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How do you get the money you need for your renovation or new build project? And what’s involved in understanding town planning rules so you know what you’re allowed to do?

Welcome to Episode 6 of Season 10. In this episode, I have two Australian industry professionals generously sharing some incredible insight into their areas of expertise: Mortgages and Finance, and Town Planning and Approvals.

My first guest on this episode, is Caroline Jean-Baptiste, from Mortgage Choice Fortitude Valley (Brisbane), QLD. And my second guest is Peta Charles, from Brisbane Town Planning, QLD. 

SHOW NOTES:

My first guest is Caroline Jean-Baptiste, and she’s on a mission to get people talking about money.

Caroline is a specialist in finance with more than 12 years working as a Mortgage Broker in her own business. Her passion is working with her clients to achieve the life they want through home ownership and wealth creation.  She is dedicated to helping first home buyers get into their home and existing homeowners renovate and upgrade.

She owns award-winning Mortgage Broking business, Mortgage Choice, based in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. And she and her team serve all of Brisbane.

Getting finance to fund your renovation or new build project can be stressful and full of challenges. And yet, making it happen is often key to your project happening - or not!

And, my second guest for this episode is Peta Charles, from Brisbane Town Planning.

Brisbane Town Planning promises to make designers look good. How? They say ...

“It's simple, we actively work to get their jobs out of a Town Planning application (aka DA). This saves their clients time and money. Which as you can imagine, earns them some serious kudos, brownie points, bragging rights and general good vibes with their clients.”

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Caroline and Peta to let them know you heard them on Undercover Architect, and to thank them for all they share!!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interviews with Caroline and Peta. Those interviews are now featured inside my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” for Australian homeowners.  

In her full interview, Caroline shares more information about how to assess your mortgage broker, whether it’s better to go to a broker or the bank, and some key strategies for more successful borrowing in your renovation or new build project (especially if you can’t access all the cash you need straight away).

In her full interview, Peta also shares information on ...

  • why architects and designers may not be the best professional to prepare your town planning application
  • what to do if council says ‘no’ to your application to improve your chances of getting your project through
  • things to know about the Traditional Character Overlay in Brisbane City Council
  • Acceptable Solutions vs Performance Solutions, and why do they matter to your approval

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more about “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”.

 

Wondering how to build or renovate your family home without the drama, budget blowouts or costly mistakes?

The “How To Get It Right in Your Reno or New Home E-Course” gives you access to all of the information and knowledge you need to create the home you want.

My years of experience with homeowners just like you, has shown me that making mis-steps in the early planning days ... and then continuing to make them ... can fundamentally impact your reno or building project. And send you in the wrong (and expensive) direction.

“How To Get It Right” is designed on the system I’ve followed during my own, and my clients', renovation and building projects. It is a framework for your journey from start to finish.

I arm you with the tools and knowledge you need to save time, money and stress.

And get it right the first time.

This detailed, step-by-step framework, will simplify your entire project journey

and give you the tools to ...

> Feel confident about the steps you need to take in your project.

> Know how to keep everything on budget and on time.

> Avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that lead to disaster stories.

> Be in control, keep your sanity and enjoy the journey!

"How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Build" will transform your renovation or building experience - and the finished home waiting for you at the end of your journey.

 

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Learn more about Caroline Jean-Baptiste and get links to her business, Mortgage Choice Fortitude Valley, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-how-to-finance-renovation-new-build-mortgage-choice

Find more information and links to Peta Charles, Brisbane Town Planning, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-council-rules-approvals-peta-charles-brisbane-town-planning

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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What steps are involved in finding a contractor or builder you can trust?

As a homeowner, for you to know the steps to finding a contractor or builder you can trust, it can be game-changing for your new build or renovation.

And that’s why I’m so excited to be bringing my guest to you: Shawn Van Dyke.

Shawn Van Dyke is a Construction Business Coach, Author and Speaker. Based in the USA, he works internationally with clients to help them run better construction businesses. 

Shawn has brilliant advice to share on:

  • how to select your contractor or builder
  • the types of conversations to have with them before you hire them
  • the ways to know you can trust them before you sign that contract
  • and how to work with them in a really productive way. 

SHOW NOTES:

So, let me tell you a bit more about Shawn.

Shawn Van Dyke is a construction business coach and the author of two books: Profit First for Contractors and The Paperwork Punch List - 28 Days to Streamline Your Construction Business.  

