All posts by admin

What To Look Out For When Comparing Your Renovation Quote

CAUTION: When Comparing Your Renovation Quote – What To Look Out For So You Are Comparing Apples With Apples

To build a house or to change your current home and do a house remodel is not a small ticket item. It’s a big decision, and it’s a big deal, so to maximize the results of your renovation quote, you need clarity of purpose and peace of mind. So ask yourself – Is what you want to create achievable with the money you have available to outlay?

If your lifestyle requires changes to be made because your current home no longer meets your needs and you know what you want, but you have not crossed that bridge before, then how do you go about it?

comparing renovation quote

We all understand that home renovation is expensive. However when you take into consideration the costs associated with selling your existing home and buying a replacement, it can shine a new light on your renovation estimates.

Reconfiguring the layout and functionality of your home so it caters to your current and future plans. So, to start the process and get good advice, you need to go to the experts.


In this case, you go to a builder who specializes in renovations and house remodels and in providing renovation quotes. Remember, your builder has daily exposure to the intricate workings of a project of this magnitude.

Each building design requires a unique degree of variance to the house plans as does the project management. Having someone who is proficient with these requirements is a pre-requisite to your success.

This is not the time to start learning a new craft, nor is it the time to bring in a family friend or relative to help cut costs. If you are only looking to create small change to your abode, this may be acceptable. For slightly or considerably larger briefs, this is not advisable.

Your builder should be adept at ensuring things run like clockwork and the project flows smoothly and cohesively. Project managing and scheduling tradesmen and the delivery of materials, all to a set timeframe is no mean feat and requires lots of practice and is not for the faint hearted.

It’s quite fascinating how things can go pear shaped quite easily and for no apparent reason, so it’s heartening indeed to know you have the necessary and correct support and guidance in place.

To find a good builder, look at referrals from others and on websites and study them. They will give you a great overview if the project was completed on time and of how happy the client is with the quality of workmanship,

The builder also provides you with a warranty for work performed, so it’s good to know you have a safety net at your disposal.


The single most important factor for a client is the contract and the first part of the contract is the home renovation estimates. It is critical to FULLY understand what you get and what you DO NOT get. Spell out everything in detail.

Included here are some pointers to steer you in the right direction.

1. Be wary of quotes that are incomplete. If they lack detail or don’t supply everything you requested, this should be telling you that there is something amiss here.

How much detail you provide for the builder will reflect in the usefulness and feedback from him, so requesting finer details like how many coats of paint and which brand, for example, puts things into greater perspective. A fully itemized breakdown simplifies the process.

2. Inclusions with one company may be considered extras with another. Whilst the quote may seem to be cheaper, in reality, the opposite may be true. As an example, some window suppliers as standard practice provide flyscreens with all opening windows, yet others make their quote more competitive by leaving it out, so make sure you check!

Most homeowners assume that the renovation quote includes everything but this is often far from the case. Excluded items should clearly be listed on your renovation estimate. Ask for a complete and detailed list (fully itemized) at the outset as this could have a sizeable impact on your total costings, and then check the list.


3. Clear your expectations at the outset of your renovation cost estimate. Just remember to be wary of renovation quotes that are noticeably too high or too low. Common sense should prevail.

4. A great builder knows how to factor in a fair price for his workmanship. At the same time, they should show a degree of transparency commensurate to the level of trust you can count on from start to finish.

5. Be wary of provisional costs – these are renovation estimates that may end up being significantly different (usually higher) and could lead to much higher overall fees.

Provisional costs are implemented when the exact price is unknown or not included so a “guesstimate” is used. If the item is a multiple one then there can be considerable differences.

According to the architectural newsletter ‘ACUMEN”:

“Most building contracts include provision for prime cost items and provisional sums. A prime cost item is an allowance in the contract for the supply of necessary items not yet finally selected, for example taps or door furniture. A provisional sum is an allowance in the contract for the cost of foreseeable necessary work, including the supply of materials not fully described or detailed at the time that the contract commenced, for example joinery items or a service connection.”

Builders will often set a fairly modest budget on unspecified items partly because they don’t want to seem like they’re making extravagant decisions on your behalf. The allocated prime cost budget is normally sufficient for fairly simple fittings (e.g. toilets, sinks, light switches etc.).

Lump sum costs are fixed, by contrast.

