Ideas and Inspiration

THE TOP 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RENOVATING

Alice Jones 

Hi there!  Welcome to the very first instalment of the brand new GRJ Homes blog, where we will share ideas & inspiration to help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to your property.

 Right now you’re possibly thinking along these lines…’a tradesman blogging?, surely not??’…or worse, you’re yawning & about to divert to another page...eek!

WAIT!!!

To clear a few things up before we get stuck into the fascinating stuff, my name is Alice & I am the other half (yes, some would say better) of GRJ Homes. I have the super important job of keeping YOU up to date with what is happening with all things building-wise through my husband Guy’s building company, GRJ Homes Pty Ltd.

We have the privilege of having some of the best resources on hand when it comes to MAKING YOUR BUILDING DREAM A REALITY, so whether you are looking to renovate or re-build, perhaps you are a first home buyer or investor, or like me, you may just LOVE all things informative & easy-to-understand when it comes to building, stick around & I will try and make this blog as interesting & relevant as I possibly can – and of course there will be some pretty pictures & helpful advice thrown in too.

Let’s kick things off with a biggie – THE TOP 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RENOVATING

It’s an exciting (and often quite daunting) time when you kick off a dream renovation to your property. Ideas and possibilities (not to mention paint colours & floor coverings) seem endless and there is a huge sense of ownership over the project. You want it to be perfect.

Read on.

A perfect project comes from perfect prep (homework basically). Without making you feel like you are back in high school & about to get detention because “the dog ate my homework/I left my bag on the bus Miss” it is vital to the outcome of your dream home renovation that you get a few things right from the get-go.

Number  1:  BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET…This is the singular most important aspect you need to have in place before commencing a renovation. Ideally you already have an idea of what you would like renovated & how you would like the finished room/house to look. By drawing up a budget of what you can realistically afford you are on the right foot from the start.  Speak with your banks mortgage/ loan manager to discuss what your options are in regards to borrowing the funds if required and ensure your new repayments will be practical if your borrowing against your existing mortgage.

Alternatively speak to your accountant or financial planner and ask them to help you out with an initial plan/proposal. Don’t have one? Chris from Headland Accountants is the man to see for all your financial Q&A’s.

Having a solid budget in place & avoiding the temptation to waiver from it (they are reallllly beautiful tiles though aren’t they…) will also ensure your principal contractor can work with you to get the best possible finish at a price you can afford (don’t sweat it if you can’t afford the soft closing toilet seat – no one will really notice in the long run!)

Summary – get realistic, informative, accurate financial advice & a project budget in place BEFORE commencing your renovation.

Number 2: CERTIFICATION, DRAWINGS, PLANS & COUNCIL APPROVAL…Prior to your chosen Builder drawing up a contract to commence works on your renovation, you will need to source any relevant documentation that applies to the works. These are usually in the form of Council Building Permits (see your local council for more information) or Certifications to commence Building/Renovations.

“State government regulations require that you obtain a building permit before starting on any building work, including renovations, alterations or additions, and before erecting retaining walls, carports or installing swimming pools.

A building certifier is responsible for assessing whether proposed building work complies with all relevant provisions of the Building Act and associated standards. The building certifier who issues the building permit must also carry out certain inspections to determine if the building work complies with the approval.

While a building certifier can provide general advice about compliance of building work with the legislation, they are not permitted to design the building or carry out any of the work. You should therefore get specialist advice on building applications from the appropriate design professionals.”    

You can also choose to enlist the services of a draftsman to assist with the nitty-gritty side of design layout & planning – lets face it, you don’t want to be left wishing you had, when too late you realise that wall that seemed like a good idea just doesn’t work in with the final finished design…oops (kind of a big deal!)

If you’re struggling to get your head around all this ‘technical’ stuff, relax…this is what we are here for. We are professionals at it, and we are on hand to do the running around/deal with the bureaucrats/ find the paper trail for you – so put your feet up & get back to thinking about those amazing floor coverings you saw last week…

Summary: Check, check & check again or… contact us to ensure all of your required documentation is in order BEFORE works commence. 

Which leads us to the third and final point to consider:

THE ALL IMPORTANT FINISHES OF INTERIORS & EXTERIORS…I am a bit (ok a lot) of a self proclaimed ‘finish junkie’. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a great finish on a project. By ‘finish’ I mean the well thought out design & execution of a floor covering/paint colour/tile job/window placement/bathroom design/outdoor living area…the list is endless & this is simply because so much of this part of a job comes down to the client, their personal tastes & how they wish their living space to ‘look’.

 I thrive on it. And it scares me a little too.

Choose well & your home will be a haven, somewhere you will be proud to sit & reflect on what an enjoyable & satisfying experience it was to renovate (no buying off the plans with this gem...YOU did it & it looks great!)…

Choose poorly & it will stare you in the face like…well a big ugly stare-y thing…day in, day out.

You better but on a brave (super smiley) face because you’re off to see your bank manager to ask for an overdraft to fix the orange & purple terracotta wall tiles, set off by the acid lime green floor & if any $$$ is left over, you may be able to fix the adjoining bathroom with pink & yellow polka dot features…(I understand that this is just my opinion & if you have chosen these colour combo’s for your renovation & they are working a treat, power to you!!)

Summary: Research, scour mags/designers blogs/home reno sites, entrust a honest soul with tastes similar to yours, spend lunch breaks/weekends/after hours colour matching & eliminating until you feel  10000% happy with your decisions & remember if it doesn’t ‘feel’ right, there is probably a good reason why.

So there you have it, 3 easy steps to consider that will hopefully save you time, money & possibly your sanity –

 I'd love to hear about your renovation experience, so please leave a comment below…and if you are thinking of getting the ball rolling (not to be confused with a swinging wrecking ball!) contact us today to discuss YOUR DREAM HOME RENOVATION.