Home & Garden in Australia Exposed


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Homes and Gardens Exposed

A blog on styling your home and garden with a bit of Australian flare

How Much Should I Spend on a Renovation?

Wondering how much to budget for your home renovation project? Find out in our latest blog post. Learn tips and tricks for determining the right amount to spend on your renovation in Australian dollars.

Identifying Cost-Saving Opportunities

When embarking on a renovation project, it is important to identify cost-saving opportunities to prevent overspending and ensure that the budget is utilized effectively. One way to save costs is by carefully planning the scope of the renovation and focusing on essential upgrades rather than unnecessary luxuries. Prioritizing repair work over aesthetic enhancements can also help in staying within the budget while ensuring the structural integrity of the property.

Moreover, sourcing materials from trustworthy suppliers at discounted rates can significantly reduce expenses without compromising on quality. Keeping an eye out for sales, promotions, and clearance items can prove to be beneficial in securing affordable materials for the renovation project. Additionally, considering alternative materials that offer similar aesthetics and functionality at a lower cost can also be a smart cost-saving strategy.

Finding Quality Materials at Affordable Prices

Finding quality materials at affordable prices can be a challenging but rewarding aspect of any renovation project. One way to achieve this is by researching and comparing prices from multiple suppliers. By taking the time to shop around, you may be able to find the materials you need at a lower cost without compromising on quality.

Another strategy is to consider alternative materials that offer a similar look or functionality to more expensive options. For example, laminate flooring can mimic the appearance of hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost. Similarly, opting for composite materials in place of natural stone can help save money without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. By thinking outside the box and exploring different options, you can achieve a high-quality finish for your renovation at a more affordable price point.

Financing Options for Renovation Projects

One common way to finance a renovation project is through a home equity loan. This type of loan allows homeowners to borrow against the equity they have built up in their property. By using the value of your home as collateral, you may be able to secure lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. Home equity loans can be a good option for larger renovation projects that require a significant amount of funding.

Another financing option to consider is a personal loan. Personal loans are unsecured loans that can be used for various purposes, including home renovations. While interest rates for personal loans are typically higher than home equity loans, they are often easier to qualify for and have a quicker application process. Personal loans can be a suitable choice for smaller renovation projects or for homeowners who do not have enough equity in their property to access a home equity loan.

Exploring Loan and Payment Plans

When embarking on a renovation project, financing is often a crucial aspect to consider. Exploring various loan and payment plans can provide you with the flexibility needed to fund your renovations effectively. Whether you opt for a personal loan, a home equity line of credit, or a renovation-specific loan, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully.

Personal loans can be suitable for smaller renovation projects, offering a lump sum with a fixed interest rate and repayment period. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, offering a flexible repayment structure. Renovation-specific loans may come with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods, specifically tailored to fund home improvement projects. By assessing your financial situation and renovation needs, you can choose the loan or payment plan that aligns best with your circumstances.

LongTerm Return on Investment

When embarking on a renovation project, it’s essential to consider the long-term return on investment. While initial costs may seem daunting, making strategic decisions throughout the renovation process can positively impact the value of your property in the future. Renovations that enhance functionality, energy efficiency, and overall aesthetics tend to yield higher returns compared to projects focused solely on cosmetic changes.

To project the potential increase in property value, conduct thorough research on real estate market trends in your area. Consult with local real estate agents or property appraisers to gain insights into what features or upgrades are most sought after by buyers. Understanding the preferences of potential buyers in your market will help you make informed decisions when selecting renovation projects that will not only improve your living space but also increase the resale value of your property.

Projecting Potential Increase in Property Value

As a homeowner considering a renovation project, it’s essential to evaluate the potential increase in property value that may result from your investment. Conducting thorough research on the real estate market trends in your area can provide valuable insights into the type of renovations that yield the highest returns. Factors such as the demand for certain features or amenities, as well as the overall condition of your property compared to others in the neighbourhood, can significantly influence the potential increase in value.

Keep in mind that renovations that enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your home tend to have a more significant impact on property value. Upgrading key areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces is known to attract potential buyers and increase the overall appeal of your property. Additionally, investing in energy-efficient upgrades or sustainable features can not only make your home more appealing to eco-conscious buyers but also contribute to a higher resale value in the long run.


How do I determine how much to spend on a renovation?

The amount you should spend on a renovation depends on factors such as your budget, the scope of the project, and your long-term goals for the property.

Are there ways to save money on a renovation project?