6. Incomplete or absent licencing or references. A definite” no go “area.

7. Poor communication or attitude – Depending on the scale of your project, you will, no doubt be spending a considerable amount of time together so having someone on the same page as you and who you can relate to, would be a good idea and make you feel comfortable.


You shouldn’t have too much difficulty in finding the right builder for you and for your project. When finding a builder, do your research thoroughly about things like past history, track record, overall attitude and pricing. The builders’ credentials and professionalism are the lynchpin to your project.

Go to the builder first before you drawing your plans. The builder has a team of ”go to” qualified professionals and experts, including trusted building designers and architects who have worked with him on other projects, so he can make a sound judgment based on past results, of who would be best suited to your project.

This also ensures that you will get the best outcome for your house plans.


It’s vital for the customer and builder to have a clear understanding of terms used in a building contract.

Variations – Avoid changes to your materials and design, as they add delays and costs to your renovation.

Contract – Do you know that for each change or variation you make to your contract, there is an approximate $500 additional fee? Administration fees, scheduling another briefing/site meeting and legal fees can take this figure up to $1,000 per variation.

Did you know that on average, at least 10 variations are requested per contract(many go to 20)? So being thorough and decisive in your choice and description, is in your best interests.

The definition of variation could be an alteration or change to example the size or material used in a window, placement of the window or the style of the window. The specifics, if altered in any way, constitute a variation.

Just changing a colour can cost. You need to be very thorough to avoid becoming a sad over budget statistic.


A realistic projected timeframe is very helpful for managing your related expenses. There may be extra living costs expenses while you move out during your house remodel.

Clarify a progress payments schedule in your contract. Ensure there are no delays, disruptions or confusion for both parties concerned to simply keep everyone happy.

Request a detailed explanation of management and reduction to construction waste for your reference. This will help you appropriate the costs.

Check with the relevant authority in your state for proof of licences and registrations for your peace of mind. Note that all builders must provide documentation on their insurance, as well. This is a mandatory requirement with QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission).

It is advisable to arrange a first- hand inspection of a builder’s prior work to determine quality of their workmanship. This will help cement a healthy relationship between you and your chosen builder.

Their objective should be to deliver your dream house renovation to an exceptional standard and in a timely manner so your future dream home can become a reality.


By taking on-board the advice offered, you will “maximize the return for your dollar” in your renovation quote. Now you can overcome unnecessary hurdles in achieving your dream home!

You may like JM Homes “Ultimate House Renovation “No Stress” Success pack”. In this, you will get more information on Why a FREE House Renovation Quote Can Cost You More, as well as a Renovation Blueprint For Success and other very useful information when starting your renovation journey. Click here to download your FREE pack.


Home Renovation Costs

Arm yourself with a practical and thorough approach to curbing your home renovation costs irrespective of budget constraints.

Turning your existing home into your dream home can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you may encounter at some stage in your lifetime. But just as easily, it can be a daunting challenge, if it is undertaken hastily. without


You need to be CLEAR about what it is that you want to achieve with your home renovation costs. Building an addition onto your existing home would be a cheaper option than buying/ building a new home, especially when you factor in the legal and resale costs.

If you want to create space in your existing home, building an addition is the correct format to use apart from building upwards, as every other method simply redistributes existing space. Home remodeling may be best suited for individuals who are apprehensive or unwilling to make a big leap.

While most homes will suit a second level, it’s not as easy as just lopping off the roof and plonking another floor on top, as additional shoring up is required. Safety issues are paramount as this is one area that should be handled by a competent expert.

By taking the right approach, you can prevent budget blowouts while your sanity remains intact. By implementing the correct procedures from the start, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home transformation, small or large is truly achievable.


It’s vital that the relevant decision makers are on the same page and so, to this end, we have created “10 TIPS TO SAVE YOU A BUNDLE ON YOUR HOUSE RENOVATION” to ensure you don’t get side-tracked.

Tip 1. Have an idea of your renovation budget. Know what you are trying to aim towards, as a starting point. Do you really believe a $30,000 kitchen remodel is necessary, or are you just keeping up with the Jones’s?

You need to be brutally honest with yourself. You may only want to do the cosmetic changes that will bring your current home into the 21st century.

Know what you really want and start tailoring your ideas and changes into a plausible reality — your dream home.

