Five Questions with Keperra Home Renovator Lerissa

We love a good home renovation project – but even more so, we love to meet the people behind a good home renovation project.

Today we caught up with Lerissa and asked her five questions as she embarks on a home renovation project in Keperra, Brisbane.

Why did you decide to extend/renovate?

We bought our home in 2002 just prior to Brisbane’s housing boom. We love our tiny mortgage, but we have found ourselves at a cross-road now that our children are almost teenagers – do we move to a bigger home that better meets our needs [and deal with the bigger mortgage] or do we renovate to make better use of the space we have?

We like our location and we would prefer for our children not to have to change schools.  When we looked at the housing market in our local area we found that we would get better value for our dollar by investing in our current home.  We have never renovated before so we will start small by opening up our kitchen / dining / lounge area.  We will then redesign our kitchen, and replace the deck at the front entrance..

What will be the best features of your renovated house?

It will be our open-plan kitchen.  Our current kitchen is very tiny. Often in the evening when we are all swapping stories about our day one of two scenarios happen:  1) We are all squashed into the small kitchen which leaves no space for preparing meals, or 2) one person is preparing meals missing out on the day’s wrap-up.  The open plan will help us interact better while we go about our day.

How will you manage your budget?

Research and patience.  When you see plans for your space you want it to happen immediately.  Allow time to research what work is required, get several quotes for this work.  Make decisions independent of “one-time” only deals that are being offered.  It’s our first experience with renovating so we are relying heavily on work being completed by others.  Unfortunately this is expensive, so we really need to know what we are getting for our dollar – we ask a lot of questions!

What is the best thing about living at Keperra?

We have lived here for many years and have seen the community change significantly in the past 5 years.  The  local facilities are fantastic – great variety of shops, schools and public transport.  A quick 20 minute drive and we can either be in the city or 10 minutes in the opposite direction we can be enjoying a drive through the country via Samford Valley.

Do you have some advice for someone about to start a renovation project?

  1. Save photos of things you like and have them easily accessible on a phone or tablet.  This is really handy when discussing your plans and you can’t articulate what you want, or you need to check that you are both on the same page about a design/plan.
  2. Start to declutter – NOW!
  3. If your floor plan is changing, mark out the new plan with cardboard boxes or tape if you can.  Is the new space – that looks great on paper – practical for day-to-day living?
  4. Be realistic with timeframes and what you can achieve with your budget.

Thank You Lerissa

Thank you for your time Lerissa. We can’t wait to see and hear how your renovation project progresses.

Timber Retaining Walls

At Cornell Engineers we don’t subscribe the idea of using timber in direct contact with the dirt because of durability issues (early breakdown of timber that is constantly moist).

Because of this risk we tend not to design and certify timber retaining walls. We much prefer concrete masonry walls for structural retaining walls. 

However if you really would prefer to use timber in a retaining wall then there’s a manual published by Timber Queensland that you should have a look at.  Continue reading Timber Retaining Walls