Most contractors are not profitable which makes them feel uncertain about what they need to do to grow their construction businesses.  Shawn believes construction business owners should be as good at business as they are at their craft.  

That's why, after twenty plus years of owning and operating multiple construction businesses, Shawn became a construction business coach.  He now works with construction business owners, executives, and managers all over the world and shows them how to stop losing profits and wasting time.  

Shawn helps contractors get their lives back.  He is also a keynote speaker and Fine Homebuilding Brand Ambassador. You can find him all over social media sharing his knowledge and experience.  

He doesn't mince words and gives practical advice to contractors so that he can accomplish his mission: to change the way the world view the trades.  

He believes the best way to accomplish this mission is to help contractors run world-class businesses so that they are seen for what they truly are - business professionals who provide an extraordinary service through their devotion to their craft, their customers, and their communities.

Shawn is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and 5 kids.

I ASKED SHAWN VAN DYKE THESE QUESTIONS ...

  • You’re on a mission to change the way the world views the trades. What do you think this view is / has been? 
  • What do you think one of the biggest hurdles is to improving the impression that homeowners have of the construction industry, contractors and trades?
  • What should a homeowner do to know they can trust their contractor before they hire them? 
  • You encourage your contractor community to charge for their pricing process. Can you talk through why you think this is beneficial for both contractors / builders and homeowners?
  • You shared a great blog and video on “Transparency is not trust” that talked about what line-item quoting doesn’t work. Can you explain more about why this is not great for the homeowner or the builder / contractor?
  • When problems occur, what are your suggestions for contractors to deal with these with their clients, and keep things moving overall?

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Shawn to let him know you heard him on Undercover Architect, and to thank him for all he shares!!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interview with Shawn. This interview is now featured inside my online course “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners.  

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more about “The Welcome Home Course”.

In Shawn’s full interview, he shares more information about ...

  • how important a payment schedule is when establishing contracts and cashflow for jobs - and what this is, and why it’s so essential
  • how, as a homeowner) to avoid working with a contractor or builder where corners might be getting cut, things getting missed, sub-standard quality happening, and it all being hidden where you can't see (or don't know to look)
  • Shawn’s recommendations for setting up a good working relationship between a builder / contractor and homeowner

In “The Welcome Home Course”, I’ve teamed up with award-winning American architect, Eric Reinholdt, to create a specific course for American homeowners.

If you’re planning your renovation or new build, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about the best way forward. Many homeowners make the mistake of diving in, and fall for all sorts of terrible advice as a result. And the journey becomes far more stressful, expensive and time consuming as a result. And their finished home never lives up to the dreams they held so dear.

When you have the steps to follow … the map for your journey ahead, you can then move confidently towards that future home you’re dreaming of, and not waste any time or money. 

When you know that step-by-step system has been created over decades of experience in hundreds and hundreds of family homes like yours, you can save so much stress in your project, and create a home that works and feels great.

And when you have the steps, as well as professional know-how, design knowledge, tools, resources, and guides, you can shortcut your journey, enjoy your experience, and avoid the heartache and drama so many experience.

If you’re keen to make your journey simpler, be confident that the home you’re dreaming of is achievable, and know the steps to get you there …’The Welcome Home Course’ is the way. Together with Eric, we’ve packaged up almost 45 years experience to show you the way to your future family home. 

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Find more information, resources and links for Shawn Van Dyke here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-finding-contractor-builder-you-can-trust-shawn-van-dyke

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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Is it possible to design a sustainable AND affordable home? Well, most homeowners I speak to say ‘No!’ … it’s always more expensive to build sustainably!

Jenny Edwards and Sarah Lebner from Light House Architecture + Science disagree. They believe you can have a sustainable home that is affordable to build as well. And one that uses traditional building methods, done smartly and efficiently.

And they have 77 completed projects that prove it’s possible.

SHOW NOTES:

Light House Architecture and Science is a unique architectural practice based in Canberra, and they are founded on a philosophy of simplifying the sustainable design process to create comfortable, clever, energy efficient homes. Homes that are light-filled and light-footed.

Light House Architecture and Science design space-efficient and energy-efficient homes to suit Canberra’s climate.

