All Topics / Value Adding / Our first reno project

Viewing 20 posts - 61 through 80 (of 288 total)
  • Profile photo of craigcasscraigcass
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    @craigcass
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 1

    Just a quick note guys… I'm 29 and after reading lots & researching lots, I'm just getting into this investing caper. Your thread has been a real inspiration to get out there & give it a go!

    I think all of us here, Property Virgins of seasoned campaigners can learn something from your experiences.
    Good Luck, keep up the good work!

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Hi craigcass
    Just to let you in on a secret i (flic) am 28 and jase is 29, we also have 4 kids, our youngest is the cutie in our photo (now 9 months). So if we can do it then I'm sure lots of others can, including you.

    Its never too late.

    Flic

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Mon 2nd July
    -Loan is approved unconditionally. At last!
    -asked mortgage broker about reducing mortgage insurance
    -asked solicitor to request early access to the property to start work.
    -called a draftsman to draw plans for carport
    -inquired about 2 more houses

    Profile photo of mum2fivemum2five
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    @mum2five
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 69

    YAY, finally huh :) Hope they now allow early access for you

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Teus 3rd July
    -asked mortgage broker to change loan from 95%LVR to 90%. This will reduce mortgage insurace from about $4630 to about $3030. We don't have enough cash to do the deal at 80%, but at least $3030 is a lot better than $4630.
    -got a quote from the draftsman to have plans drawn for the carport. He said about $600 for plans, plus another $400-$600 for the building inspector/surveyor to do the permit. Lots of money for 2 posts and 3 rafters.

    Hi mum2five
    Yes, very relieved about loan. Fingers crossed on early access. The vendor has already moved out most of the furniture and bought elsewhere. They are really just camping at the house, so hopefully they will be glad to get out of it a bit sooner.

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Wed 4th July and Thur 5th July
    -got another quote on carpet and floating floor
    -another quote on plans and permit for carport -$570 for both, but i have to supply copy of house plans from council – costs $82.50 to get council plans. So $652.50 total. Sounds pretty cheap to me. Bargain

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Sun 8th July
    Not much happened the last couple of days. We are expecting to hear tomorrow (Mon) if we can have early access to start the work. If so then we should get keys on Fri 13th. If not then settlement is Aug 1st.

    I have decided to apply to become a registered builder because any building works worth more than $5k are supposed to be done by a registered builder. We will be ok for our first deal, but as we hope to do many more in future it will be best to be registered. The application is fairly heavy duty so I will be working on that flat out for the next few weeks.

    Profile photo of ElseElse
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    @else
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 25

    Are you going to apply for a owner builder licence or a normal builder's licence? I did a quick search for the normal permit and came up with:
    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/building/builderstradespeople/building.html

    In NSW, 2 years "relevant industry experience experience" plus a tafe certificate or advanced diploma is required. I think a certificate 4 is half the school year to do (not sure about that).

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    The limit for homeowners is $12,000. used to be $5000. its pretty hard to do $12,000 of structural work unless its an addition so I dont see why you would ever need to be an owner builder. things like gyprocking / tiling and even non-load-bearing walls dont need a builder and should be excluded.

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Hi all
    Re being a builder:
    In Vic there have been law changes in the last couple of years which mean that any work with a combined market value of over $5k requires a building permit, and some things less than 5k still need a permit eg any restumping, anything with a roof etc.
    Anything over $12k value is meant to be covered by Builders Warranty Insurance.

    You can apply to do work as an owner builder, but there are limits to how many jobs you can do – I think about one permit per person every 2-3 years, but could be wrong on that.

    Otherwise all work over $5k is meant to be done by a Registered Building Practitioner -ie a builder. And builders have to provide Warranty Insurance for 6.5 years on structural work, and 2 years (I think) on other work.
    Lots of people either don't know or don't care about these laws and keep doing all sorts of things themselves without permits. I have even done some things without permits for family etc. You can get away with it, but because we plan to do a lot of renos, doing it as a business, we want to do things legitimately and not illegally.