One of the best ways to do this is to start a list. List what you like about your home and its current functionality. Be sure to consider things like sunlight and breezes.

When you have exhausted your favourable points, list your dislikes and needs. These are not the same thing, so be sure you analyse and scrutinize your list thoroughly.

Integrate the ideas you have in mind with your lifestyle and how you use each space in your home. You need to be quite specific about the usage of space and traffic areas.


Tip 2. Design – Try to utilize your existing house in your home remodeling design.

Should you decide to rebuild, your first step will be the demolition process. This demolition will also be your first big cash payment and leave you with a vacant lot.

Years ago, homeowners could fairly tear down and rebuild as zoning laws were far more lenient than today. The tide towards recycling, rather than throwing away has taken a sharp upturn since the 1990’s and this includes the housing industry, hence our current stringent zoning laws.

Due to changing zoning laws, not all houses can be demolished. Check with your builder, he usually knows what you can and can’t do in your area and on your block.He is your technical solutions expert with industry-specific know how.

If you don’t like what you have and you’re allowed to demolish, it can actually be cheaper to do that. Changing a roofline, both structurally and cosmetically, can enhance and compliment your existing house and give you a completely new outlook on your home.

It’s pretty much the equivalent of a facelift and you may find this to be all that you really need to consider, rather than demolishing.


Tip 3. Don’t waste your time, money and potentially having to go through lots of headaches by going to the council, architects etc. yourselfGo to the builder FIRST. You could end up spending thousands of dollars unnecessarily through hidden costs by not going to the expert first.

Avoiding the red tape can be a wise move here, to eliminate unforeseeable problems. This will help avoid the possibility of flaring tempers and arguments between you and other decision makers.

Permits and approvals from council must be obtained for structural changes prior to commencement of work. Stringent guidelines and compliance with the latest building and planning regulations must be met.

Your competent builder will have all the right questions and answers. As a bonus, his years of experience can help identify places where you can cut on your home renovation costs.


Tip 4. Who is doing the work? Using a building designer (also known as a Draftsman) rather than an architect can be a huge bonus to your budget.

Both building designers and architects have done years and years of training on the technical expertise in house design. Hence, the potential to save in home renovation costs is high as you can get equally fantastic results from a building designer as opposed to an architect.

Your builder can help you with a building designer they have already had great success with in the past. The builder usually knows which building designer is the best fit for your house renovation style. A building designer is your technical solutions expert.

Be sure you have your list of “things to find out” from your builder before moving to this preparation stage.

One example I recall, is a friend who bought a two-storey house that they renovated . The prior owners started in the downstairs area with some office space. The downstairs area was huge and virtually unused, so they decided to turn a section of it into another two bedrooms and a media room. A few years later, they decided to sell that home. To their dismay, they lost a large amount of extra revenue because the roof height was incorrect and therefore illegal. It pays to get sound advice.


If you are an avid fan of ”House Rules”, you would have noticed that knocking out walls is one of the most popular ideas in order to create a spacious open plan living area. It can no doubt be the most obvious improvement used in current modern home renovation improvements.

Remember, it’s always easier and more cost-effective to avoid tampering with load-bearing elements throughout your house renovations. Check with your builder as he may suggest alternatives that are both attractive and ideal for your needs.

Tip 5. Area living space for your extension – Usually, the bigger the space, the more the cost. Perhaps just enlarging a window can totally transform a section and will also minimize your house renovation costs.

Substituting existing windows with larger double glazed or energy efficient replacements will allow more daylight in. It can also help to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

Some renovation clients have been able to reduce their renovation cost by utilizing more deck “living space” rather than internal living space. Again, your builder can advise you on this.

Decks are the rage in house extensions and considering the current shift in lifestyle changes, as thankfully in this lucky country, we have so much beautiful sunshine freely available, we can readily tap into nature.

A good lick of paint goes a long way in rejuvenating the exterior of a hom e. A feature colour can add zest to the overall street appeal, be it on a door or a wall panel . So head for the nearest Bunnings or Mitre 10 paint shop to arm yourself with a myriad of colour swatches. Ponder over them and get your creative juices flowing. The same applies to rendering or plastering finishes on brick as a modern alternative.


Tip 6. Hidden plumbing costs. With bathrooms, utilizing or staying with the existing plumbing is a very cost effective point that should not be overlooked.