Through excellent design and scientific testing, they create homes that feel spacious and comfortable, and function beautifully, on a smaller than average floor area. Many of the homes they design achieve an energy efficiency rating of 8+ stars (6 stars being the current minimum standard). These houses require half as much energy per year to heat and cool them to comfortable temperatures compared to a 6 star home. 

Their vision is to make energy efficient housing mainstream and be a beacon for positive change in the residential construction industry. As a result, they are committed to helping people with a ‘mainstream’ budget achieve their dream of an excellent, comfortable and affordable home.

Light House provides a unique integrated service with an experienced team of architects, scientists and cost estimator. This collaborative approach means you can expect clear and consistent communication from the outset about the design of your home, energy performance, time frames and costings, materials, finishes and inclusions.

JENNY EDWARDS is an ACT licensed Building Energy Efficiency Assessor, and is the owner, managing director and lead scientist for Light House Architecture + Science … and I think this is one of the unique factors of this business as an architectural practice - in that a scientist is at the helm. It completely reframes the business’ focus, practice regime and design methodologies to be aligned with their core philosophy.

Jenny has personally been awarded for her work in the industry, and her businesses and projects - including her own home - have also been recognised and awarded for their design and sustainable performance. 

SARAH LEBNER is Lead Architect at Light House Architecture and Science and describes herself as a country girl who only wants to change the world!

Sarah originally joined Light House to focus on developing a modular housing design approach with the aim to make affordable, beautiful, energy efficient homes more accessible to the general public. The business evolution of Light House during Sarah’s employment has given her valuable insight into collaborative approaches and unique practising models for architects. 

Sarah now leads the architecture and design team at Light House, maintaining a highly collaborative and collective group approach to design, documentation, advice during construction, professional development, and integration with the science team. 

She’s also added another project - a business and resource called “My First Architecture Job” - and it was through this avenue that I first encountered Sarah. My First Architecture Job is Sarah's latest project, allowing her to bring her mentoring skills and energy for helping students kick-start their career to a wider audience. 

My First Architecture Job is a resource to help bridge the gap for graduate architects between university and practice by providing knowledge, resources and connections, and to help them find employment, learn the basics of architecture practice, and fast-track the first five years of their career. 

When researching this interview, I read a quote by Steve Baczek, an American architect, that said: 

“It’s not that High-Performance Houses cost too much; it’s that our idea of a fairly priced home is based on a history of building houses to meet embarrassingly low performance benchmarks. Clients don’t realise the difference between built to code vs built to last”

Jenny and Sarah share some incredibly valuable advice about how you can build a home that is built to last, comfortable and sustainable - and gives you the best living environment in an affordable way.

I know this will be a seriously game-changing interview.

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Jenny and Sarah to let them know you heard them on Undercover Architect, and to thank them for all they share!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interviews with Jenny and Sarah. My full interview is now featured inside my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” for Australian homeowners.  

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more about “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”. 

Wondering how to build or renovate your family home without the drama, budget blowouts or costly mistakes?

The “How To Get It Right in Your Reno or New Home E-Course” gives you access to all of the information and knowledge you need to create the home you want.

My years of experience with homeowners just like you, has shown me that making mis-steps in the early planning days ... and then continuing to make them ... can fundamentally impact your reno or building project. And send you in the wrong (and expensive) direction.

“How To Get It Right” is designed on the system I’ve followed during my own, and my clients', renovation and building projects. It is a framework for your journey from start to finish.

I arm you with the tools and knowledge you need to save time, money and stress.

And get it right the first time.

This detailed, step-by-step framework, will simplify your entire project journey

and give you the tools to ...

> Feel confident about the steps you need to take in your project.

> Know how to keep everything on budget and on time.

> Avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that lead to disaster stories.

> Be in control, keep your sanity and enjoy the journey!

"How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Build" will transform your renovation or building experience - and the finished home waiting for you at the end of your journey.

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Learn more about Jenny Edwards, Sarah Lebner, Light House Architecture + Science and My First Architecture Job here >>>

http://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-sustainable-affordable-home-light-house-architecture-science

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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What do you need to know about renovating and building your family home? And how can Feng Shui be used in the design of your home?

Hello, and welcome to Episode 3 of Season 10. In this episode, I have two American designers to introduce you to. Both are doing fantastic work in their own businesses, and have lots of helpful knowledge to share with you. 

This is super exciting, because with both of my guests today, I had such a great time learning from them as I interviewed them - and so I know you’re going to benefit hugely from their expertise as well.

