Why does my cantilevered balcony have steel in the top of the slab?

The reason for the top steel is that the cantilevered balcony has the majority of the bending moment in the top portion of the slab. Whilst the rest of your first floor suspended slab has a majority of the reinforcing steel in the bottom of the slab, commonly your cantilevered balcony will have the reverse setup, totally normal.

What is concrete cancer and why is it so bad? Is there a cure?

Concrete cancer occurs when the reinforcing steel has corroded to the extent that it is expanding. This imparts tensile stresses into the surrounding concrete and cracks the concrete. The more concrete that crumbles and spalls off, the more exposed the remaining concrete is to water ingress and the cycle continues. Concrete cancer in a structure is quite serious but can in some cases be repaired or its progress stopped. This type of cancer sometimes has a cure.

My builder has put rusty reinforcing into my slab? Is this bad?

You may have noticed that the reinforcing bar or sheet mesh lying around your site uncovered is now going rusty and your builder is about to pour concrete on top. Generally, if the reinforcement was new when delivered and your builder is roughly on schedule, by the time its incorporated into the slab, the surface rust is minimal. There are experts in the industry who argue that the thin surface rust is actually beneficial to the bond between reinforcing bar and the cement in the concrete. Looking at it logically, concrete contains water anyway and contact with the reinforcing will happen regardless.
Long term saturation of the reinforcing due to inadequate cover, cracking or submersion is a more likely precursor to concrete cancer.

What is Builders Warranty Insurance, do I need it? How does it work?

Builders Warranty Insurance in NSW has now been replaced by the Home Building Compensation Fund. It is a fund that has been set up so that should a Builder not complete a job due to Death, Bankruptcy or other reasons, the fund will pay the costs of completing the building or repairing the Builders mistakes. The fund then chases the Builder to recoup their costs (unless he has died).
All contracts with a value of over $20,000 need HBCF insurance by law

How much deposit do I need to pay my Builder?

The Department of Fair Trading has set the guidelines as 10% of the contract amount. Beware of Builders that charge greater than 10%

Ive bought my land and I want to build my own house, is it possible?

Everything is possible, and many people opt to build their home as an Owner-Builder. The advantages are that you have greater control over the process and you will know the ins and outs of the job. If you are considering doing it yourself to save money though, its not a great idea.
Builders have the experience, tools, networks and know-how to do the job and it will usually be a better quality finish at a lower overall cost than an Owner-Builder. I often feel that I pay too much at the dentist but by the time I buy a dentist chair, dentist drill and a good set of instruments, Im sure its going to be cheaper to let him do what he’s good at. And a better quality job as well.

I want to renovate my bathroom, do I need Council Permission or a DA?

Different councils throughout Sydney have different criteria and as a guide only (check with your local council), non-structural internal work will often be classed as exempt development and not require a Development Application. Obviously, check with your council and its always a good idea to give all your neighbours the heads-up that you will be commencing works so that the process goes smoothly.