Modernising bathrooms or adding an additional one to your remodelling are usually among the priorities included in renovation costings today. These are also the prominent places that budgeting can so easily go out the window. Sadly, this is true for the majority of us, so beware.

Thankfully, we have a “helpful tool” to keep us from getting too easily side-tracked. (Click here to get a FREE template “Wishlist vs Must Haves” as part of the ultimate house renovation “NO STRESS Success Pack”).

When choosing a sink for your bathroom, be sure it is deep and wide enough to wash your face. This is often overlooked for the man of the house who still likes to shave closely as my friend Maggie pointed out.

Go with the tried and tested especially if you’re looking for cheap new kitchen and bathroom products. Long-term usage should be your focus, so keep tabs by checking reviews on products. But always remember, the time you spend researching alternative products can really save you a bundle.

Tip 7. Tiling – Floor to ceiling tiling is an expanding trend that really does give a clean and polished look. It also doubles the price with extra tiles and extra labour. Putting this in your renovation wish list and not your must-have list is a viable alternative. Another possibility is to consider a feature wall rather than tiling all the walls.


Technology has made a substantial improvement in home renovation costs as well as our lifestyles. Huge leaps and bounds in pre-fabrication and building construction are happening now.

DID YOU KNOW THAT BUILDINGS CAN TALK! According to SEIMENS, “digitalization gives buildings a voice”. With the push of a button, you can have your favourite music playing or a cup of hot coffee brewing .

The INSIGHT publication in the October issue last year spoke of “the development of self-healing concrete that is being tested by the University of Cardiff, that could have a massive impact on the sustainability of our infrastructure (think tunnels, bridges and buildings) through to heat reflective paint that could reduce cooling needs and the maintenance on our homes.”

China has just built a prefab building which is a staggering 57 stories high and this was achieved in a jaw-dropping 19 days, at the rate of 3 stories a day. A triumph of modern-day ingenuity. You probably watched this same programme on your TV the other night. Apparently, anything is truly possible.

Aged care facilities in Australia are now using modular construction with successful outcomes as decreased time, wastage and a focus on higher quality are reported.

Technology is fast changing our view on how to build or renovate a house. It has also positively impacted  house renovations costs as better affordability with these improvements is becoming the norm.

One good suggestion is to arrange for an interior designer consultation. They are conversant with eco-friendly products and the latest trends. Many people don’t realise how informative they can actually be and cost-effective as well. I believe that a consultation is well worth the small outlay to steer you in the right direction. You may find their expertise invaluable, similar to the advice offered by a builder.


Tip 8. Level of finishes. Consider adding new floor coverings and curtains to improve the inside appearance of your future home. The type of taps, sinks, bench tops, and lighting style can vary considerably in price and easily blow a budget.

Something you need to take into account is the overall viability of your choices. What I am getting at is a shortfall that I made in my current home and it constantly NARKS me.

My door stops…I know, It’s just a simple thing, but it’s a recurring issue. Unlike some people, I am fortunate to have a good airflow through my home, which makes life a breeze.

Because of this, I also have doors slamming constantly and  a visible puncture hole the size of a door handle It’s often the little things that grate on your nerves, right?

A poor judgement call on my part, especially considering the extra cost and labour for the repair. Magnetic door stops would solve this dilemma. (This item should have been on my “must have” list)


Tip 9. Limit your variations by having a fixed price contract.

A variation is considered a change to the signed contract. Each variation will add time, headache value & money to your house renovation costs, thus creating more chance for error. On average, each variation is an additional $500 in administrative fees and extra site meetings. A variation could be a change to the colour of your bench tops. BANG – there goes $500.

The best way to ensure a fixed price contract is to have everything selected BEFORE you sign the contract AND make sure the exact model and item number are listed.

Tip 10. See the bank.

The majority of us do not have unlimited funding at our fingertips, so this step is very important.

Whilst the bank won’t usually give a client a pre-approval without a detailed building quote, it is far better to have a rough idea of your borrowing capacity so that you don’t waste money by having to change your design plans because you over-estimated on your budget.

Book a FREE skype call to see if your budget is realistic.

Your home equity is the difference between the bank’s valuation of your home and the amount you owe on the loan. Equity can build up over time because either your home value has increased or your loan has reduced.

Accessing your home equity to fund your home makeover is generally the way to start the financial process and the first step is usually taken by obtaining a current valuation from a realtor.


