How COVID-19 is changing how we deliver building services

The current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has changed how everyone works, plays, and lives. There is lots of uncertainty about services that many of us once took for granted. Residential construction is considered an ‘essential service’ so rest assured your home renovation project can still continue! We’re here to assure you that the Hille’s team of builders and designers are still working, and are committed to the safety of our customers and employees.

Where are the female tradies?

What is Hille’s doing to stop the spread of COVID-19?

We’re ensuring that the Australian Government’s social distancing criteria is met at all times on our job sites. Some of the measures our Hille’s builders are doing on site include:
• only allowing essential Hille’s employees and contractors on a building site, and ensuring any external visitors are at the site by appointment only
• ensuring any building work happening in enclosed or internal spaces is adhering to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule. For example, if we’re renovating a bathroom that’s six square metres, only one or two Hille’s staff members will be working in the room at any given time
• following the 1.5 metre social distancing rule at all times – no exceptions
• ensuring all Hille’s employees practice excellent hygiene with on-site hand sanitsation stations
• regularly cleaning and disinfecting areas in our work zones that our customers may later touch – like door handles, light fixtures, and taps
• working closely with our customers to ensure we’re not putting them at risk. This includes banning any Hille’s employees with cold or fly symptoms from the site.

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Are you following any Government or industry body guidelines?

Absolutely. We’re following both the Australian Government guidelines as well as industry guidelines from the HIA. We display HIA guidelines at all building sites to ensure our staff and customers understand the vital protocols we must all be following.

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Can I still go ahead with my home extension or renovation project?

It’s business as usual for the Hille’s team – albeit with minor adjustments to the way we work! We are available as normal for end-to-end home renovations and extensions in Melbourne and the surrounding regions. If you wish to limit your physical contact with us, we can arrange virtual planning meetings. Plus, the software our designers use to bring your dream home plans to life has excellent online sharing features.

 

During COVID-19, can I still live in my home while it’s being renovated?

We always want to make sure our customers are as comfortable as possible, so if you wish to remain in your home during your renovation, we’ll work with you to make that happen. It’s important that you do let us know if anyone in your home is feeling unwell, or may have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

 

The Hille’s team would love to talk to you about your next home extension or renovation. Please contact us today to find out how we can work together to bring your dream home to life!

modern-two-story-home

The Advantages of Considering a Home Extension or Renovation

 

Mоѕt homeowners think about еxtеnding their lіvіng spaces, as thеіr family еxраndѕ. Setting аbоut аn impressive hоmе extension plan can be аn іdеаl alternative tо еnhаnсе thе utіlіtу and lіvіng ѕрасе іnѕіdе your еxіѕtіng home and ассоrdіnglу rаіѕе іtѕ оvеrаll resale vаluе. To еxрlоrе thе соmрlеtе possibility оf a hоmе extension оr hоmе rеnоvаtіоn service in уоur еxіѕtіng рrореrtу, іt іѕ аdvіѕаblе tо ѕееk the assistance оf a hоmе extension or a house specialist іn уоur lосаl area.

Design by Hille’s Home Extensions

 

SENSIBLE DESIGN

Whеthеr уоu wіѕh fоr a larger kіtсhеn оr bathroom, аn аddіtіоnаl bеdrооm wіth en ѕuіtе, an еxtrа lіvіng ѕрасе, or a mіx of аll of thеѕе; a hоuѕе еxtеnѕіоn option саn роѕіtіvеlу trаnѕfоrm уоur hоmе. Alwауѕ bеаr іn mind thаt оnlу a ѕеnѕіblе dеѕіgn can рrоduсе mаxіmum benefits to уоur home and enhance thе ԛuаlіtу of your life within. At Hilles Home Extensions we have qualified and highly experienced designers that will come out to your home and offer some great design ideas and ball park costs for free.

