10 Things Not to Do When Remodeling your Home :
Kathie Stove Pelmets and heavy drapes prevent heat loss. What aspects of environmentally sound construction do you see as most important? Complete any prep or finishing work yourself. Install flow restrictors on taps that deliver too much water e.
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For instance, they typically pay more for their own housing, office, and garage space. At this level, you will probably be working with a contractor but not an architect. Bath with vintage tub and marble tile in Ulster County by Materia Designs. Photo by Poul Ober for Remodelista Here are some ballpark figures for renovation costs per square foot: A very nice renovation.
Top of the line. Photo by Philip Ficks for Kinfolk And here are some approximate ballpark figures for specific jobs: Electrical Work Electrical, per point: New fiberglass cornice, installed: Photo by Hulya Kolabas And, finally: What has your experience been? For more information on all these topics, please see the Brownstoner Forum. Consider reusing grey water for your garden but have a soil expert explain the implications for your soil type and plants, and check which systems are approved by your council see Wastewater reuse.
Kathie Stove Shading, rainwater and greywater can help create a backyard oasis. Improving indoor air quality Ensure high levels of controllable natural ventilation or fans in rooms that are difficult to ventilate. Consider heat recovery ventilation systems in cooler climates see Sealing your home. Focus on the largest surface areas first: Ventilate wet areas to the outside to reduce mould and mildew.
Check that existing exhaust fans are vented externally — not just into the roof space. Ensure subfloor spaces are dry, well drained and ventilated to eliminate mould growth. Use house plants to absorb VOCs volatile organic compounds and other toxins.
Avoid floor coverings and furnishings that harbour dust mites or allergens. Consider a ducted vacuum system to remove toxins and allergens from the home to an externally mounted receptor. Improving space and amenity to reduce need for new construction Build or improve outdoor living spaces close to kitchen and indoor living areas and consider summer shade, insect proofing and winter sun.
Install additional, purpose built storage. Consider relocating the laundry to a cupboard off a living area or circulation space to improve the connection to outdoors or access to future additions. Experiment with more space-efficient furniture layouts to make room for additional functions and storage. To renovate your kitchen if the final position is fixed in your staged concept plan: To renovate your bathroom if it is to be retained in its current position: Kathie Stove Many spaces can be used to make storage areas.
Make room for movement and efficiency. Plan well, measure twice and cut once. Council approval is not required for all these renovation actions but always check with your council before proceeding. Prepare detailed sketches, plans and instructions to communicate to trades or, if you are doing it yourself, to avoid costly, wasteful mistakes. Kathie Stove Additions can be made in surprising ways. Further thermal performance considerations for additions New additions to your home require detailed thermal performance design to make sure they integrate with the renovation improvements to existing sections.
Thermal performance Consider engaging a building sustainability assessor to model the whole home if this was not done during the concept design stage. Most states now require that minimum sustainability benchmarks be met as a condition of approval for substantial additions.
Your designer should have a good working relationship with a building sustainability assessor. Many designers are accredited building sustainability assessors but other assessors specialise in rating completed designs rather than in design itself. Choose an assessor who is able to advise on design as you develop the final details.
Once your basic details are entered into the software, simple modelling of options can be an inexpensive way to fine-tune your design as it progresses. Building sustainability assessment software Often a single room or window can be a source of unwanted summer heat gain or winter heat loss.
Building sustainability assessment software can model various window sizes, orientations and glazing types to see which combinations add thermal comfort most cost effectively. Make sure your building sustainability assessor can provide this level of service. With the initial analysis in hand, you and your designer can detail the incorporation of its recommendations. Use the checklist below for the most common recommendations and see more detailed advice in other relevant Your Home articles.
For detailed advice for cooling only tropical climates see Passive cooling. Windows and glazing Fine-tune size and orientation of your windows. Minimise the size of east and west windows and maximise those facing north where they receive solar access.
Where solar access is unavailable, use only moderate amounts of glazing, consider low mass construction and maximise insulation levels see Design for climate; Orientation; Glazing. Specify appropriate glass type for climate and each orientation. Orientation-specific glass types are often used to overcome adverse orientations or the need to capture views. Specify climate appropriate opening styles and frames.
