August 21st, 2016 in

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How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Bathroom?

For many people, the question ‘how much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?‘ is one of the first things that come’s to mind when they are thinking of upgrading this room.

So when hiring a team of experts to work on your home improvement job, it certainly helps to know how much the project will cost upfront so you don’t go over budget.

This allows you to plan accordingly and make sure you won’t get any nasty shocks with your bathroom upgrade.

Bathroom-Renovation Before & After

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Bathroom in Australia, UK, and USA?

Typically, the cost of a bathroom remodel will depend on a variety of factors as all bathrooms and not made equal.

For those of you eager to have some averages as a base guide, here goes:

Australia

 

UK

 

USA

  • Average cost: $3,500 to $7,000
  • Top end: $13,000 to $20,000+
  • Source: Homeadvisor.com

 

 

5 Key Things to Consider Before Getting Started

 
In order to get a better idea of the scope of your bathroom remodelling, we’ve covered the 5 most important components every renovator needs to consider before beginning.
 

1. Planning

 
Some of the big costs you’ll have to deal with early on include building, electrical, plumbing, water & asbestos testing and various other minor testing requirements.

These tend to be the cause of major setbacks for many home renovation projects and can take a while to fix, so be sure to factor these into your schedule timing.
 
Bathroom Renovation Planning Process
 
Get in specialised tradespeople who are there to handle things like getting the relevant permits and ensuring your bathroom remodel is compliant with all government regulations.

Some things you absolutely need to test for include:
 

1. Lead and asbestos

a) They pose significant health risks if damaged in the renovation process

b) Can end up being very expensive to deal with

c) Make sure that whatever material replaces them are going to be cost-effective.

d) Be alert and have a contingency plan just in case and you won’t suffer any huge unexpected bills.

 

2. Preparation

 
You’ll also need to consider the possibility of demolition if it’s necessary to remove anything dangerous.
 

1. If this is the case, you’ll most likely need contractor bags, a dumpster or skip bin, as well as disposal fees.

2. Besides lead and asbestos, you might need to take on things like wood rot and mould if found.

 
The old electricians may have done a poor job with the wiring, too. This is often the case in older buildings so:
 

a) Keep an eye out for things that don’t look right or have damaged parts.

b) Consider things like the overall structure of the room

c) Check energy efficiency, windows, doors and framing.

 
Preparation is a big part of any renovation process and means you should get the right contractors in place early on. For example, dumpsters may be required to get rid of old debris.
 
Bathroom Renovation Dumpster
 
Finally, take into account the cost of things like poor wiring, outdated plumbing, and even pest infestations. These kinds of problems are relatively common and usually require you to correct them as soon as possible in order for the bathroom remodel to proceed.
 

3. Operation

 
Another key element of a bathroom renovation is undertaking the actual work itself.

Hire professional tradespeople who are skilled enough to do the job, and have plenty of experience and references that can be checked. For example:
 

a) Plumbing and electrical work – need fully licensed contractors to complete them.

b) Pay that little bit extra to ensure the work gets done right and within government regulatory requirements.

c) It’s easy to forget to include these kinds of things and get caught out down the track when the budget blows out.

 
So make sure you take into account the cost of labour and the amount of time it will take to complete the bathroom project.
 

4. Creation

 
You have to factor in the big item costs of the overall project too, such as plumbing and electrics. As two of the main jobs in a typical bathroom refit, you’ll need to be prepared to go back and forth with contractors and suppliers to get the job done.

A few things to keep in mind:
 

1) Don’t just work off the flat cost of the job – you also need to include materials and labour costs.

2) Plumbers and electricians don’t come cheap – so be prepared upfront for any additional costs related to their services.

3) You’ll also have to pay someone to do the fittings: lighting, fixtures like sinks and vanities, storage space, faucets, shower and bath, and potentially a toilet.

4) You should consider hiring an architect to create your bathroom floor plans.