    As for getting registered, I am a qualified carpenter with 7 years industry experience. I am applying for something called a "Limited Registration" which means I am allowed to do only certain types of work. For me that will be Carpentry, Kitchen & Bathrooms, Garages & Carports, Landscape Structures, and Miscellaneous (painting, tiling etc). After I have had a Limited Registration for a couple of years I should be able to apply for an Unlimited Registration which would allow me to build from scratch, up to 3 stories high.

    If anyone is getting work done on your house, it is wise to check that all your trades are Registered Building Practioners (RBP), otherwise there is a good chance their work is not insured, so if something goes wrong YOU may be liable.
    Of course, this whole process adds quite a cost to getting any building work done, which is why a lot of people just do what they like and don't tell anyone. But for me, this is not the smartest thing to do in the long term.

    Also, I just got back from the monthly Investors Network Meeting organized by Troy n Bec. It was awesome. Any serious newbies and most experienced investors should try to get to these meetings. You will learn heaps. Details here http://troynbec.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=44

    Thanks to those who posted. Keep it up.

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    If I was a builder, I would be hiring myself out instead of doing reno work…….especially if the reno work is all taxed profit. yeah I know…..youre not registered…….but even on wages you would be better off than doing reno work. are you a foreigner?

    Your qualification is a major ommition in the details thus far!

    Whats the rest of the story?

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
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    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Hi crashy

    crashy wrote:
    If I was a builder, I would be hiring myself out instead of doing reno work…….especially if the reno work is all taxed profit. yeah I know…..youre not registered…..

    Once registered I may well hire out to others to increase cashflow, but this is not my primary objective. My goal is to be a property investor, not to be a builder. If I build for myself I am in control of most of the decision making. If I build for others they are the boss and I lose much control. Trying to please fussy clients can be hard for a builder.

    crashy wrote:
    ..but even on wages you would be better off than doing reno work.

    I am certainly hoping that I will make more $ from reno work than from wages. It is a risk though, so time will tell.

    crashy wrote:
    are you a foreigner?

    No, not a foreigner.

    crashy wrote:
    Your qualification is a major ommition in the details thus far! Whats the rest of the story?

    Sorry if I misled anyone by not mentioning this earlier. I was trying to mostly talk about this particular deal, not about my life story in general. But to make sure everyone knows where I am coming from, here is a summary of me:

    Jason Grace, 29yrs, Male, married 9.5years, 4 kids, live in Berwick Vic.
    Education: VCE, BA Biblical Studies, Cert 4 in General Construction- Carpentry
    Industry Experience: 1 year builders laborer (2001), 3 year Apprenticeship (normally 4 years, but got early release)(2002-2004), 2.5 years qualified (2005-present)
    Have experience in high rise apartments, 2-3 story residential, mega rich residential, factories/wharehouse & showrooms. Some experience in "normal" residential housing, but not too much. Also done a few decks, pergolas etc. Did a whole kitchen/laundry/powder room reno for mum&dad last Christmas which was great experience.
    Investing Experience: Have bought my own home, 2 rentals, and now this reno.
    Have read quite a lot of property investing books.
    Attended a Development seminar with Martin Ayles from Adelaide a year or 2 ago(hosted by Steve McNight).
    Attended the Steve McNight seminar in Melbourne in May 2007 called "How to find, finance, and buy a property bargain in 28 days". Then 2 weeks later bought the current reno project and started this thread.

    That's all that springs to mind right now. Any other questions please feel free to ask.

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
    Participant
    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Just realised I spelt McKnight wrong in the above post. Sorry Steve.
    Tues 10th July
    What a day.
    -Early access denied, BUT they said we can work on the garden, just not on the house. OK with us.
    -They offered to bring settlement forward, but based on lenders performance so far, we think best not to rock the boat. Leave settlement as August 1st
    -So I contacted vendor directly to arrange what time I will start work on garden, and during conversation she mentioned removing the spa. SHOCK!
    Apparently she had told agent to make it very clear to all buyers that spa does not come with house.
    So, called solicitor to double check contract- nothing specific about spa.
    Me: "isn't it part of fixtures & fittings?"
    Them: "Probably not"
    So after slightly recovering from initial shock, and realizing that it was probably not worth making a fight about this, I was worried that there may be pipes coming up through the deck to the spa, and that it would leave quite a mess of the deck when removed. Called owner again and she said: "No, no pipes. It just sits on the deck and we fill it with a hose when we use it."
    Ok, no problem there, I hope.
    So called agent and explained my disapointment at not being told about the spa. He explained his disapointment at me having a go at him, said he told everyone about the spa etc… Glad I got that off my chest!!

