This guide has been prepared by Homesafe Designs a division of Homesafe Group Pty. Ltd. in conjunction with Kidsafe to provide a guide to home owners contemplating undertaking home improvements, renovations and extensions.

In addition to providing stunning, energy efficient projects, Homesafe Designs is committed to providing safe environments for children, adults and seniors.

Every year in Australia approximately 320,000 children and over 300,000 adults suffer preventable injuries in their homes. Your home improvement project will provide the opportunity of building a safer environment for your family and friends. Home safety design does not add cost nor does it compromise design integrity, but it could save lives. Additionally, a well designed improvement is an excellent capital gains free investment.

Typical architect’s measure up

Equipment You Will Need
An accurate tape measure at least 20m long
Power point tester
Spirit level
Your Existing Home
Before you begin your home improvement process you need information vital to your own home. This includes: accurate plans of existing conditions and the condition of the structure and services.

The Measure Up
Building plans of your existing home may be available from your local council. If not, you will need to accurately draw and measure the entire house to an accuracy of 10mm to 25mm for each room, the house overall and setbacks from front and side boundaries. Note: Real estate plans are not suffi ciently accurate for this purpose.

Drawings should be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50 and include items such as wall thicknesses, door and window locations, height of sills and ceilings. You should also show the location of services such as power points, taps, heaters, hot water services, air conditioners, etc. We recommend that you photographically record the condition of the house internally and externally before construction work starts.

Familiarise yourself with regulations governing minimum setbacks and maximum heights relevant to your property and those of neighbours. You may also need assistance from a building surveyor to plot and certify these.

If you are not confident with this process, a Homesafe architect can help.

The Condition Survey
Home improvement building costs can inadvertently escalate more than 25% because of unforseen problems with your existing structure.
The most common of these are:

Dangerous electrical wiring requiring total replacement
Dilapidated water pipes requiring total re-plumbing
Old roofs and gutters requiring total replacement
Rotten timber stumps, piers or sub floor structure requiring re-blocking or re-construction of subfloors
Old lath- and-plaster walls requiring total re-plastering
Termite or borer activity requiring replacement of structural members.
It is critical that you undertake a detailed inspection of the home. Homesafe Designs can arrange a professional inspection and report.