Home Reno Tips

Renovators – 12 things you need to know
(about your property)
before you talk to your Designer or Architect

  1. What is the true position of my home? (in relation to the boundary).
    Do I have room for an extension? What size room can I have?
  2. What is the height of my house?
    How much can I raise it?
  3. How high are the neighbouring houses?
    What will my views be when I raise my house?
  4. Where is the stormwater drain?
    Will I need to apply to Council to build over or near? Can I connect to it?
  5. Will my neighbours be overlooking our proposed extension?
    Will we be overlooking our neighbour’s private areas?
  6. Is our site access sufficient for the new development?
    Will the driveway be safe (not too steep)?
  7. Are “our” fences on or close to the boundary?
    Are there retaining walls “on the boundary” and who is responsible for their upkeep?
    Will the fences need replacing?
  8. Can we design around existing retaining walls and landscaping?
  9. What is the level and slope of my land?
    How much earthworks may be required and is this reasonable?
  10. How will any new extensions relate to our existing site levels?
    Will access points require steps? Is this appropriate?
  11. What large trees are on site, especially on the boundary?
    Will my neighbour’s trees affect any new extension?
    What is the cost and what is the process of removal of trees?
    Should we remove trees before any application to Council?
  12. Does the new extension need to connect to existing or new sewer?
    Am I on a combined sewer?  Do I need a “build over sewer” application to Council? (Sewers can be messy and expensive and is often the starting point for any new design).


The answers to these questions will determine how you approach your extension renovation. Our plans are designed to put you in the driver’s seat so you maintain control with all the relevant information.


Don’t be tempted to go with a cheap survey designed to provide a few levels for the designer. You need more.


We like to gather all the relevant information about your property and present it on a well drafted, comprehensive plan. You will have an overview of your whole property to make informed decisions about what is best for you and your family.

Benefits of a good plan; done early:

Be in control

Send the plan to several Architects – and let them work with factual information.

Everyone works off the same page.

Everyone has all the information they need to do their job well.

Save time

People can understand what you are talking about.

Make decisions quickly.

Don’t waste time discussing what’s not possible.

Save money

Don’t waste your time and don’t waste other’s time  (they will charge you).

Get good realistic quotes that aren’t padded for uncertainties.

Minimize changes in design and construction. Ban the “extras”.

Get what you want

Don’t be disappointed when the builder says “we can’t do this; we have to make a change/it will cost.”

Be confident that you have budgeted correctly with few surprises.

Show your friends how clever you are when everything works so well – because you could see the true outcome before you started.

Save some money from the contingency budget (builder’s fixups) and get that something extra that really makes a difference.

Be happy

Construction can be a grueling process.

Start right, get good advice and get it early.

Attract quality consultants and contractors. They will recommend others that they like working with.  Contract with people who enjoy seeing and achieving quality outcomes. The quality of our site plan sets a benchmark that you can expect to be maintained throughout the renovation.

Enjoy your renovation or extension. Quality remains long after the price is forgotten.

We at Site Surveys have worked on thousands of projects over the last 20 years. We see a big difference in the management and outcome of renovations that have a quality site plan done early. It’s the best money you can spend and the value keeps repeating throughout the project.

We are passionate about getting our clients off to a great start and love seeing happy renovators. Things may go wrong but our plans ensure the problems are small and the outcomes are great.

Don’t cut corners at the start. Small issues grow – and always cost.

Be in control.

Give us a call ! – (07) 3367 0433 or email us anytime mail@sitesurveys.com.au