How To Find High-Quality Builder Home Renovation?
CategoriesHome Renovation

How To Find A High-Quality Builder For My Home Renovation?

How To Find High-Quality Builder Home Renovation?

When renovating your home, it is crucial that you choose a reliable, high-quality builder. The finished product is only as good as the builder you choose. 

Finding a good quality builder can be a daunting task. Getting the balance right between reliability and costs can be a delicate task to accomplish. 

It is hard to stick to a budget if you can’t rely on your builder to stick to the plan or the time table. So, how do you find a high-quality builder?

Look Within Your Community

Going with a local builder has its advantages. They live and conduct business within your community so they have a local reputation to uphold. They are more invested in doing a good job because everyone in the community knows them.

The work they do for you can make or break their reputation as a trustworthy and reliable local builder. Word of mouth and client reviews are vital to their success.

Other advantages of hiring locally are:

  • They are easy to find
  • Communication is easier since you know them
  • Their time on your site is not limited since they live within the area
  • They are knowledgeable of local planning rules
  • Easy access to local suppliers
  • They are part of the community fabric so they are least likely to abuse and take advantage of you
  • Better customer service

Ask For Referrals

A personal recommendation from your friends and family is one of the best ways to find an outstanding builder. Their first-hand experience with a company or a team is your guarantee that you are making the right choice. 

When you get referrals, take the time to visit the homes and other projects of the prospective builder. Go and check out their handiwork firsthand. There is no better assurance and guarantee of excellent work than seeing the finished product yourself.

How Find High-Quality Builder Home Renovation

Check Online

The internet is a vast source of information. Search online for reliable contractors within and around your area. Read their client reviews and verify them. Always do your due diligence when searching online. 

From there you can come up with a shortlist and start calling around for consultations and quotations. Talking to prospective builders personally will help you decide if they are the right fit for your renovation needs.

Verify Their Credentials

No matter how good a builder’s local and online reputation is, you can never be too careful. Always verify their credentials. Check their licenses, registration, and insurance.

Ascertain if they belong to any recognised Industry Associations such as the HIA (Housing Industry Association) or MBA (Master Builders Association).

Make sure the builder has the relevant building insurances and licenses. Does the builder have the necessary skills to complete your project?

For example, if you require a large scale project such as adding a second storey and internal renovations carried out, you would want to ensure the builder has successfully completed such projects.

Also, when it comes to properties with a heritage overlay, you would be best suited to finding a company that is well accomplished with period style extensions and renovations.

How Find High-Quality Builder Home Renovation

Next Steps

When you have made a shortlist of possible candidates, it is important to:

  • Make a detailed list of your renovation must-haves. Make sure that the builder can provide and deliver these.
  • Request for a comprehensive quote. Compare prices. Ask about their vendors and suppliers. Check for product quality and reputation. It is tempting to go with the lowest bidder but considering these other factors is invaluable.
  • Meet with potential contractors. The only way you will know it is a good fit is when you get to sit down, talk, and discuss your design ideas and renovation requirements.
  • Agree on costs. After getting a quotation, it is crucial that you go into details and agree on costs and a timeline for the build before you officially hire a builder. 

Important Questions to Ask Around:

  • Do they communicate regularly?
  • Are they polite and accommodating?
  • Was the project completed on time and on budget?
  • Were there any extra and hidden costs?
  • What are their labourers and tradesmen like?
  • Do they clean up the site after?

Unsure? Give us a call at Period Extensions today. We will take your design ideas and renovation requirements and bring them to life. Tell us what’s important to you and we will listen. Our mission is to make your renovation dreams come true.

Please call us at Period Extensions today on 03 9882 5255 to you can fill out our contact form. We’ll be more than happy to assist you.

White house surrounded by plants and trees
CategoriesHome Renovation

How to Renovate a Contemporary Home

While renovating a period home may be tricky enough, learning how to restore a contemporary home is a different matter altogether. That being said, how do you define ‘contemporary’? In recent guides and articles, we have looked at some of the more elaborate Australian period homes and styles which require specific attention.

However, if you are thinking of discussing the renovation of a contemporary property with an expert, there are a few specific points you should ideally keep in mind before discussions begin.

Why Are You Renovating?

This is a question you should be asking yourself early on. If a property is already considered modern, why would it need to be renovated?

  • The property may not have enough space for your needs, so you need to extend its profile to create more living space for you and your family.
  • The property may be in some disrepair and may need some TLC to bring it to a liveable and modern standard.

