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Ocean Reef renovations

Be inspired...


There are many reasons why clients choose to renovate their existing home rather than move and relocate. The main reason is generally the comfort, familiarity with the local neighbourhood, school children, and proximity to work. The reasons are always personal and diverse.

The design is crucial.

We cannot stress enough that the design is crucial. We see too many designs come into our office that we are asked to 'fix'. Seeing a client's dreams and money go down the drain is devastating. To end up with a set of plans that don't work. Renovations are specialist work, immensely challenging and rewarding, but it's devastating and costly if you don't get it right. 

The biggest tip we can give you if you embark on a renovation is to trust your gut instinct. Whether you are working with a designer, draftsperson or an architect, if the design does not 'feel' right, it most likely isn't right. So please stop, query your designer, ask for justification of ideas, and ensure the design is resolved.

Technology has advanced at lightning speeds, so there is no need to be 'guessing' what the floor plans or the design 'looks' like. Most offices can provide a 3D walkthrough of your new renovations before you build. This gives you peace of mind and security that what you have envisioned is actually what you will gain on-site.

YES, you may pay a little more for peace of mind and security, but rectifying an incomplete or lousy design on-site will cost you much more. There is no need and no excuse for bad design. As a client, you don't know what you don't know, so please trust your instincts. They will not let you down.

There are many factors to take into account when considering a minor or extensive renovation:

  • What are the family needs now and ten years into the future?

    • Design for longevity, allow a little flexibility in the design. 

    • If you have a young family now, consider the impact on older children

  • Are the existing areas of the home functional and utilised?

    • There is no point in adding additional areas if you currently have wasted areas within the home.

    • The new design needs to utilise existing areas first.​

  • Do you have room on the ground to extend, or will you need to add an upper floor?

    • Ground floor renovations will generally be more cost-effective than a new upper floor.

    • However, if you have views ​ or a lack of space, then an upper floor additional will, of course, be a viable option.

  • You have many options with the vast range of materials you can build with.

    • There are many building materials: brick, timber frame, steel, SIPS, ​pre-fabricated panels...

    • Many and varied cladding options to suit the look and feel that you would like to gain

  • Do you want to incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient features and options?

    • There are many and varied building materials and internal finishes that are sustainable and good for the earth and your health!​

    • Many energy-efficient options in lighting, solar, rainwater harvesting, greywater systems...

  • Can you live in the home whilst you renovate?

    • This depends on the extent of the renovations. Generally, most clients stay home, but you need to be aware that it is a building site. There will be dust and noise! It will be frustrating but also fantastic to see the changes taking place.

  • The cost of renovating

    • There is a misconception that you can build a renovation for a similar price to a new home. This is not the case. Renovating is much more expensive than new builds as the builder needs to take into account:

      • The fact that they may need to work around you living there!

      • Demolition work and ensuring the existing home remains structurally intact

      • Maintaining the security of the home

      • Access to the home and areas to work within

      • Working around and tieing into the existing electrical, plumbing, and all other services (which is relatively unknown until they start peeling away the layers)

      • The existing roof and structural members generally need to be adapted to suit the new renovations (existing structural components are relatively unknown until the roof is stripped back)

      • Specialist trades

      • More attention to detail in terms of supervision


The Design Mill

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Residential Building Designers

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