Yes, you can save money on a renovation by identifying cost-saving opportunities, finding quality materials at affordable prices, and exploring financing options that suit your budget.

What are some cost-saving opportunities to consider during a renovation?

Some cost-saving opportunities include doing some of the work yourself, reusing existing materials where possible, and prioritising renovations that will add the most value to your property.

How can I finance a renovation project?

Financing options for renovation projects include personal savings, home equity loans, personal loans, and government grants or subsidies aimed at improving property value.

How can I project the potential increase in property value after a renovation?

You can project the potential increase in property value by researching similar properties in your area, consulting with real estate professionals, and considering the current market trends.

A Guide to DIY Conveyancing

When buying or selling property one aspect not to be overlooked is the conveyancing works. Conveyancing is a legal requirement but did you know you can DIY conveyancing? A quick search on the internet will provide a plethora of information on do it yourself conveyancing.

You could save money if you are willing to invest your time and effort. Though is this saved money really worth it? And if completed incorrectly it may cost you much more in the end. The time to rectify any mistakes could cause a seller to withdraw the property or a bank mortgage offer to expire.

Do It Yourself Conveyancing

Property these days is not cheap. In fact it will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make. Upwards of half a million dollars is spent on property. Half a million compared to the average conveyancing solicitors fees of under a thousand dollars. When a legal process is involved it usually follows that someone in the legal profession is employed.

Yes do it yourself conveyancing selling is possible. The information on the process can be found and read. A diy conveyancing guide can be searched for on the internet. But be prepared for legal jargon and possibly a legal headache. And what if the information on the internet is incorrect? You can purchase a DIY kit from companies but these cannot possibly replace the work of a professional.

What is Conveyancing?

Being aware of the ins and outs of property law is going to be handy if you are going to endeavour to try DIY conveyancing. It can hold up the process of your bank actioning any payments required to purchase your property. Conveyancing involves the transferring of ownership of a legal title of land (property) from one person or entity to another.

Conveyancing is covered in three stages;

  • Before the contract
  • Before the completion
  • After the completion

A snapshot of some but not all of the services provided by conveyancing solicitors are;

  • Advice on the effect of the contract
  • Certificate of Title searches
  • Preparation and certification of legal documents
  • Calculation of adjustments of rates and taxes
  • Preparation of settlement statements
  • Working with mortgagors and financiers

Do it yourself conveyancing is not a walk in the park, get something wrong and the whole buying and selling process will be held up. In real terms this could mean that the sellers decide to withdraw the property due to time issues. Or a mortgage approval offer in jeopardy of expiring.

Are these consequences worth the relatively small amount of cash saved on a property purchase? The time that will need to be put it if you diy conveyancing is also something to consider. What is the cost of all the time needed to be put into the process?

Buying or selling property is a big deal involving huge sums of money. Don’t make the mistake of falling for DIY conveyancing kits.

A special thank you to Provey Conveyancing whom have also published a DIY Conveyancing article and helped us fill in the gaps. They also have this funky Stamp Duty Calculator for Victorians that we found really easy to use.

Should You Renovate or Move?

One of the advantages of being a homeowner is getting to decide how your residence looks and functions. You can customize your home to fit your lifestyle.

But what happens when your needs or tastes change, and suddenly your home’s looks or functionality isn’t to your liking anymore? For most people, this leads to thoughts of either renovating their current home or moving to another one. There are pros and cons to each side of that decision, and here are some things to consider:

 Know your home’s limits

Sometimes, homeowners want massive changes to a home’s footprint – removing walls, adding windows or doors, etc. But every home is engineered to be structurally sound the way it was built. Projects such as removing walls or adding windows might threaten that structural integrity.

That means you simply might not be able to do everything you want to do during a renovation. If your plans are structure-altering in scope, it’s a must to consult with a master design builder  experienced in Home renovations and extensions and/or a contractor experienced in home construction to determine whether your vision is even possible. This could include a second storey.  If it’s not, do you want to spend money on something that’s less than your ideal?

How much is too much?

Once you know the renovation can be done, the obvious next step is determining what it will cost. And this is where it gets tricky.
A homeowner could, for example, spend $5,000 for a minor kitchen spruce-up, or pay $100,000 for a major overhaul. Aside from the question of what you can spend, there’s also the matter of what you should spend.

