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Creating a Tropical Pool Oasis

December 9th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Creating a Tropical Pool Oasis”

Had a hard day at the office,? Dreaming of a tropical oasis? Need a space to kick off your shoes and feel the earth in your own private tranquil outdoor retreat? All great outdoor areas have a few things in common; they are all comfortable, tranquil, are practical, functional and are the perfect spot for entertaining. Why not reflect your indoor vibes outside and your outdoors in with the addition of a deck, furniture, bi-fold doors or even a pool.

Plan your next upgrade, you deserve it!! We all want a space that is perfect for spending a lazy day by the pool, sharing a meal with friends or even having a weekend drink on a warm summers evening.

Brisbane, provides the perfect climate to take advantage of the outdoors with the bonus of a few extra warmer months ☺ so you can create a multi-purpose space that can be enjoyed all year round. Here are some simple suggestions to get you on your way to the ultimate tropical escape:

Where to start

Whatever stage of planning you are at, a swimming pool is a major investment, and the range of options are endless – inground or above, concrete or fibreglass, painted or tiled, infinity edge or lap. Once you have decided on the type it’s time to work out the position.
Sightlines are important, this is your pool view from inside the house so you can see the kids and the rest of the garden. Do you add a water feature or lighting? Is planting and shelter essential to stop water evaporation or can you maximise sun exposure to keep the water warm. Solar could also be a low cost way of mutilising heat gain to use all year round.
Accessibilty how you enter or exit your area will invite you to the space. Will you install a pool ledge or wide step to keep young children safe, or will you to go for a Palm Springs look with a ladder? To compliment your outdoor aspect, why not add a garden shower?

Nuture in Nature

Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing. Give thought to the landscaping around your pool as you want to continue to enjoy a relaxed vibe, not create extra work with debris around your pool. Top five plants to plants that love the Queensland weather are cordylines, birds of paradise, magnolias, banana plants or yuccas.

The Deck

A good deck is an extension of your living area that also reflects your interests and tastes as well as providing an exciting addition to any yard. A seamless entry into a pool area can create a luxury impression.

Plan, Plan Plan! Justin from Abode will help create the perfect outdoor retreat with the option of a design team onboard to get you relaxing sooner than later in a custom designed outdoor space.

Benefits of renovating your current home vs. moving to a new one

March 22nd, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Benefits of renovating your current home vs. moving to a new one”

Renovate or Move House – Which is Better?

Deciding whether to move house or renovate your existing home is a big decision. As well as deciding what will be the best home for you and your family, you need to weigh up the financial side of things and the time it could take to do either.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about it – everyone’s circumstances are completely unique. You might love your home, but not be happy with the area, or you might be completely happy in your neighbourhood but have too much or too little space in your home. Whatever the case, it pays to weigh up the pros and cons of moving house against the pros and cons of home renovations.

Pros and Cons of Home Renovations

Pros

  • No stamp duty
  • No real estate commissions
  • Usually set a fixed price, with no hidden costs with your renovation builders
  • Stay in the area you know and love
  • Stay close to family and friends
  • Maximise the value of your property to sell it later
  • Customise to suit your tastes
  • Update your home to suit your current lifestyle (e.g. upsize or downsize to suit your family)

Cons

  • Possible disruption to daily life while renovations are underway
  • Can be costly for older houses
  • If not done properly can devalue your house
  • If you add second or third storey house extensions you may need to find alternative accommodation during the renovations

Pros and Cons of Moving House

Pros

  • New, modern facilities if you move into a new house
  • No development applications
  • Can be quick

Cons

  • Leave the area you know and love
  • Pay stamp duty
  • Pay real estate commissions
  • At the mercy of the property market (unpredictable house prices)

It helps to sit down with your family and make a list of the reasons you might want to stay in your current house and reasons you might want to leave. Remember that this is a big decision that affects everyone in your home, so it’s a good idea to involve the children. You can also discuss different options for home renovations and how they might affect your preference to stay or move.

(And remember there is always a third option if you can’t decide which way to go – you can knock down your existing house and rebuild a new home on your property. This option allows you the best of both worlds if you’re not ready to move out of your neighbourhood, and in many cases it ends up costing less per square metre than home renovations.)

