Deciding to renovate is a big decision, and research is the best place to start if you’re interested in redesigning your home.

Dreaded Council Approval

architect design 3D plans renovationYour sister in law, old school friends and work colleagues are telling you about how they know of someone who was absolutely ecstatic about renovating, only to have to wait a whole year for their plans to be approved by council.

As soon as you think about renovating, getting your design approved by council often creeps into your subconscious, whispering “fights with neighbours”, “shadow diagrams” and “development control plans”.

The problem with local councils is that a long list of issues may crop up and until they’re happy, your plans will be refused.

But don’t lose hope! According to the Department of Local Government, it takes an average of 53 days for council approval in most Sydney suburbs.

The most important thing for a smooth sail through council approvals is rational, professionally drawn up plans – obviously council will not approve a two story addition that blocks out natural light for properties on every side of you, or a sketch of an attic conversion on the back of a napkin.

Consideration for your neighbours is also important – so go have a chat, and see how they feel about your renovation ideas before you lodge plans.

Tips to Remember

When you do make the decision to renovate, you’ll be overcome with excitement and ideas – write them all down and collect pictures and colour samples in a scrap book.dream modern kitchen dark wood wine cellar

This makes it a lot easier for your architect or designer to visualise what you would like your home to be, rather than trying to get the picture telepathically.

On that note, while your budget may be restricted, it’s certainly worth the money to hire a professional to design your renovation – your friend who’s a carpenter’s apprentice might know about building, but it’s just not the same as design.

Be totally honest and realistic about money; if you can’t afford a renovation, don’t start it! Otherwise, stick tightly to budget and consider renovating select areas like the living room and kitchen rather than the whole house.

A renovation may mean you get the opportunity for new appliances (exciting!), but it’s also an opportunity to incorporate more energy efficient and environmentally friendly fittings and fixtures into your home.

Whether you’ve got renovation tales to tell or more words of wisdom, drop us a line in the comments.

Published by Taylor

Local dLook correspondent Taylor gives a home grown look at the city that was built on rock and roll (but mostly The Rocks). Check her our in dLook's Local Look updates on Digital Editions

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