By now, you should have gleaned how to develop a relatively complete and clear scope of the work required for your planned project. You can now move on with your house renovation costs in an orderly and professional manner.

Your dream home jigsaw puzzle should be complete and the realization that ”you can do this” is just starting to hit home. So, this is how they do it on “House Rules” and “Grand Designs.” Piece of cake really, well not quite.

If you haven’t yet booked your FREE skype call to assist you with your financial plans just CLICK HERE now to take advantage of the best ways to utilize your funds, so you CAN have your cake and eat it too. This is your call to take action.

JM Homes Team Helps You Save Money On Your House Plans So You Can Get Better Value For Your House Renovation or House Extension


So you’ve decided that the time to change or update your house has arrived. Perhaps you’ve refinanced your home and now have the money to implement your house plans. Or you’re just plain sick of a home that doesn’t work for the growing needs of your family. Whether it’s something a little grander or just a little bit bigger, you should look at this conceptually.

Some questions you may be asking are:

  • Just how much space would sufficiently cater to your lifestyle requirements
  • What would this entail and
  • Is it easy and achievable?


Do you want to keep your existing home but need more space? It is guaranteed that you will either need to build up or build out… maybe both! So your existing home plans will need some modification and alteration in order to achieve your desired result.

Unless you are planning to simply reshuffle the existing space around, you will need to either build upwards or extend your ground level area with an addition to your current building plans.

Of course, you could also just sell up and buy again or choose to build a new house. Should you decide to sell, you have the standard issues – agent’s fees, legal fees and stamp duty. Even juggling the buying and selling in a timely manner can often be tressful . All of this will take a hefty chunk out of both your time and your money.

Finding the perfect house can also be time consuming and, of course, hard to do! A more conservative and clever approach would be to proceed with an addition or extension renovation. This option gives you a flexible approach to achieving exactly what you want and what you need.

So who do you approach to change your house plans design?

If you ‘re building a new home with an unlimited budget, cutting edge and on a grand scale with possibly every imaginable inclusion, then you may consider working with an architect.

However, if you are on a limited budget and looking for a more functional home that is not necessarily cutting edge yet still ultra stylish and will meet your lifestyle requirements, then you have other choices like hiring a draftsman over an architect.


Getting your builder engaged early is important in your planning, particularly one who specializes in house renovation. A good builder will work closely with your building designer to ensure you get the functionalities without breaking your wallet.

Click here to get a FREE online consultation with Josh to start the process for your house plans. Or, get our Wishlist vs Must Have’s Template to help you turn your renovation wishlist into a budget-friendly design concept.

Josh has the knowledge to help you with Council requirements and how to get what you want.

This IS his specialty and his area of expertise, so we recommend you capitalise on it for your house renovations.

Josh also knows well-suited professionals who would be perfect for your specific project. His guidance is invaluable and he can alleviate the stress of finding the right person for your exact needs. His vast network of highly-skilled professionals enable an exceptional standard of quality throughout the build.

How does JM Homes deliver your dream ho use plans? They listen, they advise and they discuss with you and your team of professionals. Finally, you will be armed with the right information to provide your building designer or architect.


The first step is to schedule a meeting onsite with both your builder and your draftsman. They will take measurements and discuss your building plans.

You can now address the documented requirements and ideas that you’ve jotted on paper to cover your house plans.  Taking into account structural and styling considerations, your must-haves and wishlist should meet all your requirements without exceeding your budget.

Meet Josh from JM Homes through this initial consultation and see if his professionalism and extensive experience suits your project.

After the site visit and discussions outlining your core ideas and requirements, an initial concept plan will be provided.  Along with the concept plan is a ballpark figure of your renovation costs.

Please be advised that it may cost more to renovate older homes depending on the complexity of the project.


Estimators will review and refine the real costs, ensuring your renovation stays on target throughout the house plan design phase.

Illustrated ideas will eventually allow your vision to come to life with the aid of computer-generated technology.

This phase is usually inclusive of things like room arrangement, indoor–outdoor flow, initial choice of construction systems, and the likes.

Unless you’re planning to reshuffle the existing space, you’ll need to either build upwards or extend your ground area.

