Top Six Tips On How To Plan Home Renovations With A Building Company
When it comes to adding value to your home, home improvements are the way to do it. Whether major or minor, these improvements can cover a wide range of different aspects to your home. For example, you can improve your home by taking on projects on your own, such as painting walls, laying new carpets, replacing and installing windows or putting down brand new tiles on the floor of the bathroom. But the most valuable way to improve your home is through major projects, some of which may require professional help. For example, if you desire to add an extension to your home, unless you are knowledgeable about structural building, you will likely require the services of a home renovations building company.
However, even this is not a simple task as organisation and planning must go into the process of working with a building company. So here are six top tips to work with a home renovations building company.
1. Before you hire a building company there are preliminary steps you should take. One of them is to assess the value of your house.
Ask yourself these questions: What is your home worth? What value are you seeking? What home improvements can you do that will increase the value of your home to the value you desire?
To determine the value of your home, you’ll need to hire a professional home inspector. This is a person who is qualified to check your home, assess what you have and come up with a determination. Alternatively, the Auckland City Council has recently published the rateable valuations for all properties in the region so you can get an indication here. But be clear that rateable value is not the same a market value.
2. After you’ve had your home inspected, and you know what value your home is and what value you are hoping to achieve, you will need to determine your budget. You may want to completely overhaul your kitchen, for example. But kitchen renovations can be expensive depending on what you want. Also, you might need to arrange finance especially for a bigger project so talk to your bank about a possible increase in your mortgage.
Are you able to go top-of-the-line and hire a building company for all of your needs? In this case you will pay for not only supplies but also labour. Or, are there projects that you will need to do yourself?
3. Another preliminary step you must take is to determine how long you plan to live in your home. A major home improvement will increase the value of your home, but is it worth it to spend the money if you are not going to be living in the house for long?
What are your goals? Are you improving the home solely for resale value? If so, are all of the improvements you want for your home necessary to sell the home?
4. If you have decided to take on major projects or if the building company will do them for you, chances are you will need the necessary permits. If you want to build a garage or build an addition bedroom, for examples, chances are a permit is needed. Be warned that this can take several weeks to gain approval.
On the other hand, if you are simply painting the interior or the exterior, or replacing a door, or something similarly minor, you may not need a permit.
Do your homework, and if you are approaching a major renovation that requires a building company, be wary of any contractor who tells you a permit is not needed. Educate yourself on this step. And also note that any reputable Auckland home renovations builder will not proceed unless you do have the Building Consent signed off by the Council.
5. If you choose to go with a home renovations building company, it is extremely important that you are working with a reputable company that is following safety procedures and is licensed. It is never a good idea to skip these factors to save money or some other short cut.
A reputable professional builder will follow safety precautions and prevent problems and possible lawsuits. Often you get what you pay for with building contractors. Therefore, choose a building company based on reviews, recommendations, and personal interaction rather than how much the building company charges.
6. In addition, if you choose to work with a home renovations building company, they must be experienced and organised. After you have indicated what projects you want to be done, the company should have a detailed schedule on getting them accomplished. There are far too many stories of renovations projects that go way beyond the agreed completion date. Get assurances from your building contractor that they will finish as promised.
The company should never hang around longer than they should. Companies that fail to complete projects as agreed upon are probably not professional companies.
Plan effectively, do your homework, particularly your preliminary steps, to be prepared for home improvement projects. Work only with the most professional, licensed and qualified building companies. This is how you spend only what is needed and get your jobs done efficiently.
One home renovations building company in Auckland is Repair and Restore. They have a great reputation for the work they do plus they guarantee to stick to the agreed time plan.
Repair and Restore Ltd
Solid Renovation Ideas For Older Auckland Homes
If you are the owner of an older home, you may be attracted to all of its charm, yet there may be some things that you are missing. While it may seem like a crime to do renovations to an older Auckland home to make it more modern, there are some things that should definitely be done. Here are several larger renovation ideas if you want to make your older home better than ever.
