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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Hot tips to help you survive your renovation

Tips for homeowners living through a renovation, extension or addition

Whether you stay or move, your large scale renovation, ground floor extension, or first floor addition can cause stress. Of course, stress is simply par for the course when building, and nearly everyone — regardless of whether they moved out or stayed put – experience some sort of challenge during the build. We’ve put together some tips to help you survive your renovation – whether you stay or go for the duration of the build;

If you decide to stay and live through the renovation, your number one priority is to preserve your sanity:

Before the renovation:

  • Declutter. It will be easier for you to live with the essentials before you start the renovation.
  • Stay far away from the work area to ensure you’re not in the builders’ and tradespeople’s way.
  • Tackle the dust debacle by placing all essentials in one room that you will not renovate, cover them, then seal off the area.
  • Take all your fragile items and store them far from the work area. If you are going to store them in boxes, don’t forget to label them as fragile.
  • Prepare a lot of drop sheets, tarpaulins and blankets. You are going to need a lot of them to cover important furniture pieces and other items.
  • Label every sealed storage box, so you know where to find the items you need. It is a hassle to move things around every time.
  • Ensure you have made all of your decisions and finalised all of your selections BEFORE your build starts. This will take away the stress of feeling rushed to make decisions and ensure clarity when heading into the build. The last thing your builder wants is to work out variations during the build following a last-minute change of mind. Believe it or not, most builders’ would prefer not to have any variations during your build!

During the renovation:

  • Be prepared; it is an emotional journey. Give the builder and their team breathing room to complete the build, communicate with them on their expected finish date and let them work towards it.
  • There will be times when you will feel like everything is slow and one task is taking so much time. When this happens, try to relax – it could be simply due to the number of different trades required to be coordinated for 1 area, or the team is ahead of schedule or waiting on a delivery.
  • If you have been provided with a timeline, generally, your builder should be on track or thereabouts. As long as they are still confident of achieving your end date, it’s not so important how each specific item progresses in between. If you are concerned, discuss the issue with your builder during a scheduled meeting.
  • For large scale extensions and first floor additions
  • Try to avoid unnecessary chats — the type that goes on for hours.
  • If you have zero background in construction, do not be tempted to work alongside the builders and tradespeople. Let them deliver what is agreed in the quote. Also, you do not want to mess up, then pay extra to have it fixed.
  • For better indoor air quality, turn off your air conditioning system.
  • Always wear your shoes and slippers.
  • Keep the kids and your pets away from the construction site at all times. If you have dogs, consider keeping them away for the duration of the build, as doors and gates can be left open, and the builder is not responsible for keeping an eye on them for you.
  • Yes, the portaloo stinks. They are cleaned fortnightly, but it doesn’t take away the youthful nostalgia of festival toilets!
  • Water ingress – it happens. Your builder will do everything in their power to prevent it; however, water can still work its way in during the initial construction stages of a large scale project. Don’t stress though, as your builder will make good the areas that are impacted – just communicate with your builder when this happens.

Based on experience, it is possible to stay in your home and live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, but expect changes in your daily routine, and sometimes you may be without water, electricity or internet. You also need to be extra careful to avoid accidents on site.

If staying in is becoming too difficult for you, there is no shame in moving out. Here are our tips:

Tips for homeowners temporarily moving out

  • Make sure that you have the funds for it, discuss with your builder the recommended duration so you can look at accommodation.
  • Look for a decent rental property close to the construction site, school, and workplace, so travelling back and forth won’t be an issue.
  • Conduct regular drivebys to see your home take shape and, if needed, schedule a meeting every few weeks with your builder to discuss progress.
  • Never enter the construction site without notifying the builders for security and safety reasons.
  • If you’re going to live with a friend or a relative, try not to make them feel like you’re conquering their space. Shop for your own food and use your own toiletries.

Deciding to live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, or moving out is a personal decision. It is up to you and your family to weigh up the pros and cons, depending on your situation. Assess the amount of work to be done, and the time the builders need to finish construction. Once you know the scope of the project and the specifics of the construction and design, you’ll figure out where you will stay while the work is being done.




How to Decide Whether to Move Out or Live Through a First Floor Addition, Ground Floor Extension or Renovation?