If you’re thinking of renovating or demolishing and rebuilding your home, contact Abode Construction’s home renovations, extensions, build and rebuild specialists in Brisbane. We’re happy to discuss your requirements and help you decide what will be the best and most cost-effective solution for you. Head to our home renovations page for more information and portfolio samples.

Should I build up, down or outwards? Choose an extension type for you

January 24th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Should I build up, down or outwards? Choose an extension type for you”

Should I Build Up, Down or Outwards?

Thinking of extending your home? If the answer is yes, then you’ll inevitably come to the decision of how to go about your house extensions. Ultimately, you’ve got three options: you can build upwards, adding an extra storey to your home, or outwards, extending with extra ground level rooms, or in some (few) cases, you can build downwards, adding a garage, basement or other space under a house on a sloping block. If you’ve got a basement or under-house garage you could potentially renovate it to add the extra space you need, too.

Building Out

The most popular option for homeowners undertaking their first house extensions in Brisbane is to build outward. We’re lucky enough to have large blocks of land in many areas of the city, giving homeowners ample room to extend their living spaces outward.

Because the first house extensions undertaken by homeowners are usually designed to extend the space they’ve got, rather than add a lot of extra rooms, it makes sense to build outwards at ground floor level. Another major advantage to building out is the minimal disruption it causes to the existing space compared to a first or second floor renovation.

When an outward house extension takes place, your house extension builders clear and excavate the part of the yard where the addition will sit, before laying foundations and starting with the build. Usually they can cover the open or exposed walls to keep the house secure throughout the build.

Keep in mind that while house extensions in any direction will add value to your house, building out will encroach on the size of your yard, which means you will lose outdoor space, which could potentially affect the overall value to the property.

Building Up

Building up can take a few forms. You could simply add another storey to a one- or two-storey house, or you might choose to add dormer windows to add extra space and let in more light. Alternatively, if your upstairs space is not as large as your downstairs space, you could expand it to cover the remainder of the ground floor roof – or even set it on top of the garage.

Building up does have limitations, though, as the ground floor foundations have to be strong enough to carry the added weight of a second (or third) storey. You’ll need to hire a building inspector to assess whether the existing structure is strong enough, and if it isn’t, the cost of reinforcing the walls and ground foundations is likely to make the project very costly.

Another disadvantage to building up is the disruption to daily life. While the house extensions are underway, the roof will be removed and you’ll need to find alternative accommodation until the project is completed and recovered.

When weighed against building outwards, the disadvantage of building up your house may not be worth it. However, each house is unique, so it’s worth talking to your house extension builders about it. If you’re looking at undertaking house extensions in Brisbane, contact the friendly house extension builders at Abode Construction to discuss your project.

House extensions and how they add value to your property

November 18th, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “House extensions and how they add value to your property”

4 Ways House Extensions Can Add Value to Your Property

Extending your house is an almost sure-fire way to add value to your property quickly and effectively. You can improve functional, liveable space, add more aesthetic appeal and get potential buyers’ attention with improved street appeal. But there are some blunders that need to be avoided to make sure you don’t end up decreasing the value of your property.

How House Extensions Can Add Value to Your Property

Extending your house can completely change the feel of your home – for the better or for worse. Make sure you’re doing the right things to add value and avoiding the typical house extension blunders that decrease its value.

1. Improve Street Appeal

If you live in a typically high-priced neighbourhood, but your home is less appealing than those around it, you can bring your house up to standard by adding an appealing façade. This kind of house extension is relatively inexpensive compared with the substantial returns it attracts.

2. Increase Functional Space

The more bedrooms a property has, the higher the value of the home. Because bedrooms don’t normally require extra plumbing work, adding bedrooms to your home is a quick and fuss-free way to increase value. Look at the house prices in your area to check whether houses in your area are typically priced a lot higher when they have one more bedroom than your home does.

Renovating existing functional spaces like the kitchen and bathroom is also a great way to add value without undergoing a full house extension.

3. Add Aesthetic Appeal

You might choose to extend an area to let in more natural light, or to take advantage of a good view. Adding dormer windows to a pitched roof, for example, is a cost-effective way to add aesthetic appeal from both inside and outside the house while increasing space and natural light. Other not-too-drastic house extensions could include creating a better indoor-outdoor flow from the kitchen or living area to an outdoor entertaining area.

