Builders Blog

5 ways to make your small home look spacious

So you have purchased your first home – a studio apartment that is looking a little tired and dated but the location is great and you have visions of living there, but how can you get your small place to feel more spacious?  Well read on as the following renovation ideas will help you live more comfortably in a small area.

    Foldout furniture

If your dining room is in your bedroom then investing in some fold out furniture will help to open out the space.  It is nearly impossible to cram normal furniture of a large house into a small unit so purchasing foldout beds, tables and chairs that have two usages will declutter your spaces making it seem more spacious.

    A hidden kitchen/laundry

In a studio apartment, every square foot is prime real estate so renovating a large kitchen would not make sense.  A great idea is installing a gallery kitchen that can be hidden behind a wall of folding doors.  This not only conceals the kitchen and the appliances, but if you haven’t done the dishes and visitors pop over!

With a hidden laundry, it is the same principle, having the washing machine and dryers all concealed by a folding door opening up the space.

    Partition walls

One of the hardest concepts when considering a studio apartment is the thought of waking up to your kitchen.  Partition walls are a great idea for creating sections or zones.  By using a partition you can create a separate bedroom, living and kitchen spaces. You can use plants, folding walls even the back of a couch to try to separate the areas.

    Build up

If you’re lucky enough to own your own small unit, then the possibility of building up may be available to you.  Keeping a kitchen nook, living area with a small desk and a bathroom on the ground floor and building a lofted bed accessible from the kitchen via a hideaway ladder.  This give your more privacy in the bedroom and opens up the space on the ground.

    Create a nook

By using all the space available a little nook in the kitchen can become your home office.  Remember to always look at what little nooks are available to maximize the space that you have.  Even a little reading nook can then double as a dinning area with the aid of a folding table

Talk to Symcorp today to see what we can do to help you create your comfortable living areas.

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Common Renovation Mistakes

Whether you’re a seasoned renovator or it’s your first time, there are many mistakes that you should actively avoid when starting out on a new project.

Here are some key renovation mistakes that you should avoid to ensure that your time and money is used effectively.

Underestimating material and labour costs

Failing to research material and labour costs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to property renovation. Remember to factor in any indirect renovation costs including local council fees, professional fees, finance repayments, rental payments (if you have to move out during the renovation) and so on.

Not setting yourself a timeline

While a lot of people emphasise the importance of budgeting (which is important, of course), many forget to create a project timeline. Estimate how long each task will take and come up with a project completion date. If you don’t set yourself a deadline, you’ll never finish!

Going overboard with DIY tasks

There are some tasks you can do yourself but there are also certain things that you shouldn’t attempt. When it comes to more complex work such as plumbing or carpentry, you should always consult a licensed professional.

Renovating the wrong areas/rooms

When planning out your renovation project, focus your energy (and money) on the areas that are most frequently used.  Generally, you should focus the majority of your budget on areas like the master bedroom, the living room and the kitchen.

Relocating electrics and plumbing

Moving around your electricals and plumbing can be extremely costly, so if possible, you should try to leave them in the same location.

Planning and seeing through a renovation project can be timely, costly and emotionally draining, so it’s worth doing some research to learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them so that you can achieve your dream home.

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What features are right for my bathroom?

Making sure you choose the right fixtures in your bathroom is extremely important as it can make or break your renovation.  There are so many things that you need to consider when choosing the plumbing fixtures including the style, material, functionally, price and compatibility.  Below are 3 things you should keep in mind when making the important decision.

AESTHETICS

Have a look around you home and decide what styles, materials and colours work within your home and be consistent. You may be renovating just one room with the plan to eventually renovate the whole home, and you will need to take that into consideration.  What colours did you want to take through the home? Do you have a theme that you want to keep too? There are two broad styles to consider; modern or traditional.

Modern homes generally have shiny, metallic finishes. Sleek stainless steel taps can add a touch of luxury and elegance to a contemporary city apartment. The same fixtures will look completely out of place compared to ornate bronze or copper fixtures more commonly associated with old-fashioned country homesteads.

PRACTICALITY

This is a important question to ask as you want to make sure the fixtures you choose suit your lifestyle. Do you have children? Do you want to have children in the future? Possibly a single easy to reach tap may not be the best choice. In regards to showers, what type of shower head do you want?  One person may enjoy a powerful massaging jet but another loves the rain showers. Just be aware that there is a variety of water efficient fixtures so always check the pressure and temperature ratings.

You also will need to consider the current plumbing system and look at fixtures that are compatible with the system.  This will make your life a lit simpler!

PRICE

Price is normally the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to bathroom fixtures as there is a variety of fixtures available at a wide range of prices, depending on the material, style, brand and warranty. Best suggestion is to figure out your budget first and then stick to it.  There is often a cheaper version of the more expensive fixtures, but be careful. You don’t want to get a great bargain only to have to replace it 1 month down the track. Spending a little extra on high-quality materials can save you in the long term.