My first guest on this episode, is Marina V Umali, an Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner based in New York State. And my second guest is Jake Krokowski of JWK Design, and he is based in South Carolina, and specialises in new homes, renovations and landscape design. 

SHOW NOTES:

So, let me first introduce you to Marina.

Marina V Umali is a NY State Certified Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, and owner of Marina V Design Studio.

She has studied Interior Design, Architecture and Psychology, and worked as an Interior Designer for a number of prominent firms in New York City.

She cares deeply about helping people create lasting improvements in their lives. And she does that by creating lasting improvements in their environments. 

Marina seeks to integrate interior design and Feng Shui closely in her work. Her favorite thing about Feng Shui is that it combines her experience and expertise in design and architecture with her innate desire to promote health and well-being. Seeing the smiles on her clients’ faces, hearing the emotion in their testimonials, and knowing that she helped make a difference in their lives is truly what makes all the difference in hers.

Her goal is to help you achieve a living space that’s striking, inviting, and functions practically for your lifestyle. Marina take a common-sense approach to Feng Shui – sorting through the myriad of misconceptions, alleviating your concerns and utilizing an age-old philosophical system to promote harmony and good energy in your home through thoughtful, compelling design. 

She works locally with clients, and also provides her services online regardless of your location. Marina specialises in residential work and helps homeowners globally. She seeks to create custom solutions for her clients using beautiful and timeless design principles in combination with the power of intention. Marina wants you to have a home that feels as good as it looks.

I’ve been wanting to talk about Feng Shui on the podcast for AGES now, so it’s even more exciting to be bringing this chat with Marina to you. 

Now, let’s meet our next guest.

Jake Krokowski is a designer based in South Carolina, USA. In 2015, he founded JWK Design, to help families realise their dream of a comfortable, modern home.

With 20 years industry and design experience, Jake has worked on design teams for large international resorts and prominent public projects, most notably the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York. 

As well as working with clients on their custom new homes and renovations, he is also a registered Landscape Architect.

He can assist with 

+ Landscape & Architectural design concepts & planning 

+ Construction drawings & material selection 

+ Bid review & contractor vetting 

+ Construction oversight & quality control

Jake shares some great insight into what most challenges homeowners, and how he helps them to get clear on their project needs and desires. So, let’s dive into my chat with Jake.

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Marina and Jake to let them know you heard them on Undercover Architect, and to thank them for all they share!!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interviews with Marina and Jake. Those interviews are now featured inside my online course “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners.  

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more about “The Welcome Home Course”.

In the full interview, Marina has some fantastic help in ...

  • how you can use intentionality in your design for great results
  • where she has seen improper use of Feng Shui impact homeowners
  • why your health and wellbeing is such a big part of your home design
  • understanding ceilings as the 5th elevation of each room
  • recommendations for finding out more about Feng Shui for your project

In Jake’s full interview, he has some great tips for ...

  • how to design for Carolina’s climate and conditions
  • what type of roofing, materials and window systems are best for this type of climate
  • the planning conditions in the Carolinas to be aware of
  • local resources to help you with renovating and building in the Carolinas

In “The Welcome Home Course”, I’ve teamed up with award-winning American architect, Eric Reinholdt, to create a specific course for American homeowners.

If you’re planning your renovation or new build, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about the best way forward. Many homeowners make the mistake of diving in, and fall for all sorts of terrible advice as a result. And the journey becomes far more stressful, expensive and time consuming as a result. And their finished home never lives up to the dreams they held so dear.

When you have the steps to follow … the map for your journey ahead, you can then move confidently towards that future home you’re dreaming of, and not waste any time or money. 

When you know that step-by-step system has been created over decades of experience in hundreds and hundreds of family homes like yours, you can save so much stress in your project, and create a home that works and feels great.

And when you have the steps, as well as professional know-how, design knowledge, tools, resources, and guides, you can shortcut your journey, enjoy your experience, and avoid the heartache and drama so many experience.

If you’re keen to make your journey simpler, be confident that the home you’re dreaming of is achievable, and know the steps to get you there …’The Welcome Home Course’ is the way. Together with Eric, we’ve packaged up almost 45 years experience to show you the way to your future family home. 

