How do I start a renovation?

It can depend on what time of renovation you are after.  Whether it is just small internal work such as redoing a kitchen or bathroom or whether it is a large scale renovation that affects the roof and structure of the house. With a small kitchen or bathroom renovation, a kitchen or bathroom renovation specialist company is probably the best place to start.

With a larger renovation, it’s understanding what you can do within the planning controls of Council.

Understanding those rules will then set the framework for the design. The other main driver is understanding your budget and how much you can spend on the project. 

This is often the first question you’ll be asked by any architect, building designer or builder that you speak to. 

So start with understanding your budget and the planning controls that will tell you what’s allowed. Armed with that information, you can now approach professionals to help you with your project.

Should I renovate or knock down and rebuild?

Many people ask this question and it can depend on a number of factors.

These may include the condition of the original house, whether there are any heritage controls and the ease of access to the site.

It can also be determined by how much you love the existing house. Sometimes knocking down and rebuilding can actually be of a similar cost to renovating depending on the amount and type of work done.

So it comes down to the individual site, house and family to determine whether renovating is the right thing for your family to do.

Do I need an architect?

The answer is maybe. If your proposed renovation is straightforward then you may not need an architect to assist you. 

However, an architect may be of assistance if the site is complicated in any way, such as sloping, in a Heritage Conservation Area or bushfire affected or flood affected. 

Also if the design required is complicated due to level constraints or neighbouring properties or something similar an architect can really help get the most out of your home.

What is Passive House?

Passive House is a voluntary design standard that results in ultra low energy buildings. Passive House achieves this by using increased levels of thermal insulation, airtightness in the construction, installation of high performance windows, Mechanical Heat recovery ventilation, and elimination of thermal bridges. 

Why do you charge for the first session?

Many architects, building designers or interior designers will have the first meeting for free in anticipation of getting the design work later on. I charge for the first session to give you as much information and assistance as possible with no further obligation. 

I’m happy to discuss things in as much detail as possible during that session so that you can have a clear idea of where to go and what to do next. You may choose to work with me further which is great but it may be that there is someone else that is better suited to helping you take the next steps. 

I’m happy to refer you to the right people if that’s the case and wish you the best for your project.

Can you do the design work for me?

Yes, I can. I often do concept design work for clients or even offer the full concierge service for the delivery of their project. It depends on the client, what their needs are and whether I’m the best fit for those needs.

When should I get you involved?

I can be involved at any stage of the project. I can even be involved before a property is purchased – to have a look at a home you’re thinking of buying to see what the great bits are and what bits need work. 

I can also advise what not to buy due to the potential ongoing issues with that property. If you already own a property I can advise on what potential there is for renovations to that house.

I can also assist if you are already working with an architect or building designer to offer a second opinion or design review and answer any questions that you may feel too nervous to ask. I’ve also helped people at the end of projects with defects inspections and assessing whether the work is up to the required standards.

We've started. Is it too late to get you involved?

It’s never too late, depending on what assistance you need. Whether it’s a second opinion on your design or some alternative ideas, or even at the end of a project, some assistance with defect inspections, I’m always here to help when it’s needed. If I can’t help you then I can refer you to those who can. 

I'm not in Sydney. Can you still help me?

Yes! I’ve had clients from all over Australia, New Zealand and even Fiji! We can discuss things via Zoom and email.

If you’d like me to visit you in person I can still see you but there is an allowance for my travel that will be charged.

  • Outside Sydney metro up to 100km from Sydney GPO $385 (inc. GST)
  • Outside Sydney metro up to 250km from Sydney GPO $715 (inc. GST)    
  • Interstate clients: The cost of an economy airfare plus $330 (inc. GST)

These rates are in addition to the consultation fee. 

If you can't help me can you recommend someone who can?

Yes! I often refer clients to other professionals if I believe they’re a better fit. Sometimes it can be an interior designer, a landscape designer, a builder or even a town planner that may be the best fit for your project.

Would you like to talk?

When you’re ready we can discuss all your ideas and options to get your new home or renovation underway.