These are just a few reasons why people opt to renovate and extend a contemporary home. Naturally, Melbourne builders and those based elsewhere will always be happy to help. However, they will also be looking for clear motivations for your project.

Boosting Value and Liveability

White house surrounded by plants and trees

Let’s focus on this idea of increasing the value of a contemporary home. And, let’s also pair in this concept of liveability. What will it take to bring a home up to comfortable standards? It’s going to vary from property to property.

However, here are some general ideas and areas you and your luxury home builders can focus on at any point in the project. Once again – we must stress – you should never undertake property renovation on your own. It’s a painstaking process that needs the support of a seasoned professional!

  • If your focus is value, be aware that most opinions are made about a property from how it looks on the outside. That means renovating the facades, the windows, and any gardens.
  • Focus on low maintenance. That applies to the inside and outside of your home. Contemporary living is convenient and undemanding.  Make switches and facilities easy to access. Don’t over-complicate design touches or any fixtures and fittings.
  • Be smart about storage. That doesn’t mean installing rows and rows of cabinets. It means thinking big about hooks, compacted storage spaces, and more besides.  Contemporary storage is practical but not crowding.
  • Go neutral on the colour scheme. A contemporary home can be let down by garish or outlandish shades. Keep your paint neutral, and dress your walls in optional decoration.
  • Encourage natural light. Light plays a huge part in modern home design. Install plenty of windows, and let light flow through with ease.

Want to know more about how to make a contemporary home renovation work for you? Call our experts for support and advice on 03 9882 5255.

renovation floor plan
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

6 Traps to Avoid When Renovating a Period Home

Planning a period home renovation? Check out these 6 traps to avoid so that you get the home of your dreams.

1. Removing too much of a home’s character

Removing parts of a period home because they look like they’ve seen better days is usually not a good decision if they can be repaired or restored back to their former glory. It’s better to try to preserve the detail that you have as much as possible to keep the character that makes the period home.

2. Thinking that DIY is the way to go

We know that you’d love to get stuck in and do as much as you can on your project, but period home renovations are always more successful when a design/build team is in charge. This doesn’t mean you can’t do the odd job here and there, but the project will run more smoothly and on-time if you enlist help from professionals.

3. Not removing interior walls

Just because older homes had mostly walled off living spaces, doesn’t mean you need to keep it that way. Removing your kitchen and dining room walls (if able to do so) to create open areas that are more comfortable for families to live in.

home floor plan

4. Not doing your research

Understanding the characteristics of your particular period dream home is important so you can have a vision of how the end result is going to look. Do your research and find out all about the different design techniques and features that can be incorporated into your home.

5. Using cheap materials

Original period homes were built with the best quality materials available at the time, and there just wasn’t the cheap knock offs or synthetic materials that can be available today. Don’t scrimp on the cost of your materials if you want to keep the value of your home.

6. Not listening to professionals

Design and build teams that have had many years’ experience with period home renovations and extensions understand exactly what needs to be done to make your renovation a success. While you may have many ideas, you should take the professionals word for it and work with them to come up with a plan to get the best result possible for you.

Are you looking for a professional design and build team?

At Period Extensions & Designs, we have a fantastic team of period home experts who love nothing more than starting a renovation or extension project with a new client. Feel free to give us a call on 03 9882 5255 and we’ll book in a time to meet and find out how we can help.

living room furniture
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

Period Home Renovation: How Much Does It Cost?

How long is a piece of string? Since every renovation project is different, it can be difficult to know exactly how much it is all going to cost before things get under way. What we can help you with though, is understanding what type of costs are involved and why having a budget is so important.

Your budget is the first step

Putting a budget together is not only crucial for understanding how much your renovation project is going to cost overall, but it also helps with keeping track of what payments need to be made and when.  If you find that mid-way through renovations you have actually spent less on one room than you had intended, you could use the extra money to splash out on some fancier features that you originally thought you couldn’t afford.

If you are getting a loan from the bank, it is possible that they will want to see your budget to ensure that you have a realistic plan for the money.

One golden rule to remember is that it’s always best to over budget rather than make things too tight, so you have some room to move if anything unexpected should happen.

What costs do I need to consider?

As a guide, these are the things that you will need to include in your budget:

Planning fees: This includes fees for inspection and surveying, planning permissions and regulations.

Accountant fees: If you are using an accountant to keep track of your books.

Insurance: For your home and contents – you should have insurance before renovations begin.