4. Add Lifestyle Appeal

Extending your house doesn’t have to mean building a whole new wing. It can be as simple as adding an ensuite to the master bedroom, a light-filled walk-in wardrobe, or getting rid of an awkward wall. Modern homes are sought after for their relaxed open plan living arrangements – if you can achieve an open plan living area through house renovations or extensions, this will immediately add value to the property.
Even small, cosmetic home renovations like updating the fixtures, light fittings and décor adds a significant amount of value to the house.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t add any house extensions that mean you have to get rid of a bedroom. Losing a bedroom will immediately decrease the value of the property.
  • Be aware of the impact of the extension on the yard. If you have to take up a significant section of the yard to add a minor extension it may not be worth it.
  • Make sure the house extensions blend in with the current design and décor.

If you’re thinking of extending or renovating your home, contact Brisbane’s most trusted house extension builders to discuss your project.

How to claim depreciation on your renovations

September 5th, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “How to claim depreciation on your renovations”

Claiming Depreciation on Your Investment Property Renovations

Purchasing an extra property to rent out is a smart investment, and for many savvy investors who’ve bought older or neglected homes, the property might need a bit of tidying up. Renovating is a great way to make the property more appealing and more valuable to potential renters, but you might not know that you can save money by claiming depreciation on your investment home renovations.

Consider this: in a routine renovation of an older property to get it up to scratch for renting, you’re likely to update the kitchen, bathroom, flooring, décor and fittings. This means that in a typical investment home renovation you could throw away things like carpet, blinds, fittings, fixtures and even stoves, ovens and white goods that could have a combined value of thousands of dollars.

Well, as it happens, these items are categorised as “plant and equipment” items by the ATO, and you can claim depreciation on their lifespan. Along with renovation construction (capital works) costs, you can claim 40 years’ worth of deductions on these items at a rate of 2.5 percent. In the eyes of the ATO, plant and equipment items have “residual value”, meaning you can claim deductions for the balance of depreciation left on the items. The tax break applies to homes built after 1985 and house renovations undertaken after 1985.

If the items are already in the house and being thrown out, the full tax deduction for the items is available from the day you purchase the property. If you installed the items as part of a renovation 20 years ago and you are now removing them because they’re dated, they have used up half of their 40 year depreciation time (as judged by the ATO).

This means, for example, that if you might renovate a kitchen and bathroom in your new investment property and remove, say, $3000 worth of carpet, blinds, fittings, fixtures, a stove, fridge, washing machine, etc. If the items were worth a combined value of $10,000 twenty years ago, then their residual value is $5000, which you can claim in plant and equipment residual value deductions. If you’re a taxpayer on a 33% tax rate, that amounts to a tax refund of $1650 – money that easily could have been thrown out with the bathtub!

So, How Can You Make The Most Of These Tax Breaks?

Firstly, have a depreciation schedule done before you begin renovations or throw anything away. Keep note of all the items you throw away and how much they cost. Then pass this information on to your accountant to claim the deductions. When you’re done renovating, have another depreciation schedule done immediately after the investment home renovations are complete so you can claim depreciation on all the new items installed. And make the most of your savings!

If you’re ready to start your investment home renovations, get in touch with Brisbane’s most trusted home renovation builders – or head to our renovations gallery for ideas.

10 Sustainable Renovation Ideas

July 9th, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “10 Sustainable Renovation Ideas”

10 Sustainable Renovation Ideas

House renovations” and “sustainable” are terms that don’t go together as often as they should. “Renovations” has the connotation of discarding the old to make room for the new; of getting rid of outdated stuff. In short, everything opposite of sustainable.
But the two terms don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It’s perfectly achievable to complete your home renovations or extensions with minimal impact to the environment and maximum impact on a sustainable lifestyle. All it takes is a little innovation. Check out our top 10 ideas for sustainable renovations below, or contact our renovation builders in Brisbane for more great renovation ideas.

1. Re-use materials

Re-use materials that you’ve ripped up, smashed down or torn off. Get creative inventing new uses for old materials and shop around to find second hand bits and pieces you can use in your renovations. Salvaged pieces are great way to add character, too!

