Home Renovation Blog
Expert renovation tips and information about Home Additions and quality Renovations
Renovate or Detonate? This is a question that we are often asked this by home owners when confronted with an older home needing some TLC.
As a professional renovation Building business, people assume that we will automatically recommend renovation. While this does hold true for many homes with heritage and elements of character, it is not always an automatic answer.
Consider our top 5 factors to consider when making the decision to renovate or detonate.
If you are in an area rich in character and history, do you really want to strip that away? Consider Perth inner suburbs such as Mount Lawley, Mount Hawthorn, Wembley, North Perth and some parts of Nedlands and Claremont for example. These are beautiful neighbourhoods, rich in history, character and charm. The home owners that have renovated their character homes in these suburbs, have contributed to their heritage streetscape, and continue to add to the charm of these areas.
Keeping a home in the character of the area will almost always pay off in the long term. Future home buyers into the area will be looking there because they love the character and charm. In contrast, if you decide to demolish and build new, you will find that your new home will most likely appear dated in 10-15 years.
In addition, it is likely that in 10-15 years that the new home will be ready or renovations, and will future home buyer want to spend money renovating character or a dated home (think about how quick the Tuscan trend lasted in the 80’s – on a side note, these homes also perform very badly on energy assessments as they are not built to suit our climate)? The answer is that the character home will win out every time. Classic character never goes out of style and will maintain the future appeal of your home and is an investment in your future.
On the other hand, if you are in a run-down area that is in the process of being revitalised with demolitions, subdivisions and new builds, then perhaps a new build is a better option. Areas such as Innaloo, Embleton and Morley are examples of suburbs where demolition and building new is a probably a better option.
Still not sure? Talk to a local real estate agent and get their opinion.
When you demolish and build new, you will have the problem of where to stay while construction takes place. This usually means locating a rental property and may also mean paying for storage of household furniture of items. This type of expense that can add up over time and needs to be factored in when you are crunching the numbers.
In most cases, you will be able to live in the home while renovation takes place. Yes, there will be some inconvenience involved, but there is a considerable cost saving to be had, and if budget is a consideration this cannot be ignored as a major saving. Consider a 6 month build at $450 per week in rent, already you are over $10k before you have even estimated storage costs.
In some Perth areas such as some streets within the City of Stirling, heritage protection zones will be in place. If you are in one of these streets, then renovation is a no-brainer, as the council will simply not approve demolition. Hefty fines apply for those that flout the by-laws.
In suburbs that are not heritage protected, restrictions may still apply. For example, a local council may decline to approve a full demolition if it thinks it is detrimental to the streetscape. In addition, there are often restrictions about how visible a top storey addition is allowed to be from the street when adding on to a character home. This also applies to building new, where a council will assess how imposing a the home will be on the streetscape. Again the councils are protecting the heritage streetscape.
We strongly recommend talking to your council while still in the early planning stages – or ensure that your designer does – before drawing up your plans, and ensure that you know the constraints that may apply to your street and home.
A well planned building project should be fully costed in advance. This applies to both a new build and to a renovation project. The true cost of each project may include items that are not apparent at the outset. These may include items such as renting, storage, and any tasks that are not included such as painting or landscaping which will cost you money at some point.
How do you know what a renovation will cost? The first step is to engage the professional services of a designer to plan your project. Then get a renovation specialist Builder to provide a fixed price cost* for the entire project.
*Bear in mind that if you choose to build the renovation yourself, that you may not be able to achieve it for the same fixed price as a Builder that has access to trade rates.
Once you are armed with those figures, you should be able to compare a new build with the renovation. Costing a major renovation project for you to perform yourselves as an Owner/Builder is altogether a trickier proposition.
Be very careful and please avoid the awful trap that some home renovators fall into, whereby they decide to do the renovation themselves and run out of money half-way. They then end up living with a half finished house for many years, and never really get the enjoyment out of their home that they envisaged.
Some time in the future – as unlikely as it may seem now – you will arrive at a point in your life when it is time to sell your home. Hopefully after crafting the home that you love, you get to enjoy it for many years before you sell. It can be very difficult to estimate what your home may be worth in the future, however a good real estate agent should be able to compare a renovated home versus a new home and compare number of rooms, number of square metres, etc…
If you do ask for a professional real estate agent to assist, ask them to also consider the value of a character home over a new home.