Utilities: Power, gas, water

Materials: Wood, concrete, paint, windows, tiles

Labour costs: Fees for your contractors and builders, as well as designers and architects.

Waste removal: To ensure that waste is disposed of according to council guidelines.

Furniture, fixtures and homewares: Installing appliances, lights and taps, furniture and decorations

living room furniture

What is the best way of getting an accurate budget?

Unless you have many years of experience renovating period homes and understand all the ins and outs of how to go about it, it can be difficult to create a true budget. The best way of getting an accurate budget is by working with a professional design and build team that know all the pieces of the puzzle, from council permits to material and labour costs.

Having a clearer idea of what the whole project is going to cost right from the start will save you a lot of stress and sleepless nights later on.

Looking for a professional design and build team?

Our expert team at Period Extensions have an amazing wealth of experience behind them and would be delighted to work with you on your next project to ensure that you have a budget in place before the first tool comes out. Feel free to look around our site to see just what we can do, and don’t hesitate to pick up the phone – we’re happy to have a chat.

man measuring floor tiles
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

Period Home Renovation: 5 Golden Rules to Follow

Starting your period home renovations? Don’t do anything until you read these five golden rules to follow so that your project is a success.

1. Don’t think you can do it all.

Even if you like to get stuck in with a bit of DIY, renovating a period home is not always a straightforward process. Usually there is a lot more that needs to be done than a regular renovation, and it would be such a shame to miss out on important details that an expert could have easily picked up. By speaking to a period home expert, you’ll be able to get a detailed plan of what needs to be done and ensure that the whole process is managed in the best way possible.

carpenter measuring flooring

2. It’s not a race to the finish line.

While it is perfectly understandable to want to get your home finished as soon as possible, you must remember that good things take time. It’s a good idea to spend lots of time in the property going over ideas and even talking with family, friends and period home experts about different ideas. You may find that you are keen on one idea this week, and completely change your mind the next.

3. Have a realistic plan.

Planning what needs to be done with suitable time frames is key to your renovation process. But don’t forget that speaking with a period home expert will ensure that your plan is realistic, and you haven’t set your sights too high. Once you have a plan in place, make sure that it’s executed in realistic time frame so that tasks are not rushed, and you’re not left regretting things later.

4. Research, research, research.

Knowing that you want to live in a beautiful period home is one thing, but understanding the right type of home is another. Take your time researching the different period styles and find the design that you fall in love with. Once you’ve made a decision, look into any special design features of the period to ensure that you are able to renovate your home correctly without over modernising.

5. Accept that perfection may mean imperfections.

When renovating or building a modern home, square angles, symmetry, smooth lines and finishes are always going to be of upmost importance. But the beauty of period homes is that you can let go of the fact that everything has to be absolutely perfect. It’s very rare that you’ll see a long-standing period home without any imperfections – after all when these homes were originally built, they didn’t have the same building standards, tools and materials that we do today. So, if right angles aren’t quite what they should be and you have little cracks or rough patches, embrace them and consider them extra character for your beautiful home.

Need a hand with your period home renovations?

Enlisting the help of a professional design and build team with many years’ experience with period homes is guaranteed to set you up for success. Find out more about what our period home experts have to offer and feel free to give us a call at any time – we’d love to work with you to renovate the home of your dreams.

old dining area with modern design
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

A Quick Guide to Extending a Period Home

Renovating period home architecture is one thing.  What about extending a period property?  Period home renovations cover the entirety of a property, while extensions look to modernise and add extra value.  You may already know why you’d like to extend a period home, but there are plenty of factors to consider before getting started.

Keeping the Charm While Modernising

One of the biggest struggles people face when taking on a period home extension is how to balance the old and the new.  In a lot of cases, some of the period charm has to make way for modern standards.  For example, for health and comfort reasons.  However, there are plenty of ways you can extend your property without losing any of the original aesthetics.

old dining area with modern design

An expert in period home extensions and renovations will be able to look at ways to replicate the original look of a building in your new addition so it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a professional who knows a lot about classic looks and styles.  While it may seem disrespectful to remove or change classic architecture, it is sadly sometimes necessary.

Think About Purpose and Practicality

You should never enter into a period home extension project for the sake of it.  Think carefully about why you are building onto a period home.  Is it to increase value?  To increase interest in a sale?  Perhaps it’s for your own needs?

To that end, you should be thinking about rooms and extensions which are most appropriate for the look of your property.  A contemporary conservatory may not be the best fit for an early Victorian home, for example.  However, studies, garden rooms and extended kitchens can all be easily accommodated as part of a variety of period designs.

