The Construction process

The Construction Process

Storybook are not builders and they do not provide any management or supervision of the actual construction process. The Builder or Owner builder must provide this role; accordingly, they need to engage all the subcontractor tradespeople themselves.

Builders of course are familiar with engaging their tradespeople, but how does the Owner builder do it? Storybook will provide you with a budget for each individual trade and where we have the information the names and contact numbers for tradespeople that you can contact that have been successfully engaged by previous clients. You can of course as you wish arrange several quotations from the many available other local trades as well to feel that you’ve got the best prices and people. The entire building industry in Australia works essentially using the subcontract system , thousands and thousands of tradespeople are available , so , the trades that you cannot obtain from our list or the recommendations from suppliers or others in or outside of the building industry are easily found using the many trade seeking services or surfing the net. Your budget guide allows you to check how prices quoted are on track with budget or if adjustments need to be made up or down .


These are the main trades that need to be engaged for standard Storybook construction.

  • Carpenter
  • Concreter
  • Roofer
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Plasterer
  • Tiler
  • Painter (most of our Owner builder clients do their own painting)


The carpenter is often the first trade to be engaged. Storybook homes have a high degree of carpentry. Where site preparation requires more than just a site scrape the Carpenter is a good choice to be there during site works and most can recommend the most economical way to proceed using machine operators that they have worked with before (experience shows that engaging machine operators on an hourly rate and float fee usually works out cheaper than an overall quote). They are the one who will do the house set out and determine required levels and the exact location of any site cuts. Check that your carpenter has experience in this area and that they can determine the type of machinery required for the job in hand. Your carpenter will be fully involved in the Lock Up construction and return to complete the carpentry at the internal fixing stage (doors / architraves etc.) Your carpenter will call for the inspections by the building surveyor who has been appointed during the permit process. Many carpentry teams regularly do work for our clients over many years and have a good understanding of Storybook architecture, they are therefore a good choice to consider, if they are in range of your area you can check out their availability and seek a quotation.



Where your design is partly or fully constructed on a concrete slab, we recommend that as soon as Storybook can supply you with the working drawings and engineering that you arrange your quotes. Simply hand the information Storybook provide to the Concreter and he will have what he needs. Usually if only minor site works are required his quote will include the site preparation. The slab is a very competitive area of construction so it’s usual to seek a few quotes. The aim is that your Concreter will be ready to go when the permit is issued.


The Storybook construction budget sets out electrical and plumbing estimates at the working drawings stage so clients can start discussions and arrange quotations with these trades early. Although most of their work is done post lock up there are two areas where they may be required when the construction starts. The electrician can provide temporary power supply to a permanent position saving the cost of a hired temporary power supply. With concrete slab construction the plumber will be required to install in slab wastes for showers, toilets etc.



Arranging the roofer quotation is easy because Storybook supply the entire roofing, flashings, screws etc.., so it’s just a labour only quote. Many roofers regularly install roofing for our clients and are familiar with the Storybook complicated roofs and the Storybook method of estimating labour costs. In many cases simply a phone call to a roofer on the Storybook list of trades previously used by our clients is all that’s necessary to arrange a quotation.

NOTE. The above five trades will see your home built to lock-up stage. Before the issue of permits the vast majority of our owner builder clients have already engaged them all.



The plaster quotation is best left until lock-up stage is reached so the plasterer can properly determine the job by direct measuring. Plastering is usually a supply and fix trade and often also includes the installation of insulation. It is also highly competitive and subject to widely varying quotes. As a general principal the cheapest quotes seem to be obtained as you get closer to the job. To assist in your analysis of a quote you have received Storybook presents the plaster estimate in a fragmented way, that is the cost of plaster / associated products and insulation, and separately the labour to hang the plaster sheets, install insulation and complete the stopping and sanding. Of course, before installation of plaster your already engaged electrician and plumber will return to complete the in wall rough ins etc. Remember to take a photo of all walls and ceilings just before plaster is installed for future reference.


Tiling of bathrooms and kitchen happen when the home is approaching completion. Tiler’s usually also provide the service of the waterproofing of wet areas prior to tiling so when obtaining quotes include the waterproofing also. Your Storybook budget for tiling sets out the extent of and cost allowance of tiles and the cost per square meter for labour of floor and wall laying.



Whether you engage a registered builder or choose Owner Building, to manifest your vision you should choose all the fixtures and fittings yourself, that’s how you get the exact look you are after. Everything you see plays a role in the feel and perception of quality in the finished home. The Storybook budget sets out the allowances for all these items so that you can see how much you can spend to stay on target, buy within the budget and you stay on budget. Hunt out the bargains, they are out there and with the internet they are so much easier to find today. The frustrating thing about a budget though is that you can always see more expensive items that you prefer, so it’s worth it to put in the effort to seek just as good alternatives cheaper. Read the sections, “help yourself to savings “and “be your own interior designer “for tips on budget control and how you can get a great result cheaper.