And That's a Wrap on 2019!!

It's December babey and we know what that means.... work winds down and we get ready for the holiday period.  We had so many different projects this year from Renovations to Decks, Bathrooms, Kitchens and Wine Cellars...  We have met so many wonderful clients and are thankful for the diversity in our projects this year that injected a bubble of fun into each new day.  We look forward to more of it in the new year!

While most things work wise settle down for us, personally things start to ramp up... for us crazy cats it means that we start putting down the tools on our clients' projects and pick up the tools on our own very new project!  For those of your who aren't up with the latest goss, we finally finished our acreage reno we have been working on for 3 years and before we could raise a glass in celebration, we sold it in an off the market deal within days of completion.  This was a bittersweet moment in time for us as we were celebrating not only the finish of the hard work we had put into our gorgeous renovation but also the fact that it was the longest home we have ever lived in (3 years).  As friends and colleagues caught wind of the news the roll of the eyes and the "I can't believe you are moving again!" comments started to flow!  I suppose it came as a little surprise to some (some not as they know us too well) as the most common comment for anyone coming to our homes are "so when are you moving?" in a sarcastic voice! My favourite and somewhat relatable comment was by someone who likened us to a "Kinder Surprise" because they never know what surprise their going to get when they see us! laughing  To me that was somewhat amusing and very appropriate! Touche!.  My comment back over the last 3 years was that we loved that home and would not be selling anytime soon (that was of course my honest opinion up until this new project hit the market LOL!)  Yep we are mad and crazy but this is our life and we enjoy it... however truth be told we do appear to be slowing down.... i mean instead of moving every year we are now moving every 3 years so that has to say something right?!! LOL.  I'm aiming to break our 3 year record with this home!

The only reason we contemplated selling was that a home we have been eyeing off for the past few years since moving to the area, literally a street away, had gone on the market and we were eager to secure it!  I'm not sure what the reason is behind us literally finishing homes and selling them before we get to actually enjoy the final product but we do it EVERY time!  I guess it's the industry that we are in and the fact we are very driven, motivated and genuinely passionate about our craft which means we simply cannot sit still if we see an opportunity present itself.  This new home certainly did and sucked us in hook line and sinker.  Having been left unfinished for over 4 years we have driven past time and time again wishing we could get our hands on it and create the beautiful home that it had the potential to be.   It had all the ingredients we look for when buying a home... the street in our opinion is one of the nicest in the area with beautiful quality homes, a great family feel which was important to us for our kids and the home has masses of potential being on acreage and a design/floor plan and features that we loved. 

So while others take a vacation, sip their wine and enjoy their new Christmas presents we will be working towards getting the new Swimming Pool finished, doing some ground works, getting some sort of landscaping started, installing our front fence and honing in on the design elements that will compliment this homes bones and ultimately bang our signature Brad & Lise stamp on it.  With every home we do personally I change our design style so this one excites me focussing on a Palm Springs vibe cool.  I will base one of my blogs early next year on why I love this design style and how I am incorporating it into this home.  

We constantly get asked for photos of our personal projects from friends and people we meet so I decided to start an Instagram Page called Brad_Lise_Create_Utopia so our candid unpolished journey can be followed by anyone that's interested!  Feel free to follow us too!

We will take a little time to sit back relax and get ready for 2020 but I don't know when?! For now we just need to breathe and keep going!

While we have the energy (and time) we would like to wish all of you a Safe and Merry Christmas and look forward to what 2020 brings when we get back mid January!

 

Take Care,

Lise & Brad

 

 

 

Toolbox of Design Decisions when Renovating

I have put together a handy little tool if you are looking at undergoing a Major Home Renovation now or in the future... bearing in mind this list is for a complete renovation so you can pick and choose from the list if you are only doing a partial renovation such as kitchen and bathrooms.  All in all it will help make the process less daunting and you will feel more in control at the very beginning of the building decision making process.  Also remember to keep in mind your budget and keep a contingency set aside in case you want to make some changes along the way... certain design styles will have a more hefty price tag than others ie Hamptons, Provincial so ensure you can afford your desired look or be prepared to compromise.

Exterior:

Exterior Paint Colours - Render, Front Door, Roof Tile, Gutter Fascia, Eaves

Driveway, Paths

External Floor Tiles to Entry Portico and Alfresco

New Front Entry Door/s plus Handle/lock

Interior:

Main Areas:

Main Floors (Tiles, Timber, Hybrid etc)

Carpet

Garage Floor (Epoxy)

Interior Wall Paint Colour & Finish including Ceilings, Architraves, Internal Doors, Skirting to Entire Home

Internal Door Style including handles/knobs

Lighting including Pendant Lights & Fans (consider any electrical changes you might like to make ie extra powerpoints, light switches, dimmers etc)

Fans

Air Conditioning  (do you want to add in extra Split Systems or Ducted)

Kitchen:

Kitchen Layout

Cabinetry Design and Finishes including Handles, Knobs etc

Benchtop/s - Caesarstone, Smartstone, Quantum Quartz, Geoluxe, Titan Quartz, Polytec etc

