The number of bad experiences associated with ‘off-the-plan’ developments are increasing – and this begs the question of why the alternative of a traditional and steadfast architect-driven process is not considered more seriously.
Rather than opting for the ‘spin’ generated by proponents of ‘off-the-plan’ apartments and townhouses, those seeking the promise of 21st century living with all its trappings and gadgets should seek the knowledge-based decision making offered by a traditional architectural service, according to Archicentre Australia.
The national architect’s advisory service is being contacted daily by people seeking advice regarding their decision to engage in the allure of an ‘off-the-plan’ apartment or townhouse.
Director Peter Georgiev says negative off-the-plan experiences have become a hot topic and concerns are increasing.
“The ‘display’ was compelling, the decision seemed ‘easy’, the deposit has been paid … and living the dream of a fabulous new apartment is imminent.
“Things start to get unsettling around the time of the first opportunity to assess the newly built entity … and then comes the time for settlement,” he says.
The conversation is eerily similar, he says, “customers have put down a deposit for a ‘dream future’ in a spanking new apartment close to the city, workplace, entertainment and major sporting facilities. Sometimes this also includes added benefits such as the seaside, park land, private schools or tertiary institutions.
“Often the enthusiasm is also for investment – looking after family members, old or young, or perhaps for superannuation.”
Peter Georgiev says Archicentre Australia raised concerns about the prevalence of ‘off-the-plan’ complaints last December, citing the reporting of these issues on TV’s “7.30” program.
“We have concerns about correct detailing of balcony floor levels and waterproofing. In time, these defects can and do affect the built fabric and inherent construction. In cases of timber framed construction, bottom plates of wall frames can deteriorate affecting wall stability – not to mention the stability of cantilevering balconies. In concrete framed buildings the problem is more intractable – particularly where balcony floor levels are at or higher than adjacent internal floor levels.
“Our assessments are also finding far too many showers that do not drain to waste, with step-less showers running backwards to adjacent carpeted or timber floating floors.”
“This pattern of complaint is reverberating in March 2018 and thus the warning is ever more relevant – ‘off-the-plan’ is a dangerous prospect.”
He highly recommends that before putting down a deposit, alternative methods of building procurement be considered. “While many of these will require additional effort, research and time, they can lead to decisions that impact far more positively on future living, investment and cost.
“The essential message is update yourselves with knowledge behind decision making rather than spin.”
For those caught in the web of an ‘off-the-plan’ deal he strongly recommends a pre-settlement assessment of the procured entity carried out by one of Archicentre Australia’s architects. While this describes a rear-guard action, it’s better than doing nothing.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
- See “Working with your Architect”.
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950