The U, V, W & the X, Y & Z’s of Renovation

And in this very last instalment of our Renovation Alphabet, we explore the U’s, the V’s,  the W’s and the X, Y & Z’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 renovation. Including a few that didn’t make the Facebook cut.

So without any a due…

'U' is for

'U' is for


Urban Design addresses the arrangement, appearance, and function of our suburbs, towns, and cities. It is both a process and an outcome of creating localities in which people live, engage with each other, and engage with the physical place around them.

Urban design involves many different disciplines including town planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, economics, law, and finance, to name only a few.

So in essence, it encompasses a lot of the principles required for successful renovation…

V is for

'V' is for

V is for VPO

VPO stands for Vegetation Protection Order

Council puts protection orders over significant trees and vegetation.

A VPO may restrict the renovation potential of your house and can add to your construction costs as costly protective measures will need to be factored into your budget.

V is for VERGE

DId you know your verge (or footpath) is owned by your local Councill not you so there are quite a few rules around what you can and can’t do to them and on them?

The presence of trees, power poles, crossover locations and services will all have an impact on what is possible on your land because you need to work around this thing while planning your reno.

This is an oft-missed area when initially assessing a property but one that can have far-reaching impacts.



The bane of every renovator’s existence.

An alteration to your design or specification after your building contract is signed.

Most are avoidable (but not all) and generally they cost you extra (but not always.) . A solid design package, a comprehensive quote, and a good understanding of the inclusions and exclusions of your contract will help minimise them.

W is for

'W' is for


Edna Walling, renowned Australian Landscape Designer holds a special place in my heart as she introduced me to garden design and its importance to the overall usability and beauty of your property. The design principles she believed in are still as valid today as they were in her heyday.

She designed beautiful gardens and pioneered the use of native plants. Her career spanned the 1920s-1960s. Her designs were complemented by her use of watercolor to render her plans into works of art… check her out for both her design and drawing skills.


Widows Blocks are present throughout Brisbane and are thought to be a historical relic of World War I.

Widow blocks are split diagonally across the block, not parallel with adjacent blocks. They are identifiable as a rectangular allotment which has been subdivided diagonally, resulting in two triangular portions.  Leaving the rear allotment without a street frontage. Which begs the question WHY?

One theory (and definitely the most interesting) Is that when men went to war (WW1)they did this so their wives didn’t just split off the block and sell it before their return!

Do you have a widows block or know anyone who does?

X is for

'X' is for

'X' is for....? 'X' is for....?

‘X’….. what can I say… very light on with this one, so light in fact that I can’t come up with anything…Add to the comments if you have any ideas!

Y is for

'Y' is for

Thankfully ‘Y’ is a little easier…

'Y' is for YIN & YANG

Simply speaking, the Chinese Feng Shui art (pronounced fung shway), is based on balancing the two forces, the Yin and the Yang principles, or the feminine and masculine aspects, in order to create harmony. It goes without saying, but I am about to say it, that when these two principles are balanced.

'Y' is for YOGI BERRA

Professional American Baseball player and author of the quote ‘ If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else’ which perfectly describes how you should thinking when you start a renovation project.

(Is he the inspiration for ‘Yogi Bear’ the cartoon character by any chance – the name cannot be a coincidence, surely!)

Z is for

'Z' is for

'Z' is for CARBON ZERO

energy sources on site to generate energy for their operation, so that over a year the amount of energy generated on site equals the amount of energy required by the building.

It can be difficult to retrofit into an existing home but each homeowner can do simple things to aim towards carbon neutrality. Installing solar panels is a great place to start.

'Z' is for ZONING

Zones basically help Councils organise the area they govern. They use zones to outline the acceptable, or “preferred”, land uses.

Zones are mapped out and have different levels of assessment. The criteria and intent for a particular zone are laid out in its Zone code. Learn more about BCC Zones

'Z' is for ZIG ZAG

A zig-zag a line or course having  abrupt alternate right and left turns.

This motif or pattern is extensively in interior decorating- in soft furnishing and wallpaper.

Its origins are unclear but could refer to the German word that referred to the fortifications of castles, the walls of which were sometimes built in zig-zag form.



And that all (for now) folks

I hope you’ve enjoyed and learned a bit from our renovation alphabet.

In case you ’re interested you can review all the bits of our renovation alphabet here:

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