The general rule of thumb is that with kitchen and bath renovations, you can recoup somewhere around 75 percent of your cost in your home’s value. But if you live in a $200,000 home in a neighborhood of other $200,000 homes, your home won’t be instantly worth $275,000 just because you spend $100,000 on a new kitchen. It might not be financially responsible to spend half your home’s value to renovate it. It’s this realization that often leads homeowners to think about moving.

Calculate all the costs of moving

If moving to a different home becomes an option, it’s important to weigh all the costs compared to a renovation.

For example, if you move to an existing house, will you need to remodel that one to your exact liking? If you want everything your way as soon as you move in, is new construction a consideration? That’s the way to fully customize a home, but it’s typically more expensive than buying an existing one.

There are other costs to weigh beyond actual home price, too. If you take out a new mortgage, you’ll be paying interest over many years. It’s easy to say “If we’re going to spend $100,000 on a renovation, we might as well put it toward a new house.” But over a 30-year mortgage, that $100,000 will also come with tens of thousands of dollars in interest. Using your existing home’s equity to pay for a renovation would likely result in interest charges, too, but the rate on an equity line of credit is usually lower than on a mortgage.

Speaking of equity, if you’re close to paying off an existing mortgage, or even halfway through a 30-year home loan, do you want to sign up for a new mortgage and start that clock ticking again? There are opportunity costs with every decision, and the opportunity to have no house payment in a shorter period of time is a real one.

Remember, too, that changing houses might also include paying a moving company as well as buying new furnishings. These are sometimes home-buying costs that “move-up” buyers don’t always consider when deciding to move.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule on whether to renovate or move, and it truly is a personal decision. It helps to weigh all the factors involved – and they’re not all obvious – when making that decision.

About The Author

Adam Morgan is logistics manager at Men That Move the best removalists Sydney that provides local moves in Sydney and Melbourne as well as interstate moves sydney and Melbourne . Adam also enjoys writing in his spare time and providing up to date information in the logistics and moving industry.

Considering A Rammed Earth Home Build?

Rammed earth construction is foundation, floors and walls made from natural
materials like earth, clay, sand,lime and chalk. It is most commonly used
as a wall system in buildings.The mixture is proportioned and machine
compacted into removable formwork making a stone like walls. It is fire
resistant, water resistant, load bearing and long lasting. Not only is the
material extremely environmentally friendly it is also architecturally
beautiful. The Rammed earth home building materials bring texture and colour that is
not found with man made building materials. The walls are load bearing
meaning they can be used throughout the building. Rammed earth
constructions demands builders skilled in this type of construction.

The many benefits of rammed earth construction include;

  • Environmentally sustainable

  • Suitable for high risk fire areas (4 hr fire rating)

  • Thermally regulated for lower energy costs

  • Highly energy efficient

  • Resistant to pests and termites (due to no spaces or cavities)

  • Health benefits from no VOC’s as all material is organic

rammed earth constructions

Image courtesy of Earth Structures Group

Fire Resistant Properties in Rammed Earth Walls

In a bushfire prone areas, for those people living in high fire risk areas,
building with rammed earth means a better fire resistant home. It has a 4
hour fire rating. It is a very popular building material in high fire risk
places. Rammed earth material is also recyclable unlike traditional
building materials such as concrete and steel. The maintenance is much
lower than plaster walls, timber floors or your usual construction

Another advantage of rammed earth building materials is the thermal aspect.
The walls are a radiant heat source. With excellent environmental planning
homes can have solar panels, outer wall insulation and rammed earth walls
to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. This is another reason
its is important to work with expert rammed earth construction specialists.

The rammed earth walls have excellent acoustics, cancelling out harsh
echoes with such thick and compact construction. The building will be calm
and bring a tranquil sound quality.

Rammed Earth Walling System

Often most rammed earth construction is used as a walling system for homes
as they are load bearing. The amazing look of rammed earth walls brings a
bespoke and beautiful visual appeal to any home. But it is also possible to
have a feature wall built from rammed earth. And landscaping with rammed
earth is another construction use.

Architects love to work with rammed earth as the look is so natural and
unique. In addition the unseen aspect of rammed earth walls is the acoustic
benefit. The sound does not bounce off or through the walls, meaning a
peaceful and serene feeling to the home.

What is the Cost of Rammed Earth Walls

Generally the square metre is around $200 to $350. But it depends on
different factors. The cost is more than everyday building materials but is
offset by the little maintenance and long lasting durability. Not to
mention less trades are needed. The rammed earth walls do not require
painting or rendering due to the natural beauty of the walls. This means no
extra trade costs of renderers and painters. And it’s water resistant
properties mean it does not usually require waterproofing.

