Do I use a designer or architect for my renovation?

This is another question that we get asked ALL the time…

At the risk of upsetting every designer and architect out there, our advice is a resounding NO!!

Why no to architects and designers?

Quite simply, we find in 9 out of 10 cases, a designer/architect has the cost of the project as the lowest single priority…and this is never a great starting point for a renovation!!

So often we get the phone call…..

My friend/best friend/a friend of the family/father/brother etc is a designer/architect and has put together a concept for us…

Great we say…did you tell him/her your budget??

Yes we told him/her the budget and we are assured that this design is right on budget, if not a little under…..

And then, 99 times out of 100 (and I am not exaggerating) even a cursory glance at the drawings and a ball park estimate sees us $50,000, $100,00 sometimes even $200,000 over the client’s budget!!!!!

Unfortunately it seems that budget and design are often mutually exclusive when it comes to architects and dsigners….

In short, the designer has been paid, we are the villains for “pricing it so high” and the whole potential relationship is off to just such a bad start….

So to summarise…

By all means get an opinion from your friendly designer/architect…or get him/her to look at the concept we do. In fact, pick as many people’s brains as you like, but when it comes to the crunch, have us design something to your budget. That way we can then also allow for standard exclusions like flooring, painting and air conditioning to be factored in, so that the final price of the renovation comes in at your budget, not $100k over.

Like it or not, everyone has a budget and the more open you can be with your renovation builder about what you want and how much you are happy to invest, the sooner a practical and cost efficient solution can be created for you by our award winning team.

Will I be overcapitalising if I renovate?

Not surprisingly, this is a question we get asked all the time by prospective renovation clients at our first meeting. And naturally it is a very difficult question to answer as we are not real estate experts, accountants or fortune tellers!!

What we normally say to people is that if their time horizon till selling following the renovation is 5 years or more, then it is unlikely they will not more than recoup their investment in the renovation when it comes time to sell down the line. And there is the added bonus of enjoying their new, fully renovated family home until they sell!

At many appointments we hear the following story…

1. I love where I live
2. I like my neighbours
3. The kids are happy at school/we live near a great school
4. We have been looking for a house to move to for months, even years, but can’t find anything that grabs us
5. It is SO expensive to move

The above are repeated meeting after meeting and people actually seem comforted when we can say that they are not alone when it comes to these sentiments.

Regarding the cost of moving….

If you are selling a $500,000 property and looking to buy around the $800,000 mark for a newly renovated home to move to, the combined cost of stamp duty on the new house plus real estate agents fees on the current property will be somewhere north of $75,000. This amount of money will go at least a third of the way to your new renovation, if not a higher percentage! This factor alone often tips people over the edge to renovate rather than sell and buy elsewhere.

Combine those costs with a flat real estate market, money never being cheaper to borrow and no tax paid on capital gains on the family home and it is not hard to see why the renovation market is very strong at the moment.

If the above story sounds like you….

Then maybe it is time to look at renovating your current home and turning it into a place that you can enjoy for the foreseeable future, with the renovation in time given you a higher future sale price as well.

If we go through the exercise of showing you what your renovation will cost and how it will work, and you decide to move instead, then we totally understand that you need to have all the facts in front of you in order to make an informed decision.

To see recent examples of some renovation projects please visit our website.

Second storey added in Southern River to near new home

Another interesting renovation story from my time on the road…

This young couple in Southern River were referred by a former client.

They were needing extra space with a set of unexpected twins on the way!!

Their house was not that old but the only option for more space was to go up. This meant they could also take advantage of natural bushland views stretching out to the Darling Scarp.

We suggested that rather than go up with a large family room and balcony, they would be better to scrap the balcony and put a simple bathroom and additional separate room upstairs instead (all of this for the same total dollar investment as their original plan). They are delighted that they took our advice and couldn’t be happier with the end product.

Interestingly with this one, the client had access to plasterers and ceiling fixers through their family, so we were happy to build upstairs with no ceilings or walls which they have promptly finished off, along with skirting boards etc This is something we are always happy to look at if it means the project can go ahead and the clients dollar investment is maximized.

This was one of five projects handed over the week of Christmas 2016!

And every single renovation had been completed ahead of schedule, one by nearly 8 weeks!

Another happy customer and a future advocate to friends and family of Green Shore Builders.

At Green-Shore we always take a practical, budget focused view of the project.

This ensure that our initial concept shows the client what they can actually afford for their investment level. So often when we are presented with supplied plans at our first client visit, the concept proves to be significantly over the clients stated budget, so we are behind the eight ball from the outset, through no fault of our own.

Here are some recent examples of second storey additions for other happy clients.

We look forward to helping you design and construct your renovation.