Whether you are building a First Floor Addition, Ground Floor Extension or Renovation, the one question that our clients always ask us is can they stay in the home and live through construction or should they consider temporarily moving out? This is a big decision to make — with a lot of factors to consider other than your budget when entering into significant construction works to your home.

We have outlined below some of the factors to take into account when looking to stay or move.

Factor # 1 – Scope of works

How much work is going to be done to your home? Are you doing a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor additionAre you renovating the kitchen and bathroom? These are two areas of your home that you often cannot live without for more than a few days. Is there going to be demolition? Are you renovating a completely isolated part of the house (e.g. second floor)? Can you live under the addition while being built?

These are the questions to consider when deciding whether to remain living in your home or move out and allow the builders to work their magic.

Keep in mind that construction is disruptive in nature. It can cause inconveniences and interrupt your daily routine. It is also possible that you will interfere with the builders and slow things down.

Therefore, if you are:

  • Conducting a large scale renovation (50% of the house)
  • Doing ground floor renovations including areas like the kitchen
  • Doing a demolition
  • Removing toxic materials (e.g. asbestos and mould growth)
  • Removing and replacing the roof
  • Doing a total kitchen and bathroom overhaul

You should consider moving out to make way for the builders who will work on your home.

Factor # 2 – Budget

Can you stretch your budget to be able to afford temporary accommodation?

Budget is often a major concern for many renovators or addition and extension builders. The truth is that both moving out and staying in will incur additional expenses.

If you are planning to move out, you must prepare for the costs of short-term renting.

To save money, you could stay in an Airbnb, or a cheaper hotel/motel, go on a budget vacation, or you could ask a friend or a relative if you can stay and live with them temporarily.

If you choose to stay amidst a large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition be prepared to order takeaway and bottled drinking water. All these are going to add up to your expenses.

 

Factor # 3 – Basic cooking facilities and a working bathroom

If you choose to live through the large-scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition, you might need to set up a makeshift kitchen and a temporary dishwashing area. Cooking using your outdoor kitchen or BBQ is a great idea.

In general, a makeshift kitchen almost works for most builds, but it is going to be a huge adjustment for everyone with them. You should be prepared to be without a full working kitchen for a least 6 weeks.

Living through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition is also easier when you already have two bathrooms in the house, and one remains functional while the other is being renovated. Otherwise, you need to buy a portable toilet. If you are renovating both as part of your build, be prepared to pay more if you request for them to be renovated separately instead of at the same time as the builder will incur additional travel, labour, time and site costs.

Access to water is crucial too. If you’re staying, ask your builder about the times that they need to turn off the water supply so you can create a bathroom schedule and store clean water for cooking and doing chores.

 

Factor # 4 – Level of tolerance and patience

Can you deal with the noise coming from jackhammers, electric saws, welding machines, dump trucks, cement mixers, cement cutters, tamping machines, sledgehammers, and drills as early as 7AM and as late as 6PM? 

How about that fine gyprock dust that gets everywhere despite sealing up some parts of the house?

Can you deal with all the waste from the construction and scaffolding around your house?

Would you feel comfortable doing your daily routine with the builders and tradies walking around the house? Do you think they can do more when you’re not around?

There are the clients who can and the clients who can’t handle living through a construction zone! Which one are you? Based on experience, a lot of people commencing a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition decide to move out in the middle of construction because they cannot bear the noise, dirt, and lack of privacy. Not having to live through the mess and chaos is a lifesaver, especially during these stressful times. You may also find you will be more excited with your new space when you move back in rather than living through the chaos to get to the end.

 

Factor # 5 – Length of the renovation

When the large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition takes over your home for weeks or months, moving out is the ideal option. The builders work faster with you out of the way, which results in quicker turnaround times and more money saved on labour costs.

 

Factor # 6 – Who are you living with?

 

Most couples with no children decide to live through the renovation process, but only when smaller-scale work needs to be done.

But, if you are doing major building works and you have small children, teenagers, pets, and are living with elderly members of your family, consider moving out. It would help if you got out of the way so the builders would be able to get more done quickly.

 

Factor # 7 – Which is more stressful? Moving out or staying in?