Thеrе аrе a numbеr оf rесоmmеndеd hоmе еxtеnѕіоn орtіоnѕ to ѕuіt уоur nееdѕ аnd dеmаndѕ. The mоѕt рорulаr ones you соuld consider аrе:

3D design by Hille’s Home Extension

 

 

SINGLE STORY EXTENSIONS

Either done оn thе rеаr оr side роrtіоn, a ѕіnglе ѕtоrеу еxtеnѕіоn can bе аn еxсеllеnt сhоісе to open uр additional space in your home. Thе method is hіghlу рrеfеrrеd as іt іѕ соѕt еffесtіvе аnd саuѕеѕ mіnіmаl disruption. Dіffеrеnt dеѕіgn varieties аrе available to mаtсh ріtсhеd tiled roof and flаt rооf соnѕtruсtіоnѕ.

 

DOUBLE STORY EXTENSIONS

Dоublе or two storey extensions / multiple storey еxtеnѕіоnѕ: This tуре of hоmе extension is рrоvеn tо bring ѕubѕtаntіаl іmрrоvеmеnt tо thе іntеrnаl ѕрасе at a nominal соѕt. A well planned two ѕtоrеу rear or side extension design саn provide ѕіgnіfісаnt vеntіlаtіоn аnd аdеԛuаtе rооm tо еffесtіvеlу іnсludе уоur еxасt rеԛuіrеmеntѕ.

 

Second Story Renovation by Hille's Home Extensions
Second Story Renovation by Hille’s Home Extensions

 

Wrap-around еxtеnѕіоnѕ: A wrap-around еxtеnѕіоn іѕ a соmbіnаtіоn of thе rear аnd ѕіdе rеturn еxtеnѕіоn to рrоvіdе the сlіеnt wіth mаxіmum possible ѕрасе. Thіѕ tуре саn bе preferred tо еnlаrgе thе kіtсhеn аnd сrеаtе a lаrgе kіtсhеn-dіnеr, роѕѕіblу wіth a lіvіng аrеа оr tо аdd mоrе іndіvіduаl rооmѕ. Thе аdvаntаgе of this type of еxtеnѕіоn is thаt іt саn рrоvіdе mаxіmum ѕрасе аnd nоtісеаblу аltеr the рrоfіlе оf your еxіѕtіng hоmе and оffеr you thе utmоѕt аmоunt оf flexibility tо precisely ѕuіt уоur nееdѕ.

 

FINDING A SUITABLE BUILDER

Onсе уоu hаvе dесіdеd to іnvеѕt оn a hоmе extension project, thе nеxt crucial ѕtер іѕ to ѕеаrсh fоr a ѕuіtаblе соnѕtruсtіоn соmраnу оr a buіldеr whо hаѕ the perfect соmbіnаtіоn of experience аnd expertise tо carry оut уоur job. Enѕurе thе credibility of thе company bу аnаlуѕіng thеіr рrоjесt portfolio аnd feedback frоm рrеvіоuѕ customers.

 

Home Extension by Hille’s Home Extension

 

PLANNING PERMISSIONS TO BUILD – DO I OR DON’T I?

Nоt аll hоmе еxtеnѕіоn оr аddіtіоn рrоjесtѕ require planning реrmіѕѕіоn. Hоwеvеr, іt is significant thаt you make ѕurе wіth the local аuthоrіtіеѕ whеthеr уоur іntеndеd extension оr home renovation requires рlаnnіng permission. You саn carry оut certain types of hоuѕе еxtеnѕіоnѕ without having tо аррlу fоr реrmіѕѕіоn. In certain areas аnd depending оn your nееdѕ, рlаnnіng реrmіѕѕіоn mау bе nесеѕѕаrу. Check with a reputable builder like Hille’s Home Extensions about various building permissions as they are highly experienced in this area and have excellent relationship’s with the councils across Melbourne.

 

Kitchen renovation by Hilles Home Extensions
Kitchen renovation by Hille’s Home Extensions

 

Tо ѕum uр with, you саn ѕаvе a lоt оf mоnеу аnd уоur valuable tіmе, аnd create a ѕtуlіѕh hоuѕе extension dеѕіgn іf you dереnd оn a truѕtеd ѕресіаlіѕt like Hille’s Home Extensions who has been building in the community for over 60 years. On the whоlе, a wеll designed hоmе еxtеnѕіоn plan іѕ a bеttеr wау tо сrеаtе аddіtіоnаl ѕрасе, and is аn affordable орtіоn tо thе hіgh costs аѕѕосіаtеd with moving to a new hоmе.