Consider Materials Carefully

One of the best ways to replicate the aesthetics of a period home is to opt for similar or identical materials that were used in its construction.  However, that isn’t always possible, which is why you should ask the advice of an expert in period renovations on what route to take.  There is nothing worse than setting up a home extension which clashes with the original look of a property.  Blending is crucial!

Don’t be Afraid of Glass

While certain modern fixtures may look out of place with some period looks, glass is massively flexible and versatile.  It’s a contemporary design standard, but it is one which is famous for its affordability and ease of application.  If you work with a design and building team, there is no reason why you won’t be able to incorporate and blend glass into an existing period home.

Be Careful

This is a point that’s so important.  Just because you own a period property doesn’t mean it’s not also important to the community at large.  Period homes and period home styles are essential pieces of our residential history.  You should always approach extension projects with sensitivity!

If you’d like to know more about period home architecture, call Period Extensions & Designs today on 03 9882 5255.

living room with natural light
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

Essential Design Tips for Your Period Home

Period home style will, naturally, differ from property to property.  However, there are some great ways you can retain the character of your home while modernising it for everyday life.  Here are ten brilliant period home design tips you can put into practice to get started.

Consider Your Lifestyle

One of the best design tips for period home renovation we can offer is don’t be afraid to renovate!  You may worry about having some of the charms of a period home removed to make it liveable.  However, needs must come first – and if an old piece or fitting doesn’t work for you, then scrap it.

Bring Out the Old

A great way to mould the old and new together is to show off the original walls and fittings.  This way, you can introduce modern furniture and items to work alongside.  Bring out the old, but also bring in the new.

Change up the Doors

Doors are likely to be fittings which age the least well from property to property.  This mainly goes for your front door.  For the sake of security as well as appearances, have a new front door installed if you can.

living room with natural light

Enhance Natural Light

Period home style may not be so keen to focus on windows and natural light, so we highly recommend changing this up.  Glass is a flexible material which can help to modernise period home architecture without bringing in too much of a clash.

Ask for Help

It is never a good idea to undertake the whole of a period home extension project on your own.  Period home experts will be able to oversee the design and the physical project for you as you go!

Don’t Assume Problem Areas are ‘Quaint’

You can quickly go too far the other way as far as updating a period home is concerned.  If you’re worried about losing the character in your property, please remember that some elements will need to be removed or renovated for health reasons.

Use Furnishings to Your Advantage

If you’re worried about making too permanent a mark on your property, you should think about modernising and brightening up your space with the right furnishings.  That means bright, colourful curtains, rugs, seating and more.  All can be temporary.

Think About Layers

One thing you may not have thought about when it comes to renovating a period home is cladding or adding layers.  Layers of stone, brick or wood will blend in with a whole host of period home styles, and what’s more, they’ll add value.

Be Careful with Eco Upgrading

While it makes sense to upgrade a period property to be energy efficient, some upgrades may harm your property.  Therefore, it makes sense to consult an expert who can help you make property enhancements which won’t damage the look or structure of a home long term.

Renovating period homes takes a lot of detail, but is extremely rewarding.  Call Period Extensions & Designs today to learn more about what’s involved.  Call 03 9882 5255 at your convenience.

CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

The Secrets of Renovating a Period Home

Period home renovation isn’t something that can be easily defined.  Each project is going to be slightly different, and that’s even before you start thinking about the different period styles Australia loves so much.  We’ve produced some comprehensive guides on how to prepare for period home renovation, but what are some of the best secrets you can take advantage of before making decisions?  Let’s take a look.

Never Go It Alone

While it may be tempting to take on a fair amount of period renovation as DIY, it’s probably not advisable that you do.  Period home renovation can take more time and effort than you may imagine, at least to begin with.  Hiring an expert will not only help you realise some of the more intricate details of a period home but will also ensure you modernise without losing any of that essential charm and character.

Think About Goals

Yes, it’s tempting to let a period home extension project run on and on.  However, the key to a successful project lies in the deadlines that you set.  By keeping an end goal in mind, you will be able to measure for each step along the way.  This way, you can manage your project a little easier, and you can avoid getting too bogged down with ideas of perfection.

period home living room

Don’t Be Afraid to Modernise

There may be two types of period renovator – those who want to modernise completely, and those who want to keep everything looking as it is.  There’s nothing to say you can’t do a little bit of both!  You shouldn’t ever worry too much about getting rid of elements that don’t work for you.  Working with a renovation expert, you’ll be able to keep some of the more charming touches while modernising others that clash with your needs.

