire boundary. It also includes cattle grids, gates or anything else that forms part of the enclosure
If a dividing fence is built on the common boundary line, it is equally owned by both adjoining neighbours. However, a fence or part of a fence built on one neighbour’s land is owned by that neighbour, even if the other neighbour helped pay for the fence. So if you are paying for half the cost of a fence, you should ensure it is built on the actual boundary line.
There should be a “sufficient” dividing fence between properties if an adjoining owner requests one, regardless of whether one or both pieces of land are empty.a “sufficient” dividing fence is between 0.5 and 1.8 metres high and is constructed of a “prescribed material,” including:
Wood, including timber palings and lattice panels
Metal panels or rods
A hedge or other barrier made from vegetation
Other material that fences are ordinarily constructed from.
If you are looking to build a dividing fence between your property and your neighbour’s, you need to give them what is called a “notice to fence.” This is a letter that should include details about the fence, how it will be built, and how much it will cost (including their half-contribution). You are required to obtain at least one quote (out of courtesy, apply for two), and if your neighbour believes the quotes are too expensive, they have the right to obtain their own quotes.
Neighbours usually contribute equally to the cost of building and maintaining a dividing fence. If issues arise, they usually need to be solved by the owners of both properties themselves. Rental tenants who have queries over dividing fences should contact their agent or property owner.
If one neighbour wants more work done than is necessary in terms of the fence being “sufficient”, they must pay the additional cost. For example, if your neighbour needs a higher fence to keep their dog safely housed on their property, they should pay the additional cost of labour and materials to build the fence to a height that is outside of your own “sufficient” needs.
Additionally, if an owner or someone they have allowed onto their property damages a fence (for example, people working on their property), they must restore the dividing fence to a reasonable standard. This includes taking into account the state of the fence before it was damaged. If they do not restore the fence, you can send them a notice to contribute for fencing work or get them to pay for urgent fencing work if necessary.
Concrete or Paving
First and foremost, the driveway needs to withstand the load of vehicles and provide easy access between the road and where the vehicle is stored. A driveway that will give way to the pressure of traffic can damage the property and car, and lead to increased maintenance costs; a driveway that makes it difficult to enter and exit the property can prove a daily hassle.
In addition to providing practical benefits, a driveway must be attractive to preserve the look and value of the property. After all, it does occupy a large portion of the property's frontage and plays a large role in forming people's impression of the house.
When considering the costs of installing a new driveway always factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. Some driveway materials are expensive to install, but require little by way of maintenance; others need ongoing maintenance to keep them looking their best.
Below you'll find articles on the materials most commonly used for driveways in Australia.