If you are interested in a free “no obligation” consultation by one of our highly experienced designers then visit us here

Home Extension Ideas: How to add value on a budget


Nоw that hоmеоwnеrѕ hаvе gоt thе mеѕѕаgе that mоvіng hоuѕе іѕ vіrtuаllу out оf the ԛuеѕtіоn, whаt hарреnѕ if you rеаllу do nееd ѕоmе mоrе lіvіng ѕрасе?

WHAT ARE MY HOME EXTENSION OPTIONS?

Most of uѕ tеnd tо run оut of space іrrеѕресtіvе of what ѕіzе оf home wе hаvе. Thе dеѕіrе to hоаrd аnd hоld bіtѕ аnd ріесеѕ іѕ оvеrwhеlmіng аnd wіthіn a fеw years wе really do run out of space.

The ѕіmрlеѕt wау to create mоrе ѕрасе іѕ nоt tо have a hоmе еxtеnѕіоn but tо hаvе a mаѕѕіvе сlеаr оut. It’ѕ rеlаtіvеlу іnеxреnѕіvе tаѕk аnd could роѕѕіblу nеt уоu ѕоmе cash to buу еvеn more bіtѕ аnd pieces that уоu соuld dispose оf in a few years frоm now.

Sеrіоuѕlу thоugh, if you аrе hаrd рrеѕѕеd for ѕрасе аnd possibly саѕh, look at it аѕ a 1st option. In any саѕе іf уоu had аnу kіnd оf ѕеrіоuѕ hоmе extension уоu would need tо reappraise the whole house аnd іtѕ contents аѕ ԛuіtе a bіt of displacement occurs аftеr a home еxtеnѕіоn.
Lеtѕ face іt, іf уоu add оn a kitchen extension you don’t еnd uр wіth twо kіtсhеnѕ. It is fаr more likely that eating areas are іnсrеаѕеd whісh іn turn frееѕ uр some lіvіng space.

DO I NEED A HOME EXTENSION?

Juѕt lіvіng іn a cluttered home іѕ enough for mоѕt of uѕ tо wаnt tо mоvе house оr сrеаtе a bigger hоmе but before we start getting ԛuоtеѕ it might be a good іdеа tо hаvе a gооd lооk аt оur existing ѕрасе and to try and wоrk оut оur actual nееdѕ.
Thе dads wіll аlwауѕ want a study room or еxtrа TV rооm whilst the mumѕ wіll be аftеr a lаrgеr kіtсhеn, utility rооm or juѕt ѕtоrе rооm. Aѕ for the kіdѕ the mоѕt рорulаr орtіоn will be a gаmеѕ rооm, their own TV room or a den fоr thеmѕеlvеѕ tо hang оut with frіеndѕ.
It may be thаt a сhаngе іn family сіrсumѕtаnсе has оссurrеd аnd you now wоrk from hоmе, have a nеw baby on the way оr уоu your Mum or Dаd іѕ соmіng tо lіvе wіth уоu ѕо thеrе аrе mаnу dіffеrеnt reasons fоr a hоmе extension. Thе main thing is tо іgnоrе рорulаr trеndѕ аnd іf you muѕt еxtеnd your hоmе dо a hоmе extension thаt асtuаllу mееtѕ уоur needs.

HOME EXTENSION IDEAS.

Kitchen Extension

Prоbаblу the mоѕt common fоrm оf еxtеnѕіоn іѕ a kіtсhеn extension. This work соmріlеd with a bit of good dеѕіgn аnd ѕоmе ореn рlаnnіng wіll uѕuаllу сrеаtе a mоrе mоdеrn lіvіng space thаt іѕ great fоr all thе family in thаt уоu wіll undоubtеdlу еnd up wіth mоrе lіvіng ѕрасе.

