The bathroom is a hive of activity with members of the household showering, shaving and shampooing almost daily, making this part of the house prone to significant wear and tear. This is the reason why a bathroom makeover should be considered if you are putting your house on the market.
By giving your bathroom more appeal and making it more functional, you are poised to profit in a big way.
How much is a Bathroom Renovation?
A bathroom maybe one of the smallest rooms in a house, but it can be expensive to renovate it.
ServiceSeeking.com.au, an online tendering website, says the cost of basic bathroom renovations averages $5,800. The cost normally comprises dismantling the existing bathroom, waterproofing and installing fittings and fixtures, including electrical wirings.
You may also be presented with unexpected costs, such as moving plumbing or wiring, so be aware of this as well. To avoid spending more than you’ve planned, include another 10% to the initial quote.
Never Give Up
You should see the cost of your bathroom makeover balloon if you are determined to include all materials and fittings.
With all the bells and whistles, such as underfloor heating, expect the cost to hit upwards of $12,000.
A quote for a bathroom renovation often includes a provisional sum for bathroomware, but sourcing your own material can sometimes give you savings.
If you yourself does the buying (surfing eBay, and going to factory sites, joining auction sites, etc.), chances are high of you finding better quality products, second-hand or even factory samples for discounted prices. You will see your reward for all the legwork you’ve put in come inspection day.
You are more likely to impress a potential buyer with Kohler or Grohe tapware than with some no brand spout.
Go with the Right Renovator
Expect to pay an average of $57 per hour if you are hiring a bathroom renovator on a project-by-project basis (for example, to put in fixtures you’ve sourced yourself).
To save money, consider hiring a handyman for the job. You can save plenty of cash by paying an average of $46 per hour.
A handyman can be trusted to do small odd jobs, such as basic carpentry work and plumbing repairs, but major renovation work should be handled by licensed tradespeople. Doing your bathroom makeover the cheapest way may end up costing you more in the end, especially if you have to hire professionals to patch up the original job.
If you are planning to revamp your bathroom on a shoestring budget, forget about the fabulous design and décor ideas for the time being and concentrate on more practical ideas. That means only the basics and making sure that taps are not dripping and plumbing is not leaking.
A vital part of the bathroom is tiles.
Broken tiles should be repaired and repaired when needed. If your budget can’t accommodate a full tiling job (ServiceSeeking.com.au puts the cost of an average bathroom tiling job at $3,419*), a tile paint will do to give your bathroom a new look and fresh look. At the very least, make sure the grout is clean and mould-free.
Consider putting in a skylight to really boost the value of your house. You can turn a damp and dreary bathroom into a light-filled sanctuary at a cost of just around $500.
Hiring an architect may seem unnecessary, but if you are undertaking a home improvement or a complete build an architect could actually boost the value of your property and save you money – and potentially many hassles – in the process.
What Architects Do
Architects bring more than their design skills to the table. These include knowledge in coordination and project management, skill in building precedents, and independent and professional advice that provides a unique perspective to a builder’s.
According to the Australian Institute of Architects, architects can add value at four phases in the construction process:
Reasons to Hire an Architect
Architects can offer options you that might not have crossed your mind, create a style for your building and design it to function efficiently, and solve space and function issues. An architect can give you something that is customised to your specific requirements, so that you can anticipate whatever needs or issues that may arise later.
And needless to say, architects are creative, and skilled at solving problems, which can be very helpful in renovation projects. With renovations, you often need to be inventive to make the most out of an existing building, and an architect will be a great help to you in that area. Architects are also good at design judgment, which is evident in the resulting finished building and the vibe that it gives off.
Anything that needs the approval of council or a private certifier needs to have BASIX certificate. This ensures the continuing improvement of the standards in all housing jobs. An architect will be valuable in helping you navigate the jungle of sustainability, insulation and energy performance. They are also experts at design elements of orientation, which can play a major role in a building’s functionality and liveability.
What Using an Architect Really Means
Many people believe that the words “architect designed” denotes luxury and high-end design. But the truth is, an architect can help people no matter what their budget, by giving them the best design for their money, and guiding them around costly mistakes.
The amount you will spend on hiring an architect will vary depending on who you pick and the kind of service you need.
The normal full service process, which includes the whole thing from preliminary design, through to post occupancy, could be 10-15% of the entire building cost depending on how big the project is.