Contact us today for your next bathroom renovation!

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How long can a home renovation take?

This is a question that is asked many times, and the answer does vary depending on what your renovation in your home, if it is just one room then it will be completed quicker then if you're renovating everything including the kitchen sink.

On average, a home renovation takes between 4 to 8 months but if your fully renovating then chances are it will take anywhere from 7 months or more to complete.  Now before you get discouraged by this number, remember this is from the beginning to the end of the project. On average the actual “build” time is less (6-8 weeks)

I can hear you ask – but what else needs to be done?  Well before those 70’s kitchen cupboards are demolished you need to do a few things first to make sure the renovation goes according to plan.  

Research – 2 weeks to 2 months or more.

This is when you have first decided that you want to renovate and you begin to look around at different styles. You check out pinterest and other social medias to get ideas and inspiration so you can make your house perfect.  Always print out or save the images of your ideas as it will really help with the next stage.

Planning  – 2 months to 6 months or more.

This stage is where you put the ideas to paper, and this is where you want to talk to your builders to see what will work, the materials and finishes that you would like and overall just mold your ideas so that it will work in your home.  This is also where you need to start talking numbers and budget, which can determine some factors in your designs like the materials used.

Pre- Renovation  – 3 months to 6 months.

This stage can take the most time as this is when you start to get the approval from the relevant authorities, working out a timeline, ordering trades and materials.  There is a lot of organisation to this stage and it can be the most vital stage in the whole renovation. If something is not coordinated properly then the whole project can be delayed or even cancelled.

The Build – As above 4 weeks to 6 weeks on average

This is the best stage as you will see your ideas come to life! Its where the tools come out and day by day you will see your dream become reality!

Project Complete

Now this stage is where all the final sign offs by the relevant authorities takes places.  It also takes into consideration the warranties and defect liability periods that you have with your trades and contractors.  Some warranties can be up to 3 months so this stage can take a little longer than the other 4 stages.

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Queensland Outdoor Spaces

Creating a custom outdoor space for any client and seeing how it can truly transform a house into a home is one of the most rewarding constructions we can do.   Living in Queensland, we spend the majority of our time outdoors entertaining so it is really important to have a functional outdoor area.  With every project, we consult with our clients and discuss their needs, tastes and budgets.  We make sure that when we consult with our clients we look at what will suit their needs from decks to patios or any combination, each project is different.

Empty-nesters are looking for a quiet space to have their morning coffee while a family of 5 who has extra kids over every weekend a big outdoor area to entertain.   When space doesn’t fit the family’s need, that is when we see the spaces go to waste.

A few projects we regularly do include:

  • Front/back/side/courtyard decks. As long as it meets with local building codes, a deck can be added just about anywhere you like. If you have a good view, why not build new decks in Gold Coast to enjoy it? After considering their options, many homeowners choose to add a wraparound deck that can be accessed from several points in the house.
  • Pool decks. A backyard pool without attractive decking in mermaid waters limits your ability you enjoy it to its fullest. The great pool decks in Gold Coast creates a wonderful space for poolside entertaining, dining, sunbathing and more. It can also add value to your home, making your pool a showpiece that draws in potential home buyers.
  • Freestanding decks/patios. Freestanding patios are popular for a number of reasons. For one, they create a great, above-ground space that’s perfect for a dining table, built-in benches, hot tubs and more. For some homeowners, it’s also a great way to enjoy their property while cutting back on lawn maintenance.

Please call us today to start discussing your ideas for a new decks on the Gold Coast. We’ll work with your budget to make sure you get the results you want with the high quality, service and commitment to value that you deserve. We look forward to working with you!

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Planning Your Bathroom Renovation

Most people cringe at the thought of having to remodel a bathroom and it tends to be the last room you think of doing.  It can be very overwhelming but if you break the remodeling process down into a few simple steps it will not seem as daunting as you first thought. Below are some steps to help you get started!

1 – Start your Plan

It sounds like a strange step, planning your plan, but you need to have a good idea of not only what you want to happen, but also when it needs to be done.  Any deadlines or steps missed can delay your renovation.

Start by just writing down some notes on what your wanting your bathroom to have, how you want it to look, what you think you may need to do.  Don’t leave anything out no matter how small or impossible they may seem. If you want to have a bath and a shower, or you are interested in having a shower/bath combo but both these ideas down.  You may want to have a heated towel rack but you also like the look of traditional hooks along the wall. You will never what combination may be possible until you draw it all out.

