Are you thinking of renovating or extending your home, but not sure of the process and the timeline? We get asked this question around timing of renovations a lot in our business.
We have done quite a few renovations and home extensions therefore have a pretty good idea of the timing and process involved. Most of our clients come to us in the initial stages and it may be over a year before we even submit the build permit to council!
A full home renovation and extension from planning stages through to practical completion can take a long while and in some cases years!
The planning process of a home renovation or home extension is usually the longest part of the process.
The initial planning stages are completed by the property owner, this involves researching design ideas, building materials and floor plan layouts that you like, this can take months or even years!
In this stage of the process, Instagram, Houzz and Pinterest apps will be your go to for inspiration! I usually recommend saving a bunch of different boards on Pinterest and making a saved folder on Instagram, you can then share these later with your designer and builder. I believe Houzz also allows you to save images for later reference too.
Once you have a good idea of what you want for your home renovations, the next stage is to draw up your plans and get engineering and other paperwork completed for the home. This stage can be quite lengthy also, as there can be a lot of backwards and forwards between you and the drafts person, building designer, engineer and or architect.
Getting the plans done right the first time is ideal, however variations and amendments are possible but not desired, as they can cause issues in council later. This is why the initial stages of planning- pre plans- is very important. The more you are clear on what you really want from your home renovation the better and easier the next stage will flow.
Your architect or person selected to draw the plans will bring it all together for you and draw your renovations to be in line with the Residential design codes of Western Australia. I would allow at least 4-8 weeks for plans to be finalised, however be mindful that some design/sketching stages can take up to 6-12 months.
Once you have your home renovation plans drawn up the next stage is getting an approval from your local council. Most home renovations you undertake will require a build permit, they can take either 2 weeks or 4 weeks depending on whether it is initially certified by a surveyor (2 weeks) or certified by the local councils building surveyor (4 weeks). In most cases your builder will lodge the build permit and arrange all follow up to get the permit across the line. However, anyone can be an applicant for a build permit.
In many cases a renovation or home extension may need to go through your local council planning department for a Development Approval before obtaining a build permit, this will take 60 days or potentially more if the home is heritage listed or the design is not within the residential design codes. Your architect or building designer will be able to notify you in the initial design stages of whether the design will require panning or not. However please be mindful that on many occasions we have lodged for a build permit and council has requested planning, this slows any renovation down by two months at a minimum. It is not always obvious whether something needs a Development Approval or not each job is different to the next.
Once all your approvals are in place you are now ready to go ahead with construction. We like to call this stage -the fun stage of the renovation. This is when you may need to move out of your home or segregate off some of your home to ensure your whole home doesn’t turn into a construction site!
How long does the construction stage take? This will depend on the size of the renovation and or home extension, it will depend on the materials used and if they have long lead times for production. In general, if you are doing a home extension or at least 40m2 you need to allow 3-5 months for construction. If you are building a significant sized home extension of 70m2 + then I would say to allow at least 4-6 months.
If building using timber frame construction and using all WA materials you will be looking at the shorter side of timing. These construction times are from our experience and may alter for larger builders.
At Distinct Renovations our point of difference is that we only take on a few number of jobs at a time to ensure we have a clear focus on each job and get that job done as quickly as possible to ensure less disruption to the clients home life. We have been known to do full home renovations and doubled the size of a home for some clients in under 4 months start to finish. Our best thus far is a full new build in 11 weeks!
Timber Frame Construction allows the construction stage to move on a lot quicker than double brick construction.
To conclude, it is fair to say that for a home renovation from initial planning stages through to completion of the build you really need to allow anywhere between 6 months for smaller renovations and up to 2 years or more, for larger full home extensions.
If you want to know more or see if we can work with you on your next home project, please feel free to contact us and find out more. Being that we are a smaller builder it is important to engage us in the initial stages so we can pencil your job in in advance to avoid disappointment on time delays.
Most people that think about renovating their home think of price as the most important aspect when approaching the right builder for the job.
While I respect that what ever you are about to build needs to be inline with your budget, I also believe that you need to take into consideration other aspects of that potential building company you are approaching.
Price is one of the most important things to consider when you build, after all money does make the world go around (so they say) however price needs to be considered along with other important things also.
After all, you have spent a lot of money on purchasing your home and you contribute around 30% of your income towards paying it off each year so would it not be wise to consider that the person you get to build your home actually does a god job of your renovation? Not a rushed or amateur job?