However, you might just like to know what the property could be converted into, or minor assistance during the process, so most architects are amenable to discussing a partial service, where they provide advice at certain points of the project.
So is it worth it? Yes, because you will almost always get back the money you spent on an architect.
People often tend to just evaluate a project’s value by the number of services or things we get for the money. This mentality can be credited to the emergence of the McMansion phenomenon of huge houses on small lands.
When you’re using an architect you are expecting quality, and while the results might be the same cost, the money is usually recouped from quality, liveability and other elements such as environmental factors.
You can maximise your budget and open up new possibilities by working with an architect. It can actually add value. Building is big-ticket item so you should try to obtain the best value you can for the investment.
Ordinary People Can Benefit from Using an Architect
The pros of architected designed homes can be had on most budgets, but clearly not all homes are architect designed. However, they can be.
If you are purchasing an apartment in bigger blocks, you’re probably already getting the benefits from architect designed quality. The NSW law, called SEPP 65, mandates that buildings higher than 3 stories be designed by certified architects. This law has been in effect for over ten years and is deemed to be responsible for improved standards in apartment living.
This means the public has been benefiting from better design standards since the implementation of SEPP 65.
No Job too Small
You will be surprised by the value that an architect can bring, especially if they are hired for guidance early in the project. An architect should be used for any situation, as their skill and expertise can be beneficial even on the smallest project.
If you are considering hiring an architect or just want to know what services they offer, check out Archicentre, the advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects, to get basic information.
The RP Data research team have released the Coastal Housing Market Report which provides an overview of Australia's seaside housing markets. The report also looks at what the typical house values are across these markets, how the values have changed over time and what the rental indicators are for those seeking to rent or invest.
Download report - PDF [6.7MB] Low res version PDF [2MB]
MRP Data has given more focus to the more prominent coastal housing markets for this analysis. It is also important to remember that the median values quoted represent values across the whole suburb and not just for those houses that are located directly adjacent to the coastline. The tables at the back of the report provide details for all coastal regions nationally with a more detailed analysis on the more populous coastal markets within each state.
Notes on statistics:
• Statistics are current as at September 2013
• Median values are based on the median of all estimated values across the suburb
• Statistics have not been reported for suburbs with fewer than ten sales over the
past twelve months
• Median rents are based on advertised rental rates
It seems almost impossible to take advantage of what little space you have and have a corner you can call your own if you are renting a house or apartment with a partner, living at home with your parents or sharing spaces with a roommate. Even if you get along well with the people in your house and have no problem sharing the communal rooms with them such as the living area, it is still important for you to have your own room that is decorated according to your personal taste and style, a room that reflects who you are where you can escape after a long tiring day at the office or school.
But customising your space can be a challenge if you are renting because you are bound by more limitations than if you own your own house.
If you are one of those people who enjoy quite a bit of “me time”, here some tips to help you transform a bedroom or even a corner in your home into your own personal haven.
Determine What is Realistic
Look at the room and determine:
If you are renting, ask your landlord if you can make cosmetic changes to the house. Once you determine what you want to do and what you are allowed to do, it is time to compare your decoration wish list with your budget.
Here are Simple Improvements you Can Do
Window Coverings. Change the window coverings in your room – this is way to you stamp your own style in the space without spending too much. It is easy to make the room your own and make it feel more like home by adding colour, pattern or even a neutral textile by installing curtains, blinds or other type of window covering.
Floor Coverings. To get an another level of layering and bring warmth to the space, place a rug in front of, or beside, your bed, whether you have a floorboard, concrete floor or carpet. Choose your rug carefully – one you will like for a long time. Beside your furniture, the floor covering will likely be the one item you will spend the most money on.
Accessories. These are the best way to put your stamp in your space, particularly if you are living in a rental property.
Framed Prints. Framed print will look great on your own. Pick lightweight frames as these can easily be hanged with removable hooks. You can also purchase frames from your local homewares store at reasonable prices.
Another great way to transform your room into a personal retreat is by putting in ornamental objects, photograph of your holidays and one-of-a-kind bedside lamps. These pieces will help make the room feel more comfortable relaxed every time you are within its four walls.
Renting or sharing a house should not deter you from having a space that you can call your own. Put thought and effort into the design and décor of the room to convert it into a tranquil hideaway and personal sanctuary.
While attending an appraisal last week the seller asked the question 'What is stamp duty and when do I to pay it? He then went on to tell me that at the time of purchasing the property he now lives in, he was made to pay the stamp duty up front which raised an eyebrow on my behalf. So because of this I thought it might be worth writing about it today.
