Search This Blog

Friday, 26 October 2012

Adding Useable Living Space to Your Home

One way to add living space to your home is by creating an outdoor living space. This can be done by adding a verandah to the outside structure of your house. Verandahs have a very adaptable design and can be simple design to a most stylish and modern garden room. Flooring can run from a deck to an easy cleaning tiled floor.
Verandahs usually have a closed roof with open sides like a gazebo, except they are attached to the house. Adding blinds can block the sun if your verandah faces the sun at the time of day you wish to be outside.
As an added bonus, verandahs can also keep you protected from the blast of light shining in on the inside of your house. You will be able to open curtains and enjoy the view no matter what time of year it is.
There are several different verandah roof types to choose from.  verandahs for granny flats
Bullnose verandahs provide very effective insulation

  • the curve of a veranda cuts off direct sunlight and weather into your rooms. As a result, rooms behind a bullnose verndah remain surprisingly cool, even on notoriously hot Australia summer days.
  • They provide a pleasing outdoor living area that can be used by all the family. 
  • They are beautiful architecturally enhancing the asthetics of your home.
You can also have a veranda that is flat roofed or gabled or curved roof.
Additional items to add to your verandah are rails and frets to add that little a bit of style to your new verandah.
If you would prefer something not attached to your house a gazebo is the perfect option. Gazebos are buildings set out from your home, have a closed roof but are open on all sides for a 360° view. If you have a larger back yard, this may be a more interesting option.
gazebos for living spacesBuilding a gazebo is an easier task, just because the structure is not attached to the house. The roof is covered with boards, shakes or shingles. The vertical posts that hold the roof up are set in concrete to make sure you have a solid structure. Make sure they are straight and squared up properly so the rest of your gazebo is easy to build.
gazebos for kithomesUse cedar if possible for your gazebo, it will last forever if you buy the best quality and build it correctly. Gazebos can be used for entertaining or just outdoor relaxation. A gazebo for an outdoor hot tub, set inside a raised deck is a perfect relaxation idea!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Raising Funds for a Building Project

Choosing a lender or a bank

Providing you meet certain criteria’s, all lenders will want to lend you money.

granny flat finance in AustraliaAn exception might be when borrowing against a block of land without a house. Here, you will probably have to search a little further, or provide the lender with an idea of what you want to do with the land and when.

It pays to shop around for the lender that best meets your needs before making your decision. Don’t just take the first choice. The more you shop and take notes of the options available at different lending institutions the wiser you will become when making your final decision.

Some lenders will reject you outright because you don’t match their criteria, don’t be disheartened. For each lender not willing there is another ready to bend a few rules to help.  Some guide lines to follow are:
  • Do your comparisons:

Make some comparisons on paper between 4 or 5 different lending institutions. Financial   institutions will want your business but they may not suit your needs. Some institutions may not require a large deposit but may sting you extra charges on the other end. This kind of information will become known to you once you have written comparisons.
  • Shop Around:

granny flat financeThis will give you a better understanding of the lending institutions terminologies. Doing your own research puts you in control rather than feeling that you are being controlled.
  • Flexibility:

Always remember, without YOU a lending institution does not survive so they need to make the offer as attractive to you as are your needs to find the lender. Which lender will provide you the greatest flexibility?
  • Early Payout Clause:

Does the lender allow for early payout should you decide to put more money down than the monthly requirement, or do they impose penalties?  This is an important question because you don't know what lies ahead and you need to prepare yourself for any eventuality.
  • Banks versus Independent Brokers:

Having some banking history with one particular bank can be most beneficial. They will be looking to keep your business and although they might offer more rigidity than brokers and their interest payment terms might be higher, building yourself some creditability can offset some of the rigid rules. To keep your business, the bank might be willing to stretch a little, so don’t under estimate your power once you have collected all your data to approach them with things that their competitors are doing. Independent brokers on the other hand are more flexible to offer lower interest rates.
  • Free Financial Services:

Most banking institutions provide free financial advisors. This is a good place to start because you will be able to gather information and feedback that you can use when doing your comparisons.
  • Additional Fees:

Have you calculated what additional money you will require over and above the loan to pay for fees such as stamp duty, legal fees, administrative costs, brokerage fees etc. In some cases these fees can be added into the overall cost of the loan making your repayments more. Otherwise this is a cost that you will have to provide independent of your deposit money.

