The M, N, O and P’s of Renovation


If you follow us on Facebook, we have been working our way through the alphabet – one letter per week – as a means to explore different aspects of the industry, do you have a better idea of the things you might encounter during your project.


We give you tips, explanation in a sometimes serious, sometimes tongue in cheek look at all things Reno. Included are a few that didn’t make the Facebook cut.


Here is a summary of the M, N, O,and P’s of the alphabet:


M  is for


M is for





Masterplanning is the method by which Buildit123 approaches planning a renovation project.


It ensures you stay in control of and on track with your renovation project.

Masterplanning is the process of defining your project vision and then deciding on a plan of action with the specific steps you will need to take to achieve these goals.

This is the critical step many people miss when they embarking on a renovation project. Believe it or not, many people spend more time researching and planning an overseas holiday than they do planning a reno




Land in Brisbane is divided into zones.


These zones guide the land use or type of development that may occur on a site.


LMR or Low Medium Density Residential allows for 1 to 2 storey houses plus a mix of low rise 2 to 3 storey apartments, townhouses etc..


Something to be aware of if you have a property i this zoning is there will always be a chance of units being built next door at a later date… something to consider.




Movement or circulation within your home’s internal and external spaces can be a critical component of its function and accessibility.

A well-crafted design or space plan provides short, efficient and direct pathways through the home. Space planning allows all structural features to be accounted for and movement pathways made as efficient as possible.




It’s not only components like those mentioned above that can now be fabricated off-site – whole buildings can be too, thanks to the rise of modular construction.


Modules are made with the same materials and designed to the same standards as buildings constructed on-site, but they produce far less environmental disruption. Components arrive on-site as and when they’re needed.


Today, since approximately 70 percent of construction is done in the form of components, it takes us into the realm of ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing and delivery, which slashes on-site schedules and reduces transit and waste.


M is for (really bad) MOVIE QUOTES


Love it or hate it- the 90’s movie ‘Armageddon’ is responsible not only for a ridiculous and highly improbable story line but also some memorable quotes.  One that stuck in my mind was spoken by Steve Buscemi’s character Rockhound and went something like this:


Rockhound:  ‘You realize we’re sitting on 45,000 pounds of fuel, one nuclear warhead and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts all built by the lowest bidder? Makes you feel good doesn’t it?’


This intent behind this statement many a situation but is particularly relevant to a renovation project – going for the lowest bidder isn’t the best course of action…value for money isn’t the same as cheap…food for thought.


N is for


N is for



Brisbane City Council creates neighbourhood plans, with input from residents and business owners. They are legal documents that guide development in an area and sit within Council’s planning scheme, Brisbane City Plan 2014.

Council considers local environmental, social and economic factors, along with the management of population growth, when preparing a neighbourhood plan. The plans help facilitate economic prosperity, protect character development and provide for open space. They include standards for new development and reflect improved infrastructure such as new transport routes.’

Depending on where you live you house may fall within a Neighbourhood plan which may dictate what you can do on your land.

O is for


O is for



Good house and window orientation increase the energy efficiency of a home, making it more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run. The most important orientation aspect to consider is the direction your house and windows face and their solar access.

In Queensland, the ‘ideal’ orientation is to have your living spaces facing North’  FYI this is usually your backyard


O is for OVERLAY

An overlay is a layer of Councils, City PLan Brisbane City Plan 2014. relating to a specific topic – like flooding, Character or heritage.  All overlays are mapped and form part of this City PLan.

An overlay shows the unique characteristics of a property such as Queensland Government interests or particular local circumstances relevant to development, like features to protect, valuable resources and planning matters to consider, like flooding.

An overlay may apply to all or part of your property and your property can, and usually will be affected by more than one overlay. Overlays can affect the type and level of development assessment as well as design requirements like building height, landscaping or vehicle access.

Most overlays have an associated  ‘code’ that lists the criteria to be addressed in your development application.

There are lots of different overlays – as the City plan deals with all types of development.

It’s important to know which apply to your property as they can have a big effect on your construction costs.



Overland flow is excess rainfall runoff from homes, driveways and other surfaces.  It is water that runs across the land after rain, either before it enters a creek or stream, or after rising to the surface naturally from underground. It tends to be fairly localised but is often unpredictable and its severity will depend on the amount of rainfall. Storms and flooding are a natural part of living in Brisbane during summer months.

Land subject to overland flow or flooding require distinct considerations and variations in construction methods.

Brisbane City Council has identified flood planning areas and specified unique planning provisions. These provisions are in accordance with the requirements of the State Planning Policy and ensure that the natural hazard of overland flow or flooding is considered when making development decisions. Brisbane City Council and provides overlay mapping on areas affected by overland flow, the Brisbane River and also creek and waterways.

Flooding is a big issue in Brisbane so make sure you understand what this means for your property.

P is for


P is for



P is for (CITY) PLAN

BCC (and in fact, all councils) have rules and regulations about what you can or can’t do on your property. In the case of BCC is all laid out in its City Plan.  or as its officially called Brisbane City Plan 2014.

The city plan is just that, a plan highlights the intention Council has for Brisbane into the future and how they want it to evolve development wise. This is covered by zoning laws and by overlays maps


P is for PD ONLINE

Pd Online is a self-help planning and development tool. It allows users to access: basic property information; and. information on past and current development, building and plumbing applications

This portal allows you to access, property, planning and development information.



‘Passive design’ is design that takes advantage of the climate to maintain a comfortable temperature range in the home.

Passive design can reduce or eliminates the need for auxiliary heating or cooling, which accounts for about 40% (or much more in some climates) of energy use in the average Australian home.

With energy prices skyrocketing, its ran important consideration to allow for and incorporate into your renovation project.


P is for PRE 1911 OVERLAY

Before considering renovations to a Character house, it is necessary to confirm whether the dwelling is additionally identified under the Pre-1911 Overlay. Dwelling houses constructed during or prior to 1911 are protected under a second building character overlay which acts to further preserve federation era dwellings.

It is important to note that dwellings identified under the pre-1911 overlay in City Plan 2014 are required to be maintained and any proposed extension should not alter the original parts of the dwelling.

BE AWARE that Just because your home isnt identified on the overlay if it shows any of the characteristics of this type of home it may still be subject to the overlay requirements.


P is for PERCH

A perch is the old school land area measurement. You may have heard the term used when discussing residential blocks with the older generation

Traditionally house allotments were 16, 24 or even 32 Perchs

Surveyors used a rod and a chain to measure the lengths a rod 5 1⁄2 yards or 161⁄2 feet. One rod measured ¼ of a chain.

Did you know? The ‘perfect acre’ is considered to be a rectangular area of 43,560 square feet, bounded by sides of length 660 feet and 66 feet (220 yards and 22 yards) or, equivalently, 40 rods and 4 rods. An acre is therefore 160 square rods.

Interestingly enough, in the modern world where surveying is done with lasers and the like Surveyors rods and chains are still utilized in rough terrains with heavy overgrowth where lasers etc  are difficult or impossible

While every effort has been made to provide accurate information, Buildit123 Pty Ltd  does not guarantee that this blog article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use.

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