New Year resolution; start your renovation plans now!

Surprisingly in some ways, this is often a busy time of the year for us when it comes to in bound inquiries about renovating…

I have spent the last few weeks while our office was officially closed, keeping an eye on inbound emails and calls and have seen 4 or 5 people over the Christmas/New Year period about potentially working with them this year to renovate their house.

Our history over the last few years has shown that in fact this is a time of the year when people often do decide to take the plunge and begin that long talked about search for a renovation builder.

For some, I think the thought of another year have gone by and doing nothing about renovating drives them to make a call.

For others, a bit like the health club resolution, they begin the New Year all fired up and ready to act on their renovation plans after spending Christmas and New Year together and relaxed.

I believe the main reason for this spike in inquiry is that this is a time of the year when people are together and have time to sit, think, talk and plan.

When it comes to planning your renovation, it is important to remember that from the first meeting you have with your renovation builder to when the project starts will be somewhere between 4 and 6 months!!

Unfortunately that is just how long it takes by the time….

• the initial concept is designed
• a price estimate is prepared based on that concept
• a decision is made on preferred builder
• the concept is finalised
• selections are made
• the build price is fixed
• a contract is signed
• plans are submitted to Council
• Engineering gets involved
• CDC and energy efficiency are lodged…..

….the list just goes on and on!

Then, the work is done and in our case, almost always the build is significantly quicker than the time taken to get to site.

So if you are hoping to have a renovation completed for Christmas 2019, then the time to start is now!!

And remember, the initial deposit is not required till a contract is signed, with the bulk of the funds being paid in progress payments once the renovation commences. So that gives you a significant period of time to save extra funds and spend time with your lender to put funding (if required) in place.

Make one of your New Year resolutions to make that initial contact with your list of possible builders and by the end of the year, you will be enjoying your newly renovated house.

For recent examples of renovations we have completed, please click here

Build your new second storey on site or off site??

A number of our competitors are out in the market talking about the benefits of using a factory built pod which is then craned into place onto your existing home, as opposed to constructing the new second storey on site which is our preferred method.

Their main selling benefits for the pod or offsite construction method is..

  1. that there is less disruption to your existing home during the renovation process and you can stay in your house throughout the build
  2. as the pod is built indoors, there are no weather delays during construction so it will be quicker to construct and install the pod than build the second storey on site
  3. Because it is quicker to build off site, it will be a cheaper option than building on site

Having constructed more than 100 second storey inserts in his building career, Green-Shore Director and Site Supervisor Clint Shore offers below his observations/reservations about the off site or pod method.

Nothing is ever square…

…no matter how old or new your house is and how well it is constructed, things will not be square. So Clint has serious doubts about how something can be built externally and then be expected to fit perfectly onto your existing home without a serious amount of massaging once it is craned into place, so blowing out the total build time and quality of the external and internal finish

We construct our second storey inserts on site with you happily living through it…

The way we work is to scaffold your house and put in a ramp. The second storey is then constructed in its entirety and is made to measure while you happily go about your normal life “downstairs”. Every trade including the finishing trades accesses the new second storey externally. The very last thing that is installed is the new stairs which is the only time there is any major disruption to life downstairs.

We can build it quicker on site than they can build it off site and then install it…

From the day we start, usually within 8 weeks the scaffold is up, the floor frame is in, the walls and roof are in place, tiles or tin and gutters are complete and your new second storey is weather proof with all the internal works to follow eg gyprock, ceilings, electrical etc. Within another four weeks, we are normally totally finished and you are enjoying your newly expanded home. In that same time, Clint doubts that a pod can be constructed externally, craned into place and installed.

If you are considering putting a second storey on your current home….

…we encourage you to either talk to the many satisfied former clients that we have who can confirm the above process and outcome from both a speed and quality perspective or look at the testimonial section on our web site. A number of short time lapse videos of recent second storey constructions are also available on our Youtube channel. Alternatively, please feel free to look at the projects section of our website for more examples of recent second storey additions.

Happy 10th birthday Green-Shore Builders!!!

On the 24th of September 2008, Green-Shore Builders Pty Ltd was officially registered. Talking to Day One employees Barry and Kyne, they still vividly remember sitting at Quentin Green’s in Wembley having a few beers that day, hardly believing that in 10 years time they would still be wearing the Green-Shore colours and be busier than ever!!

Then in October 2008 the GFC hit….

…Quentin Green and Clint Shore still laugh today about the timing of their decision to go into business as two schoolboy friends from Kalgoorlie in their early 30’s.

Fast forward 10 years and the business is stronger than ever…

…with over a dozen projects in the pipeline waiting to get to Contract, as well half a dozen projects at site.

10 years in business makes you think about the reasons for your longevity and success and we think here are some of the reasons why we are still around today.

