I am often asked what home owners can do to be pro-active and ensure their home renovation will end in stunning success.
This article contains my best advice on the topic. So keep reading for my list of home renovation resources that will put you on the right path to a successful home extension and renovation project.
The best resource you can have is an experienced designer, with a full team of consultants.
The most effective and time-efficient advice I can give you, that will give you confidence to make an informed decision about what is possible for your home renovation, is to talk to a designer first.
Designers of buildings are either a building designer or an architect
A designer will provide an overview of your whole project and information specific to your property.
In the earliest stages of researching your project, what is possible for your site and within your budget will drive many of the design solutions.
It can be fun researching photos or using a sketch design website to start dreaming about your new home. Imagine what it could be like working with a qualified and experienced designer who can provide many more imaginative ideas and solutions, than the internet can provide.
Your designer’s role is to find solutions to satisfy everybody involved – client, council, consultants, certifier and builder.
Choose a building designer or architect
Understand the differences and similarities between a building designer and an architect to decide which will suit you and your project best.
To choose a designer try these links:
- and of course, Martin Kolarik Home Design
Your Home Renovation Project Team
If you choose to investigate what is possible, you will need to evaluate the following to determine who will be required for your project, and what role they will play in influencing the design:
- Your local Council/ Certifier
- Engineer – Hydraulic
- Engineer – Structural
- Town Planner
- Bushfire consultant
- Heritage consultant
- Real Estate Agent
- Family and friends
- Your bank
The information received can be confusing and conflicting as each consultant cannot take into consideration all possible design solutions and feasibilities which will lead to an approved design.
An experienced designer is still the best person to talk to first!
Evaluate your own home
- Identify what works and what
does not work?
- For example, the kitchen/ family/ meals area is too small, and the outdoor space is quite good
- Prioritise your list of need
- List in priority order what are the most important changes you want to achieve, all the way down to the ‘nice-to-have’.
How to achieve ‘The Feel’
Explore the feel you want for your home by reviewing and collecting images of styles you like and dislike. Both will be helpful in creating the right design for you.
- Take photos of homes you like
- Attend a Home Show – https://www.sydneyhomeshow.com.au/
- A variety of home magazines
- House and Garden
- Home Beautiful
- The Real Estate section of your local newspapers e.g. North Shore Times
- Realestate.com.au https://www.realestate.com.au/
- Domain – https://www.domain.com.au/
The feel is a priority earlier in the project, and further details will be required later.
What else can you do?
Whilst you are waiting for your project to be approved, start looking at fittings (e.g. bathrooms) and finishes (e.g. tile selections). This will make the construction phase more relaxing.
You and your designer will make decisions on some of these elements prior to submitting your DA or Complying Development documentation.
When guided by your designer look at retailers for specific products:
- Appliances – kitchen, laundry, TV, Sound system, home automation
- Fittings – toilet suite, vanity, bath
- Colours – Internal and external paint colours, roofing
- Lighting – features
- Floor coverings
- Blinds and curtains
It is great to keep an open mind with your research prior to seeking advice from your designer.
With the right expert guidance this will be a fun and exciting time for all involved.