In­sider se­crets for suc­cess

Australian House & Garden - - Advice -

Start with the floor­ing “It in­flu­ences so much of the look and feel of a space that it can re­ally set the de­ci­sion­mak­ing pro­cesses for ev­ery­thing else,” says Ste­wart Hor­ton. “For in­stance, if you were in­stalling tim­ber floors, it might have the fol­low-on ef­fect of min­imis­ing the use of tim­ber through­out the rest of the scheme.” The art of com­pro­mise Know when prac­ti­cal has to over­rule aes­thet­ics, says Belinda Gra­ham. “In this cat­e­gory I place ceil­ing fans, a three-way bath­room light/heater/fan, win­dows that eas­ily fit fly­screens and locks, air­con­di­tion­ing units, ex­te­rior spot­lights, door bolts and pow­er­points. You may have to wait for that hero pen­dant light you want for the bed­room, but you will be so much hap­pier on those hot sum­mer nights.”

The big­gest mis­take Ac­cord­ing to James Tre­ble, it’s chang­ing the de­sign or floor plan, or adding things

mid-ren­o­va­tion. “Whether due to poor plan­ning or a change of mind, al­ter­ations al­ways cost more money, usu­ally in­cur de­lays and cause homeowners and builders un­nec­es­sary stress and angst over mat­ters that should have been fi­nalised well be­fore a ham­mer was lifted.”

Choos­ing the right peo­ple When you em­ploy an ar­chi­tect to de­sign your home, you’re pay­ing for their cre­ative flair, says Der­rick Macrae. “They can sub­mit plans and de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions (DAs) to coun­cil, and li­aise with the builder through­out the job.” A qual­i­fied build­ing de­signer may also be able to man­age the whole ren­o­va­tion process. “Like ar­chi­tects, build­ing de­sign­ers will bring cre­ative ideas to the ta­ble, which will pay dividends later on,” says Macrae. A draftsper­son is a more af­ford­able op­tion, charg­ing about one-quar­ter of the price of an ar­chi­tect or build­ing de­signer. “A draftsper­son’s role is to draw up the plans, but then it’s up to you to sub­mit them and DAs to coun­cil and to li­aise with the builder.”

Builders and tradies To find rep­utable builders and tradies, ask friends and your ar­chi­tect or de­signer for rec­om­men­da­tions, check the builders of your favourite homes in mag­a­zines, or con­tact pro­fes­sional build­ing and trade as­so­ci­a­tions, says Mur­ray Flynn. “Share your brief with all trades so they un­der­stand what you want.” There

are two ways to price a job: fixed price, where the builder does the job for a fixed lump sum; and cost plus, where the builder works for an hourly rate. It’s al­ways a good idea to get at least three quotes, which the builders should not charge you for. It’s ad­vis­able that the builder is a mem­ber of the Hous­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion (www. or Mas­ter Builders Aus­tralia (www.mas­ter and has rel­e­vant in­sur­ance.

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