Thinking of Renovating or Extending a period home or Creating a Reproduction of a period home or Conservatory Building a Fresh New Contemporary home or multi- units Renovating or Extending your existing Modern home Building or Renovating a Commercial building Project Or Any other sort of building project you may have?
Here is how you can begin to create your building showplace.
Olive Moulton (Nee Rowe) is a restoration specialist or new building designer for her company, Omrank Pty Ltd, with 35 years experience in the industry. A member of The Housing Industry of Australia. H.I.A. 506067 and a Unlimited Building Practitioner V.B.A. with the Building Practitioner Board DB-U 6429 plus a registered 6 star energy Efficiency Rater.
Olive Moulton personally consults and custom designs all the projects; additions and renovations of all Period or Modern style homes and all Reproduction. Olive also designs Fresh Modern New homes, Multi – unit developments, Conservatories or any Commercial projects.
Olive Moulton explains how to achieve a successful result for any building project, new or otherwise.
“The most important part of any project is the Plan of the works (Working Drawings). This requires detailed communication between the client and the designer. If you have Comprehensive Working Drawings and Specifications drawn by a draftsperson that draws working drawings or an architect, your project will run smoothly and therefore not incur Extras and Delays that cost you extra money and cause great anxiety.
This is often a result of property owners choosing to pay a draft person who only draws Permit plans, thinking they are getting a bargain. These plans only cover the structural detail required by the Building Surveyor. Contract details will not be included. This obviously takes far less time to produce which is reflected in the fees charged, however the result is predictable and inferior. Generally the builder has to interpret these plans and he does so to the best of his ability and with the information given. Equally the owner’s expectations were something else due to lack of detail. The money saved will no doubt be swallowed up during the building project by disputes and extras which does cause delays in the building process and cost you Extra money.
Custom designed plans include a concept plan, an existing plan, proposed plan, elevations and site plan of your project to suit. Framing plans, slab details, sub-floor and roof layouts, electrical, joinery, cabinet work and tiling. Drainage plans and Contour Surveying is also included when necessary according to the complexity of the work, along with detailed Contract Specifications.
A poorly prepared specification which does not cover the entire scope of the work is often where some plans fall short and this often leads to disputes between the builder and the client. Items such as cornices, architraves, windows, tiles, whitegoods and electrical works are often the course of dispute due to lack of clarity from the outset.
You also require a Building Permit from a Building Surveyor and maybe a Town Planning Permit from your local Council. Most sites also require a Soil Test for all works unless minor. Sometimes a Survey of the site is also required to establish your boundaries. You most likely also require a Soil Test (Geotechnical Report) and Engineering for your site.
Town Planning Permits are often required and usually required where Council overlays are in place eg: a Heritage Overlay and most new build. Many conditions for permits vary from Council to Council and therefore it is advisable to consult with a professional to sort out the requirements for you and to steer your submission through the various authorities and negotiate a successful outcome.
When building there needs to be a properly prepared Building Contract and
Documentation for your project, usually drawn up by your Builder.
Discuss thoroughly the Contract details, the Plans and the Specifications so
all parties full understand and agree with the Contract before signing. If you wish have your Contract checked by your adviser before signing, to avoid any disputes during your building project.
These steps will ensure the property improvements or your building project are carried out successfully in a professional manner, running smoothly with as little stress as possible.
Authentically restored or new period homes require great attention to detail while cleverly updating with all modern living conveniences and light so often lacking in the past. Properties vary from simple cottages to the most elegant and grand of its period. Sympathetic and fastidious attention to detail and proportions are the keys to authentic restorations and additions. At the conclusion of the works if you can walk through a property and not be able to tell where it all began, or if it is a reproduction, you have achieved your designing goal.
Most new homes, unit developments or commercial building projects also require this level of detail as there are so many things you can choose from to include today, particularly as you have a blank canvas to work with. There are many different ways to create effects of space, drama and ambience for your new build. You are really only limited by your imagination and your project budget.
This brings you to the interior and exterior decoration and landscaping, which also has to be approached with the same attention to detail. The colour schemes of period houses are the making or breaking of a project. The colours have to be just right to create the right ambiance for the era. The modern colours of today are not correct for period houses. Interior decorating is the final finishing touch to a total restoration project or reproduction and should be chosen to suit the period. Traditional colours can be lightened by mixing in lesser strengths maintaining the right family of colour, while providing a lighter, more modern look if preferred.
If your project is a new build you can let your hair down as you again have this blank canvas and colour is used in many different ways to create many effects. There is an abundance of finishing and painting treatments available today to enhance any new building project.
Soft furnishings are also part of the final picture. There are many period and reproduction fabrics, wall-papers, freezes and boarders available to suit these house but they must be chosen with care and knowledge.
For example drapery in formal areas should be in the style of the era otherwise ambiance and atmosphere are lost, unless of course you prefer a more modern interior of furnishings and colour scheme.
Contemporary projects also require a suitable colour scheme of vibrant colour or a neutral pallet depending on your taste. These colour schemes need to be thought out depending on the look you are wishing to create.
Landscaping, paving and fencing should also be addressed to finish the picture, framing the house and emphasising the era of your home or project, whether new, old or commercial, it all plays a part of the picture.
We are so fortunate today, that there is an abundance of all materials and finishes now readily available, all sympathetically reproduced for the consumer for any period house design. This is not like it was when I first started out when the only source of materials was to look through wrecking yards. You can still do this today for that extra special piece for a new or period project which is a wonderful surprise when you find it and creates lasting conversations at dinner parties.”