Whether you stay or move, your large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition can cause stress. Of course, stress is simply par for the course when building, and nearly everyone — regardless of whether they moved out or stayed put – experience some sort of challenge during the build.

Deciding to live through a large scale renovation, ground floor extension or first floor addition or to move out is a personal decision. It is up to you and your family to weigh up the pros and cons, depending on your situation. Assess the amount of work to be done and the time the builders need to finish construction. Once you know the scope of the project and the specifics of the construction and design, you’ll figure out where you will stay while the work is being done.

The most important thing is communication – confirm your selections and questions before your build commences and then allow your builder and their team breathing room to get stuck in and complete the project at hand.





Trainee’s Efforts Rewarded With Full-Time Role

It is always great to see a trainee excel and be rewarded with a full-time role once they complete their qualification.

That’s been the case for Kelsey Ray, who has just completed her Certificate III in Business Administration with us here at 32 Degrees Building.

Kelsey is “delighted” to be staying on with the business, which specialised in custom built new homes, first floor additions and ground floor extensions. She will continue in an administration type role, utilising the skills she has developed in customer service, processing payroll and navigating MYOB.

“Kelsey has been a positive addition to our team,” said Victoria Size, Operations Manager at 32 Degrees Building.

“She is assertive in her ability to step in and assist in other areas where she can and is always willing to learn more. Kelsey now has a great understanding of accounts payable and payroll and is continuing her learning path with sales, client support, HR and accounts receivable, which will ensure that she is a great asset to any company she works for.”

The skills and knowledge Kelsey has learnt in her traineeship have been invaluable to her in regards to working in an office environment.

“Being able to develop the skills I need to start my career in business administration in a practical, real world application,” Kelsey said of what she’s enjoyed the most about her traineeship.

A key element to any young employee getting the most out of their traineeship is the support they have around them. Kelsey described the support she received the last year as “excellent”.

“Everyone at 32 Degrees Building have been so willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, and it was comforting to know that My Gateway was always there if I needed help with anything.”

Prior to beginning her traineeship at 32 Degrees Building, Kelsey worked in the veterinary industry and had limited administration experience. This didn’t pose an issue during her traineeship though, with Kelsey displaying an eagerness to learn and to help her colleagues when necessary.


Kelsey (left) pictured with her supervisor, Victoria. Photo credit: My Gateway.

“From the start Kelsey was all about the “why” – she had to understand why she was doing what she was doing and as soon as she understood this, she was able to effectively undertake her new role,” Victoria said.

Kelsey’s development throughout her traineeship has provided her with some great lessons and advice to help anyone looking to do a traineeship.

“Ask for help when you need it,” Kelsey said. “You’re there to learn and no one expects you to know how to do everything straight off the bat, so ask questions when you need to so you can get the support you need.”

“If you’re willing to put the effort in, you won’t regret it. The opportunity to learn on the job is truly invaluable and My Gateway will be there to help every step of the way.”

We are stoked to have Kelsey employed with us full-time as a valuable member of our team and thank My Gateway for their support throughout the process.


Start your career with us

Leading Hands, Carpenters, Carpentry Apprentices and Administrative Staff Required

Due to recent growth, we are looking for leading hands, carpenters, carpentry apprentices and administrative staff that live in the surrounding suburbs along the M4 & M5 corridors to join our team.

To apply, please call 02 4647 2324 and send your resume to admin@32degreesbuilding.com.au

Must have a drivers licence and a ute, an immediate start is available for the right applicant. Attractive packages available to the right candidates and based upon skill level. Apprentices are paid as per the Award.

What do we offer in return?
A challenging, rewarding and safe working environment where you can develop your skills and gain a variety of experience across the residential construction industry. We will help you to cement your future in your chosen trade and offer exciting career opportunities for you.

Apply Here

This Is Why People Love Custom First Floor Additions

First floor additions, also known as second storey extensions are increasingly popular for those homeowners who don’t want to lose valuable garden space but want to increase their family living space. Best of all, going up is easy and our team will do their best to ensure the process is smooth and the build is completed on time and with minimal disruption to your daily lives.

You can have a modern, liveable home with plenty of space for your family – without giving up the location you love.