After the first brainstorming is done it is time to start researching.  Have a look in the internet, in home design magazines, watch a few lifestyle shows and even take inspiration from your friends and families bathrooms.  They may have a idea that you never even considered!!

2 – Creating a realistic budget.

Once you have a idea it is important to know how much you are able to spend before anything is started to ensure that what you are wanting and what is financially possible is in sync.  You don’t want to be running out of money half way through the renovation.

Don’t forget to allocate money out of your budget for each area of your bathroom including new appliances, demolition, electrical, plumbing and cosmetics (like painting the walls)

Start by getting several estimates for each of your ideas.  Have a chat to builders and get their suggestions to ensure you get value for your hard earned money.  Once all the ideas are in writing and have actually real life figures attached to them you can decide which way you would like to go.  Knowing how much your ideas cost makes it easier to eliminate them!

3 – Creating the Floor Plan

One you have your budget and your ides now comes the fun part – creating the floor plan.  Measure your bathroom, including all areas that will have fixtures such as the toilet, sink or bathtub.  This will help you create the optimal floor plan before beginning your remodeling. Once you have everything on paper, take it to your builder.  Make sure you have a good builder you can trust like, Symcorp, that are there with you every step of your renovation making sure everything goes according to plan and stays in budget

When you have a plan in front of you, it is much more difficult to deviate from it, helping you to stay on your budget without veering off too much.

Symcorp handle every aspect of your bathroom renovation, from plumbing and electrical, to construction and paint to ensure top quality and your budget met.  Call 1300 796 297 today!

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Kitchen Trends in 2019

Dark Cabinets are Back in Style!

White kitchens have been a long time favourite in kitchen design and work in almost any kind of kitchen style. That said we are starting to see dark cabinets making a comeback for that dramatic statement in the kitchen.  Some ideas to freshen up the all-white kitchen are using different paint colour or wood panels on your island bench. Mixing up the finishes create a focus accent piece and additional pops-of-colour add personality and brighten the room for the brave of heart.  The shades of choice for seem to be varying shades of blue and green. Another emerging trend making its way into the kitchen is–dark jewel tones: black, navy, emerald green and plum. Dark cabinets paired with these rich shades create a dramatic and luxe feel.  

While dark kitchen cabinets can add an elegance and luxurious atmosphere, the key is to not overpower the space.  Too many dark colours will make it feel small and dark.  You can avoid this by choosing a lighter paint colour if you have selected dark cabinetry.

Smart Kitchens

Technology has hit kitchen’s in full force and not just in the way of fancy gadgets and appliances. These days, your kitchen can have technology integrated into every function and appliance–from the taps to the fridge to the lighting. We call this a smart kitchen.  

Smart kitchens are an ever evolving element of interior design. It is becoming more common for new kitchens to be built using smart technology. In an older kitchens you can add sensors, smart gadgets and other devices to your existing kitchen.

Some simple add-on options are motion sensor  kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath and turn on automatically. Refrigerators that alert you when your grocery items are running low or a coffee maker you can program to have your coffee made when you wake up. There’s also updates for your lighting– systems that allow you to control all the lights from your smartphone or tablet.

Technology integrated kitchens are becoming increasingly popular as home owners’ experiment with novel technologies. This is one of the biggest trends we are seeing going into 2019.

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Kitchen didn't quite cut it this holidays?

During the past few weeks you may have been lucky enough to gather around different types of kitchens with your friends and family to celebrate the year that was.. and now you have Kitchen envy!  You keep on dreaming of those granite counter tops that looked amazing at Aunt Jenny’s place, wondering if they will fit in your kitchen.  Imagine no longer as at Symcorp we are here to help with your post holiday Kitchen envy!  We are with you from the beginning to the end designing your kitchen so next year you will be the envy of all!

There are several things you will need to consider before taking the plunge:

Why are you wanting a change?  Is it because the kitchen is just not as functional as your growing family needs.  You may need more storage? A bigger workbench? Is it because your just sick of looking at your 80’s style kitchen you have had for the past 30 years and you want a change? Or is it just because your thinking of selling and you want to add more value to your home.  Whatever the reason, you need to identify the reasons so you can work out how you want your new kitchen to function and look like.

Renovate, re-model or re-face? Depending on why are you are thinking of changing your Kitchen will determine if you are going to renovate, re-model or just re-face your kitchen.  If you need to have more functionally then a renovation to completely create a new kitchen may be the best option for you.

Let’s talk budgets! Now your thinking – well how much is this all going to cost??  There is so much more to planning and designing a new kitchen than just selecting floors and counters, and this is where Symcorp makes the difference. Every remodel is based on a budget – we will make sure you get the look and style you want, while staying on budget, by assisting you to select the right materials for your kitchen renovations & extensions.