    So Lesson Learned: ask specifically  whether things like spa's are included in sale, and list them in contract if they are. Guess I should have already known that…. but heat of the moment, signing contract….

    Where do we stand now? Although disappointed, we are still confident that we can find another way to make good use of the extra space on the deck, and still make that area a strong selling point of the house. We intend to create a solution to this problem, and to reap a profit in the process.

    The good news is that I start work on the garden on Monday 16th July… but all plans subject to change without notice!!!

    Almost forgot, a mate gave me brand new door handles, soap dish, towel rail, TR holder that he had left over from another job, so just saved at about $300 off the reno cost. Nice stuff too, better than I would buy!!

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    I was quite worried about what you were doing at first, too many people jump into reno's after watching the TV shows & thinkin its easy. Good to hear you know what you are doing.

    The reason I ask about being a builder instead, is I have found the hourly rate you come away with when doing reno's is quite low…..tax free for me makes it better, and its very different working on your own house. It seems less like work. I think the main reason people do it is to cut the taxman out of the equation. Its also nice living in a finished reno house….if only for a little while. But how much are we compensated for living in filth the rest of the time?

    Another concern I have is the health effects on your family. Dust alone is a worry, what about lead paint, asbestos, treated timber…..and just the dirt in general? Too many times Ive seen renovators fiddle with asbestos wearing those piddly paper masks and thinking they are safe. First, you need a good seal…….2nd, the mask needs to be P2 rated. Even P1 masks dont stop the fibres. And as I found out the hard way, you need to be freshly shaved.

    Profile photo of fatkatfatkat
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    @fatkat
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 5

    Hi Guys,
    I've been reading this thread with alot of interest…well done!!
    I felt I just had to enter the conversation to add my concerns about DIY reno's – learnt through very hard personal experience.  We purchased a home with great plans to improve the wreck of a place that it was…you know, rip out the kitchen, remove a wall here, rip up the lino and polish the floors etc.  All structural work was done with qualified tradies, with us doing the tough yucky stuff – painting, ripping up the lino.  And that's when our own tragedy struck.  I'm crying even as I write this…

    We had NO IDEA  that old Lino was often backed with asbestos until after we had spent weeks scraping stuck down lino that had powdered and flacked off.  I mean we were LIVING in blue dust – and I don't mean just my husband and I, but our 3 beautiful young boys (under the age of 11), family and friends came to visit, even other tradies come and worked in the mess – and NO ONE KNEW – until we decided it was all too much work and we'd just get it all recovered in vinyl.  The salesman took one look and said the words that will never leave me.."You knows that's asbestos don't you?"

    We still have not had the sample formally tested – I don't think I want to know the truth.  Besides it's not going to help us now.

    PLEASE EVERYONE : ASBESTOS IS BLOODY EVERYWHERE.

    Get anything and everything checked….even better get someone who knows what they're doing to do the job, for your safety, and the safety of everyone you care about.

    Kel

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    @crashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    Hi Kel

    I know how you feel. As an apprentice electrician in the early 90’s I often drilled into asbestos and nobody ever said it might be dangerous to do so.

    Im absolutely convinced the stuff is in me. But if it helps ease your mind, its mostly a media beat-up. Im not saying the stuff isnt bad, Im just saying having seen it once is not an instant death warrant.

    The ONLY time asbestos is dangerous is in an AIRBORN form. Fibres need to be very small, usually as a result of drilling or grinding.

    Of all airborn fibres, 99.9% will be trapped by your nose hairs.
    Only 30% of people who inhale asbestos develop cancer.
    Asbestos has a dormant period of 25-30 years.