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Find more information and links to Marina V Umali, Marina V Design Studio, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-feng-shui-marina-umali-marina-v-design-studio

Learn more about Jake Krokowski and get links to JWK Design, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-important-to-know-building-renovating-jake-krokowski-jwk-design

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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How do you choose the right architect to work with? And how can you work well with them to keep your project on budget, and create a beautiful, long-term, family home?

Welcome to Episode 2 of Season 10. In this episode, I have two Australian architects who are bringing their industry insider insights to you … and from both sides of the country, with very different careers.

My first guest on this episode, is Christopher Megowan, of Megowan Architectural, a Melbourne-based firm. And my second guest is Suzie Hunt, of Suzanne Hunt Architect, a business based in Perth and working all through Western Australia.

SHOW NOTES:

Now, I’ve got a slightly longer episode for you this week, as I wanted to bring these interviews together, because I believe both these architects share a huge wealth of knowledge and experience, and what you’ll learn will really benefit you in your renovation or new build project.

These guests are Christopher Megowan, of Megowan Architectural, a Melbourne-based firm, and Suzie Hunt, of Suzanne Hunt Architect, a business based in Perth and working all through Western Australia.

So, firstly let me tell you about Chris.

For over a decade, Christopher Megowan, director of M – A, has passionately dedicated himself to the study, teaching and practice of Architecture, design and development. Christopher earned a Bachelor of Architecture (5 Year professional degree) from the University of Southern California in 2008 where he received numerous honours, scholarships, grants and awards. Acting as owner, designer, and developer, he completed his first built work prior to graduating University. Since then, he has been involved in projects ranging from bar & cafe fitouts to single family homes & 50 unit mixed use developments. Prior to starting M – A, Christopher cut his teeth working for award winning Architecture practices in Los Angeles, London, and Melbourne. Christopher has taught multiple design and construction studios at the University of Melbourne and Monash University at both undergraduate and graduate levels as well as served as a guest critic in Architecture for several different courses.

Megowan Architectural was established in 2009 and is a talented team of Architects that are united by a desire for excellence. M – A is less about a singular style, instead they are committed to the specifics of each project and to creating timeless spaces. Each project brings its own complexities and parameters which they carefully respond to by understanding their clients and how they want to interact with their spaces, and in turn how their spaces will interact with them.

And, I can’t wait to introduce my SECOND guest for this interview … Suzie Hunt.

Suzanne Hunt is an award-winning architect based in West Australia, and she founded her own practice, Suzanne Hunt Architect, in 2004.

Suzanne Hunt Architect is a boutique architectural and interior design practice specialising in residential, heritage, hospitality and mixed use projects in Perth and country Western Australia.

Known for her down-to-earth approach and wide-ranging professional and life experiences, architect Suzie Hunt has a warm and engaging manner that manifests in the buildings and spaces she designs. Her practice – founded in 2004 – specialises in architecture and interior design across a range of sectors, and provides strategic advice on design and heritage issues.

Suzie employs a small in-house team of architects and interior designers, and works with trusted external consultants and professional builders, all of whom are selected for their expertise and suitability for each project. She prides herself on maintaining a highly personalised service for her clients, from site selection, initial briefing and concept design through to construction, administration and project completion.

Her work is strongly influenced by Western Australia’s stunning landscapes, resulting in timeless buildings and spaces that are fit-for-purpose and beautifully detailed. Suzie brings a wealth of knowledge to the business of architecture; as well as running her own practice she has worked at state and local government levels, and currently sits on several executive boards.

As such, Suzanne Hunt Architects delivers projects that are financially viable, environmentally sustainable and aesthetically innovative.

One of Suzie’s most important roles as an architect is to help her clients enjoy their creative journey; she listens carefully so she can nurture and shape their dreams. “Great architecture enriches our lives physically, psychologically, spiritually and emotionally, and leaves a legacy for generations to come,” she says. “It’s important that we get it right, together.”

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Suzie and Chris to let them know you heard them on Undercover Architect, and to thank them for all they share!!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interviews with Chris and Suzie. Those interviews are now featured inside my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” for Australian homeowners.  

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more about “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”.

In the full interview, Chris also shares information on ...

  • how he incorporates flexibility as an approach in his projects
  • the design strategy that makes his own project (and home) a great example of what’s possible when desiging ‘in section’
  • his learnings from his own project, and what he recommends you consider in your own
  • what makes a family home functional and flexible over the long-term

In Suzie’s full interview, she has some great tips for ...