The kitchen is the heart of your home and we understand the importance of getting it right so contact Symcorp  07 5594 1768 or fill out the Quick Quote Form today!

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Fall in love with your deck again this New Year

Your home should be a place that you love and find comfort in as you are the one who lives there. If space allows, you shouldn’t be limited to just personalising your indoor area.  A amazing relaxing backyard is the ideal place to spend the lovely Queensland summer days with loved ones. One way to fall in love with your home again is to improve on the outside space with a new deck or patio or by improving a existing one.

After a busy holiday period or either entertaining or being away on holidays, your deck could use some love to breathe back some life into it and create a welcoming outdoor space. For a wooden deck, preparing it after a busy holiday period could include applying a fresh coat of paint, replacing rotted wood planks, or hiring a deck builder for a major repair.

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR DECK FOR THE NEW YEAR

  • To start off the new year, you’ll want your deck to be clean as a whistle so use a high-power leaf blower to get rid of any dead leaves, dirt or debris that has built up over time. After layers of dirt are removed, use a power washer to get rid of mold or rotting wood thoroughly. A professional power washer is always recommended to ensure that the deck is cleaned in compliance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • When cleaning your deck, use this time to replace any broken or uneven pavers stones.
  • Your deck furniture is bound to need a good wash after the holiday period! Just be mindful of how you clean your furniture as their cleaning needs will vary. Be sure to air out your furniture after washing it to avoid any mold.
  • If your furniture is looking a little tired even after you have washed it then maybe it is time to have a complete change!  Liven up your deck with some new furnishings, umbrellas, pillows, flowers. Pick a colour scheme that will enhance your homes exterior and go for it, you can even extend the colour scheme to your outdoor dining ware and serving dishes if you want!
  • The start of the new year is the perfect time to improve the functionality of your deck. Consider working with a custom deck builder like Symcorp to add on screened in sections, pergolas, or covered roofs. You may even want to change the entire outdoor area, which Symcorp can help you with.  Screened in decks and patios are not only beneficial in warm weather, but they can also help keep bugs out and protect your furniture from damage. They are also good to provide some privacy from neighbors.
  • Freshen up your landscape with fresh mulch and if you don’t have a large yard, you can also pick out store-bought planters and hanging baskets and place them around your area.

For Beautiful Pergolas, Patios & Decks Gold Coast and Tweed Heads Call Symcorp On 1300 796 267

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6 things to consider when converting a garage

A garage conversion is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to add extra living space to a home. You already have the foundation, roof, wiring and walls in place and if it’s an attached garage you have an entry.

The goal is to create a garage conversion that blend seamlessly with the existing. Generally, the location makes them perfect for converting to a family room or a bigger kitchen/dining area. You need to do a thorough assessment of the space and the pros and cons on going ahead with a conversion. Here are some of the factors you will need to think about before moving ahead.

1) Garage Doors

The biggest consideration when looking at a garage conversion is what to do with the garage door. When the door is removed, you have a big empty space that needs to be filled in so that it both blends in with the rest of the house and is useful to the living space. Some possible ideas include installing a panoramic or stacking door if you have an outdoor space to open out to or a bay window. Another possibility is to create a new entryway where the garage door was located.

2) Floor

Typically, a garage floor is a uninsulated concrete slab, which is sometimes be several inches below the floor level inside the home. The slab may also be sloped toward the garage door or toward a floor drain. When these circumstances are present, you will need to fill the bottom of the garage door opening with a curb to keep water out of the converted space and protect the wall framing from moisture. You will also need to decide if the floor needs to be leveled.

3) Heating and Cooling

In the instance of an attached garage, you may be able to extend the existing heating and cooling system into the new space. If that is not an option, you will need to look at independent systems. Add your insulation to walls, floor, and ceiling first then decide how to heat and cool the space. Another option is a floor heating system–a relatively easy thing to install on an existing concrete slab.

4) Wiring

If you expecting to substantially increase the electrical usage in the converted space, adding additional wiring is essential with minimum of at least one new 20-amp circuit. Usually garages have a single lighting circuit, and a large room will require a more electrical service than that. It is likely to take several additional circuits if the converted garage will be used for a kitchen with multiple appliances. If you are converting a detached garage, additional wiring can be run from the house through an underground conduit.

5) Plumbing

This can be the biggest hurdle of a garage conversion. Organizing water supply to the garage is usually simple, but drainage can present problems. Speak with a qualified plumber about your options. If you are lucky enough to have a laundry connecting the garage to the house, you may consider turning it into a bathroom. Adding plumbing lines is often the single biggest expense in a garage conversion project.

6) Blending in

You don’t want the conversion to be an obvious add on but rather blend seamlessly with existing structure.

Try to match the colours, window and door styles and the landscaping. When done well, a garage conversion will be a seamless addition to your home.

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