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Home Renovations: A new outlook in City Beach

TV renovation shows start with teams ripping up tiles, tearing off fittings and knocking down walls. In reality, a great renovation takes careful planning from the first meeting. Read on to discover how the Williams family took those first steps to transform their 1960s house into a modern family paradise.

Julia Williams had spent almost all of her life in her parents’ City Beach home. The house had been built in the 1960s with an upstairs area added in the early 1980s. When her parents decided it was time to sell, Julia and her husband Simon decided to buy the house and make it their own.  

Unfortunately the brown colour scheme and clashing second storey extension didn't appeal to anyone - even the owners!

Unfortunately the brown colour scheme and clashing second storey extension didn’t appeal to anyone – even the owners!

With four growing children, the Williams are an active family who need a lot of space. Buying the house was an easy decision for emotional reasons, but their list of frustrations with their old home grew every day.

“The 1960s decor and layout didn’t suit our lifestyle at all,” said Julia. “A wholesale renovation and extension was in order. The upstairs addition was a real heat trap and the garden area was a bit of a waste of valuable space.”

Their wish list of home transformations was long:

  • Add a bedroom
  • Add a bathroom and toilet
  • Add a study
  • Relocate the laundry
  • Extend the kitchen and ensuite
  • Fix the upstairs heat trap which made their bedroom almost uninhabitable in summer
  • Restyle the older bedrooms
  • Create more space and give their home a contemporary feel

Before

  • Heat trap
  • Dark bricks
  • 1960s layout
  • Wasted space

After

  • Modern render
  • Colourbond roof
  • Extra rooms
  • Space for the family

Determined to renovate the home that Julia had grown up in, she and Simon knew it was a huge job but felt confident that the right builder could help them to create their dream home.

Enter Exactus Homes.

The first steps forward

Julia and Simon got in touch with our Director, Ralph Brewer, and discussed their frustrations with the old house and hopes for the kind of home they wanted. Ralph listened to their needs and worked with the Williams and our designer to scope the project and create a detailed estimate.

“Our estimates are very comprehensive,” said Ralph. “We like to include anything that might be incurred and list it all over several pages. In this case, Julia and Simon felt happy that any variations would be minimal.”

Choosing a builder is sometimes a long process but good recommendations from friends and family makes choosing somewhat easy.

Julia, Exactus Homes Client

The Exactus Homes process

Here are the steps the Williams followed with Exactus Homes – and what you can expect to follow before any renovation project begins.

  1. Create your wish list.
    This involves an initial meeting and design consultation. We will discuss your expectations and give ideas on what can be achieved.
  2. We create a sketch plan and provide a rough cost estimate.
    Based on our experience, we can provide an approximate price range based on the sketch plans. We can talk about how to adjust the plans to meet any budget parameters you might have.
  3. A ‘Preparation of Plans Agreement’ is drawn up.
    Once you’re happy with the price range and sketch plans, we ask for a deposit to cover the cost of drawing up plans. If you proceed, this deposit is refunded.
  4. Your plans are prepared.
    Our experienced draftspeople will prepare your plans with all of the exact details and measurements. This enables us to produce an accurate estimate and apply for planning approval (if required).
  5. Choose your finishes.
    Enjoy selecting your finishes such as tiles, fixtures and fittings from your choice of suppliers. If you don’t have time, we have Pre-start Consultants who can help.
  6. Receive your Fixed Price Contract.
    We calculate the exact costs so you know the final budget and exactly what to expect.
  7. Approvals are handled for you.
    Our team will submit the plans to your council and manage your planning and building approvals.

“With the Williams, the process went smoothly as usual and they were excited to make their selections,” said Ralph. “I would mention to them what was required for an upcoming stage, such as ensuite tiles, and Julia would set off for the tile shops, which she rather enjoyed!”

The Exactus Homes difference

Once the building stage of the renovation began, everything continued to run smoothly.

The exciting part begins… transforming from old and tired to shiny and new.

The exciting part begins… transforming from old and tired to shiny and new.

“We were very impressed,” said Julia. “Whenever a problem arose, it was dealt with promptly and without fuss.”

The family lived in the house through the renovation process but moved out during some major works, including asbestos removal.

We had heard horror stories before and this did play on our minds but we didn’t have any major issues during our renovations. The whole job only took six months and we moved out for only six weeks!

Julia, Exactus Homes Client

During the time they weren’t living in the house, Julia and Simon made regular visits to the site and were happy that Ralph always took the time to explain progress and let them know what to expect next.

“Everyone involved seemed genuine in their efforts to provide us with a great home. They demonstrated respect for our kids and our property. Ralph seemed to take it all in his stride and was accommodating to our views and opinion.”

There's nothing like a Before and After picture to demonstrate the transformation from the very frustrating original laundry, to the sparkling new, practical laundry!

There’s nothing like a Before and After picture to demonstrate the transformation from the very frustrating original laundry, to the sparkling new, practical laundry!

To see all of the before and after photos from this case study, you can access the full story online here:

Download the Williams family case study and learn more.

A new family home in just six months

“For our first renovation, we have had a great experience with Exactus Homes,” said Julia. “It is clear that you get what you pay for with a building company. We were provided with diligent workers, and a flexible approach, where below standard work was not tolerated.”

“Our house has been transformed from dark and dreary brown clinker-bricks, to an uplifting grey render with a white Colourbond roof. We now have a recreational area to suit our outdoor lifestyle.”

This City Beach home is now a magnet for friends and parties!

This City Beach home is now a magnet for friends and parties!

“Our old family home is a new family home and we are delighted. We actually found the whole process really enjoyable and would definitely do it again – if Ralph and Exactus Homes are available!”

“The Williams made the right decision to renovate and it will pay dividends,” said Ralph. “Not only have they invested in creating the kind of family home they need, but they’ve added considerably to the value of their home. It’s a real win-win for them.”

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