Use maximum opening area casement or louvre in warmer climates see Design for climate; Passive solar heating; Passive cooling; Glazing. Use horizontal overhang for eaves above north facing glass and adjustable or vertical shading devices for east and west see Orientation; Shading. Balance glass to mass ratios. Take into account thermal mass in the existing structure and design adequate air movement pathways to transfer solar gains or night-time cooling enabled by your addition to these existing sources of storage see Passive solar heating; Passive cooling; Thermal mass.
Skylight and clerestory window specifications should be climate appropriate. Double glaze them in cool and cold climates; design for stack ventilation in temperate and hot climates. Thermally separate light tubes by sealing at ceiling level or have controllable fans in warmer climates see Skylights. Insulation Retrofit insulation to the existing building. Insulate all new construction to climate appropriate levels as recommended by your building sustainability assessor.
Ensure that it is correctly detailed and positioned see Insulation; Insulation installation. Thermal mass Adjust thermal mass to levels recommended by your building sustainability assessor and the climate appropriate glass-to-mass ratios in Thermal mass. The amount of useful thermal mass depends on climate, availability of passive heating and cooling, auxiliary heating and cooling systems, and likely occupation patterns.
Too much thermal mass slows response times to auxiliary heating and cooling. Where passive heating or cooling is not available, use low mass construction systems and insulate existing mass by lining it with plasterboard and reflective insulation.
Use high mass construction to match available passive input see Thermal mass; Construction systems. Incorporating the software analysis into your final plans ensures that your home achieves the best possible level of thermal performance at least cost.
Termite proofing additions Use termite resistant materials where practicable e. Use treated timber products with current best practice. Use a licensed, insured installer of reputable physical termite barriers to recommend, install and guarantee them. Allow good subfloor clearance and ventilation. Avoid slab-on-ground construction in high risk areas and ensure the slab edge is exposed min mm and all tree roots or waste timber are removed under slabs and footings.
Avoid all timber contact with soil. Fix leaks, waterproof wet areas, divert groundwater and stormwater. Design, detail and build for easy inspection access. Paint existing subfloor timbers white while they are accessible to highlight termite tubes during future inspections.
Ensure gardens stop clear of walls. By also applying the advice in Your Home about energy and water efficiency, environmentally preferred constructions systems and materials, you add value to your home and reduce its impact on the environment and the future generations who will live in it see Energy; Water; Materials.
Finalising your design and working with your builder For more detail on the specific guidance below on finalising design documentation, tendering for a builder and the renovation construction process, see The design process and The construction process. Design detailing and documentation Complete your design before beginning this stage. Design changes made during this stage may add to design costs.
Start by revisiting the environmental goals specified at concept stage to ensure they are carried through to the detailed plans and specifications, which are submitted to council, tendered by builders and annexed to your building contract. During detailed design complete: The processes of building a new home and renovating have much in common but your renovation and addition builder needs a set of specialised skills, which vary depending on the stage you are at. For example, do you require the builder to include design services, council approvals, engineering certification, construction certification if private , and survey or geotechnical reports or is your designer handling these?
Extensive renovation experience is critical. Ask the builder these questions: How long have you been in business? Are you familiar with and enthusiastic about sustainable practices? What experience do you have in this type of project? Have you done renovations and additions like these before? How do you approach reuse, recycling and waste minimisation? What aspects of environmentally sound construction do you see as most important?
How do you ensure that materials come from environmentally preferred sources? Are you willing to order materials from nominated, preferred suppliers? Are your subcontractors environmentally aware?
Which insurances do you carry and what warranty do you provide? What facilities will you require on the project e. How might you separate the site and dust, noise, vibration from the living areas?
Ask to visit a current project. Speak to previous clients and inspect their homes where possible. Ask the clients about and check for evidence of a well-organised, clean and tidy and safe site; polite and considerate employees and contractors; and environmentally sound practices including energy efficient windows, durable eco-certified materials, sediment fences and waste separation.