Honesty and transparency…..

…are two attributes the Directors insisted on from Day One and believe it is one of the key reasons that the business has survived and continues to grow. For too many people, the renovation process does not involve these two principles and as such, is a disappointing experience. We believe in keeping people informed, being honest with them when and if things go wrong and not looking to make unnecessary profit along the way from ancillary trades like painting, flooring and solar.

Deal direct with the two Directors….

….from the moment you say yes to a Green-Shore renovation, you are dealing with an owner of the Company. Quentin Green, with the help of our small office staff, will get you to Contract and then Clint Shore will supervise the renovation from start to finish. Your phone calls will be returned and your every question answered.

Longevity of employees and sub contractors…

….3 of our full time on site staff have been with the company since Day One. And many of our sub contractors (we usually use only one subbie for each category) have been with the company for many years. They all know and like each other, work as a team on site and know the standard that Clint requires, so the end result for our clients is a fast, professional renovation completed to MBA award winning standards.

The importance of referrals….

….the philosophy of our company has also been to look after the people we renovate for, in the belief that if you end the renovation with them as advocates of your product and process, then the rest will look after itself. As a result, after 10 years in business, about 80% of our new work is a referral from a previous job/happy former client.

Tell people the truth and ring them back…

…this sounds simple and basic but is a fundamental plank of our company’s day to day operation and a key reason for its success.

To see a brief 4 minute video that will tell you a little more about our company, please click here and also feel free to explore the many projects on our website.

Do I live through our renovation…or move out?

Its funny how of the literally hundreds of potential customers we see every year, many people ask a lot of the same questions….

And one we always get is…..

“Are we able to live through the renovation or do we have to move out?”

I would say that more than 80 percent of people live through it, although some probably wish they had moved out!

If we are putting on a second storey, people almost always live through the renovation.

This is largely because our building method for inserts or a new second storey is to scaffold the house, put in a ramp with ALL of the work then being done via external access, even the painting and tiling. The very last thing that goes in is the stairwell and so the to live downstairs while all that happens, apart from dust, noise and sharing your property with tradies, the process goes really smoothly, even with young children.

Where we do normally suggest that you move out is when the renovations are contained to a single storey dwelling and key areas like kitchen and bathrooms are out of action for some or all of the renovation.

Having said that….

…a 4 to now 8 months pregnant lady, her two children and her husband have just survived with only two bedrooms, a laundry and a bathroom for 4 months while we have completed their renovation in Padbury…..and they are wrapped with the result! Our team even used to sweep the steep driveway for her every night before she came home.

These days there are portable bathrooms complete with flushing toilets and hot water that can be hired and parked in the driveway….with cooking done on a BBQ or a lot of eating out occurring!! The temporary kitchen and laundry in the photo at the start of this blog was rigged up by our team for a couple and their child in North Perth on their front verandah. It has proved a big hit, complete with dishwasher. washer and dryer and hot and cold running water to the sink!

If you are able to move out……

…whether that be to a second property, with the in-laws, house sit or whatever, the job will be finished quicker for a more competitive price and you will enjoy the process much more from afar than being right amongst.

We are happy to work with you when it comes to this decision. It is just another one of the added benefits of working with a small company like ours with young Directors who are hands on throughout the project from the moment you commit to our company.

For examples of some of our most recent renovations, please head to our projects section of our website.

Our on-site renovation team

When it comes to selecting the builder…

… that you will choose to do your renovation, be sure and ask lots of questions about the tradesmen that the builder employs full time, the sub contractors that they use and how many sub contractors they use in each different category eg bricklaying, plumbing, electrical etc

These tradespeople and subbies will become an integral part of your life for the entire renovation process, so it is important that they are people you can relate to and trust, as well as being confident that they are competent and professional at their particular job.

At Green-Shore…

…we employ a sold core of tradesmen full time and many of them have a long association with the company and On Site Director Clint Shore….


… did his carpentry apprenticeship with Clint and they have gone on to a have a 14 year working relationship. Ben knows what Clint thinks and wants and his work is quick, efficient and award winning in quality.


….. helps Clint in the supervision of the site he is working on as well as overseeing demolition and slab pouring. He and Clint have known each other since 1998 and Barry has been working with Green-Shore from shortly after the company started 10 years ago.


…. also did his carpentry apprenticeship with Clint and they have been working together now for 13 plus years. Kyne tends to concentrate more on the second carpentry fix along with the final stages and hand over of all our renovations, together with what post handover maintenance work is required.


…. did the bulk of his carpentry apprenticeship with Clint and apart from some time overseas, has been with the company on and off since our inception. He has recently moved into our office several days a week to help in scheduling and drafting.

