A Guide To Renovating In Brisbane

A Guide To Renovating In Brisbane

As southerners flock to Queensland in droves, it’s no surprise that renovating in Brisbane has become more popular than ever for both buyers and sellers. 

It’s no secret that Queensland is experiencing an interstate migration boom. The global pandemic has changed the way we work, live and play, and when compared to our southern neighbours, Queenslanders have had it relatively lax in terms of lockdowns and social distancing restrictions when compared to other major capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, the weather usually helps too. 

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Dubbed “Australia’s Hippest City” by Lonely Planet, Brisbane has started to shake off the perception of being a little bit daggy. Instead, the spotlight is shining bright on the local arts scene, pumping nightlife, and great coffee and restaurants. Hugging the Brisbane River, the appeal of the city stretches far beyond the central business district. Each suburb of Brisbane doubles as an urban village – think bohemian West End, leafy New Farm or the ultra hip hilltop borough of Paddington. Regardless of your personal taste, there’s a place for everyone in Brisbane. 

One of the most attractive parts about living in Brisbane is it’s ongoing affordability. While the inner city suburbs are experiencing massive growth, it’s still possible to purchase a three bedroom home on land for well under $500,000 within an hour’s drive of the CBD. In turn, this has encouraged the locals to embrace the developing food and wine scene, with a host of new bars, restaurants and dining options popping up all over the region. If you’re a fan of getting out of the city on your weekends, then the good news is that you’re spoiled for choice in Brisbane. Situated bang in between the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, your hardest decision on the weekend will be settling on which beach to opt for. 

However, Brisbane isn’t immune to the current pressures that the rest of Australia’s housing market is currently facing. Like many other cities, demand is still far outstripping supply, which is why many homeowners are turning to renovating in Brisbane as a means to bring their property vision to life. If you’re brave enough to try and conquer this yourself as a DIY renovator, it’s important to have a firm grasp on the rules and regulations before you get started. 

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What To Know About Renovating In Brisbane

If you want to get your project right the first time and avoid a potentially costly disaster, it’s important to understand the basics of renovating in Brisbane before you get down to business.

Unfortunately, buying to renovate in Brisbane isn’t as simple as nabbing yourself a ‘fixer upperer’ and getting busy with a few power tools. All extensions and renovations to an existing house must comply with the Brisbane City Council’s dwelling house code, or the dwelling house (small lot) code requirements.

Be sure to remember that building permits and planning permits are two very separate processes. For the former, inspectors will visit the home or property in question to ensure that your requested changes are: 

  • Safe and unlikely to be a risk to you or your tenants
  • Able to withstand extremes of temperature and your local weather conditions (eg. floods and cyclones)
  • Protected from pests and vermin
  • Safe as it can possibly be in the event of a house fire or even a bushfire
  • Adequately connected to infrastructure such as sewerage and drainage
  • Built in accordance with standards aimed at maximising energy efficiency.

Brisbane has faced it’s fair share of weather events over the years, with it being particularly prone to summer storms and flash flooding. However, it’s also home to some very old character properties, and the Brisbane City Council also has its own separate set of rules if you want to renovate one of these types of dwellings.

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What you have in mind for your property might not be a comfortable fit with your local council’s long term vision for the area, or your area’s distinct character and appeal. If you’ve ever spent much time exploring the suburbs of Brisbane, you’ll quickly see that some have their own personalities in terms of architecture. 

Whether we like it or not, the process of obtaining planning permission and the right building permits allows your council to have the deciding vote in relation to what you can and can’t do with your property. Some extensions and renovations to a pre-1946 house in the Traditional Building Character Overlay require planning approval. Houses constructed in or before 1946, requiring some demolition works to a proposed extension or renovation, may require assessment against the Traditional Building Character (Demolition) Overlay Code. Council generally requires a planning application for external extensions to all houses in the code, and this is regardless of the age of the house. However, renovations only involving internal works are unlikely to require planning approval.

As a golden rule when it comes to obtaining building permits or planning approvals, if in doubt, check with the Brisbane City Council. Failure to do so could result in a very costly ‘fix it’ job, or even demolition as a worst case scenario – so be sure to do your homework when it comes to renovating in Brisbane before you get started.

Sourcing The Right Tiles To Bring Your Project To Life 

While your options for flooring materials are almost limitless, selecting the right type of tile for your home certainly isn’t an easy feat. With each space, comes a different preference or priority: are you chasing style, functionality, or simply want to stay within the budget?

In operation for over 25 years, at Tile Wizards we pride ourselves on getting you more – for less. We pioneered the warehouse format, and our stores are purposefully designed to make your selection easier, and ultimately offer our customers quality, price and the right advice. 

Even if you are just after some honest and friendly advice – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Tile Wizards today for a free quote. We’re able to work with you in order to bring your dream flooring solution to life.