Kim & Kanye #justlikeus

Honestly, when you think about it, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are just like totally normal people – going over time and over budget on a renovation. Just like us, they had to live with the in-laws for a while while work was happening (hi Kris!). And when that got too much (renovation timeline not going as planned) they moved into interim accommodation while work was still happening. I guess things got a little crowded at Kris’s place. And to top it all off, there were suggestions that Kanye’s VPB (very public breakdown) was caused in part by the stress of the renovation. Man, I hear you! Those things can be stressful!

project home

Why does a project home cost the same as a renovation?

If you’ve progressed any way at all down the renovation path, you would have discovered pretty quickly that it’s fairly easy to get to $250,000 without trying too hard. That kind of money will get you a ground-floor extension, but it might not cover re-doing your ensuite as well. Which is hard to understand when you flick through the Sunday papers and see page after page of project home after project home being offered for $250,000. That’s a four-bedroom, two-bathroom family home for the same price as a large living room and a kitchen reno. Whaaaaat?

 

scope of works

Is your scope of works in your finger?

I have pretty awesome fingers. They’re long, a bit calloused and I use them on a regular basis to do all sorts of things like cook, sew, pat the cat and type. One thing my fingers cannot do however, is house an entire scope of works (can’t play piano either but that’s a story for another time). As a builder who visits the homes of many, many people wishing to start a building project or renovation, JD meets an awful lot of people who, rather than writing down what they would like to achieve, choose to point at things with their fingers. This is not a great way to start, or manage, a building job.

renovation

How to get ready for your renovation

It’s pretty exciting when you first start thinking about doing a renovation or decent-sized project around the house. You start tearing pages out of magazines (yes, I’m that old) or adding to Pinterest along with taking pictures of cool tiles you spot in cafés around town. However, getting from Pinterest to a new family room and kitchen is a long journey and there are a couple of things you can do right at the start to make life a little easier and give you a better chance of getting the result you’re looking for.

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?

rental property

5 simple ways to renovate a rental property

If you live in one of Australia’s capital cities you’ve probably noticed that real estate has been a little out of control lately (Sydney, I’m looking at you!). Prices have gone through the roof and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get onto that first rung of the property ladder unless you’ve got generous parents or win the lottery (if you’re looking in Sydney you’ll probably need both!). Which leaves you with staying at home (not my bag and not an option for a lot of people) or renting.

 

renovate for profit

5 things I learned from my favourite TV renovator

Do you love property developer Sarah Beeney’s show Property Ladder? I do! Each week Sarah visits people who are determined to renovate for profit and equally determined to ignore any and all advice that Sarah (a successful, professional developer) has to give them. It’s one of those shows that literally has me howling at the TV! I’m not sure if it’s still being made but there are always re-runs on Foxtel. Ask me how I know!

 

Over many years of, ahem, research, here’s what I’ve learned about how to renovate for profit from Sarah Beeney.

 

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!

 

If you go down to the woods today…

JD recently received an email from a customer who was not happy that there had been a “massive cost blowout” on their project.  While the cost of the project was now larger than originally anticipated, this was because there had actually been a “massive scope of works blowout”.  That is, as the job had gone one, they’d asked for more work to be done.

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.