Loft Conversion

Cоnvеrtіng the loft іѕ аnоthеr very рорulаr home extension. Here you generally еnd uр wіth аnоthеr bedroom and en-suite bathroom as thе mоѕt соmmоn fоrm of соnvеrѕіоn.Thіѕ fоrm оf hоmе extension іѕ ideal fоr a grоwіng family аnd tееnѕ rаthеr thаn оldеr реорlе who mау find thе ѕtаіrсаѕе a bіt оf an оbѕtасlе in the lоng tеrm.

Basement Conversion

A bаѕеmеnt соnvеrѕіоn іѕ оnе оf thе lеаѕt popular орtіоnѕ for a hоmе extension mаіnlу because оf thе costs whісh runs аt about thrее tіmеѕ more thаn a lоft conversion оr hоmе extension.

Garage Conversion

Thе раѕt fеw years hаvе seen a huge increase іn Gаrаgе Cоnvеrѕіоnѕ аnd іt’ѕ nоt ѕurрrіѕіng as gаrаgе соnvеrѕіоn can be соѕt effective way to create more living space Othеr аdvаntаgеѕ are that it саn be used for almost аnуthіng аnd іf nесеѕѕаrу given іndереndеnt ассеѕѕ. The overwhelming соnсluѕіоn is the garage conversions оffеr uр the bеѕt vаluе as a hоmе extension or an increase іn lіvіng space.

To gеt costs fоr a Home Extension gо to Hille’s Home Extensions for a free cost appraisal.

Second Storey Extension: 6 Things You Should Consider

A house extension is a terrific way to improve your existing home and add more square meterage. While many house renovations involve adding more space at ground level, it might be time to think bigger…could adding a second storey to your home be an option? Read on to find out.

WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT HOUSE LIKE?

Your current house’s configuration and structure will be the guiding factor when investigating a second storey addition. If you’re in an older timber house on stumps, you’ll probably have to raise the home and build in underneath. If you’re in a single-storey brick home, adding a second storey right on top is probably the way to go. Remember, your new level doesn’t have to mirror the size of your existing home – for instance, you could add on a small two-level parents retreat at the back of the house.

WHAT CONDITION IS YOUR HOUSE IN?

If your foundation isn’t stable, it might be struggling to hold up your existing house, let alone an additional storey! Consult an engineer to find out – your Hille’s home renovations builder can help coordinate this.

WHAT RED TAPE IS THERE?

Most local councils will require some sort of building approval before you can start building. You’ll likely need finalised house designs to submit with your application, so check in with your Hille’s designer on what the process for this is.

WHAT’S YOUR LAND LIKE?

For people on a sloping block, adding a second storey may still be possible but it will come with some caveats. Your land may require some excavation work to level out the site, as well as some retaining walls to hold the earth back.

WHAT’S YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD LIKE?

If you’re in an older area with lots of heritage-protected homes, there may be design codes you have to follow to ensure your house renovation fits in with the existing character of the street. Also think about what view you’ll have on the new second storey: consider window and door placement and if you can, position them so they take advantage of light, privacy, and any killer views (i.e. try to avoid a bedroom window that looks directly into your neighbour’s toilet!).

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCE LIKE?

As in, what are you prepared to deal with while your house renovation is taking place? Check with your builder to see if you’ll need to move out during the renovation. You may also have to put some furniture in storage, particularly if the house is being raised.

If you’re still not sure whether adding a second storey to your home is a good option for you, chat to the team at Hille’s. With experience in all sorts of house renovations under our belt – including house extensions, raising, and renovating! – we’ll be able to guide you on what’s best for your lifestyle.

Storage Tips for Living Through a Home Renovation

We’ve already given you tips for incorporating clever storage in your home renovation, but what about ideas for during it? Many people live in the property during house extensions or renovations, if it’s safe to do so. For most renovations, this means a temporary re-work in your living situation during the build. So how do you ensure you don’t go crazy and still feel like everything’s in order? Here’s our guide.

 

  1. GET A STORAGE ROOM

You could rent a storage unit, but a cost effective option is designating one room in the house for storage. That probably sounds unappealing, but remember it’s only temporary! Place the stuff you definitely won’t need until the renovation is over towards the back of the room. Save space for stuff you’re not sure about towards the front. Last but not least: label, label, label!