    Now the bad news…….

    Blue asbestos is the most dangerous (I think). maybe this is because they are finer or have more of a hook.

    White asbestos is far less dangerous and 100x more common. Ive never seen blue asbestos.

    My father-in-law and neighbour both worked with asbestos since the age of 15. One is now 57 and one is 67. Neither has ever had any associated problems. I also worked with someone who said his dad made him a sandpit and used asbestos instead of sand. He was 3-4 at the time, and is now late 40’s. no cancer yet.

    Many elderly people have lived in houses made of nothing but asbestos their entire lives. If it was as bad as people say, it would be the biggest killer.

    Having said all that, there is NO EXCUSE for not taking every possible precaution.

    Profile photo of fatkatfatkat
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    @fatkat
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 5

    Thanks for the info Crashy,

    It's a lesson we learnt the hard way.  I guess one positive is that we know we were exposed and can keep it in the back of our minds re future health issues.

    Any parents out there (Jase and Flic included) it's better to be safe than sorry with your kids – keep them out of the house any time you are sanding/drilling, in fact any time dust of any sort is stirred up…who knows what may turn out to be dangerous in the future.

    Kel

    Profile photo of millionsmillions
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    @millions
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 355

    Weren't brake pads in cars made out of asbestos up until recently?  My husband was exposed to asbestos during renovations in Brisbane and Fortitude Valley Unit renovations 12 years ago and it's something that worried me previously but now I think there is no point worrying as it may never affect him.  I hope it all goes well for you Jase and Flic, Crashy and fatcat.  Linda

    Profile photo of James007James007
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    @james007
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 64

    There must be a list somewhere that details products containing asbestos, or a general guide. If any one wants to post their experiences with asbestos including eg lino, rough date on age of home etc may help people diagnose a potential health risk, prior to being exposed.

    Profile photo of Jase and FlicJase and Flic
    Participant
    @jase-and-flic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 190

    Hi everyone.
    Great points raised about asbestos. Nasty stuff. I have dealt with it a little, and was very careful in my handling of it, full protective gear, hosed everything down to stop dust, wrapped it all it plastic etc. Yuck. Not fun.
    And asbestos is just one of the many hazards in the building industry. I guess that could be one reason they have made laws harder for owner builders.
    Personally, I have been a very close witness to 2 very serious workplace accidents, so I have seen how easily things can go wrong, even when you are trying to be safe.
    So I would say to everyone reading this who is considering doing building work , to think carefully before deciding to DIY. It is not just a case of "Can you do the work", and "Can you save money". There is a very real safety consideration also.
    So if you are thinking of doing a reno or similar, think carefully before deciding.
    Not saying you have to be a tradesperson either, but you should at least have a pretty good idea of practical things.

    To wrap my OH&S blurb, here is a list of common injuries and hazards in building, in no particular order, to get you thinking SAFETY!!! Most of them have happened to me, or the bloke next to me:
    Splinters, cuts, grazes, dust in eyes, sore back, neck, shoulders, twisted ankles, bruises – all too many to count.
    Power Tools: Drills into fingers and hands, twisted wrist, fat lip from drill spinning out of control.
    Power saws into boots, fingers etc. Also cut through power cord. Wood dust in eyes many times.
    Router – along mates finger.
    Power Planer – on TAFE teacher's fingers.
    Nail Guns- don't even go there.
    Angle grinder – sparks in eyes (even with safety glasses), burns to arms, legs, neck.
    Welder – welders flash, radiation burns to legs, mate caught his trousers on fire.
    Hand Tools: Hammers-on fingers, heads etc.
    Chisels into hands, into forehead (that was not me!!!)

    Other hazards- tripping, electrocution, falling from ladders, off roof etc, rubble on floor, falling objects (especially during demolition), hazardous substances (some paints, heavy fumes, acids, alkalines eg cement,) nails protruding, slippery muddy environments, exposure to weather eg sunburn, loud noises ie hearing damage.

    And plenty more I am sure. So there is the OHS lesson for everyone. Now back to the fun?? It all starts Monday.

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