2. Shop around for sustainable materials

Use wood (or bamboo) from sustainable sources for framing and flooring. Use low- or zero-VOC paints and adhesives free from formaldehyde.

3. Install solar panels

Install solar panels to make the most of the sun’s clean, sustainable energy – and reduce your power bills while you’re at it! While the upfront costs might be high, the return on investment comes around quickly as your power bills drop significantly.

4. Install a rainwater tank

Harvest rainwater to minimise your use of town water. You can use rainwater to water the garden and connect to your laundry for use in the washing machine and sink for jobs that don’t require potable water. Bonus: this will help reduce your water bills!

5. Have materials assessed for hazardous substances

Older houses can contain toxic substances like asbestos, lead-based paint and contaminated dust. These substances are bio-hazards and need to be professionally cleared by licensed removalists. Don’t try to clear materials yourself before having them assessed – it could be detrimental to your health, your neighbours’ health and the environment.

6. Install energy-efficient lighting and appliances

Step up to a 6-star energy rating home by making smart investments in electricals. Energy efficient lighting will greatly reduce your energy use and your power bills.

7. Don’t forget to insulate

Good insulation will help with temperature control to save you turning on the heating and cooling too frequently.

8. Plant a self-sustaining garden

If you need to update your garden when renovating, make sure you plant one that survives on rain water alone.

9. Minimise construction waste

Choose environmentally aware renovation builders in Brisbane who will minimise construction waste. Talk to them about when they can reuse building materials and make sure they are set up to separate general waste from recyclables and will recycle unusable materials.

10. Look for home renovation builders with a portfolio of eco-friendly renovations

The friendly renovation builders at Abode Construction have extensive experience delivering quality sustainable home renovations and extensions. Get in touch to discuss your project or check out our portfolio of renovation projects here.

One Storey vs. Two Storey Extensions

May 20th, 2017 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “One Storey vs. Two Storey Extensions”

One Storey vs. Two Storey Extensions

Are you thinking of extending your home but not sure whether to build up or outward? Deciding between a one or two storey extension is a big decision, with lots of considerations. Aside from your own aesthetic preference, there may be logistical factors that determine which is the best option for you. Take a look at the one storey and two storey house extension choices below to learn more about your options.

Adding One Storey House Extensions

Adding a ground level house extension is a popular option among homeowners, largely because of the minimal disruption and lower cost compared to adding an extra storey. Unlike second storey renovations, it’s unlikely you’ll have to find alternative accommodation when you extend your home at ground floor level. Your house extension builders will discuss options for securing any open or exposed walls to keep your home liveable throughout the build.

Another thing to keep in mind with one storey house extensions is the intrusion they’ll have on the yard. If you live in a four-bedroom Queenslander on a good-sized block, space might not be an issue. But if you’re renovating an inner city townhouse with a tiny garden, or even a suburban home with a small yard, the loss of yard space could affect the value of the property as well as your ability to enjoy the outdoors.

It’s worth weighing up the loss of space outside against the addition of space inside. For example, an extra bedroom is likely to add significant value to your home, but if it takes up the entire outdoor space, it might not be worth it. If you’re adding a small sunroom or ensuite that doesn’t really compromise the size of the yard, you’re probably in the clear. Just remember that potential buyers are looking at other properties too, and a house of similar size and value with a larger garden is much more appealing.

Adding Second Storey House Extensions

Second storey house extensions are a bit trickier, and usually a bit more costly. This is because all or part of the roof needs to be removed to make way for the added storey. You could up bearing extra costs for the reinforcement of lower storeys to make them strong enough to carry the extra weight, too. To find out whether this is the case, you’ll need to engage a building inspector to assess the strength of the existing structure.

As well as the extra costs of reinforcing the building, you might need to find alternative accommodation for your family during the build. If the extensions consist of a full second storey that covers all or most of the first storey, you won’t be able to live at the property for the whole duration of the renovations. However, if the build consists of adding a couple of dormer windows in the attic, your renovation builders might be able to cover it so your daily life is not so disrupted.

If you’re looking for great house extensions ideas, head to Abode Construction’s Extensions page to check out our portfolio, or contact our experienced house extension builders in Brisbane.

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