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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Renovate or Recreate

Most people think that renovating or extending their property will increase their net gain and or value. But sometimes it’s cheaper to bulldoze and start again!

“Whether you renovate or extend, it is not always a cost-effective way to improve your asset or accommodate the new or evolved purpose of the property.” In my opinion “The arithmetic like with a person’s home, isn’t as simple as original value plus cost of extensions equals final value. There are lots of factors to consider.”

“Before investing in improvements on a property, I believe you should always seek advice and commit to researching the final needs and purpose of the product, Do your Due Diligence!”

In many instances if a property has no historical value it is safer and more cost effective to start from scratch. Many older buildings in the Top End have risks such as Asbestos, outdated cabling, wear and tear, cultural and style issues that make it less cost effective in attempting to retrofit or extend.

Unlike residential properties, Council assets are valued by what benefits both monetary and socially they provide to the community. The benefit of the sister cities schemes through-out Australia and the world is that we can communicate and consult several councils that have already created the products, events, attractions and/or buildings we want, and can be provided invaluable feedback and advice on what they profited by or lost in the project.

“It is important to always communicate and consult with the community to create the right progressive solutions.”

The old saying “Time equals money” is important as well. A renovation or extension can sometimes ensure that there is no loss of use of the asset by the public. The removal of an activity can have a destructive effect on the local economy, the community and Trust. In some instances a new building may even be constructed relatively close to the old on an adjoining block etc and this brings with it, more challenges.

“The most common forgotten requirement of a building or asset is access. If a Council or private asset does not have reasonable access to public transport it is immediately devalued.”

Once the Home work is done and we are in a position to put the equation together to estimate the cost versus benefit of “Improvement or extension versus Demolish and re-create” then it is time to announce a decision and seek tenders for the project. There will always be those who will disagree with a council decision, but as long as the project is progressive, cost effective and value adding to the community it will eventually be accepted.

In order to better benefit the local community it is always encouraged to seek written quotes and tenders from licensed well referenced “local” builders for the work, rather than give the work to blow-ins (southern companies).

“Every dollar spent in the Top End should were possible be re-invested back into the Top End, it makes sound economic sense.”

Once the due diligence has been done, consultation with the public doesn’t stop there. The safety of the public is always a concern and they should be encouraged to inspect the project from a safe distance and disclose any discovered consequences of the build. Concerns such as style, features, access and use including topics such as environmental impact, cultural narrative all play a part in the progress of creating a public asset.

“Sometime the short term cost of adjusting a project can save the community thousands of dollars in future renovations, additions or revisions.”

The style or artistic impression of the property has an important impact on the synergy of an area. Just like residential properties, “you don’t want to end up with the best house in the street” as the age, presentation and features/use of the properties around you will negatively affect yours

In the long run it is often easier to save the public both money and hassle and rebuild rather than renovate.

Note : Written and Authorized by Sam Wilks. The views included may not be those of others mentioned in the article but are those of Sam Wilks. If you have other idea’s feel free to comment below. Idea’s and differing opinion is recognition of a free and just democratic society. A Society I am happy to live in. Please however try not to be abusive or discriminative, you may be. But if I feel that your opinion may be harmful or is reported as being harmful, I will delete it. Sam Wilks 0402 152 929 PO Box 40441 Casuarina NT 0810

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