WORDS Mina Phillips
Project description: Building a larger, open-plan home and adding in an additional bedroom
Original budget: $266,000
Actual spend: $302,500
Estimated duration: 5 months
Actual duration: 7 months
Project size: 95m2 house and 25m2 deck
Homeowner Steve did a bit of looking around before deciding on Refresh Renovations. He and his family wanted a larger, open plan home and needed an additional bedroom to be added. It was a big project and they wanted to find the right person for the job. After contacting a few companies Steve decided on Refresh Renovations consultant Jim Gleeson.
“We looked around on the net, in magazines and talked to friends for recommendations”, shares Steve. “We did talk to a few other companies and it came down to Jim and another company. When we met with Jim we really found that he was open and able to talk us through a really clear process. We were really able to understand what we were getting into, as well as, what we would get out in the end.”
Every renovation comes with some challenges and Steve’s home was no different. The home was a three in a row triplex property which required complex fire rating upgrades. This led to time delays and cost overruns, influenced by the council and fire engineers.
“There were challenges”, agrees Jim. “Earthworks, for piles, involved digging out large areas of rock. The pile holes ended up massive so we needed to use three times the amount of concrete. The walls that were left ended up needing to be removed and the floor had to be re-laid. This added time and cost to the project.”
According to Steve, having a renovation specialist on board made the process much easier, particularly when it came to required applications and documentation.
“Working with professionals, we ended up with a certificate of completion that we can use with all the documentation. Our code of compliance was very easy to push through because Jim knew the things that needed to happen. It was really appreciated by me, who has no understanding of how that process works.”
“Obviously we needed to talk about things that weren’t necessarily going well on the build, because obviously all builds have their issues. We were able to communicate really clearly with Jim and he was able to explain why things were happening the way they were and we were able to work out a really good conclusion. We came out with a really great result at the end.”
Step by step, Jim and his team transformed the sweet, small house into a well designed, spacious home. The modern interior provided Steve and his family with a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing space to relax and live. The design and materials also allowed for easy cleaning and maintenance. The kitchen turned out to be a highly appreciated area of the home, to the extent of winning multiple awards.
The exterior of the home also went through a makeover. New fencing has given the family more privacy from the road and the new deck has created a great outdoor space to enjoy the summer months from. Jim utilised every area, including the side of the home; where a pebble and stone walkway was laid out alongside plant boxes.
“It was a massive transformation for this family and they still love the end result”, smiles Jim.
With the build complete, Steve holds Jim in high regard - especially when it comes to his eye for detail.
“My wife, who was also double project managing the build (laughs), is really finicky on the finishing details. It was really good that Jim could see the benefit of having those details completed in that quality way.”
Looking at the final result, Steve’s completed home is presentable and practical. The new driveway provides easy access, and full fencing gives Steve’s children plenty of safe, outdoor space to play in. The sunset views from the deck are an added bonus.
“I’d absolutely recommend Refresh”, says Steve. “In fact, I’ve probably recommended Refresh to three or four other people already. People who had been watching the build happen, that come up and down our street, I think, have been in contact with Jim. I have no qualms about recommending Refresh to other people.”
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