Of course, you could also just sell up and buy again or choose to build a new house. Should you decide to sell, you have the standard issues – agent’s fees, legal fees and stamp duty. Even juggling the buying and selling in a timely manner can often be quite stressful as well . All of this will take a hefty chunk out of both your time and your money.

Finding the perfect house can also be time-consuming and, of course, hard to do! A more conservative and clever approach would be to proceed with an addition or extension renovation. This option gives you a flexible approach to achieving exactly what you want and what you need.

So who do you approach to change your house plans design?

If you are building a new home with an unlimited budget, then you may consider working with an architect.

If you are on a limited budget and looking for an ultra-stylish, functional home, then you have choices.

You can hire a building designer or draftsman can deliver fantastic results same with an architect but more cost effective.


Your builder will liaise with the council for your house plan design to get approval. You don’t have to get bogged down with the mountain of paperwork. They are accustomed to the technical jargon so you are spared the stress to this otherwise harrowing ordeal. Time frames for approval can vary considerably so check with your builder.


JM Homes aims to provide you with an easy and stress-free experience while we work on your house plans’ design. We strive to anticipate your needs by providing as little disruption as possible. As the construction moves into the final design stage, we offer better building solutions with comprehensive design and construction services.

During the pre-construction brief, together we will decide upon a forecasted start date. We will also discuss how to prepare your house and your family for the re-modelling.

This will include:

  •  Home access and security for project safety as we believe the safety of all is crucial
  • Site access for children and pets.
  • How production schedules will impact your family
  • Payment schedules
  • Construction crew parking
  • Dust and damage control
  • Job signs and permits box location
  • Location staging area for scheduled materials and
  • Location of debris and debris control

We use a comprehensive checklist to ensure the quality of your home meets every expectation all throughout.

Finally, you will have the keys to your new home, along with the warranty details.

We hope that by working together, as you explore the wonders of the house plan that you entrusted to JM Homes, your heart skips a beat and you tell yourself, “this is exactly what I dreamed of.”



House Extensions living room House Extensions bathroom House Extensions bedroomA logical way to inject new life into your home and vastly improve your homes’ functionality and liveability is through house renovations or house extensions. Your house extensions will greatly improve the saleability of your home, your comfort factor, plus increase its value as well.

One of the numerous benefits obtained through house renovation is improving your house aesthetics/street appeal.  By fortifying the foundation and structures during your house remodelling, you help decrease the maintenance and utility costs as well.

Moreover, rejuvenating your homes’ tired bones is like giving it a facelift.

The end result with a home extension is equivalent to having a holiday. You get to come home to a house that looks totally different on the inside and outside. Your own oasis!

Needless to say, it requires the proper experts to achieve the desired results.


There is good and bad in every undertaking, and this applies to house renovation and house extensions as well. To avoid pitfalls, you must know what to look for, which professionals to help you and how to find them!

When spending a sizeable amount of money, you need to know (for a fact) that you will recoup the outlay. Otherwise, you may feel it is simply WASTED. Wasted time and effort, wasted money, wasted frustration and wasted results do not lead to a happy ending. Intelligent research first, is the answer. You will no doubt agree that a little sound help goes a long way.

We recommend that you leave the house renovations to the experts. The cost of rectifying a disaster through inexperience with a house renovation can be exorbitant. No fun in that.

Check the credentials of your builder thoroughly. How often have you waited and waited and waited for a tradesman to call you back?…and that’s just the initial phone call! At JM Homes, you can rest assured that our years of experience as quality house builders Brisbane can offer you will help put your mind at ease.


The skills of your chosen company builder will determine the quality of your home extension/addition.

Thus, reliable builders hand-pick their own team of heavily scrutinized and reliable experts to perform specific jobs, as required. The list includes building designers and architects, plumbers, tilers, etc.

Before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and start calling every builder in the book, make a plan specifying and outlining your minimum criteria for Brisbane renovations company selection, to see who can best handle your needs, and make sure you check out their credentials. A good way to do this is by exploring the referrals on their website and studying the comments people make.

Reputable house builders Brisbane will be registered with QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) and likely be a member of HIA (Housing Industry Association) and MBQ (Master Builders Queensland).

Josh O’Sullivan from JM Homes is an upfront, honest and approachable builder who specializes in house renovations and house extensions project. He also proudly displays his credentials, transparency of his workmanship and the tradesman that he works with.

