Renovation rescue in Canberra?

By 26 May, 2011 14

We are looking to extend our original condition 3 bedroom house on the northside with an extra bedroom and bathroom to fit our existing bub and new arrival later this year. We’d like a new kitchen as well if the budget will stretch that far!

But we’ve heard so many stories about renovations gone wrong that we have no idea where to start. We had considered hiring an architect and getting them to manage the building, but we are now hearing that this is a really expensive option and not worth the money.

We are leaning towards hiring an “all-in-one” specialist (design, build and fit out) if we can find someone dependable and not too pricey.

Any RiotACT readers have any recommended renovation companies, or suggestions on how to make sure we hire someone who will do see the project through and do a good job?

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14 Responses to Renovation rescue in Canberra?
#1
Ferarri10:01 am, 26 May 11

Hooman Eshani fro ModArch in Fyshwick can provide a full 3D view of your proposed changes that gives a perfect view of the completed product before you start. Hooman has a builder as part of his company, so the accountability rests with one company – 0401 006 885

#2
Chop7110:36 am, 26 May 11

Ferarri said :

Hooman Eshani fro ModArch in Fyshwick can provide a full 3D view of your proposed changes that gives a perfect view of the completed product before you start. Hooman has a builder as part of his company, so the accountability rests with one company – 0401 006 885

any ideas as to the costs of the 3D work? can it be done yourself? I too would like to add a parents retreat/ensuite and a rumpus room to our house. (also extend the deck)

#3
mikal11:38 am, 26 May 11

We’ve just done something similar. I think the architect (Geoff Driscoll) saved us money overall, he’s certainly recovered his fees in getting us better pricing from builders he’s worked with before (and therefore trusts). He also designed something much nicer than I would have, and I love the building.

We also had really good experiences with Quality Constructions, who are the builders on the job (the work is currently about 75% complete).

Any competent architect should be able to pull 3D walkthroughs out of their CAD package. We certainly weren’t charged anything for them.

#4
Holden Caulfield12:17 pm, 26 May 11

We’re in the process of doing the same thing right now. Let me tell you, no matter how you do it, it’s going to be expensive to renovate.

We’re adding only a minor extension to our living space and a double garage, then renovating all other rooms in our 3BR house. The thing is, if we were prepared to knock down our charming 50s home we could put up a 4BR new build with a project home builder for about the same money.

Rightly or wrongly we weren’t prepared to knock down our old home, so we’ve just closed out eyes (within reason) to the costs involved.

In regards to finding a builder, one approach you could take is to speak to some real estate agents who may be currently selling properties in your area that are similar to the type of thing you are planning to do. This has the added benefit of possibly getting an up close look at the builder’s quality of work as well. Maree van Arkel (Blackshaws) and Stephen Bunday (LJ Hooker) are two agents that come to mind and both (in our experience) have been willing to chat and offer tips.

The other thing you will need to be prepared to spend is time. I’d say the chances of getting anything completed in line with the scope of work you have outlined before your baby arrives is several times less than zero.

I’d be happy to discuss in further detail if you like, but would prefer if JB passed on my contact details if you’re interested, rather than boring everyone with the nitty gritty.

Good luck!

#5
Hosinator12:56 pm, 26 May 11

Can I suggest that you THOROUGHLY read and understand your contract with the builder, designer, architect. Understand what your inclusions and exclusions are in the contract and pay particular attention to what the timeframes for remedial work (warranty) are.

Make sure that any and all additional work and their associated quotes are provided to you in writing and that you authorise them in writing.

In a building/renovation project 9.99 times out of 10 you will have a dispute with the builder over costs, even if it’s only for a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars.
A judge will only rule in your favour if you have written and binding evidence to support your case.

#6
dusty8:08 pm, 26 May 11

Recommend Simon Lette ACT Lic Builder 20071035 ph 0439992456

#7
GuruJ8:02 pm, 27 May 11

Thanks for the tips all — particularly your caution about the contract Hosinator!

Makes sense if you think about it since there’s so many bits and pieces that go into putting a house together. Will have to think about the use of an architect some more …

#8
Jethro8:34 pm, 27 May 11

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

#9
silverdanceshoes11:20 pm, 30 May 11

You Need a Builder
Highly reccommend Licenced Builder Maurice Kurtz,he has renovated many homes, with quality workmanship, my kitchen is a dream, we are currently getting a sunroom added. He will draw plans, submit them, order materials and do the work. Try him, ph: 0419 991 035

#10
makingtide6:22 pm, 18 Jun 11

For God’s sake – DO NOT use Prestige Kitchens in Fyshwick. I’ve been without a kitchen (no tap, sink, stove, oven, cupboards, drawers or benches) for over two months. My opinion is that they cannot find their a**e with both hands and are sadly lacking in integrity…

if anybody wants the full story, happy to reply to email.

#11
Anna Key7:42 pm, 18 Jun 11

Jethro said :

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

Does it matter?

#12
Antagonist11:37 am, 19 Jun 11

Jethro said :

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

If they are *insert religious or minority group here*, you can be pretty sure they won’t be stopping at just a second child, LOL. Planning for the future?

#13
Watson3:20 pm, 19 Jun 11

Antagonist said :

Jethro said :

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

If they are *insert religious or minority group here*, you can be pretty sure they won’t be stopping at just a second child, LOL. Planning for the future?

Was that intended to sound as racist as it does?

#14
Jethro4:59 pm, 19 Jun 11

Anna Key said :

Jethro said :

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

Does it matter?

Of course it doesn’t matter. I’m just wondering why someone would fork out tens of thousands of dollars for a bedroom that they might not need.

Jethro said :

If you already have 3 bedrooms, why do you need another bedroom to fit a 2nd child?

If they are *insert religious or minority group here*, you can be pretty sure they won’t be stopping at just a second child, LOL. Planning for the future?

Was that intended to sound as racist as it does?

Unfortunately, my guess is yes.

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