Combine this core on site team with our sub contractor model of only one operator in each category eg one electrician, one plumber, one bricklaying team, one texture coater etc and you have a combined team that know each other, like each other, can work together on site and know what Clint expects from the finished product. All up, this amounts to a cohesive and award winning team that will deliver your completed renovation in record time and to an extremely high standard of finish.

It’s just another point of difference

….. from many of our competitors that makes Green-Shore the award winning renovation company that it has grown into today. To see our most recently completed renovations, please head to the projects on our website.

Top tips for a successful renovation

There’s so much to think about when you undertake a renovation project. We hope that the following tips help in getting the right outcome for you and your builder.

The importance of pre-planning

The time you spend up front planning will save you even more time and money later. It’s better to invest more time at this stage rather than rushing things towards the end and then having regrets. Try to be as thorough as possible in your planning – you’ll certainly thank yourself later!

Agree on a budget between yourselves and your builder

Before you even start any designs, make sure your dreams and your budget are compatible. And be sure and have each builder who prices the job specify clearly what has and has not been included. Comparing apples with apples is one of the hardest parts of the renovation process when you try to compare builder’s quotes side by side.

Build what you want to build, not what you think you should build

Renovation trends come and go. We find that most people are renovating as this is to be their “forever” house – or the place they will be at least till the kids leave home! Timeless, contemporary finishes will always stand the test of time – just remember that face brick and orange laminex were once all the rage!

Visit your renovation every day once building starts

There will always be some things that go awry during a renovation. A daily visit by you, whether you are living there or not during the renovation, will save you many headaches along the way. Don’t be frightened to ask your builder if you think something is wrong. Chances are all is AOK, but mistakes do happen and are much more easily fixed at the time, rather than several weeks or months later.

Enjoy the process

We talk to so many people who have had terrible building or renovation experiences. But it doesn’t need to be like that. You are spending a lot of money – enjoy it, as it may be one of the biggest investments you ever make. Here are some recent examples of renovations completed by just some of our many happy clients.

Renovate or demolish and build…that is the question!

This is yet another question that we are constantly asked in the early to middle middle stages of the renovation process with new clients.

Perhaps shocked by the actual cost of renovation once they receive it or blinded a little by the new home floor plans and price points they see in the ever shrinking weekend papers, we often get…..”but I can build a brand new 4 x 2 for less than $200,000!!”

In theory you can….

But here are a number of factors to consider when comparing the REAL cost of a new build versus the renovation concept and price you have received….

1. You need to allow for the cost of demolition, which depending on the size and location of what you currently have, could amount to anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000
2. You have to allow for a minimum of 12 months rental somewhere else as you can most times live through a renovation but certainly can’t live through a new build!
3. The average renovation is completed in between 3 to 5 months. You need to allow at least 12 months for even a fairly modest new home build
4. If it is an old house you are demolishing, then most likely the ceilings will be a minimum of 2700 high, often 3 metres or more. Your standard new home will have only 2400 ceilings throughout most likely and this is very hard to get used to after years of living with high ceilings
5. Air conditioning and total landscaping of the block (including reticulation and crossovers)needs to be allowed for, as most likely a majority of existing gardens will be destroyed in the demolition, along with the house of course!
6. The standard 4 x 2 under $200,000 will generally have very small bedrooms for the children, often only a basic level of finish to the kitchen and bathrooms/laundry and sometimes a very minimal allowance for lighting and power points.

So in short….

There are many more costs associated with a new build than just the dollar figure next to the floor plan in the paper. So if this is an option on your radar, just be sure and consider ALL the costs involved with totally completing the new home build, not just the initial price point on the floor plan.

Also be sure and confirm with the builder BEFORE you enter into any contract, that everything you want is included in the contract price you sign at, so avoiding the pain and heartache of often costly post contract variations.

Sometimes people do decide to head down the new build route, that is just the nature of the renovation game. Sometimes people end up buying a new house.

Just to be sure and due your diligence before taking the plunge.

For examples of recent renovations at a wide range of price points, please visit our projects on our website.

Do I go up or go out when I renovate??

Do I go up or out when I decide to renovate is a question we are constantly asked by prospective clients….

Going up is the immediate solution that a lot of people gravitate towards when it comes to renovating, but it is often not the way that the project ends up going once all aspects of the brief are examined and the concept and pricing completed.

There are two main situations where going is up is the only answer…

1. There is no room left on the block to push out on the same level as the existing house or the client wants to avoid taking up any more of their back or front yard in order to leave room for a young family and entertaining.
2. There is a view to be taken advantage of by going up.

Note that with or without a view on offer, the sense of space and light that is achieved by going up, even with only a view of treetops or rooftops, is still often a delight.

If you have a choice to go out instead of up, then here is a list of some of the down side factors in deciding to add a second storey.

