Integrity New Homes wish to share some important information about the changes that are coming to the National Construction Code (NCC). Some of these upcoming changes have been under discussion and development for the last decade.  

With new changes coming up, naturally, there is a concern that the cost of building new homes might go up dramatically.  The key thing to focus here is that the changes in NCC are aimed at creating new homes with better sustainability and livability. In simple terms, homes will be built to last longer. This, in our view, is a positive move.

In this article, we will share with you the key changes that are coming in NCC, how these changes will impact your home construction budget and outline the positive benefits of these changes.

The Key changes in a nutshell
There are four key changes to progress liveable housing solutions. These are:
1. Wider doorframes
2. No step access into the home
3. Increased space in the toilet and bathroom
4. Option for handrails to be included in bathroom/toilet

The context of the changes is that the government wants to see us live in our homes for longer time periods and we think that's brilliant. As the population continues to age and more strain is put on aged care, the move to ensure that new homes are built to be inhabited for as long as possible is a fantastic move by the government.
Not only will these changes assist the elderly, but also those with disabilities. Every key change improves the living conditions of those who may need assistance.

Wider doorframes
Details: A minimum of 820 mm clear width of the opening for the entrance door and doors to habitable rooms, sanitary compartment and laundry (where located) on that entry-level. The opening must be clear of the door leaf and door stops or rebates, but the door handle can encroach.
Wider doorframes will make our homes far more user-friendly at all stages in life and we believe that this change won't make a drastic impact on the budget for new home construction. Life gets easier for everyone with wider door frames and we are excited to see this implemented through our new builds.

No step access into the home
Details: A step-free path of travel from the boundary to the front or entrance door, which can incorporate either an access path or ramps including step ramps. Both must satisfy minimum width gradient requirements
This change to the construction code will see us get creative in how we build entranceways to ensure that no matter how you travel, you won't be impeded from entering an INH home.

Increased space in the toilet
Details: A toilet on the ground or entrance level with a minimum width of opposing walls on either side of the pan and 1.2m clear space to door swing in front of the pan. The minimum width must be measured between wall linings but skirtings and architraves etc. can encroach 
Creating more space for the entrance level toilet will increase costs, but smart design can ensure that this increase in cost is kept to a minimum.
This increase in space is a fantastic move to ensure that everyone at home can easily access and comfortably move around inside the toilets.

Option for handrails to be included in bathroom/toilet
Details: Reinforcing the framing surrounding the toilet, shower and bath, by methods such as nogging or sheeting, to enable future installation of grab rails. There are concessions where there is insufficient space in the room, or an opening encroaches on the area to be reinforced.
No one ever expects the need to use handrails when using the bathroom. But for old and injured folks or even others in significant life circumstances, it may be a necessity. Having your home prepared for such occasions will now be part of the construction code and homes will be prepared for any unexpected challenges life may throw at you or your family.

To sum up, INH Central West believes that the slight increase in cost that may happen due to the newly outlined NCC changes are acceptable considering that they may potentially increase the number of years that you get to live in your new home. Moreover, these amendments will increase the livability of your home from day one.

Feel free to speak to us about any questions about building your new home. We would love to start a conversation with you.