Splashback Tiles/Glass/other

Undermount or Drop in Sink

Tapware

Dishwasher Space, Semi-Integrated DW, Fully Integrated DW

Kitchen Appliances (oven, microwave, cooktop, rangehood, steam oven, coffee machine etc

Integrated Rangehood or Canopy Rangehood

Integrated Microwave or Microwave Space

Ensuite, Main Bathroom, Powder Room:

Space Layout

Cabinetry Design & Finishes

Door Knobs/Handles

Benchtop

Splashback Tiles

Bath - Freestanding, Hob, Spa Bath including tapware

Vanity Tapware

Towel Rails

Hand Towel Rail or Ring

Vanity Mirror or Shaving Cabinet

Shower Design including Niches, Shower Rail or Rain Head, Shower Taps

Floor Tiles

Wall Tiles - Skirting, Half Walls or Full Height including type of lay (offset etc)

Toilets

Toilet Roll Holders

Laundry:

Cabinetry Design and Finish

Door Knobs/Handles

Benchtop

Splashback - Tiles/Glass

Laundry Tub

Tapware

Washing Machine underbench or WM Space

Dryer space

Outdoor:

Door to Alfresco - Bi-fold or Stacker Doors

Outdoor Kitchen

 

There you have it the Fusion Reconstruct Home Reno Go-To Guide for choices, so when you are ready to Renovate you will be all over the process and shouldn't have to make last minute choices under pressure and the bonus is your builder will love you for it!

 

The Benefits of Home Renovation and It's not what you think!

I wanted to write a blog from a different point of view this month...   I wanted to address topics however subjective they may be regarding Home Renovation and the benefits that more than likely are not top of mind.

When I think back at how many properties we have personally owned both established and new builds since we were in our 20's, I understandably lose count and that's because we have more than likely had 4 times as many as most of you will have in a lifetime and the reason for this has been because a) we struggle to sit still and embrace change just as much as changing underwear and b) because we literally have the knowledge, resources and skills to do so it’s not a big task plus over the years I have become a professional home mover and have actually enjoyed doing it, except the last time when we moved house twice in 3 weeks (urghhh)! 

It occurred to me only days ago that our current home which we purchased established at a mere 20 years young almost two and a half years ago has been the home we have owned for the longest period of time.  Yes, you may laugh at the fact that two and a half years is certainly not a long time but for us it’s a big deal.  I started to think about why this home is the one we have chosen to truly embody.... we have a large parcel of land with no restrictions, our floor plan is perfect and suits our family and lifestyle, the street is super quiet with great neighbours who we only see on the rare occasion, most of our neighbours are house proud just like us, and we are close to everything but far enough away to be out of the hustle and bustle, and we have enjoyed turning the somewhat average appealing home into a beauty.

So many people crave to build a new home and it begs the question... why?  Why do we inherently feel that we haven't made it in life until we have built our very own home?  Why is that the goal post for so many who have property?  This leads me to another question.... why is it that we don't look at the bigger picture and see that buying an established home in an established area is truly the way to go, I mean there are so many benefits and they probably aren't what you’re thinking.

There are so many benefits that come with Renovating your existing home or buying an established home and Renovating that come to mind when we think about it and its these things that resonated with me personally being someone who left a brand new home to buy an established home and Renovate in an established area and here's the thing.... it’s not only a benefit to us but it’s also a benefit to our suburb and that's just the beginning. 

When you build in a new estate you have absolutely no idea who your neighbours are going to be, what kind of home they are going to build, how many trees had to be removed to develop the estate and how much wildlife has suffered because of this.  Now I don't consider myself a greenie, but I do care about the environment and I do care how many koalas, wallabies, possums, birds etc forego their homes in order for us to build ours.... and that sucks!  Not only this, with new estates and development comes a huge strain on what is generally an already existing strain in so many communities and it’s a big one..... yes that's right, infrastructure.  Roads, shops, transport, business struggle to cope with what is sometimes thousands more people.  Yes, there can be benefits with such projects that provide tourism and employment but with that positivity comes a whole heap of stresses and can often have adverse effects.

Infrastructure in so many communities is already suffering with constant development, yet we have homes in suburbs all over the country that are existent but just need some love and attention, yet so many are choosing to boycott these for new homes.... what ever happened to making what’s old into something new again!  Imagine how much things would change if we all shifted our attention to buying existing property and actually enriched houses and suburbs that already exist making them the "it" place to live!  There would be less stress on infrastructure, it would assist local business, leave more trees so we can breathe fresh air instead of pollution, alleviate the issue of our wildlife being evicted from their homes, create a more beautiful streetscape in so many more areas and last but not least build positive community spirit.

The upside is also that when you stay where you are, buy or renovate an established home you know exactly who the neighbours are going to be (short term or long term), what kinds of homes encompass the area, what the demographics are of occupants, and as we have found... way more trees and wildlife... owners generally don't cut down trees to renovate and extend, they tend to use the free space they have to add on to their home.

Some established homes need a lot of work, some need a little work, but all of them can work.... when you consider your next move, think about this and learn to embrace and love the foundations of what already exists.

 

Happy Renovating!  

Lise