By: Adam Ioannidis

When it comes to renovating, certain guidelines must be followed. Whilst this rule is less-so enforced when it comes to houses – owning an apartment means you must consult strata before undergoing any renovation work. Today’s article is going to be concentrating on the fundamentals you need to know before engaging in any sort of renovation work – whether it is a house or an apartment – and how engaging in contract estimating services can benefit you.

Renovating a house

Regarding houses, there are certain renovations that you need authorisation from the council for before they can be built. Whilst there are internal and minor external renovations that are less likely to require approval, it is highly recommended that you contact your local council beforehand to ensure this. Large extensions will most likely require council approval as well as any change to utilities such as plumbing, gas, electrical or water-related renovations.

Free-standing structures like pool houses will definitely require approval as well as most excavation work (swimming pools, major landscape work). Please note that any permits or required licenses must be gained by you, the property owner, or by a building surveyor who specialises in the area.

When engaging in any form of renovation you are going to want to look at contract estimating services to ensure the financial side of the project runs smoothly. This is where a qualified estimator can help. We can handle things like approving the cost of the materials, labour, utilities and any extra expenses as well as devising a detailed and thorough drawdown report and progress claims – to ensure the appropriate funds are allocated to the builder or contractor at the right time.

We can also assure the bank’s confidence in you if you are looking to take out a loan by providing a bank prefunding report. This will look at your past financial history as well as all relevant documentation for the current project to ensure the viability of you paying back the loan.

In NSW, our estimators can prepare section 94 reports in compliance with the local council guidelines. Section 94 reports are independent assessments of the construction project’s cost to determine the levy that the council will charge on shared services and infrastructure – which include footpaths, playgrounds, schools, parks and roads.

Renovating a strata property

If you own an apartment – if it is within an apartment building then it is up to the body corporate whether or not you can renovate certain aspects. Obviously, the breadth of the renovation is much narrower compared to what is possible with a house and land so it is even more important to consult the strata to learn what is and is not acceptable. Taking out walls to open up space in an apartment could prove dangerous, for example, as they could be load-bearing walls – which would not bode very well for the building’s overall structural integrity.

The safest avenue is to always ask if you are thinking of renovating your apartment. When it comes to the financial side of things, we can help you ensure that everything is in order – similarly to how we would if you renovate a house. We can help you in the same we would for a house – preparing bank prefunding reports, progress claims, drawdown reports and ensuring the project is financially viable.

We also recommend familiarising yourself with your building’s by-laws to ensure that everything you do is above board before presenting your renovation plans to body corporate. If you require any building permits, then it is up to you to organise them or hire a building surveyor to do it for you.

Do you require contract estimating services?

Whether you’re renovating your house or apartment, ensuring that all your project’s finances are in order is key to a successful and smooth renovation process. Accent Estimating can provide a number of estimating services for your next renovation project. 

With over 10 years of experience and industry-qualifications, you can rest assured knowing that you are in safe and capable hands. Our expansive service is available to anyone in Australia as we have the ability to make accurate estimations and prepare detailed reports remotely without sacrificing the quality of our work.

If you would like to know more about our services, then please give us a call on 0413 953 869 or fill out the contact form on our website.