Another factor you might have to take into consideration is the case of purchasing land only with a view to building at a later stage, what will be the time frame and what money will you need to make repayments on the land loan until you are ready to draw down on the house loan.
  • Building Restrictions:

In the situation where you want to buy land and build at a later stage, does the lender or the developer or owner of the land impose some there restrictions on the land as to the time provided when you will have to build?
  • Buy Land Today, Build Later:

Discuss your full plans including the idea of when you want to build to see how you can incorporate buying the land today and how to arrange finance down the track. Sometimes better deals can be achieved if the lending institute knows the full story.
  • Government Concessions:

Check if you are elibible for any government concessions. For example, some countries like Australia and New Zealand grants are provided in order to attract first home/land buyers. This monetory assistance can be very useful addition when looking to cover other financial costs. 
  • Loan Repayments:

Have a plan in your head as to when you want to begin the building project and work out how you can achieve that as well as paying off the existing loan and living day to day also. Perhaps you are in a position where your spouse is also working, so one income can be used to repayments and the other for day to day living.
  • Interest Only versus Principle+Interest:

If you are looking to purchase land and build immediately in order to sell again, consider to look at interest only borrowings rather than interest and principle. Understand that normally when you are looking at interest and capital repayments, within the first 7 years you are only paying interest. The capital repayment does not kick in until after 7 years. Interest only loans are often cheaper.

Once you know the requirements sometimes there are ways in which you can become more creative in being able to finance your project. For the sake of repeating myself, there can never be enough research done.

In Summary:
  • Contact has many lenders to gather different loan criteria’s.
  • Evaluate the different options available to suit your needs.
  • Weigh up the benefits of flexibility.
  • Pay attention to exit penalties when you want to re-sell early.
  • Banking history can be beneficial.
  • Are you eligible for Government assistance as a first time buyer?.
  • Make sure your figures being presented to a lending institute stack up!
  • Leave a financial safety margin for any unforeseeable happenings.
  • Determine what kind of loan repayments suit you, Principal and Interest, or Interest only.
The Nova Group hopes this information is helpful when you are looking to finance your kithome or granny flat project.  Article by Michael King

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

How to Add Luxury to Your Shower

There have been so many shower type innovations in the last 10 years. Things such as shower panels with multiple jets and showerheads that make you feel like you are standing under a waterfall, sauna up fits and heated towel bars. Each of these innovations are designed to make you feel on top of the world.
However, as with all new innovative ideas once you succumb to the impulse buy then you also have to address that luxury items are technically more complicated than to install normal ordinary shower.
For example, a multiple shower install means that you will need larger water lines - at least 3/4" pipe and it needs to be a direct line from your water source. This will ensure that you have enough water pressure. It also means you will need more pipes because you will need the pipe to loop, eliminating dribbling shower heads. Saunas require a steam generation method and require adding extra framing and plumbing.
Depending on what you are installing and how complex it is, you can plan on not having your shower for 1 to 2 weeks.
You will need to be able to do basic framing, have electrical knowledge and know how to do plumbing. You may want to consider professional help if you do not have these basic skills. You may also want a professional to do the planning part, just so you know it is correctly installed.
Six Steps to a Power Shower Using an Existing Shower
·    Remove existing drywall from the adjoining wall so that you can install the framing and blocks to mount the control panels and the showerheads. You will also need to install a GFCI outlet in this frame and you need to have this professionally installed.
·    With the template that came with your shower upgrade, install the water lines and all the fixtures. Be sure to follow the directions for the water supply valve installations and the water hammer arrestors that run to the fixtures. Do not connect them to the control unit. Fasten the controller to the frame per the directions.
·    Using the manufacturer's diagram, find any outlets that will not be used and plug them. Be sure to use Teflon tape and make them tight, but not overly tight.
·    Using unions, hook up the hot and cold (3/4 inch) supply lines. They should be marked with color coding so you know which one is hot and which one is cold. Connect the outlets to the proper pipes and attach the pipes securely to the frame. Be sure that there is no movement or you will have pipes rattling.
·    Install pressure loops for showers that have more than one showerhead. This is essential if you are integrating fixtures together, or even if you only have the one fixture but it has multiple heads on it. You want all the heads or jets to have equal force. If you have lines ending at each head instead of continuing on through all the heads, you will have showerheads that dribble water instead of coming out of each head with the same force.
·    Attach the power unit per the instructions and make sure the door on the valve unit is sealed thoroughly. Turn on the water and check for leaks, tighten anything that leaks. Check to see if the valve powers on and that the light indicator is on.
 Finally, be sure to install an access door on the wall after you are finished so that you have access to everything when you re-finish the drywall.
The Nova Group often use innovative ideas when designing their kithomes and luxury houses.