 

5. Finishing

 
Another major element of a bathroom remodel is the finishing touches. This is the part of the project that many renovators love the most as they can start to see their creation come to life. It’s also the final stage and includes everything from decorating, grouting, and painting the walls.
 
Bathroom Remodel Grouting
 
There’s a lot of little jobs you might think will only take minutes to do, but they can actually take hours, even days to complete. For this reason, it’s best to work with various tradespeople to get a better idea of what each job entails, how much time they’ll take and the cost.
 

Final words

 
A bathroom renovation doesn’t need to be expensive or hard to do. It really comes down to how much preparation and planning you do upfront – the more, the better.

There are huge benefits to upgrading your bathroom, no matter if you’re undertaking this home improvement project for personal use or profit.

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 
CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: What Does it Cost to Renovate a Bathroom?
 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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August 5th, 2016 in

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Top 10 Really Useful Renovation Tips

Renovation, also known as remodeling, is the process of improving a home that is outdated or damaged. On the whole, it should be a positive experience as it’s improving the value and appearance of your biggest asset. Unfortunately, more often than not, a renovation doesn’t always go as smoothly as one would hope.

Not only is it dirty, noisy and often expensive, bad weather and unreliable tradespeople can also cause havoc on the building site.

But never fear. By doing some thorough research and planning before the first work tool is picked up you’ll be able to minimise any delays and unnecessary expenses. And best of all, you’ll be able to turn a potentially stressful experience into a valuable, long-term investment.

There are plenty of renovation ideas out there to suit your every need. However, it’s worth considering whether or not your home is worth the money spent on a renovation. It may be just as wise to knock it down and rebuild from scratch, especially if you have dangerous materials throughout like asbestos. This would be a pretty serious decision to make so we suggest you always get a second opinion from experts before starting any work.
 
best-home-improvements
 
Below are some pretty nifty renovation tips to help you through the process.
 

Renovation Tips to Get You Started

 

1. STICK TO THE RULES

 
Check the building regulations of your local government area before you begin renovating. Some councils have certain regulations in place that are designed to:
 

  • Maximise sustainability.
  • Reduce the risk of flood damage and bushfire.
  • Maintain the character of certain suburbs or localities.

 
Prior research will make the full cost evident before the renovation begins.
 

2. BUDGET LIKE A HAWK

 
Many things can go wrong when renovating and it could mess up even the most finely tuned timetable. Assume that if something is to go wrong, it usually will.

Make contingency plans for wet weather, unavailability of contractors, and if a job takes longer than expected.

And always, always keep some money aside for unexpected surprises. It’s best to not skimp on quality or cut corners.
 

3. THINK STRATEGICALLY

 
Keep the next owner in mind with your renovation. Add versatile features and play it safe with neutral colours. You may love red walls but a potential buyer might not. Instead try accessorizing with other items such as cushions, curtains, rugs and furnishings.
 

4. GET A VALUATION

 
Before you start get a valuation from your local real estate agent. Given that renovation is a risky business it’s a good idea to get a handle on what your home is worth prior to starting. Why pay big bucks renovating if you won’t make the money back?

Worse still, if the real estate market is flat you are better holding off until the timing is right.
 

5. DON’T LEAVE IT TOO LATE, PLAN AHEAD

 
If you need to get DA’s in to the council do it as soon as possible. The later you leave it, the longer the approval process can take. And if you need to revise your building plans you’ll end up having to get your architect to redo them if they don’t get passed the first time.

Stick to your original renovation ideas and try not to keep altering plans as this also adds extra costs to your budget.
 
Home-Improvement
 

6. HAGGLE & GET THE BEST PRICES

 
Shop around for fittings both in person and online. You’ll be surprised at what bargains you can pick up by doing your research. Paying in cash is a great way to get further discounts too.

Also some retailers are keen to get rid of end-of-line products or display models so ask them if they have any available for you to see. And don’t be afraid to haggle!
 

7. SEEK ADVICE FROM OTHERS

 
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out specific information or the right person for a job. So start chatting with others who have recently renovated and can help you with people they recommend and what features are worth including and which ones aren’t.