“ We completed our first home renovation in North Perth with Amerex last year. We were undertaking a large two storey renovation of our dream home and the decision to choose Amerex came down to the high level of professionalism, expertise, excellent customer service and vast knowledge that Steve and the team displayed in character home renovations.Laila, North Perth 'We thoroughly enjoyed the building process'
We had not renovated in the past and we were very unsure of the process however Amerex staff spent a lot of time assisting us with the design process, they were always available to answer our enquires, provided valuable suggestions, were extremely patient and completed our project ahead of schedule.
We would highly recommend Amerex as we have ended up with a beautiful home that displays excellent workmanship and a highly functional design. The home is exactly as we imagined it to be and our family and friends have all complimented on the amazing final result.
We thoroughly enjoyed the building process with Steve and the highly skilled Amerex team and extend a big thankyou to all the staff who helped us along the way!! ”
“ I was fortunate to have Steve, Kelly and the team at Amerex build my extension.Cymbie, Mt Lawley 'Professional, highly skilled, approachable with exacting standards'
They are a professional, highly skilled, approachable business with exacting standards and the ability to work with you from the planning stage to completion.
This professionalism extends to all who come on site. Kelly's capable and warm project coordination ensures that everything runs like clockwork and all your queries are dealt with extreme efficiency.
Very Happy! ”
“ We signed up with Amerex for a very big renovation, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom - the lot. We wanted to keep the look and feel of our character home in the extensions. Amerex were the right choice for that. They have an eye for detail and took the time to make sure things were done right. We've been very happy with the quality of their work.Ben, Inglewood 'They have an eye for detail and took the time to make sure things were done right'
We found Steve to be very responsive and professional. He kept the whole project moving along. We were complete novices going into the whole process and he took the time to go through the details so we could make more informed choices.
Would definitely recommend Amerex to anyone wanting to renovate. ”
“ From the first meeting with Amerex until the final check we have enjoyed the experience. Amerex have taken our words and ideas and built them into a quality finished home extension that is functional and everything that we had hoped for.Phil, North Perth 'Our extension has the "wow" factor'
The entire team at Amerex lead by Steve are friendly, reliable, use quality materials and produce a quality outcomes.
Our extension has the “wow” factor and guests comment on the exceptional open plan design that is built to entertain.
We are very happy with the final finish and would highly recommend them to anyone. ”
“ Steve and his team took our conceptual design and made our vision a reality in very quick time with practical completion of this major renovation within 7 months of the start date. The site supervision was tight which meant that the work progressed easily between the various trades.Christine, Wembley 'It was a real pleasure to deal with Steve and his team'
What is more, the estimated cost of the job was accurate with variations only to suit changes that we required. The outcome was a home that delivers so much more than we expected in terms of comfort, quality and our initial objectives.
It was a real pleasure to deal with Steve and his team. I would not hesitate to recommend Amerex to anyone who needs the services of a truly professional builder/renovator. ”
“ Amerex, lead by Steve, have clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance prior to, and during the build. They used skilled tradespeople and quality materials; no corners were cut and I felt confident that the build was of the highest quality.Rachel, Woodlands 'Steve has clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance'
Steve and his team communicated frequently with me along the way and I was involved at every step. I felt comfortable approaching him if I had any questions or concerns, he was always available and acted quickly to resolve any issues.
The team at Amerex were reliable, professional and a pleasure to deal with. In particular Kelly, who would often go ‘above and beyond’, was always positive, and nothing was ever too much trouble. ”
“ It was an absolute pleasure to deal with the Amerex team for our home renovation.Eric and Kris, Mt Lawley 'We received exceptional customer service'
From Steve Burke, to the office staff and all of the various tradespeople, we received exceptional customer service.
The skilled tradespeople were reliable, obliging & committed to the highest level of quality on our home.
Amerex came in on budget, they completed the work earlier than scheduled & they ensured our renovation ran smoothly throughout. ”
A member of the Amerex team will arrange a time to discuss your
renovation and additions project and assess what stage you are at in the building process.
PO Box 328, North Perth WA 6906
ABN: 67 009 252 680 Builders Registration: 10250