Diary of a Renovator - Fees & Foundations

It's always been a dream of mine to renovate.  Over the years we have carried out a few minor home makeovers.  Simple ones like repainting walls, stripping window frames, updating an 80's kitchen and have even had a go at tiling an outside laundry/bathroom.  Then last year we got serious.  We owned a rental property in Auckland and after 8 years of tenants it was time for a major overhaul to get the property ready for sale.  It was so successful, the house sold in record time for a great price soooo..... we decided to take the plunge again.  The photos below are of the first stages of our renovation here in Kiama....

The small sunroom above will be demolished to make way for a new dining room, 2nd lounge, master bedroom with ensuite and walk in wardrobe - bring it on!!  Of course to get to this stage we had lots of work to do and lots of fees to pay, these included....

1. Retrieve original plans of house from Council $57

2. Council building & construction levy $527

2. Detailed survey of property $1133

3. Draughtsman (includes all council and private certifier paperwork) $4840

4. Private Certifier (including all inspections paper work) $1337

5. Engineers plans for footings and foundations $880

All of the above was paid up before any building began so make sure you allow for fees if you are planning a renovation, it is a big hidden expense that a lot of newbies don't factor into their budget.  It took around 5 weeks to get that all organised and the plans were approved quickly thanks to our Draughtsman and Private Certifier.

Once the sunroom was demolished, bricks were removed from the back of the house and it was boarded up to keep the weather out.  Then the footings were dug, concrete poured and brickwork began on the extension.


The termite mesh is on and we are now ready for bearers and joists which should be installed by the end of the week - weather permitting - followed by the floor, frame work then removal of part of the roof!  Stay tuned for the next step, trust me it will get a lot more interesting over the next few weeks (I promise)!!