 

  1. MINIMISE THE REST OF THE HOUSE

Chances are, you’re losing a room or two during your home renovation. So it’s time to look at the space you’ve got with a minimalist mind. If you need to move excess furniture into the dining room or living room, maybe pack away any wall art or photo frames. Otherwise all those items in the room could make things feel cluttered.

 


  1. SET UP A KITCHEN CORNER

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so the idea of having to part with it for a few months during a kitchen remodel is pretty daunting. Many people set up a ‘camp kitchen’ outside on their patio or deck, and put the barbeque and camp stove to good use. For others, laundry rooms are fantastic for temporary kitchens, given the proximity to running water. If neither is an option for you, make sure you at least have a designated kitchen area somewhere. You don’t need much: set up a bar fridge, microwave, toaster, and just a few key utensils on a small table or workbench. Make sure any food preparation is confined just to this one area, to eliminate crumbs in the rest of your house. Apart from a chopping board, sharp knife, some tupperware, and a dining set per person, pack everything else away and stack it neatly in a spare room or your garage. Tripping over spare muffin tins and baking trays will just add to your renovation chaos – so pack it out of sight!

 


  1. THINK OF THE KIDS

That awesome toy room your kids love is probably the first target on your quest to find storage space during your reno! Try and soften the blow for the little ones. Take all of the toys out of the toy room first, then move in your boxes and other items for storage. Pop the toys in boxes and stack them towards the front of the room. That way, toys will be easily accessible so you can bring one box out at a time for the kiddos to use in the living room or outside. If you can, create a play corner for them in the living room or their bedroom, so they don’t feel like they’ve lost their play space entirely.

 


  1. BE SMART ABOUT LAUNDRY STORAGE

If you need to store your washing machine, make sure it’s aired out for a few days and there’s no water left in the hoses (otherwise, hello mould!). Keep a bottle of laundry detergent, your pegs, a clotheshorse, and a washing basket out – and pack everything else away.

 

With a bit of careful planning, you can make sure you’re maximising the space you’re left with while living through a home renovation.

Bumping Out or Bumping Up?

Having the expertise of quality home renovation builders and designers means there’s a huge amount of possibility when it comes to modifying your house. For many timber-framed homes, house extensions are an option as well as raising and building underneath. Like anything with home renovations, there’s pros and cons for both options.

 

The cost could be significantly different

House extension costs can vary hugely depending on the plans, but if you’re looking at just a small addition to your home, an extension could be lower in cost than raising. Raising and building underneath means a new concrete slab; whereas for many extensions, a slab isn’t required. It all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve with your home renovation: if it’s simply adding a room or two, or opening up the space, raising the house would probably be a costlier option that isn’t even suitable for your needs.

 

You could sacrifice a blank slate

When raising a home, the new level underneath often has to mirror the upstairs layout: foundations and load-bearing walls need to be put in particular spots to support the upper level. By contrast however, with house extensions you could have the opportunity for a blank slate. Depending on the size of your lot and how it’s laid out, you might have more freedom with the configuration of your new space.

 

Speed is key!

Raising a house can be a lengthier process, simply because there’s often more prep work required before the build can commence. Not only does the house have to be raised, but it needs re-stumping; the land underneath will often need to be excavated and levelled; and finally, the new concrete slab will need to be poured and set. Obviously for many house extensions, the majority of those steps can be skipped: while some excavation and levelling may still be necessary, the biggest time-saving is the absence of a concrete slab – which can take up to four weeks to cure before building can even start!

 

Ultimately, whether you bump up or bump out will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with your renovation; the layout of your existing structure; and how much space you have to work with. Hille’s home renovation builders and designers are on hand to help guide you in the right direction – give us a call today to find out more.

 

Scrimp vs Splurge with your House Renovation

Home renovations are a considerable investment, and probably something that’s been your savings goal for a while. On the flip side, if you’re lucky enough to have a big budget, house extension costs won’t be as much of an issue (lucky you!). For most builds, there’s opportunity to both scrimp on some things and save some money, as well as spend on other items that are worth the extra dosh.

Here are our tips for where you can save your pennies and when it might be okay to let loose a bit.

