REN­O­VA­TIONS ON THE RISE

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For peo­ple think­ing of ren­o­vat­ing, they are in good com­pany.

A re­cent Mas­ter Builders sur­vey of its mem­bers found the num­ber of bath­room ren­o­va­tions has jumped to 31.5 per cent, up from 25 per cent last year.

The sur­vey found most peo­ple (38 per cent) un­der­take a whole-house ren­o­va­tion, while oth­ers pre­fer to do a deck or pa­tio (18 per cent) or kitchen (7 per cent).

Mas­ter Builders deputy ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Paul Bidwell said the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of ren­o­va­tions showed peo­ple wanted more space, and to rear­range their liv­ing spa­ces for open-plan liv­ing or dual oc­cu­pancy.

“The deck, bath­room and kitchen have all be­come cen­tres of the home which are piv­otal to the way in which peo­ple like to live,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Out­door kitchens are an area of grow­ing de­mand. To some extent, they are still re­garded as a luxury item and will be one of the first things to go if the con­tract price needs to be re­duced or if space is at a pre­mium.

“When they are in­stalled, they are get­ting big­ger and more so­phis­ti­cated. Typ­i­cally, there is a con­nec­tion to wa­ter and elec­tric­ity to al­low for sinks, wine fridges and range hoods.

“Stain­less steel and pol­ished con­crete fin­ishes are pop­u­lar, as are pizza ovens and turkey-sized ro­tis­series.”

Bath­rooms have also be­come in­te­gral to liv­abil­ity.

“Free-stand­ing show­ers topped the list of ameni­ties ex­pected in a bath­room project,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Show­ers are ex­pected to in­clude dou­ble show­er­heads, no glass screens, and no step en­trance.

“Free-stand­ing bath­tubs are also im­por­tant. Smart tech­nol­ogy such as light­ing and in­tel­li­gent toi­lets are find­ing their place.”

Smart tech­nol­ogy is often used via mo­bile phones, con­trol­ling light­ing, air­con­di­tion­ing, au­dio­vi­sual equip­ment and other de­vices.

Mr Bidwell said, out­side the home, peo­ple were look­ing for in­ter­net con­nected se­cu­rity cam­eras, dig­i­tal in­ter­coms and key­less en­try.

Tech­nol­ogy to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency was also be­ing re­quested, in­clud­ing power sav­ing de­vices and so­lar power gen­er­a­tion.

“Neu­tral, nat­u­ral and earth colour schemes (think whites, greys, tans and tim­ber) con­tin­ued as favourites,” he said. “Also pop­u­lar are rus­tic fea­tures and in even flash­backs to the 1970s with wood­grain cup­board doors and colour lam­i­nate.

“Hamp­ton’s style is in greater de­mand. And black taps and wall­pa­per are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Out­side the home, low main­te­nance and value for money will always be im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions.”

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