Good quality workmanship should be the focus of your home renovation, as you will be looking at and living in it (your home) for a long time after the renovations have been complete.
Put it this way: is it worth an extra $8,000 over a $150k budgeted renovation to have your tradesman spend a longer time doing your job and paying more attention to the work at hand?
Then say, a saving of $8,000 and having to look at poorly hung doors and off centered pendants lights over your kitchen island for the next 10 years? Or even worse faulty workmanship that could cost you more in the long run. Think about it…………. Is price everything?
Good workmanship along with price should be at the heart of every decision when it comes to building.
Another aspect of a building company which I consider to be important is, their level of customer service and communication between themselves and you as the client/s.
You will be dealing with the builder for months before and months after the construction on your home. Therefore, it’s important that you are happy with their level of communication and customer service and furthermore that you trust them.
The builder may well be in your home while you are not there, so extra important that your trust the builder you choose to go with. A good way of earning trust is to ask the builder for existing and past references, existing is extra important as it is a better idea of the builder now. A builder can always provide pasts clients they know were happy with them.
So when you are considering you next build job, do get quotes from builders, but also meet face to face with the builder and ensure that you are happy with them as a company overall and that you trust them before you sign on any dotted line.
We meet and greet with all our clients at Distinct Renovations- on site before we provide our estimates and we ensure also that we want to build for you too!
It is a two-way street after all, and we all need to get along if we are spending a lot of your money to renovate your home.
You have great ideas for a home renovation, and you are super excited to get your home extension underway and built.
As this is your first time going down this path you are not sure who you need to engage first to get an idea on cost and what you can and can’t do?
Don’t worry it sounds very familiar to us, we get approached on a regular basis by potential clients with this problem they are just not sure where to start, as this is their first time renovating their home or building a house.
They approach us as renovation builders with questions such as:
We are always happy to provide our potential clients with a rough ballpark figure, but that is what it remains until they have plans and specifications to present us.
As a small builder we don’t have an in-house architect or building designer, we use a third-party company and work alongside them very closely.
We are advocates of getting a third party to design and draw up the renovation and/or extension plans.
It is a good idea to approach a builder with your ideas initially as they can help you to work along side a building designer or architect to draw up plans that will remain within your budget.
Sometimes architects or designers have the tendency to blow out budgets with “wowing’ features.
If you chose to work with a bigger builder who has in house designers you need to be mindful of a very important issue and that is: in 99% of cases the builder you have signed up to will have copy right over your plans and you will not be able to take them to other builders with the design.
Working with a third-party company and not signing a preliminary agreement with the builder gives you the client an added layer of protection that you will not lose out on thousands of dollars and valuable time lost designing the perfect renovation for your home. And lets face it, you need all the protection you can get when building there are a few cowboys out there!
So, in my opinion, the first steps in getting started with your home renovation or new build are:
Once the plans are drawn up you will then be able to get an accurate construction estimate for the building works. If, throughout the process of planning you decide to go to another builder due to any number of reasons you are free to take your plans and build through another builder, or in some cases go owner builder and mange the construction yourself.
The choice will be yours and you will not lose out on the cost of plans, which can be anywhere between $1,100 upwards of $10,000.
So, is it the builder first or the plans?
There is no right or wrong answer but make sure you know what you are getting yourself into first before heading down the path of the unknown.
If you have a renovation project or a new build you would like help with feel fee to give us a call or send us a message and we will happily provide you with a rough ballpark for this. Distinct Renovations are here to help you.
These days you hear of many people getting into the property development game to try and make extra cash to pay down their mortgage or get a head in their savings.
Gone are the days of just renovating for profit or buying a house to hold and make money from in the long run, people are getting impatient and want to make instant cash. So is property development a good place to give it a go?
A lot of mum and dad investors are trying their hand at the property development game, and why not? It is a lot of fun and you get to see more than one property being built from ground up! What could be more exciting…? That is of course from a builders view point.!
But the questions I hear repeatedly here in Perth is- Can you make money doing smaller developments?
We recently completed The Hunter Way Project in Padbury for a client -
The project consisted of demolishing an old 3 bed two bath brick and tile home on a 717m2 block.
Distinct Renovations built three new dwellings and subdivided the land into three separate survey strata titles.
Distinct Renovations worked along side Brett at Anthony and Associates to design three villas to fit the block of land. Each villa had three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open plan living space. They also had a 2 car garage bigger enough to fit the Land Cruiser for the down sizes and campers and a decent sized outdoor alfresco.