1. It is 50% more expensive on average to go up rather go out. The square metre renovation rate increases by that amount for new upstairs work so if budgets are tight, going out is the go
2. The addition of a set of stairs to the ground floor is going to have an impact on an existing area eg hallway, lounge room, study or smallest bedroom. Whilst a set of stairs will not take up the whole room, a room or area is compromised in some way eg you will be left with either a walk in study nook, sewing room or in the case of an older house, a small bedroom. Depending on what you are putting upstairs, this new area may make up for the room you “lose” downstairs
3. From a re-sale perspective, stairs can be a turn off for some people with either young children or old bones not necessarily fitting in well with a number of stair climbs each day
4. There are strict overlooking issues with regards to second storey inserts and sometimes the required 7.5 metre setback just cannot be achieved
5. As an aside, I would say that at least 75% of our initial 2 storey designs start with a balcony option priced, but that balcony disappears when clients see how much extra money even a small balcony can add to a job, as well as coming to the realization that they will be probably rarely sit out there!

As with all renovations, it is a case of looking at the budget, looking at the house and block and discussing what configuration you want to end up with – and then coming up with a concept and price that fits that brief.

To see examples of recent same level and second storey renovations please go to our projects on our website.

How to choose your renovation builder – 5 top tips

When we are contacted and first see a new client, one of the first questions we ask is how did you find us and how many other builders will you be talking to as part of the selection process?

I always say to people that you should talk to no more than 3 builders, if only to test the market and get a feel for pricing, pretty much the same way you would get more than one Real Estate agent to value your house if you were planning to sell.

So here are my 5 top tips…

Tip 1

Where possible, go with a renovation builder that someone has recommended to you. That way you will have a first hand account of what the whole process was actually like and whether the company over or under delivered. If you are spending more than $100,000 on a renovation, it should be as pleasurable an experience as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Tip 2

Ask for the names, numbers and addresses of projects that are currently under construction or have only recently been completed. It is no use talking to someone who built with the company years ago, as anything could have happened or changed in the meantime. If a company is unwilling to provide this information, this should definitely be a red flag.

Tip 3

Go with a builder that either employs a number of trades full time and/or works with only a limited number of sub contractors…and ask to speak to one or two of the subbies to get their take on what the company is really like.

Tip 4

Choose a builder where the Directors/Owners are hands on. You will always get a better, smoother and more enjoyable experience dealing with the people who own the company, rather than employees on site or commission based salespeople in the first instance.

Tip 5

Don’t make price the final determining factor in your selection of a preferred builder. If you are dealing with a reputable and long standing renovation builder, then there should only be thousands of dollars between the various builder’s prices, not tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a quote comes in either way higher or way lower than the average price across several builders, then again that should be a red flag. The builder you choose is going to be a big part of your life for 6 to 12 months or longer, depending on the size of your renovation.

You don’t need the builder to become your best friend…

…but you must set up and maintain a good working relationship with the company and their team. In short, there will and should be a fair amount of gut reaction in making your final choice of renovation builder.

At Green-Shore Builders, we pride ourselves on trying to achieve all of the above criteria and as a result, have a large number of very happy clients that we are currently dealing with or have dealt with in recent times. To read what they have to say about the process and our company, please feel free to visit the testimonials section of our website.

Tile or tin… that is the question!

One of the most commonly requested elements to either a ground floor or second storey insert renovation is to convert the existing roof of the property from tiles to tin – either zincalume or colorbond. For some years now the trend has been towards tin ahead of tiles.

Some people talk about the idea of enjoying hearing the rain on the roof.

Others like it because of the increased security from a break in perspective. It is pretty easy to lift a few tiles, jump in the roof and go down the manhole if you are a prospective thief. That is much harder to do if you have to lift off a whole sheet of tin – and way more obvious to people walking by!

Another driver can be that the existing tiles are just old and cracked and need re-pointing, so for aesthetic reasons and to stop ongoing problems with leaks, the decision is made by a client to convert from tiles to tin.

When it comes to a single storey conversion……

…there are additional costs over and above just the cost of supplying the tin and installing it. Tin uses a different batten spacing to tile, so not only do the existing roof tiles need to be pulled off and disposed of (a considerable expense in itself) the existing timber battens need replacing as well. In addition, most often gutters will need renewing, along with new downpipes, fascias, bargeboards and some or all of the eave linings. For these reasons alone, sometime the client stays with tile.

Looking at second storey inserts…..

….as we have to strip a large portion of the roof anyway to build the floor frame for the insert, the costs of converting the remaining roof to tin is much cheaper than in the case of single storey renovations.

Ultimately the choice is yours.

But often we find it is one of the items on people’s renovation wish lists that goes, choosing to invest as much of the available budget instead as they can into the actual construction elements of their renovation.

Click here to see more of our award winning renovations.