If at all possible, avoid choosing the cheapest quote or the earliest available builders, as this could be a red flag for bad workmanship and cutting corners.
 

8. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU CUT COSTS

 
Under no circumstances should you ever try doing highly skilled jobs like electrical work or plumbing yourself. It’s not only illegal, but also a false economy to risk your home or your life trying to save a few dollars.

Cut down on costs by finding small, fiddly and time-consuming jobs that you can do yourself, such as dismantling kitchen cabinets, removing carpet or scrapping back paint layers.
 

9. EXERCISE YOUR GREEN THUMB

 
If you’re renovating for profit make sure you include your garden too. People love a tidy garden with lots of healthy plants and space to enjoy outdoor living.

Even if gardening isn’t your thing, you can still create an easy to maintain backyard with slow-growing lawn and paved areas. There’s always the option of hiring a landscape gardening company to do the planning and design work for you.

But if you fancy yourself as a bit of a green thumb then choose plants you can propagate yourself to save costs and create a uniform look.
 

10. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES

 
It’s worthwhile going for a walk around your neighbourhood to see what others have done to their properties. Not only will you get some fabulous ideas, you’ll also see what works and what doesn’t.

Try renovating to suit the size and location of the property, as this will boost its resale value. And be mindful of the type of home you have and use that to guide your renovation.
 
home-improvement-ideas
 

Why Opt For a Renovation?

 
There are many reasons why a renovation could be the right choice for you.
 

  • You get to improve the functionality and comfort of your home.
  • It’s not a restrictive process, if you want it can be just cosmetic!
  • You can refit your home with energy efficient fixtures that will save on your energy bills.
  • You can boost the property value quite a bit.
  • You don’t have to spend tons of money on renovations to get a totally new look.

 

As you can see, renovations are a great way to beautify your home and add value to it at the same time. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started. So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get planning for your next renovation.

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: 7 Great Renovating for Profit Tips for Success

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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August 24th, 2016 in

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Handy Guide to House Extensions: What You Need to Know Before You Start

House extensions seem so much easier to do on paper, but the reality is that these types of home improvement projects require a lot of hard work, commitment, and focus.

It’s certainly something you don’t want to walk into lightly – you need to be prepared in advance in order to get the most out of it.

But that being said, there are some good reasons why you should consider house extensions:
 

  • Get additional space and extra mod-cons .
  • Add value to your home and further increase the sale price.
  • Provide you with an ideal opportunity to spruce up your home.

 

House-Extensions

 

However, before you start you need to do your homework and run through a range of different ideas, design, plans and the associated costs involved with these too.

Below we have outlined a guide to building a home extension and the pros and cons that you need to factor in. We’ll address many common issues and lay out the general process to follow when extending your home.
 

How Can House Extensions Help Save You Money?

 
It doesn’t matter if you opt for a double storey or semi detached extension, you will still need to create the right plans and engage builders to help you with the project.

However, building or buying a new home is a lot more expensive than simply extending your home.

Why is this the case?
 

  • Real Estate Agents Costs – including marketing & advertising, sales commission.
  • Mortgage Loan Costs – including switching from one property to another.
  • Home Purchase or Building Process Costs – including stamp duty, hiring a removalist company, Internet connection, home alarm monitoring, telephone, utilities and so on.

 

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Opt for House Extensions

 
Maybe the most important thing here is what you want to achieve with your extension.

So try and pinpoint the fundamental reason you want to do it. Some people need a larger living space, whilst others need to accommodate more people inside their home like a new baby, growing teenagers, or elderly parents.
 
home-extensions
 
One of the major things to think about is the local area you live in. If you like the amenities, schools and your

If you like the amenities, schools and your neighbours then you’ll probably want to continue living there. But if on the other hand, you don’t have such a great relationship with the people in your neighbourhood, then I’d dare say it’s much better to move on.