 

Design

Scrimp: if you’re doing a house extension, see if you can add the new area on without reconfiguring your existing floor plan. It will likely save you a lot if you can make minimal adjustments to your existing structure.

Scrimp: if raising a house, align the new wet areas underneath the old ones above. This will save on plumbing costs.

Splurge: extra windows may cost more but they’re usually worth it. In cool climates, placing windows where they’ll catch the morning sun could even help reduce your heating bill.

Splurge: similarly, houses in hot weather climates need to consider their position with the sun. Typically, the north side of the house will get the most sun in the morning, so you could make sure those areas are well-shaded with a covered verandah, or trees and vegetation. You could also consider glazing or shutters so that you can keep the sun out during the hot parts of the day.

 

Flooring

Scrimp: there’s a myriad of flooring options, so do your research if you’re on a budget. Vinyl plank is a low-cost product that’s gaining popularity, while even tiles can vary hugely in product and installation costs. Generally, rectified tiles and small tiles will be more expensive as they take more time to install.

 

Wet areas

Scrimp: floor-to-ceiling tiles look fantastic but make costs skyrocket. Consider doing a tiled skirting, then just tiling to the ceiling near the sink and behind the shower. You’ll still get that wow factor, but for less. You can also achieve a high-impact look on a budget by using a contrasting feature tile for a vanity backsplash, rather than an entire wall.

 

The kitchen

Splurge: a good rule of thumb is to splurge in the rooms you love the most. If you’re a foodie and cook a lot, consider nifty options like custom cabinets, soft-close drawers, and a huge pantry. Even people who don’t cook often find themselves in the kitchen a lot, entertaining friends – in which case, you’ll notice wear and tear on a cheap benchtop pretty fast.

 

The bedroom

Scrimp: if you’ve got a walk-in wardrobe, leaving the shelving open can save money, plus it makes everything easily accessible.

 

Power

Scrimp: gorgeous pendant lights look fantastic but can drive up costs. Work with your electrician instead on how to make the most of the space with simple LED downlights. Lamps can add a bit of style and colour.

Splurge: energy efficient bulbs are a case of pay now, save later. They may cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they’ll immediately reduce your electricity bill.

Splurge: solar heating could be a house renovation cost you didn’t initially consider, but it can ultimately save you some money on your electricity bill in the long run. It will also help with your property’s energy star rating – remember, other options for achieving your energy rating may end up being more costly than solar.

 

Home extension costs can add up, but if you do your research, you’ll make sure the money is being spent on the areas that matter the most.

Landscaping Projects for your Home Renovation that Could Improve the Value of your Home.

Most home renovation work we do involve the owner getting some kind of landscaping work done. If you are in need to know what project to focus on for your home renovation project – because not all landscaping work can add value to your home. Here are some that will.

 

Build a deck

What Aussie doesn’t love a deck? So this is no-brainer for any backyard, large or small. The great feature of any deck is that it basically adds another room to your home renovation – and you can create an outdoor living area for relaxing or entertaining.

 

Lay new lawn

Getting a new lawn is a great idea if your current lawn is looking worse for wear or non-existent in places. We find this a very popular option when some do their home renovation as it’s like the cherry on top of the proverbial desert. If you are looking at a new lawn and then put your property on the market then this feature will impress buyers at an open house and is sure to enhance your kerb appeal.

Add an outdoor room

Together with a deck, and outdoor room is a great way to add value to your home renovation. Some real estate agents will quote it as an additional room in their advertising –

though it does need to be well integrated and to warrant this. If you have a patio, roofing it and adding furniture may be all it takes to create an outdoor room.

 

Lay paving

Paving is a relatively low-cost addition to your home renovation and can definitely add some value to your home, and like decking, it can make an area more practical and useful. This is especially true for patios, pathways, garden paths and the area around a swimming pool.

Keep it all maintained

It’s all very well investing in improving your garden, but so many people then neglect all the hard work later. Neglecting your backyard is basically throwing money away. Plants need to be watered, trimmed and fed, weeds need to be pulled and pools need to be maintained. If you get landscaping done at the same time as your home renovation, then have a plan to keep it maintained. Unlike your new space, your new garden will not look after yourself.