Each building project should fully take into account the clients’ needs. For example, sometimes you may be able to live in your home during house extensions or building renovations. If this is the case, a competent builder should try every reasonable effort to minimize disruption of your living arrangements.

Being cautious with decisions on each aspect of the renovation ensures less room for error. You should feel comfortable enough with your builder to talk through all of the choices and decisions, however small.


The first step in considering a house renovation is to get in touch with a reputable builder. You can learn more in our  “9 Tips To Save You A Bundle On Your House Renovation” infographic.

In addition, you should make sure that you receive sound long-term advice about the value of your property. Your builder needs to spend the appropriate time to assist you with fine-tuning your options. You will need to allow about a two-hour time slot to sit down with the builder to discuss every possibility of your Brisbane house renovation.

As the design and construction professional, your chosen builder should strive to provide the ultimate solutions for your budget and concept.


Your builder can discuss your wishes and your must-have features and offer advice that fits your needs and budget.

The lift and build under house extensions (typically seen in Queenslander extensions) are house renovation common in Brisbane building plans. This house renovation method allows clients to eliminate the problematic off-street parking dilemma that plagues most inner city dwellers. Add to this the stunning local or enviable city views, and you have a home that suits your lifestyle. All these extras without compromising the Queenslander charm of the house!

Although this type of renovation is relatively costly, it pays off with the better use of the existing layout.  Often times greater airflow and just generally improving functionality is the key. This style of modification suits heritage listed areas and steep sloping sites by making use of the contours.

Your builder can supply a draftsman (building designer) who prepares your working drawings. The council or certifier will then approve and sign the submitted contract.

Choose the right builder and building designer combination and you won’t have to worry about the red tapes. A competent builder is familiar with the ordinances and organizes this stressful procedure for you so you can relax. The cuncil normally approves plans within 4-5 weeks, depending on the scale of the project.

Existing level extensions (one-storey) vary greatly in design and outcome. This can involve minor to major alterations as it requires a lot of matching details and materials.

Generally, there is no need to move out to save on relocation fees and temporary accommodation. It is best to make use of your existing layout with minimal disruption beforehand. This type of modification generally takes up to 10 weeks from start to completion, allowing for council approval.

Furthermore, the builder will custom-design your house renovation around your existing house, lifestyle requirements and budget to cover your anticipated needs.


An innovative idea to protect and secure your house renovation plans involves modern technology. House automation has ruled over our private domains. Electric cars are on the immediate horizon, Volvo is living proof of that.

Introducing buildings that can talk and tell you how they feel…yes, it’s true according to technology gurus, SIEMENS. Modern technology is seriously impacting on our daily lives.

Reflective glass, reflective paint, modular construction and self- healing concrete. Modern innovations are changing the way that we live and renovate, and implementing a few necessary changes into your house renovation now will help to future-proof your home. Josh from JM Homes is a forward thinking builder who can help you future-proof your building plans, to utilise and balance modern technology with your future lifestyle needs into your house plans.

Additionally, Josh can help you think about things like: incorporating cabling during your house renovation for future use; ensuring there is enough space for a battery charger in your garage; and using eco-friendly building materials to cut down on energy and maintenance costs. These integrations today may also increase saleability in the future.


Upon agreeing on an ultimate design for your house renovation, the documentation process begins. Hence, you need to consider any changes or alterations you may wish to make. Once the architectural drawings are completed, the next stage is to submit your building plans for council approval.

Once you give the go-ahead on your house renovation you will be provided with a fixed price building contract. The builder will ensure the contract includes all plans and approvals to limit hidden costs.

This is where you need to tread carefully. Often, an initial quote may not include the extras upt. You may find out the hard way, so be diligent in your research. Double check what they do and don’t provide. You may find our video on “Why a FREE House Renovation Quote Can Cost Your More” useful. Check this out to help you to compare apples with apples when getting quotes.

Once the council grants their approval, you will receive copies of the approved plans and supporting documentation.

Now the construction work can finally begin and you can start getting excited! Your dream is about to become a reality!

A truly professional and competent Brisbane house renovation specialist leaves nothing to chance.  Furthermore, the right specialist will carry out all the meticulous details to alleviate all your worries.

When you’re presented with the keys to your newly completed dream house, it’s finally the time to break out the bubble!

Considering house renovations or house extensions? Check out our FREE “Ultimate House Renovation ‘No Stress’ Success Pack