reality tv

The difference between reality TV and reality

Today, straight from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious, a former contestant from The Block explained how renovating on TV isn’t quite the same as renovating your own home in real life. Shut the front door! Really? You can read that story here and this is what I wrote on the topic a little while back.

Back in the olden days before we met and life turned into non-stop unicorn meat with sparkle gravy for dinner, JD was involved in a reality TV renovation show. He’d originally been asked to audition for the host role (think Scott Cam) but they decided to go with someone younger (think Jamie Durie in his Backyard Blitz days). However, he got a call a couple of months later when the producers realised that they needed someone who could actually, you know, build. So, he grabbed his tool belt and headed for the bright lights of television as the site supervisor. What he found there did not leave him overly impressed.

building

Why isn’t the builder here yet?

At the start of the year, there are lots of customers who are keen to get started on their building job – but it’s not quite as easy as pressing the big green go button. Here at Builderette HQ we hear a lot of site stories from JD (before, during and after projects that he’s been working on). Many of the before stories centre around customers wondering why his crew can’t start straight away or at the very least give a firm date on when they’ll begin the job.

 

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.

rubbish removal

The unexpected romance of rubbish removal

Not long after JD and I started seeing each other, he told me had something special planned for a Saturday morning. He’s not one for hugely romantic gestures so I was excited by the thought of breakfast at a new cafe or perhaps a morning massage followed by lunch by th eocean? No chance. He told me to put on my Blunnies and hop in the 3-tonne tipper – we were off to the tip!

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

How to defy gravity

I heard a wonderful interview with engineer Bill Lawson on a podcast the other day (Richard Fidler’s Conversations) where he talked about how engineering is really the art of defying gravity. I thought this was such a wonderful way to describe a science that’s all about working out how to keep heavy things from collapsing. Which is something that builders are pretty interested in too.

 

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.