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Renovations

The good house redefined
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The potential of your home

The design of a renovation is a rewarding experience for all involved, as it allows clients to realize that their home has the potential to provide 21st century living while avoiding the costs of building or buying a new home. Renovating is a good environmentally choice as well, as it conserves the embodied energy used to make building materials and install them. Existing homes come in all shapes and sizes, but our experience time and again is that with the proper skills, even a featureless, poky and dark home can be transformed into one that is pleasant to live in, and more economical as well.

What about budget?

It is of course easier to make extensive changes when a large transformation budget is available, as it offers more design options and often allows several areas of the house to be transformed. A modest budget should not be overlooked however, as sometimes adding a new window in the right place, relocating a bathroom or just pulling down a wall can make a significant contribution towards turning a home into a good home. Whichever budget is available, we like to ensure it is spent to maximum effect in the house, increasing both livability and sustainability.

Another effective way to work with a budget is to use a Master Plan, where we design for a budget that is beyond what clients can presently afford, but within their reach within two to ten years. Two or three separate stages are identified, ensuring that each stage contributes to a greater vision while allowing the first stage to improve living conditions immediately.

How about retrofitting green equipment?

Installing rainwater tanks and solar panels, sealing drafts, insulating walls and ceilings, are all excellent measures to save energy and money and help with environmental issues. We discuss the integration of these items with clients and recommend reliable products and suppliers. We point out that, while it is desirable to retrofit these products into a home, they will not turn a home that is dark and poky into a passive solar haven and that some architectural alterations might be in order to achieve the feel and comfort clients are looking for.

Check out Planet Architecture's
Top 10 tips for a sustainable renovation or extension

You can now purchase our Green Home Building Guide, a guide detailing the practical aspects of Green Home construction in Victoria today and listing recommended green products and their suppliers. To order, please send a $25 cheque ($20 + $5 P&H) and your name and address to Planet Architecture, P.O. Box 104, Mornington VIC 3931.

 

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