Here are some other considerations you’ll need to take on board:
 

  • What’s your budget?
  • Are there any major life events that could get in the way? E.g, a wedding?
  • Where will you live during the renovation?

 

Who Will Design The House Extensions?

 
You will need to work with a professional in order to create the right design for your renovation. There are many different options for who can help you including an architect, interior designer, or a licensed builder.

We always recommend you hire the right people for a home extension job as they’ll be much more experienced at undertaking larger home improvement projects.

No matter what kind of home extension you are planning – period, terraced, small, modern, semi detached, two storey, or a loft – keep in mind that you need to match windows, tiles and doors with the ones you already have in your home.
 
house-extension-cost
 
As you can see there are many house extension options, so think carefully about the scale of the project before you start the design process. The grander the design and the bigger the job, the more time and money it will take.
 

How Much Does it Cost?

 
This is always the first question that springs to mind when someone is considering house extensions. But it’s a mistake to rush off and get quotes on what it will cost at this early stage of the renovation.

Builders require in-depth building plans in order to provide you with an accurate price. It’s no wonder they get so frustrated with homeowners that want quotes when they only have a vague idea of the size and scope of the job.

A home extension can be costly or inexpensive, and it all depends on how much you want to actually do to your property. If you have a very low budget, then stay away from big extensions.

Focus instead on a simpler approach like converting a space you already have instead of building something new. And always work with a professional to get the job done properly.
 

What Else Do I Need to Consider?

 
If you are a DIY addict and you love the idea of doing the job yourself be aware and be prepared. A home extension build is not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not the same as a bathroom or kitchen remodel either.

Do your homework and due diligence every step of the way. I’d also suggest you do start doing a owner builders course as it will arm you with all the right information to project manage the job yourself.
 
house-extension-ideas
 
Working with reliable builders and a good architect is the best way to get the best job done. Even if you pay more you’ll get a better quality build which in the end should be your main goal. If you hire an architect, make sure they have a lot of experience too.

And don’t forget about the planning permit. This can be expensive and take a while to get so it’s a good idea to talk with the local council in order to acquire one as quickly as possible.

Remember that working closely with the neighbours might actually speed up the permit release process, so try to keep that in mind. And a home baked cake wouldn’t go astray either!
 

Final Tips For House Extensions

 

  • Be realistic with your expectations of what you want to achieve.
  • Set aside some budget just in case anything goes wrong.
  • Make sure that you have the funding available before you start a house extension.
  • Don’t forget the cost of obtaining a planning permit.
  • Hang on to some budget for decorating your new home extension, i.e. furniture.
  • Before paying your builder the final amount for the completed work, make sure you are completely satisfied with it.

 

As you can see, house extensions can be a challenging process but they can also be very rewarding. All you have to do is create good building plans and work with experienced, dedicated professionals such as architects and builders. That’s how you’ll get the best results in the long run.

Cheers,

James Mason

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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August 19th, 2016 in

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What Are The Different Types of Home Improvement?

Interest in home improvement has increased significantly over the past decade. It’s why the likes of Bunnings (Australia), Home Depot (USA), and B&Q (UK) are booming. For many they’re the equivalent of adult candy stores for the DIY addict.

We love to live in a home that’s got all the creature comforts, latest gadgets and appliances, and is super stylish as well. And yet there’s no denying that at times we find ourselves wanting more. That might not be the case for everyone, but many people certainly like changing their home in one way or another on a regular basis.

And it’s fairly easy to do. All it takes are some great home improvement ideas, a chunk of free time, and of course, a bit of cash. You can also have a lot of fun customizing your home especially if you get a few friends around to pitch in.

But why is home improvement a good idea to begin with? Let’s find out.
 

What is Home Improvement?

 
Simply put, home improvement is any project that enables you to make additions or adjustments to your home. It usually involves tools, hardware and building materials that you can get from a dedicated home store like the ones listed above.