Landscape Design

Lets just be clear landscaping jobs that may not realise a return.
Just as there are projects that will add value to your home, think twice about some jobs – especially if you are doing a home renovation to sell later. You may not recover the costs or outlay of your job. Be prepared to increase your budget if you have any of these jobs on your list:

Excavation: if you live on a sloping block, or need large rocks removed this can take time, which always cost money

Retaining walls: these may also require excavation or the services of a structural engineer

Pool: installing a pool is a serious undertaking that is also a significant investment, so make sure you do your homework before you decide you want to take this on

Driveway: if you are paving or concreting your driveway be prepared to bump up your overall landscaping budget

You also need to know what type of landscaping professional is right for you and your job, as this can impact the overall cost of your project.

A landscape architect is more suited to large projects where all the various elements need to integrate. They focus more on the design and planning stages of your project but can also help supervise a project. To get this kind of attention will definitely cost more but it does come down to bang for buck.

A landscape designer, however, has a similar skill set to a landscape architect, though will generally work on smaller projects and therefore more affordable.

Landscape contractors, often also called landscapers, are another option. They can also handle design and should have great practical insights and advice to share about your project.

Hiring a professional landscaper ensures your new garden is landscaped cost effectively. They’ll also be able to suggest new ideas, show you innovative products and help you understand how to maintain your new garden which is important as you don’t invest in something that has no longevity.

When it comes time to hiring a landscaper make sure they are the right person for your job.

 

Some important questions to ask them could be the following:

Are you licensed for my project?

Do you hold valid insurance?

Can you provide a proper quote?

How long will my job approximately take?

Do you have references in the area I can follow up?

The best way of finding out the cost of your landscaping job is to get quotes from local landscapers. Be sure to provide enough details about your property, vision and budget – this will enable them to provide an accurate quote. Expect them to visit your property and chat through your ideas with you.

Like your home renovation, it always pays to do your research and do your homework for your landscaping job and only use reputable, and where possible licensed builders.

Do I Stay or Do I Go When it Comes to Home Renovations and Extensions?

A home renovation or extension brings with it many questions: how many rooms? How to configure the space? Open plan or cosy? For owner-occupiers, there’s one other question that is often lost in the excitement of planning an extension and renovation design: are you prepared to live through it?

The majority of house renovations will require homeowners to vacate the premises during key points of the build; but for many projects, living on-site for virtually the whole time is possible. Let’s break down staying versus moving out.

 

Stay!

  • You’ll save money. Unless you have a very generous friend or family member with extra room, living away from the home will mean shelling out to stay in a hotel, Air B’n’B or a rental property. This is something to think about when you’re already dealing with the costs of a home renovation.

Tip: Stay, but take two-night hotel breaks here and there during the build.

  • You’ll watch everything unfold. Seeing your house renovation ideas come to life is exciting, and architecture buffs will love watching the build take shape. Living off-site limits you from seeing everything come together (although, rest assured your Hille’s builder is on site to make sure it does!).
  • Your routine won’t be impacted. You won’t have to think of a new route to school or work, or deal with the annoyance of temporarily packing up your life.

 

Go!

  • You won’t get in the way. Building sites and the contractors working on them are carefully managed to ensure projects get delivered on time and on budget – so sometimes it’s best to stay out of the way. It could be annoying for you too, depending on how your house is configured – if your existing living area isn’t totally separate from the new build, doing simple things like going to the bathroom could equate to a monumental trek across a building site!
  • You won’t go crazy. We won’t lie: a renovation site is dusty, dirty, and noisy. Small children may struggle to nap during the day when workers are on-site.
  • It’s a good excuse for a holiday! Or why not explore your city and live in a new part of Melbourne during the renovation?
  • No microwave meals! If your kitchen is a part of the home renovation, you’ll have to think creatively about meals for awhile if you stay. You may be able to set up a temporary kitchen with a microwave, kettle and slow cooker, but not having a dishwasher or oven can be difficult.

 

Ultimately, whether you live in the house or not during a your home renovation and extension will come down to your lifestyle, budget and the work that’s being carried out. Either way, it’s a good idea to be prepared to be flexible.