Balance Personality with Practicality

When it comes to period home style, you may be keen to focus more on style and less on function.  It’s not hard to understand why you might think that way!  However, tying in with our above point, consider that your property is meant to serve a practical purpose, too.  You’re going to need to look for a balance between aesthetics and function.

Think About Energy Efficiency

Something you are going to need to think about deeply is how efficient your project will be.  Period homes aren’t always going to be the best at saving you money on the energy front.  Therefore, you’re going to need to look at upgrades for health and cost reasons.  Again, a renovation expert will be able to make suggestions you can rely on.

Finding Your Ideal Look

Finding the right look for your period home renovation shouldn’t be too much about compromise on your part.  Working with an expert in the trade, you may be able to unlock aesthetics and themes you never knew appealed to you.

If you need help or advice on all things period homes, extensions and renovations, call our team today on 03 9882 5255.

mother with kids in the living room
CategoriesHome Renovation

Home Renovation: When is the Best Time?

Renovating a home or property takes a lot of time and organisation.  It’s going to mean plenty of planning ahead!  Therefore, it also makes sense to know when it’s the best time to renovate.  Whether you are interested in renovating, extending or merely bringing a property up to code, there are a few factors you’re always going to need to bear in mind before getting started.

mother with kids in the living room

Your Personal Circumstances

Renovations will vary in terms of costs from job to job.  However, it is a good idea to ensure you are solvent enough to plan for such work before you dive right in.  It is common for people, even seasoned renovators, to under-budget for big projects; therefore, financial safety is a must.

You should also consider busy periods in your life.  If you have children and are looking after them during school holidays, you probably won’t have much time free to spare for a renovation project.

One of the best things you can do while planning for renovation is to budget time, not just money.  Think as far ahead as you can.  Consider all the tools and materials you may need, and who you wish to approach for help and support.  The best time for home renovation will be when you have plenty of your own time to give – as well as financial solvency.

Starting a Renovation

Home refurbishments and renovations can take time.  Thinking about starting a new property renovation soon?  Concerned about getting the timing right?  The team here at Period Extensions & Designs are always here to help you.  Call us directly on 03 9882 5255 to learn more about how we can start putting renovation plans into action for you.

interior renovation
CategoriesHome Renovation

Smart Budgeting Tips for Your Home Renovation

So, you’re about to embark on an exciting journey of refurbishing your home and giving it a fresh new look to fit your current needs and lifestyle.  Not to burst your bubble, but renovating a home is not as simple as ABC.

Probably the most important thing to consider first is your budget. Here are some smart tips to help you develop a home renovation budget that you can afford and stick to without overspending.

Tip #1: Set your parameters.

Determine the scope of your home renovation project by deciding which areas of your home will be included and what your desired outcomes are.  Apply the “MOSCOW” technique to set your priorities by making a list of your “must haves”, “should haves”, “could haves” and “would haves.” By clearly setting your parameters early on, you will be able to plan for a more realistic budget and have a benchmark for when you need to choose between what to keep and what to let go.

interior renovation

Tip #2: Seek advice from the experts.

It pays to get some help from industry experts to guide you through the process. Get someone to design a plan for your home makeover. Seek advice from architects, designers, builders, and quantity surveyors on renovating costs and the best approach to getting the best value for your money. Your plan will answer some of the key questions such as what work will be involved, in what order they are to be done, and what it entails in terms of materials, labour, and time frame.

Tip #3: Develop detailed cost estimates.

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to develop a detailed budget plan. This is where your Excel skills will come in handy. Create a spreadsheet of all elements of your home renovation project and their estimated costs. Start with the big-ticket items such as permits and fees, insurance, warranties, valuation fees, utilities, labour costs, and others. Then move on to the cost of materials, fixtures, fittings, finishes, and furniture. Make sure not to miss the small items that could add up to your costs.

Tip #4: Add a buffer for unforeseen costs.

Once you have decided on a contractor, share your plans with them to check for anything that you may have missed. You can then adjust your budget using cost estimates your contractor has provided. Add a 10 to 20% buffer as contingency for any unforeseen costs or changes in the renovation process.  Keep track of how you are doing against your set budget by adding columns for actual costs and variances in your spreadsheet.

Now that you’re armed with these smart budgeting tips, you can start planning and get cracking!

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