Add A Bathroom
This is a change that many people are realising is one of the most important projects you can undertake. People these days are always looking for additional bathrooms, so this will make it very appealing if you ever intend to sell it. While adding a small powder room can up the value of your home, you should consider separate shower and bath areas, double vanities and heated floors. These are modern bathroom amenities that are becoming the norm, so making these changes will help you keep up-to-date. They will almost certainly add value to your older home too.
Open Floor Plans
While having a closed floor plan is great for people who are not big on entertaining, those who do like to have guests around would definitely appreciate something with a bit more open space. There are ways to remove certain walls in every home without making it structurally unsound. This is a big job since it may require moving beams and that type of thing, but it is definitely worth it since it will give you the openness you desire and a plenty more floor space.
Many people say that older homes were built better than any of those today, and this may be partially true, but when it comes to electricity this is not the case at all. Older wiring is a nuisance since it can lead to lighting issues and the inability to use certain types of bulbs. Furthermore, old wiring can be a major fire hazard. In fact it is one of the most common causes of house fires. However, this is an extremely expensive job to do and is one for the professionals, but it can make you feel more secure knowing that you and your family are safe from potential fire hazards.
A Finished Basement
Gone are the days where basements had to be these old, creepy places that harboured rodents and insects. There are many people that are having their basements converted to liveable space. Whether you want to create a place where the man of the house can socialise with his friends (the fabled man cave), or you want a rumpus room where your children can play loudly without disturbing everyone, a finished basement is a very solid idea for older homes.
This is one of the most important parts of renovating your home since it is the first thing that people will see as they approach it. There is no law that says you have to do anything to modernise the outside of your home, but it would be a great idea if you have one of the oldest homes in your neighbourhood.
Adding a water or stone feature is a great way to enhance the look of your outdoor space. The best part about this is that you do not have to add anything that you feel will ruin the look and feel of your home. For example, you can install an antique fountain instead of one that was made in the past few years. This will give your home a great look without taking away the classic factor.
Adding an Extra Bedroom
When you undertake some of these ideas you are going to have disruption to your home and life for a while so why not have all the work done in one go. Families often find they run out of bedroom space as children grow older. When they were ten and under children like to share but as they approach their teens, the idea of sharing a bedroom with a sibling is less appealing. So having an extension built to add an extra bedroom is can alleviate that domestic tension.
Builders for Renovations for Older Homes
Now that you have all of these great ideas to work with, it is time to figure out what you want to do with your home. It may seem a bit intimidating to make drastic changes. In fact for some of them it is necessary to find renovation builder for older homes as you will be working with the supporting structure of the house. Unless you are highly skilled and have the correct equipment then this is very risky. The problem is finding a reliable building company in Auckland.
One of the most respected Auckland house renovation companies is Repair and Restore. They have many testimonials from happy clients such as this one.
If you choose a reputable builder for renovating your older home you will be more than satisfied with the result once the work is planned and done.
Financing A Big Home Renovation
Finding the money to finance a big home renovation project can be quite daunting if you do not have all the facts to help you make an informed decision. If you are lucky enough to have options available, you should look closely at the merits of each possibility as one may be more suitable than another. Each financing scenario will depend on your own financial situation and your personal preferences. Listed below are a few options to serve as a guide but you should seek professional financial advice before you make a final decision.
For some guidance on current borrowing costs in NZ, this site has a good summary.
Paying cash for a major renovation project should only be considered if you have a large amount of money readily available after you have taken care of all other financial considerations, For example, do you have a well funded retirement plan or are your credit cards paid off? It is certainly the easiest payment option as there are no appraisals to undergo, no forms to complete and no waiting period for approvals. However, the money spent on financing the project could be earning a higher rate of interest in an investment account and you could actually save money in the long run. In addition, loans might be tax-deductible, whereas home renovations paid for in cash will not have the same benefits. It is best to check the figures with your financial adviser who will be able to assist you in determining whether cash is a good option for you.
HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS
You can approach your current mortgage lender to ask for a home improvement loan. They are generally willing to consider this if your credit rating is good and your existing mortgage payments are fully paid and up-to-date. This is often the easiest option since you already have credentials with your mortgage provider and a track record.
With this type of loan you have a shorter payback period than a mortgage often for ten years instead of the 30 you might have on your mortgage. The advantage of this is that the loan is cleared sooner and so you will be paying far less interest than if you took a second mortgage.
HOME EQUITY CREDIT
This line of credit is a finance option in the form of revolving credit with the value of your home taken as collateral. The line of credit is set at approximately 75% to 80% of the appraised value of the property after deduction of the value of any mortgage held on the property with a variable interest rate. The amount of credit available will also be determined by your credit history and your ability to repay. Once a line of credit has been set up the funds can be accessed whenever necessary. The drawback to this type of finance for new homeowners is that there may be very little actual equity that has been built up, the interest rates are higher and there is a cost involved in setting it up.
HOME EQUITY LOANS
A Home Equity Loan is also called a Second Mortgage and is basically a fixed term, loan based on the equity of your property. The loan is repaid in monthly installments similar to your primary mortgage. Lending institutions will offer loans of up to 80% of the appraised value of the property. Factors taken into consideration by the financial institution to determine the amount of the loan and the interest rate includes your credit history, the balance on your primary mortgage and your ability to pay the monthly installments.
CASH OUT REFINANCING
If you have owned your home for a long period of time and interest rates were high at the time you purchased it compared to current interest rates, this is a good option. After having your property appraised, a new loan process is undertaken which allows you to pay off your existing mortgage and the balance of the funds can be used to finance your project. This is not a good option if you are planning to move in less than a year or two.
When choosing a finance option for a major home renovation project, it is most important to determine what your budget limitations are and to stay within those limits.
CARRYING OUT A HOME RENOVATION
Once you have your finance in place you will need to find an Auckland home renovations company. There are lots of building firms but for a top quality building job you should consider looking at renovation specialists. Auckland has a few like Repair and Restore Ltd. For a home renovation job they are a good starting point. Give them a call.
Options When Making Major House Renovations
If you want to re-design your home to suit your own needs and tastes, then this article will provide a hint of some of the major renovation options that are available to you. While some of these things may not apply, there are some which will help you to make the best possible choice if you are going to carry out major house renovations.
General guidelines – when making big renovations to your house, always take into account the new dimensions of the rooms and conjoining spaces. If the spaces are going to be restructured, the shape and size is the critical factor. For example many people choose to remove some internal walls. This does two things. Firstly it creates open plan living areas and secondly, it produces surprisingly large amounts of extra useable space.
Consider the time factor when making major house renovations. For example, adding or removing internal walls will drastically increase the completion time, and can lead to delays. These changes will also impact the current fixtures and fittings, as well as the locations of pipes and wires. Before making large changes, consult with an engineer or designer and have the plans drawn up so that there are no unexpected surprises. Also ensure that you have the appropriate consent from the council.
While there are many rooms that can be altered, the major ones are the kitchen and the bathroom. These will be considered next, as they are the primary rooms in the home.
Kitchen renovation – for the majority of families, and indeed couples, the kitchen is the center of the home. It is the area in which most people spend most of their time. In many cases, the kitchen and dining room are linked to provide the main social area of the home. When guests visit, the kitchen will be the entertaining area. As such, the kitchen should be given priority when making renovations.
Some of the top kitchen options to think about are the traditional kitchen, the rustic kitchen, the transitional kitchen, and the contemporary kitchen. Knowing which style you prefer will impact all the other choices you have (such as the units, the surfaces, the flooring, lighting, colour scheme and overall decor). If you like to have social gatherings at your home, then think about combining the kitchen with the dining room area, as this makes a great setting for parties.