For the most part, it involves improving the way your home looks and functions. The process itself can be simple or it can be very complex, it all depends on you, your expectations and your needs!
 
best-home-improvements
 

6 Key Areas for Home Improvement

 
Yes there are, and you’re free to choose whichever one you require for your circumstances. There are no set rules. Most of the time it pertains to the house structure in some way. But there are situations where it may also include the garden, outdoor structures, garages and so on.

Also included are general servicing, repair and maintenance as well. It’s important to note that each home improvement task has its own specific goal and is focused on delivering a certain outcome.

For example, you may need to build a garage for use as a workshop, an office space, an extra bedroom, or to park your new car. Each one has a different reason and requires a different approach to the home improvement planning.

Below are some of the home improvement types you may choose to undertake.
 

1. Comfort

 
The main focus here is on upgrading things like:
 

  • Heating, HVAC and ventilation systems
  • Upgrading rooms with new luxury items
  • Waterproofing basements
  • Soundproofing rooms

 

2. Repair & Maintenance

 
These are home improvement tasks that cover:
 

  • Roof replacement & repairs
  • Plumbing repair
  • Masonry & concrete repair and so on

 

3. The Need for More Space

 
Many people opt for home improvement when they need more living space. It may seem like a daunting task at first but it’s good to keep in mind that it will boost your overall quality of living when completed. It’s also a great investment in the long run.

Some of the peripheral areas of your home can be pretty easy to turn into liveable spaces too. For example:
 

  • Attics can become bedrooms
  • Basements can become man caves or an office
  • Adding more rooms to the side of the house
  • Going up a level or two, extending the roof

 
Home-Improvement
 

4. Energy Saving Measures

 
These days, many homeowners are on the lookout for ways of cutting down on their utility bills. This is especially the case given the rising energy costs of the average household.

With a little home improvement you’ll be able to save on energy consumption.

It’s a good idea to check out the following array of DIY options:
 

  • Replacing your lighting with energy efficient models
  • Replacing windows with double or triple glazing
  • Increasing the thermal insulation
  • Adding solar panels
  • Opting for wood stoves
  • Using programmable thermostats
  • Switching to heat pumps

 

5. Preparedness & Safety

 
The great thing about home improvement is that there are so many ideas out there in magazines, online blogs and YouTube. This is especially true with the Prepper and off the grid movement.

Many companies cater for this growing market, so if you’re particularly safety focused you’re bound to come across some really good Prepper ideas.

When it comes to safety, you can:
 

  • Add backup generators
  • Build disaster shelters – i.e. storm cellars, fire bunkers etc.
  • Install security doors
  • Install shutters and security windows
  • Install a fire sprinkler system

 

6. DIY or Hire a Professional?

 
With home improvement projects there are typically three approaches you can take to getting the job done. You can:
 

  • Hire a general contractor
  • Do the work yourself
  • Opt for a specialized contractor

 

The general contractor works across a wide variety of home improvement projects. They’re able to:
 

  • Act as a project manager – managing other contractors
  • Hire specialized contractors for the job
  • Provide access to the work site
  • Do some of the work as well
  • Coordinate the work schedules for the others

 
home-improvement-ideas
 
You can also choose to hire specialized contractors on your own rather than hire someone to manage the process for you. Basically, this is a contractor focused on a specific type of task and you can hire one for each task depending on your needs.

If on the other hand, you want to have a go at doing the job yourself that’s ok too. Just make sure you don’t do the tasks that require licensed tradies. If you try them yourself you could end up in hot water with local authorities, or worse, not properly insured if something goes wrong.

DIY home improvement is quite common, but you do need to have some knowledge (or be willing to skill up) to ensure that everything goes smoothly. It might take a while to do this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
 

Go For It – Take The Plunge

 
On the whole, there are many reasons why you might choose to start a home improvement project. One things for certain, you’re bound to get immense value from the process and the results could indeed prove to be fruitful in the long run.

Whichever decision opt for, you’re bound to improve the overall quality of your home!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: Top 10 Really Useful Renovation Tips

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

GET INSTANT ACCESS TODAY

Yes, I Want to Know More!