Overall building with rammed earth is becoming more popular, especially in
bushfire prone locations. Planning of rammed earth construction is vital
and essential. Incorporating solar aspects of the build with rammed earth
construction will mean the best outcome for heating and cooling. Plus an
energy efficient and sustainable building or home. Only work with experts
in rammed earth construction.


Tips for Maintaining Your Garden

In case if you have a garden set at home, then that shall be the most important part of the house. This is because when you have a garden, everything starts from there. In most cases, a garden is located in the front of the house, or the garden surrounds the house. In both cases, it has a great influence on the look of the house, and that is why it is important that you keep it healthy and make sure that it always appears good. So here are some of the tips to maintain your garden.

Think before you buy:

This is probably the first and the most important thing when it comes to maintaining a garden. It all starts with the process of buying. Whenever you buy something for your garden, it is important that you examine it carefully and make sure that it fits your garden. Never buy something that you will least prefer to grow in your garden or seed that will be nothing but garbage. Also, certain plants never grow in certain places. So do proper research before you buy something for your garden.

Look of the house:

We already saw that a garden would have a lot of impact on the look of the house and that is why it is important that you go with the type of garden that suits the look of your house and the one that you will be able to maintain in the long. Everybody wants to have a beautiful garden, but the problem with that garden is that sometimes they are not able to maintain it. So make sure that you have a garden that you can maintain. A garden always has to complement your house.

Keep them healthy:

The first quality of a beautiful garden is that it is healthy. So the first thing that you make sure with your garden is that you keep it healthy. Weed out your garden on a regular basis and always be on a lookout for bugs. A little bit of carelessness can ruin the beauty of the entire garden. Bugs have the character of transplanting harmful virus and bacteria that can cause disease. Apart from that, an unhealthy garden can also harm the inmates of the house.

Water it properly:

As much as it is important for you to keep yourself hydrated, it is more important for plants to stay hydrated. The major energy that they draw for the living is from air, water and sunlight. While they can automatically get the other sources, water is something that has to be given to them periodically and in the right quantity. So water your plants properly.

Create the right ambience:

While some plants require a lot of sunlight, other plants don’t. That is why we are bringing this to your concern. Plants have to be grown in proper lighting conditions, and it also has to be made sure that they are prone to proper air circulation if they require them. So make sure you provide them with the ambience that they require to help them grow healthily.

Top 5 Garden Tools That You Must Have

Garden is quite an interesting task that many of us. However, it is not going to get complete without the necessary tools that are required to keep them clean and neat. If you are a lover of gardening and love spending a lot of time in your garden then probably you must be having all these tools. If you are a beginner yourself, then you might not know the things that you have to own. So here are some of the tools that every gardener should possess.

Wheel Barrow:

This is probably the last thing that many people have on their list of tools, but I would always love to place this first because of the lack of importance it receives among people who love gathering. Only a very few people realise the importance of a wheelbarrow. Cleaning your garden is the first tip always to have a beautiful and well-kept garden. I wonder how people clean all the mess without a wheelbarrow in their garden gear?

Digging Spade vs Dibber

I would say you need them both. Of course, as a gardener, you must be carrying a digging spade, but little do you know about a dibber. A dibber is a tool that is used for making a hole in the soil and the one that can be used to plant seeds and small saplings. A lot of people use spade here, and that is where they go wrong. A digging spade might not solve the purpose. Instead, we would recommend that you use a dibber for them and spade when you are actually planting something bigger.

Garden Knife and scissors:

These again are the two essential tools that you always should have as a gardener, and that is important to carry out a lot of everyday gardening activities. Cutting, pruning, trimming and shaping the shrubs or plants that you grow are very much important for maintaining the look of the garden, and that is why we suggest that you always have a good garden knife and scissors. Of course, you do not fail to carry them as a gardener. Just a humble reminder!

Golden Gark:

A golden girl is again one of the most effective tools that we should have to maintain the garden. Quite contrary to that we have a lot of people who do not even know what a golden gark is. It is a multi-purpose tool that can be used as a rake, shovel and a soil sift at the same time. This way you are saving a lot of time and money. So do not forget to gift yourself a gark, if you love gardening.


An oscillating hoe is something that all of us know. With the help of the hoe, you can level an entire location of soil. The movements are simple, you pull, punch and move. It has a long handle and comes with a swivel head and thereby it is again very much useful.


make your garden look best