Bathroom – the next most important room in the home is the bathroom. Again, there are many options when it comes to the bathroom, and knowing which design style you prefer is the first thing to decide on. Then you have choices such as having a walk-in shower, a large bathtub, under-floor heating, how many washbasins you choose, lighting options, decor and flooring such as ceramic tiled or wooden flooring. Perhaps the most important issue for a bathroom is the ventilation since there is a lot of moisture in the air in these rooms.
In terms of the bathroom, the lighting is one of the most important considerations to make. It will set the tone of the bathroom and allow a certain mood to be set. These days, lots of people like to have the ceiling lights set in so that a relaxing environment is created.
When renovating your home, you need to consider the room dimensions. Will you be making them larger? If so, ensure that this new size is factored into your plans. It is also important that the position of the doors, windows and skylights are determined on the plans as they will affect the floor plan and the location of the facilities. From here, you can think about the fixtures and fittings, and decide on the best locations for them.
Summary – use the ideas and suggestions listed above to make your choices when making major house renovations. Take the time to really consider what design type and style most suits your personality, and then make choices based around this.
Finally, to bring about these renovations, you will need to hire a house renovations company. If you want an Auckland house renovations building firm, you might want to give these guys a look. Repair & Restore has been providing major renovations and restoration work to clients for many years now. In that time they have built up a very strong reputation as this video shows.
Tips For Restoring Old Homes
Restoring an old home is quite a challenging task and is something people under estimate. In an effort to renovate old homes some people do frightening things too. In the name of home improvement, some homeowners tear out important architectural elements and replace them with off the shelf items from the local hardware store. We have all seen tasteless working on wonderfully elegant older homes and villas, which to be honest, do not add the full value potential to the finished result. Below are some of the common mistakes people make for renovating or restoring an older home.
People don’t make wrong decisions on purpose; the problem is that they are not educated on the subject. They may see a DIY show on TV or read an article in a magazine and think they can replicate that in their home. However, unless you are highly skilled at incorporating modern appliances with the classic looks of an old Auckland villa, you are in for a major job.
One of the biggest mistakes that a person of make in the name of restoring old homes is trying to do what is hot right now. They don’t think that what is hot now will not be hot in 10-years to come. The best advice in this regard is to tear out nothing of architectural importance and restore only what is relevant in the moment. This will be easier on your wallet as well as the home’s value in the long run. Some of the basic and cost-saving renovations would be the walk-in-closets, heating & cooling systems and plumbing systems. Walk-in-closets should be added so that they don’t take the character of the house away. Plumbing and heating & cooling systems should help to save energy while being comfortable and convenient at the same time. Below mentioned are some of the most important tips for restoring old homes in a cost-effective way.
Covering old wood floors with a cheaper variety of modern carpet or tile is one of the biggest mistakes carried out by many homeowners. Some even go to the extent of replacing the floors with newer wood. This is a big mistake. Even if you do not like the appearance of the old wood, you can be fairly certain that any potential buyer in the future will be looking at the original features including old wooden floors. The best thing is to patch sections and refinish existing floors in order to save costs in the process. Old tiles should not be removed until they are completely cleaned. This will tell you whether they are usable or not.
If you have a bathroom which has not been modernised, you may want to start thinking about this. A smart and clean bathroom is one of the key selling features for any home, whether the house is new or old. So certainly give this a lot of consideration.
The same applies to a kitchen. It is often said that he kitchen is the biggest selling point. If you are going to replace or even extend your kitchen you want to make the counters look authentic when replacing them. The best thing is to only go for products that were available when the house was built. Wood, classic marble or granite are some options to be considered when replacing the kitchen counters. Stainless steel counter tops and modern laminates do not work if you want to recreate the style and elegance of the bygone days.
Continuing with the kitchen, you can retain the old cabinets, which are mostly made of solid wood and have them resurfaced. Most of the new cabinets are made of MDF board and often look out of place. However, if you work with a skilled designer, they can suggest modern kitchen cabinetry which will look fantastic in a newly renovated kitchen
Most modern aluminium joinery window frames usually look terrible in an old house. Since old windows are generally single paned and may have buckled a bit over the years, they often leak and certainly make a room cold. Old windows have antique value in them but you can have them repaired and re-glazed so that they would work more efficiently. However, a good restoration company can also offer modern windows and doors which will enhance your restored villa.
