tasmania

What it takes to build an award-winning home

A couple of years ago my father and his wife sold their stunning property in a little town in Tasmania, and moved into a hay shed on 40ha of land they’d bought just down the road. Their plan was to build their dream home and maybe a little guest house. Collectively, the family thought they were nuts with a capital N, given that they were in their late 60s and already lived in a house that had been included in Vogue Living’s Top 20 country houses not too long ago.

Sydney renovations

Who do you need on your renovating team?

 

If you’ve been playing along with The Builderette for a while, you know that I’m a big believer in a renovating or building project being a team effort. Everyone needs to be working towards the same goal and to the same game plan. If they’re not, that’s when things can go off track. And when things go off track in a renovation, it can get stressful and expensive pretty quickly. So, who do you need on your renovating team?

we love small building jobs

Why we love small building jobs

 

When I first met JD about seven years ago, as a residential builder he was focussing on larger renovations and the occasional new, luxury home. Saw the movie, got the t-shirt. Now, our focus is on small building jobs and here’s why:

 

We like helping people

It’s true – JD really likes helping people come up with building solutions that are within their budget and that will add value to their lifestyle and/or their home. The solution to your problem may not be a big, expensive renovation, but that’s what a lot of builders prefer to work on. We like the smaller stuff.

builder

Do you speak fluent builder?

 

When you start working on a renovation or building project, you realise fairly quickly that a builder sometimes seem to speak their own private language. It can be a bit intimidating to stop them mid flow to ask what they’re talking about so, I thought I’d provide a handy guide to some commonly used building phrases. Rosetta Stone isn’t offering a course yet, but I think they should!

 

dream design

When a dream design becomes a real-life nightmare

 

Let me tell you a story. It’s a cautionary tale and one you should pay attention to if you’re thinking about a renovation. Especially a big renovation. 

 

Once upon a time, we were watching Grand Designs (well, just the other night) when we suddenly realised the featured house was currently for sale, in fact, my sister had pointed it out to me a couple of months ago. You see, in addition to cooking, sewing and reading my other hobby is looking at real estate – usually in Hobart, where we have vague dreams of retiring one day. One of my sisters lives down there and she occasionally flicks me houses I might be interested in. This one was listed at $5million plus, putting it not only in “total fantasy” territory for us but also at the top of the range for Tasmanian real estate in general.

builders

Why don't builders like architects?

Do you know about Amelia the Undercover Architect? She’s a totally fab woman who offers really down to earth and very practical design advice – she won my heart the first time I came across her when she wrote a story for Reno Addict about why you shouldn’t use an architect. Coming from an architect this was powerful stuff! She ruffled a few feathers but I thought it was a great piece.