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Home remodeling & renovation
20 April 2022
Shalini John

Find the Right Design Support for Home Renovation

‘Good help is hard to find,’ they say. Not always. As families grow or there is an increasing need for home office space or people just get bored, the prospect of home renovation has been a consideration at some point for most homeowners. Planning and designing home remodelling and renovation is a special art. Yet, fundamental to that design is knowing what is and is not possible in a specific environment from the point of view of regulatory compliance and environmental objectives. Working within certain constraints to optimise home design takes experience, knowledge and expertise.

Design support partners should know local codes, standards and regulations. There may be prescribed building styles that must be adhered to, and building or zonal authorities in certain geographical areas may encourage, discourage, forbid or allow certain local materials for use in construction and renovation. Most importantly, design support teams must understand and implement design specifications accurately in residential design drawings.

Government Planning Policy

Today, homeowners have the liberty to use home renovation apps to help them design and visualise renovation projects easily; some may even help purchase products. However, renovation does not end there or even begin there. It is critical to understand local government planning policies, even for minor internal or external modifications. The design support team must know what can be changed with or without council approval.

  • Typically, any changes made to a building’s services, such as plumbing, drainage or electrical layouts, require the relevant building, housing or zonal authority’s approval and inspection.
  • Also, any renovation aspect that affects the environmental performance of the home may need approval.
  • Cutting down trees or plants that block solar access to glass or windows to improve thermal comfort may need authorisation.
Cross Ventilation

In the pursuit of improved cross ventilation, homeowners may have design requirements for:

  • Landscape planting
  • Construction, modification or removal of outbuilding, fences or boundary walls to direct natural ventilation or breezes through a home
  • Removal of greenery that blocks breeze access
  • Draught sealing of the entire home
  • Replacing insulation
  • Replacing existing electrical fixtures with low-energy ones that need insulation to eliminate or minimise fire risks
  • Installing underfloor insulation
  • Installing insulation in cavity brick walls so that the waterproofing integrity of the wall is not breached
  • Replacing insulation under external cladding to create an air gap, so that new building services can be installed
  • Installing a solar heating system

Such changes will need to be made in accordance with existing regulations and with a view to potential changes in the future.

The design stage is crucial for renovation projects. That is where costing can be controlled. Having a clear grasp of local environmental goals means that they can be detailed at the concept stage and then carried forward to more detailed plans – plans that will be submitted to local councils for approval.

Design for Submission

A final detailed design for submission for approvals may need:

  • Final floor plan
  • Structural support and construction systems design
  • Material specifications
  • Room dimensions to suit standard sizes of materials
  • Low waste rate construction systems and materials
  • Lighting layouts, metering, switching, water systems and drainage design, including for water recycling or reuse
  • Insulation, rating and installation details
  • Heating and cooling system, hot water service and other fixed appliances specifications and installation information

In addition, the chosen contractor may need to fulfill certain requirements, such as:

  • Specialised skills for renovation, which may include designing services, acquiring council approvals and producing survey or geotechnical reports
  • Developing designs that reuse materials, recycle them and or minimise waste
  • Sourcing materials from the local environment
  • Knowledge of certification protocols, such as GreenTag, GECA or FSC certification
  • Following environmentally sound practices, such as the installation of energy-efficient windows, use of durable materials, eco-certified materials and sediment fences

As green building and green architecture gain traction globally, renovation projects must also meet environmental objectives. Local council building inspectors may insist on the use of sustainable practices and the upholding of environmental standards.

It’s evident that home renovation is no cake walk and requires high-quality design support in the form of architectural drawing services, residential rendering services and other architectural design services. The right design support team, one that can be considered reliable, will have both the expertise and experience to deliver these residential design services cost effectively and on time.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing architectural design services and residential design services for homebuilders and designers. Our range of services for homebuilding sector include residential design drawings, residential rendering services, architectural drawing services, modelling services and home remodelling and renovation services. We create these models and drawings using Revit, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD software and BIM Collaborate Pro for cloud collaboration.