The Q’s, R’s, S’s And T’s of Renovation

Continuing on with our Renovation Alphabet, here is a summary of the Q’s, R’s, S’s And T’s of Renovation. 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.

'q' is for

‘Q’  is for   

Q is for QUALIFICATIONS One of the first checks you should do on anyone that you engage to help you or be part of your project team is to make sure they have the right qualifications for YOUR Project. As every project is unique and has different requirements so make sure you don’t miss this vital step.
Q is for QUOTE The document provided by the builder that details what work is to be done and the costs included. This document will ultimately form part of your building contract. It really important you understand what is and isn’t included in your quote. A comprehensive quote with minimal allowances reduces your risk of variations and possibly budget blowouts.

'r' is for

‘R’  is for   

R is for REGULATIONS Australia has some of the most complex red tape when it comes to approvals and getting things built.  Regs vary from site to site and state to state so it’s critical to know what is applicable to your property. These can add time and cost to your renovation project. Clever and careful design and planning solutions can help minimise the impact of these. This means that from start to finish there can be schematic concepts, landscape plans, construction detailing, permit drawings and engineering to get a design built, all of which takes time.
R is for CHARACTER RESIDENTIAL If you live in a Traditional Character Area and are thinking about renovating your home then you need to be aware of the impact it might have on your project.   The Traditional Building Character overlay (TBC) identifies land where existing character houses must be protected. Any renovations or new development must reflect the neighborhood’s traditional building character. Character residential areas are those home built prior to 1947 and usually existing in the older areas of Brisbane. This overlay restricts demolition and alterations to these dwellings in order to protect their cultural heritage. Please be aware that some additional complications arise where building work to a TBC dwelling occurs on a small lot (less than 450 square meters), the site is impacted by additional Overlays e.g. Flood or Waterway Corridor Overlays, or as a result of the provisions of a Neighbourhood Plan.
R is for RISKSMART Did you know that in Queensland, it’s possible to choose how long your Development application will take and how much it will cost you? RIskSmart is an express planning approval service offered by Brisbane City Council. It is a fast-tracked approval process for low risk, decision-ready development applications. To facilitate this fast-tracked approval, Council relies on accredited consultants submitting applications that comply with the RiskSMART lodgement criteria, eligible development type criteria and the relevant City Plan requirements. They achieve this accreditation by demonstrating to the Council that they have successfully lodged applications that meet the RiskSMART criteria.
R is for RIVER FLOODING Since the floods of 2011, BCC has put a big emphasis on the issue of flooding River flooding happens when widespread, prolonged rain falls over the catchment area of the river. As the river reaches capacity, excess water flows over its banks, causing flooding. River flooding downstream can occur hours after the rain has finished. The level of flooding depends on the speed and volume of water carried in the river. BCC interactive mapping shows the properties that are affected by this overlay. It identifies the level of risk a property presents and that will dictate the measures that you need to comply with and undertake on your property when renovating and building.
R is for ROUGHING IN   The preliminary stage of a plumbing, electrical, heating, carpentry, and/or other projects, when all components that won’t be seen after the second finishing phase are assembled It’s critical to consider the location and style/type of many fittings and fixtures very early in your project. – as allowances will need to be made at roughing in the stage before the walls are lined. 's' is for