In recent months the cost of purchasing a property has increased and because stamp duty is calculated on a sliding scale that means you will now pay more stamp duty for the same property if purchasing it months ago!
What is stamp duty?
When it comes to property, stamp duty is a tax levied by the state government and is payable by the purchaser.
When do you have to pay stamp duty?
It’s a legal requirement that stamp duty is paid within 30 days of the property transaction, which for real estate means within 30 days of settlement of the property. Settlement is when you get the keys so that means after taking possession of the property and not before.
Who pays stamp duty?
All transfers of land or sales of property, including gifts of property attract a duty. However, in certain circumstances there are some exemptions or concessions that may apply within certain states. The following are some of the benefits available to purchasers:-
First Home Purchaser Scheme: Any person in NSW who is buying their first home or block of land on which they intend to build their first home may be entitled to a full exemption from duty or a concessional rate of duty.
NSW Home Builders Bonus:- Any person in NSW purchasing off the plan or vacant land on which a new home is to be built or a new home may be entitled to an exemption or concession. Furthermore under the Home Builders Bonus scheme seniors may be entitled to a full exemption from duty if they are purchasing a newly built home to be occupied as their principal place of residence and have or are selling their existing residence.
Intergenerational Transfers/Transfer of Farming Property Between Family Members:- Persons transferring primary production land between family members may be entitled to an exemption from the duty payable on the Transfer.
Why is stamp duty charged differently in other states?
Our Australian Federal Government doesn’t levy stamp duty, instead this is done by the state and territory governments. And to make it even more confusing, every state has a different levy.
But on a lighter note, it is generally calculated on either the market value of the property or the price paid for the property.
Enter your details on this calculator to estimate what stamp duty you will pay in NSW.
Have you ever found yourself with no idea of where to begin whilst looking at a room that you wanted to decorate? This is a stumbling block that can sometimes prevent you from going ahead with the re-decoration process. What usually happens is that you don’t change anything – you simply keep what’s already in there or arrange it the same way it was before.
Styling or decorating a room can be a challenge, but don’t be afraid to start something that may be new to you. Here are some tried and tested steps to help guide you when decorating a room.
Determine the Function of the Room
What purpose will be the room serve? If it is a living space, you may want to use for watching TV, reading, working or entertaining. How many people will the space fit at any given time? The answer to this question will help you plan seating capacity and arrangement.
Identify What You Need
What are the pieces of furniture that you will need in order fulfil the function that you have decided for the space? These items could be a lounge suite, television, side tables or reading lamp.
Specify the Style of the Property
Know the style of the property and determine whether you want to use it as the guiding factor in the room. Does the décor have to match the property style or do you want to tone it down and make the décor the focal point?
Know Your Style
You don’t need to think hard for a label for yourself – are you country, modern or classic? What you need to know is what you like and what you don’t. Some people already know this but others need to time and some research to discover what they are partial to design-wise.
Figure Out What Stays and Goes
What things should remain in the space? This may a sentimental piece that you simply can’t let go of or a practical item that you don’t have the budget to replace at the moment. Working out what pieces you want to keep and let go will help ensure that they don’t stand out like a sore thumb in the new style or design of the space.
Consider the Colour Palette
As a general rule, colour should be considered last, except if you are sure of yourself with regards to colours. Avoid adding too much saturated colours to your walls and floors. Delay it until your new furnishings and accessories arrive. It will be easier for you to change the colours as your taste evolves through the seasons.
Blend Them All In
You purchased an item, maybe a rug cushion or lamp, and discovered that it doesn’t go with the existing space. To avoid this scenario from happening, compile pictures or cuttings of the pieces that you will be including in the space. Your sources can be the Internet, magazines or brochures. Put all the images in one file or a piece of cardboard. This will help you appreciate how the pieces interact with each other before you make a final decision.
It is also important to take note of the dimensions of each piece. The scale on the images may be different in person. To avoid buying a piece that is half the size of what you expected it to be, check the dimensions to ensure all pieces blend in together in terms of scale and proportion.
Happy styling and redecorating. Be creative and have fun too!
helps over 55's who are afraid of not having enough money for their retirement. She does this by selling their family home for a premium price using her proven marketing plans. Often her clients end up with more money than they expected allowing them to buy a new car or go on a dream holiday.