The fixtures and fittings were medium specification in order to wow the buyer and hope for a quick sell. When developing you are building smaller houses with a lot less land, so you need to make sure what you are building is going to wow the buyer. That same buyer in most cases can buy something similar in price, but an older style home with twice the land just down the road! We don’t add massive mark-up to our medium spec range so that you only pay slightly more (market price) to get that wow factor the development needs.
Developing is a risky game and one that needs to be investigated carefully when it comes to doing the numbers.
Budget blow outs happen to the most experienced of developers, you just don’t know what’s underground and you certainly don’t know what the council will say or do regarding your development application.
However, given all the above and how rough the Perth property Market is our clients on this project still managed to make a relevant profit, however that was in part to keeping one of the properties. Which saves on selling costs and GST.
So what were the numbers and how much money did this investor make?
Total costs: $1,278,000
Selling costs of 2 properties: $18,500
Grand Total costs: $1,296,500
Proceeds / Value
Total Proceeds/value: $1,410,000
So, the answer to the questions is YES if you are careful on the initial feasibility studies and you chose the right property in the right suburb in the right street and don’t come across too many developer risks, you can still make money being a small time developer in Perths current property market.
Also worth noting- the remaining units rent is covering the mortgage for the owner as well as annual rates payments and giving the owner a low risk property investment that should grow over time. Really it was a winner all round.
Distinct Renovations can help you with home renovations, new builds as well as full unit site developments. Feel free to contact us now with your next project and we will be happy to assist. Don’t forget we are a small builder here to make your next project stress free.
We often have clients come to us asking for quotes to renovate and or put a home extension or top storey home addition on to their existing home. The same clients, months later after going backwards and forwards with communication, let us know they have decided to sell their home.
We understand that in some cases, selling your existing home is better than building a home renovation or adding on a top story addition or home extension. It comes down to many different factors, for most people the key driver is to not over capitalise on the home they are currently in.
Over capitalisation assumes that the cost to do renovations or a home addition add more cost on to the value of the home than the actual home is worth- example- your home is valued at $750,000 you spend $450,000 on a renovation and extension and the value of your home after the renovation is $1,150,000. This results in spending $50,000 over the value of your home. If you were to sell your home in the next year you would potentially lose money!
However, before you do go down the selling route you should consider the below factors:
The costs involved in selling your home
Most importantly- Consider the overall cost of selling your existing home and buying a new home.
In Western Australia these costs will include:
As an example of costs see below:
Existing homes value: $750,000 (typical value of an older home within 5kms-10kms of Perth CBD)
Total: $59,500-selling and moving costs!
However, costs are not the only things to consider when considering selling your home vs renovating your home.
The mental stress of moving is enough to prevent most people from selling. It is not a small job to move all your belongings from one house to the next! With a renovation in most cases our clients will remain in their homes while the renovation takes place (this depends on the extent of renovations).
The main reason why most people do not move is the neighborhood they live in, relationships with neighbors can go back 20-30 years in some instances and moving to another suburb or on the other side of the suburb will mean your neighbors are no longer close to you.
SO-What IS the cost of a FULL Home Renovation and Extension?
As an example, a 2 bedroom and 1-bathroom older home including the below upgrades would cost between $250-350,000+ depending on your specifications
The key to renovating or extending comes down to not over capitalising on your existing home via high renovation and extension costs. On the other hand, many people are happy to over capitalise on their “forever” home, as they have no intention of selling in the short term, and just want to live in a lovely home designed by themselves to fit their lifestyle and family needs.
The above example is only relevant to homes in the price bracket of $750,000 or above if you were in a suburb with lower priced houses you have to be mindful that your renovation will be significantly less on cost and will more than likely only include a smaller extension of a bedroom and ensuite and simply updating the existing kitchen or bathroom.
Conclusion- Renovate or Sell
Cost is not everything to consider when thinking of selling or renovating your home. The mental stress of moving is top of mind for most people, as well as leaving their neighbors.
Whatever you chose to do, bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, top story home extension or whole house renovation- Distinct Renovations are always here to help with your home renovations and home extensions.
We help lots of clients build their dream home from what they have, and we always stay mindful of their budget. We understand that over capitalising on your home is not the goal, the goal is to love the home you live in by renovating within a selected budget.
Let us know how we can help, email now.