• How to kick-start your reno


    Architect, Cameron Frazer takes us on-site to find out how to kick-start a home renovation.


    Building and renovating is a really exciting time.  It's a way to extend your home and get the dream home you've always wanted.  Today, we're going to meet a builder who will take us through what's involved and we'll get some tips and tricks to help make the process a smooth one.

    So, Matt.  Can you give us a tour of this house under construction.

    Yeah sure.

    We find we get a lot of interest from the market to have the master bedroom on the ground floor.  It tends to be very popular with an aging demographic around this area.

    Another trend we get a lot of interest for, is a butler's pantry, off to the side there, which is a new feature we're seeing pop up in a lot of houses now.  

    We always like to incorporate some big bi-fold doors to really open the house up to the alfresco area.

    Where do I start if I want to renovate my house or build a house?

    Most important thing to get right from the outset is having good design and that usually involves getting an architect involved.  That's really important to get a good flow through the house.  So if I find a builder I think I might use, should I do some checks? Are there things I should make sure that builders got?

    Builder checks

    First of all, it's always good to check that they're licensed.  You can do that with the relevant building authorities.  You know, ask them for a list of recent projects that they've completed.  Actually spend some time and drive around and have a look at those.  It's a big investment. If you can, go and speak to the owners of the other projects that they've finished recently and find out how the process was with the builder.

    How do I budget for my renovation? 

     How do I know how much I might need to spend or I should spend?

    Well I guess your budget is always going to vary on what you're building.  A kitchen for example like we have here, they can start from anywhere from fifteen thousand to thirty thousand dollars depending on the level of appointment.  

    You can imagine a couple, they're sitting in their small house, and they're thinking we really need to add on.  How much should we spend?  And if they're thinking I want to add on 100 square meters?  

    Again quality will affect that price range.  It could range anywhere from sort of sixteen hundred dollars a square meter up to anywhere up to two thousand dollars a square meter depending on your quality.

    How long should I allow for the building process?

    How long will it take to get all those permits and all that sort of activity?

    They have to allow several months.  And then the actual building stage, obviously depends on the size of what you're constructing as well.

    Top tips

    So what are your top tips Matt for undertaking a building program? 

    Get a good design.  Engage some professionals to assist you with that.  Yes.  And then really do some research into the selection of your builder and the professionals you are using to help you along the way.

    So there you have it.  

    Building can be an exciting time.  But do your planning and do your research and enjoy the journey to your dream home.

    I'll see you next time.


    About the author

    • Cameron Frazer

      Cameron Frazer from Archicentre is on hand to help avoid thousands of dollars on costly repairs that can turn that dream home into a nightmare. As our resident architect, Cameron, will show buyers what to look for and the questions to ask when purchasing a property, and how to get the right professional help for your renovation or building project.

      With over 20 years of experience in design, construction, project management and sustainability, Cameron has led significant architectural projects in the private and public sectors. He will also look at how to assess a property, consider the potential renovation costs and how to best unlock future capital growth.

      Cameron Frazer

  • Like to know more?

    Find your local RAMS Home Loan Centre

  • Disclaimer:

    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.