Our team are the experts in planning and building custom/tailor-designed First Floor Additions

We are often approached by clients who would like to create an open plan living environment downstairs, whilst adding more room for the family to live comfortably upstairs. The best way to achieve this is with a Custom First Floor Addition.

As specialists in these types of builds, we have many years of experience enabling us to easily offer solutions and suggestions on products, layout and how to get the most from your investment. We are able to share with you relevant quality projects that have resulted in many of our clients becoming raving fans.

No Plans? No Worries!

If a client comes to us without plans, part of our service is to organise for a building designer to assist with the plans and design process. This is will be included in our Preliminary Agreement if required.

We can arrange for our draftspeople to consult with our clients at their home and discuss their project requirements. From there we will then provide plans based upon their specifications and work hand in hand with our clients and the draftsperson to ensure the plans continue to work within the tailored build cost estimate that we have provided.

Improve your lifestyle and bring your family together

When building their addition our clients often decide to open up downstairs living spaces, renovate their kitchen and bathrooms and create new living spaces internally and externally. Once the addition and renovation are completed they are left with a finished product that is like moving into a brand new home.

We are able to create open plan living spaces and improve their current living situation. Our mission is to bring families closer together.

Take away the stress, let us help you plan, manage and design your build

We have a streamlined process which is stress-free and fun. When you are building with 32 Degrees Building you don’t have to worry about anything other than choosing what you want to add to your home and we will work with you on the design to suit your home and your lifestyle.

Contact us to start your building journey today

Book An Appointment Now
The Next Step - Pre-Quote Enquiry Form

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Building Up: The Advantages of Adding a Second Floor to Your Home


At 32 Degrees Building, we specialise in ground floor extensions, first floor additions, and custom built homes. Often, whenever someone is planning to make more room in their home, a common question that we get asked is why is it better to build upwards with a second storey instead of outwards with a ground floor extension? What makes a second storey addition a great idea? So we decided to list just some of the benefits of adding second storey to your home:

Gain more living space without moving out

This is perhaps the greatest advantage of building a second storey (as well as the best reason to do so), especially if you live in a location that you really love, somewhere that truly suits your lifestyle. By renovating your home and adding a second storey, you can acquire more living space without having to give up the perks and convenience of living in an area that has all the amenities, services, businesses, and opportunities that you need, want and enjoy.

With greater room, you and your growing family can live more comfortably. On top of that, additional space means that you can stay in the family home for the years to come, as there is enough space available for a multi-generational household.

Keep your outdoor space

Why sacrifice your yard to extend the size of your home, when you can build on top of the ground floor and retain your outdoor space? Adding a second storey is the smart way to go, especially if you need additional space in a house that is built on a small block. This allows you to have the space outdoors as an alfresco living area with a pool, a lovely garden, or an amazing playground for your children and pets.

Get beautiful views

If you live in a picturesque location, a second storey is a great way to take advantage of the amazing views that your area has to offer. For example, if you live near the ocean, you can simply open and look out of a window in your second storey to take in the breathtaking waters without having to leave your house. Or, why not build a balcony where you can relax and have a drink while looking at the pretty sights before you?

Make necessary changes and repairs to the ground floor

On the practical side, if your home needs both repairs and additional space, a second storey lets you hit two birds with one stone. Building a second floor means that your ground floor has to meet the requirements that can provide structural support to the second storey. While the changes are being made, you can grab this opportunity to make some suitable home design decisions and improve your home’s overall interior look and style. You can also use this chance to replace faulty or damaged parts of the house, such as windows and doors and consider upgrading or adding ducted air conditioning.

Add value to your home

Last, but not the least, building a quality second storey can raise the market value of your home, should the need to sell arise. This is great especially if your house is located where there is a high demand for residential properties with close proximity and easy access to good education, career opportunities, medical centres, transportation, and other necessary amenities and services.

Do you want to increase your living space with a second storey addition? We at 32 Degrees Building provide our building services across South West & Western Sydney, the Illawarra, the Southern Highlands, the Eastern Suburbs, and Sutherland Shire. We aim to help our clients achieve their dream family home, with a spacious living area that can meet the needs and demands of their lifestyles. To learn more, contact us.

Article written by: ibuildnew.com.au