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!

Outdoor structures to take your garden to the next level

It’s hard to imagine that only a generation or two ago the typical Australian backyard featured not much more than a lemon tree, a vast expanse of grass and a Hills Hoist in the centre – usually at the end a concrete path coming directly from the laundry. It was unlikely to be accessible directly from the home’s living areas, but was handy for backyard cricket matches.

Oh, how times have changed. Our backyards are now an integral part of the family home and as well as containing swimming pools and landscaping, they are often rooms in their own right with outdoor kitchens and living rooms becoming ever more popular as homeowners look to get the most out of their space and Australia’s generally cooperative weather.

Keeping it simple on Santorini

 

Recently some members of the 5to50 team enjoyed an offsite conference (ahem, much-delayed honeymoon) in Greece. There was sun, sand, warm water and plenty of tzatziki of course, but we also loved looking at the Greek building methods – especially on Santorini. Residential construction in Greece seems to be fairly simple – it’s formed up, concrete is poured and, in Santorini at least, the roof is quite often concrete as well. Inside, the walls are rendered but there’s no lining or gyprock and in general, all the floors are tiled. The walls are lovely and thick which gives the buildings great thermal mass (it gets mighty hot on those idyllic islands) and external shutters are also part of the design to stop the summer heat from getting in through the windows.

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?

 

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?

renovating

23 things that are more fun than renovating

 

You’ve heard me say it before, but undertaking a renovation or large building project (or sometimes even a small one) can be stressful. So I thought I’d put together a list of activities that are more fun than renovating just to, you know, take your mind off things.

 

  1. Stubbing your toe
  2. Getting a paper cut
  3. Coming back to your car to discover that you have a parking ticket
  4. Doing all your supermarket shopping and then realising, when you get to the checkout, that you don’t have your wallet
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!

 

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.