‘S’  is for

S is for SPACE MEDICINE Space medicine you ask? It sounds like a cute name you’d call medicine to make your child more likely to take it. But apparently, it refers to the philosophy behind feng shui and similar lines of thought – like medicine for your home – who knew? Have you heard this term used before? Want to know more
S is for SPATIAL PLANNING When planning any interior space, not only do you want it to looking great but you also want it to be functional, beautiful and meet your lifestyle and needs  – you just want it to work. Spatial planning is an important part of the design process for your future home.  A poorly planned space can have a long-lasting negative effect,
S is for SUSTAINABILITY The concept of Sustainability is not a new concept but it’s becoming a bigger issue every day. In short, it revolves around less waste, more reuse, and recycling, together with lower life-cycle environmental impacts and costs, better reliability, less maintenance, and greater user satisfaction. Which in the long run equates to good for both us and our environment. Think BETTER, not MORE.
S is for SETBACK A Setback is a term that describes the distance from a property boundary to your home. Councils have minimum distances that you need to comply with when designing your new home. The applicable setbacks for your home will depend on your zoning and which PLanning overlays apply.
S is for SPLITTER BLOCK The term “Splitter” block is one that’s bandied around in real estate and development circles a lot. But depending on who you talk to,  this term could actually mean two entirely different things! Some people mean a site that is already 2 lots but on one title, whilst others take it to mean lots that can be split into two separate ones. (i.e. subdivided). Two quite different scenarios at play here and one of many reasons clear communication is SO important…
S is for STCA You’ve probably seen this acronym around, especially if you’ve been house hunting recently. Well FYI- it stands for ‘Subject to Council Approval’ Be aware it does not signify there are any council approvals in place or that they are sure thing down the track. S.T.C.A. should be a signal to seek further advice about a site’s development options and the likelihood of them being approved by the relevant council. Learn More. Definitely, a case of ‘Forewarned is forearmed’
S is for SMALL LOT In Brisbane, a small lot is classified as a lot less than 450m2 in size, or 600m2 if its a rear allotment. The ‘Small lot’ code includes specific requirements for setbacks, site cover and building height to protect you and your neighbour’s amenity and privacy. Depending on your situation, you MAY be required to lodge a town planning application.
S is for SMART HOUSE   A smart house is a house that uses the latest electronic technologies and computerisation to control or automate any number of different aspects of the house. To build a smart house requires some basic thoughts on design and technology 't' is for

‘T’  is for

T is for TREES Yet another thing on your property that may restrict what you can and can’t do. The effects of trees can be a complex issue due to a number of factors including species, root structures, canopies and water intake from reactive soils. It is possible to have trees on a lot removed, as long as they’re not protected. Brisbane City Council provides information on trees in urban areas under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 and requires that landowners consult Council to adopt a responsible approach in deciding upon trees to be retained as part of any building or development proposal.
T is for THERMAL MASS Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store heat energy. A lot of heat energy is required to change the temperature of high-density materials like concrete, bricks, and tiles. They are therefore said to have high thermal mass. Lightweight materials such as timber have low thermal mass. Appropriate use of thermal mass throughout your home can make a big difference to comfort and heating and cooling bills. Thermal mass can store solar energy during the day and re-radiate it at night. Thermal mass, correctly used, moderates internal temperatures by averaging out diurnal (day-night) extremes. This increases comfort and reduces energy costs. Poor use of thermal mass can exacerbate the worst extremes of the climate and can be a huge energy and comfort liability. It can radiate heat to you all night as you attempt to sleep during a summer heatwave or absorb all the heat you produce on a winter night. To be effective, thermal mass must be integrated with sound passive design techniques. This means having appropriate areas of glazing facing appropriate directions with appropriate levels of shading, ventilation, insulation and thermal mass.
T is for TRADITIONAL BUILDING CHARACTER OVERLAY The Traditional building character overlay identifies sites with buildings that were substantially constructed in or prior to the end of 1946 and sites in neighborhoods where there are significant pre-1946 character values. One of the key restrictions under the TBC is the inability to demolish any pre-1946 portion of the building. As time goes on, Council is applying more rigorous control on these houses. In order to protect Brisbane’s past and maintain the architectural heritage and character of the city and suburbs, their planning scheme outlines requirements for appropriate development in Brisbane’s older suburbs, and for renovating, demolishing or removing some buildings.   WANT MORE OF OUR ALPHABET? Interested in our renovation alphabet? Check out the rest of our alphabet here:

The A, B, C & D’s of Renovation

The E, F, G & H’s of Renovation

The I, J, K & L’s of Renovation

The M, N, O & P’s of Renovation

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