Do You Trust Your Renovations Contractor?

Do You Trust Your Renovations Contractor?
When it comes to renovation project, we believe the most important step is finding a trustworthy renovations contractor. We’ve all heard the horror stories of a nightmare contractors who cause delays and generally complete work of poor quality. However, what you might not consider is the sneaky contractor. ‘Sneaky’ Renovations Contractor When we talk about a ‘sneaky’ contractor what do we mean? Simply put, a sneaky contractor goes out of their way to bring down costs without the full knowledge of the homeowner. Typically, this is done by using cheap alternative building materials. While in theory this isn’t sneaky behaviour. It soon becomes malicious when the contractors’ prices don’t reflect the quality. But what if the prices are reflective of the true material costs? We may still define a contractor as ‘sneaky’. Especially if the homeowner is not made fully aware of the implications of cutting costs. Stuff.co.nz recently published a story of an Auckland home using non-compliant wiring. During a major renovation, the electrician found dodgy wiring inside the walls. The cable used was not rated to New Zealand standards, and had they caused a fire, the homes insurance may not have covered the damages. Luckily, these homeowners had an honest electrician who found the issue and explained the significance of the problem. However, it isn’t uncommon for contractors to slip thing by the owners, either to bring their price down, or to increase their margins. What does an honest renovation contractor look like? Not to paint a grim picture of all contractors, but it is important to stay vigilant when working with home renovators. As tempting as...

How to Survive a Major Renovation in an Age of Building Delays

How to Survive a Major Renovation in an Age of Building Delays
Surviving the strain of living through a major renovation is more gruelling than ever as the building materials shortage is in many instances doubling the amount of time families have to co-exist with the dust, the noise and the disorder of a building site. Mark Trafford, managing director and founder of the national renovations franchise Maintain To Profit said however, that with an active coping plan in place, families are still getting through what is both a stressful and rewarding event in their lives. “I lived through a major renovation of a 1970s house with a young family – the children were two and five years old, so I understand that it can be tough.” Trafford says living on-site while the house is undergoing a major renovation can create health and safety hazards. “You also get builders turning off the power and water so they can work, which can very hard on a family, if you don’t have coping strategies. “The lucky families are the ones that can afford to put the furniture in storage and move into an Airbnb, but even then the budget is getting hammered by extended stays in the Airbnb (or with family) due to scarcity of building materials. With the building materials shortage worsening, Trafford says relationships between builders and customers can become strained as frustrations build-up, but current circumstances are beyond a builder’s control. “During our first renovation, we lived downstairs for two months while they renovated upstairs, and then when the upstairs was complete, we moved downstairs for two months. It was very stressful, especially when tradespeople turned up at 7am and...

Winter is Coming, and so Are New Healthy Homes Standards

Winter is Coming, and so Are New Healthy Homes Standards
Landlords, are you losing money to procrastination? If you own a rental property, you will be aware that the clock is ticking on the 1 July new Healthy Homes Standards – your tenants most certainly will be. From 1 July 2021, the fine for failing to comply with the standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy is $7,200, plus the additional costs of making your home compliant and any mark-ups you may face due to last-minute demand. If you fail to provide healthy homes information you could face a charge of $750.   Avoid Confusion One reason some landlords are procrastinating is that the information is confusing. For example, the Government has made wattage, not temperature, the goal of measurement for a rental property living room. One of the new standards also calls for the size of the openable windows and doors to be at least five percent of floor space in each room, while another speaks about ‘noticeable drafts’. An unclear understanding of the standards may result in you paying more than you have to, as well as being caught short. If you’re a landlord struggling to understand the detail of what’s required, talk to Maintain To Profit about getting a healthy home assessment.   Summary of Standards The 1 July deadline – now just weeks away – for implementing the new regulations will require landlords to have their properties up to these minimum standards for new and renewed tenancies: Heating: Every rental property should have one or more compliant fixed heaters that can heat the main living room to the required heating capacity. You can...

Best Home Improvement Upgrades to Help you Sell Your Home

Best Home Improvement Upgrades to Help you Sell Your Home
Have you been considering upgrading your home to boost its selling value? Do you know what sort of improvements to prioritize to get the most out of your money? Indeed, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, it pays to know some basic home improvement concepts that you can customise according to your needs, target market, and budget. We listed some of the best house revamp ideas you can tap into to attract more potential buyers and avoid blowing your budget. #1. Work on Your Curb Appeal First impressions matter, so what better way to wow buyers with a beautiful home exterior. There are a ton of things you can do, ranging from repainting the exterior walls, installing flower boxes, cleaning up the driveway, and upgrading your exterior lighting fixtures. To know what you should do for your home exterior, we recommend taking a walk around the property. #2. Revamp the Outdoor Space Outdoor spaces make an excellent addition to any property. It can quickly become another go-to area of the new family who will move in. If you’re looking for a simple upgrade, you can add a patio or deck. It will be the perfect hangout during summer, and it can drive up your home’s selling price by up to 30 percent. If you don’t mind spending a bit more money, you can add a sunroom or perhaps install awnings to create an outdoor lounge. #3. Adding Extra Square Footage Many couples and families looking for new homes strongly value extra square footage. The new homeowners can conveniently turn the spare room or space for storage, kids’ play corner,...

How To Finance Your Renovation Project

How To Finance Your Renovation Project
Renovating your home not only increases the selling value but also improves the quality of your life by transforming the property into your dream home. According to the Westpac NZ Construction Lending Specialist Francis Reade the most popular reasons for renovation include: – Cosmetic tidy ups before selling – Sprucing up the garden – Upgrading the kitchen – Building an extension for a growing family – Building an outdoor living area for entertaining – Adding an extra room for a home business – Building a minor dwelling to rent it out There are several ways to finance your home or investment property renovation without breaking your bank account: A Home Equity Line of Credit If you have enough equity in your home (for example if you house is worth $1 million and your mortgage is $400,000) the bank would give you an overdraft-type of facility that has a mortgage interest rate and you spend it when you want to, providing there is no major structural alterations to the existing home.   A Home Equity or Home Improvement Loan If you don’t have a lot of equity the bank would let you know the pre-approval amount they are willing to lend. The bank would control the loan. The customer would send the bank a copy of the contract and invoices for the renovation and the bank would approve the loan and pay the invoice directly to the contractor when required. Banks usually allow the owner to borrow up to 70 per cent of the property value. Renovation loans can cover a wide range of home improvements including driveways, extensions, landscaping, basic spruce ups like painting and floor coverings, swimming pools and more.   Apply for a...

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