The electrical circuits will have to be rechecked and most likely need to be replaced with modern wiring. The electrical codes used during the good old days were quite different to the standards that are approved currently. This is one of the most important tasks involved in restoring an old home since old wiring is a major cause of house fire.
The tips above are extremely important for homeowners who are considering of restoring an old home or villa. However, they are generally major projects which are beyond the scope of well-meaning amateurs. If you want a high quality restoration job on your old home, then certainly you should talk to a restoration company in Auckland.
So to avoid having a lower value home and being disappointed with the outcome of your attempts at restoring an old home, it is a much wiser approach to work with house renovations specialists.
Things To Consider When Having A Home Built
While many people make the decision to buy homes that are already built, others prefer to go the custom-built route. There is nothing better than planning a home and having it built right before your very eyes. If you are thinking about having a home built for you, here are several things you may want to consider along the way.
There is nothing worse than living in a home that is prone to drafts. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it hikes up the amount you will end up paying for utilities each month. Do some independent research in order to get a good idea of what your options are and be sure to discuss them with the contractors you hire. This site is the NZ government energywise which gives some detailed information on home insulation. Once everything is all said and done, there will be no way to make changes like that later.
Cheap Is Not Better
Saving money is usually high on the list of priorities, but this should not be the main consideration when you are having a home built. Buying low-quality materials and expecting them to last forever is one of the worst mistakes you could possibly make. It is a better idea to invest in better quality materials since this means you will have to have fewer repairs done in the future.
Think About Your Laundry
If you are one of those people who washes clothes every week, it may not be such a bad idea to have the laundry room on the bottom floor of the house. This is not a wise idea if you have to do laundry more often. It can be a huge pain lugging piles of laundry up and down stairs, so you may want to put the laundry room in the middle of the house in that case. If the plans you are working on cannot accommodate a laundry room near the bedrooms, you may want to consider having a dumbwaiter installed to make things easier.
Be Careful About Who You Hire
One thing that many people do is depend on friends and loved ones for building contractor recommendations. While there is nothing wrong with that on some levels, it only works if the people you ask have the same taste as you. Every home builder has a style that can be seen if you look at any of the structures they have built. That is why seeing pictures of houses they have done would probably be a better bet. And just like wit the materials, hiring the cheapest builder is not often a good idea. You want a good quality, reliable house builder who will complete your job on budget, on time and to the highest standards.
Building For The Future
Yes, you may have a small family now and you think that having a modest home built is the best idea, but have you taken into account the fact that you may want to expand one day? You don’t want to wake up in your home one day and realise that there is a serious lack of space. It is always a great idea to give yourself a bit more space than you need to avoid feeling overcrowded at some point. Besides, you need to have an eye on the future and how easy it might be to sell your home when you want to move on. These days, families expect four bedrooms and at least two bathrooms. So while it might be a bit cheaper at the moment, the additional costs are often not a great deal more wince you have the building crew on site. Plus having the work done now will save further disruption down the track.
This is one area of building a home that needs the most planning and attention. Making sure that the house flows well is very important, especially since no one wants to feel uncomfortable or hassled in their own home. For example, do you want to have the kitchen far away from the garage and all of the doors? This means that you will have to go through changes when it is time to lug in the groceries. Planning ahead will eliminate these types of issues.
Finding a Builder
There are dozens of home builders; Auckland has more than anywhere so picking one is not an easy task. But it is the most important part of any new home project. The wrong builder will cause you grief and distress plus they will probably end up costing you far more than you budgeted. So make sure you select a reliable home builder such as Repair and Restore. Their reputation is very high among some well known clients. This video demonstrates the point.
If you are interested in having a home built, you should consider all of this information first. It can lead to you making wiser choices when it comes to planning your dream home.