  • how she assesses each project to be sure it’s tracking on budget,
  • how homeowners have changed what they’re wanting in their homes over the past 14 years of her business,
  • her thoughts on whether every project deserves an architect, and
  • construction and planning in Western Australia (if you’re building or renovating in WA, this is awesome info!)

Wondering how to build or renovate your family home without the drama, budget blowouts or costly mistakes?

The “How To Get It Right in Your Reno or New Home E-Course” gives you access to all of the information and knowledge you need to create the home you want.

My years of experience with homeowners just like you, has shown me that making mis-steps in the early planning days ... and then continuing to make them ... can fundamentally impact your reno or building project. And send you in the wrong (and expensive) direction.

“How To Get It Right” is designed on the system I’ve followed during my own, and my clients', renovation and building projects. It is a framework for your journey from start to finish.

I arm you with the tools and knowledge you need to save time, money and stress.

And get it right the first time.

This detailed, step-by-step framework, will simplify your entire project journey

and give you the tools to ...

> Feel confident about the steps you need to take in your project.

> Know how to keep everything on budget and on time.

> Avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that lead to disaster stories.

> Be in control, keep your sanity and enjoy the journey!

"How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Build" will transform your renovation or building experience - and the finished home waiting for you at the end of your journey.

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Learn more about Chris Megowan and get links to Megowan Architectural, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-one-thing-renovating-and-building-christopher-megowan-architect

Find more information and links to Suzie Hunt, Suzanne Hunt Architect, here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/podcast-working-with-architect-suzanne-hunt-perth

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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How do you find a great quality architect? One you have a good fit with, delivers beautiful work, and will take care of you as a client?

Meet Anthony Laney from Laney LA. Anthony is an architect and designer, a husband and a dad, and one of the owners of Laney LA.

In this interview, Anthony shares some fantastic industry insider insights into how Laney LA have built their practice, continue to create stunning homes, and how they seek to delight every client they work with.

SHOW NOTES: 

Together with his wife, Krista, Anthony founded LANEY LA in 2014. Located in Los Angeles, their team focusses on fast-paced, high impact design solutions for home and businessowners.

Laney LA has a unique way of sharing their business and projects that shows a strong and powerful company culture, a true commitment to communicating their values and mission, the fun and enjoyment in their team, their clients and the homes they’re creating, and even though you’re following along, it’s shared in a way that makes you feel part of it.

When you find people who are so passionate about what they do, and are a force to be reckoned with in how they’re seeking to improve how they practice, whilst delivering top level services and stunning homes … well, you just want to help them spread the word.

Anthony is a powerful communicator, an innovative entrepreneur, and together with the team at Laney LA, is driving change in this industry and creating beautiful family homes and happy clients whilst they do it. And causing a bit of disruption whilst they do … smiling and looking like it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

I ASKED ANTHONY THESE QUESTIONS ...

  • When you started Laney LA with Krista, did you have intentions around the type of work you took on, goals you were seeking to hit, or clear client criteria for example?
  • How do you use Instagram for Laney LA and what are your goals there?
  • How do you suggest homeowners establish that ‘right fit’ between themselves and their designer?
  • How do you explain your process to your potential clients?
  • How does technology travel through the process, and what advantages do you think it gives you?
  • How does your process test the budget as the design develops?
  • Do you have suggestions for how homeowners and designers can bring surprise and delight to their home when on lower budgets?  

Anthony was incredibly generous with his answers, and has fantastic advice that any homeowner will benefit from. And if you’re a designer or architect building your own business, this is the gold standard to aim for.

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Anthony to let him know you heard him on Undercover Architect, and to thank him for all he shares!!

This podcast is a snippet of the full interview which now is featured inside my online course “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners.  

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more about “The Welcome Home Course”.

In the full interview, Anthony shares more information about designing for a Californian climate, dealing with difficult local authorities, as well as other tips for a great lifestyle in your home. 

In “The Welcome Home Course”, I’ve teamed up with award-winning American architect, Eric Reinholdt, to create a specific course for American homeowners.

If you’re planning your renovation or new build, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about the best way forward. Many homeowners make the mistake of diving in, and fall for all sorts of terrible advice as a result. And the journey becomes far more stressful, expensive and time consuming as a result. And their finished home never lives up to the dreams they held so dear.

When you have the steps to follow … the map for your journey ahead, you can then move confidently towards that future home you’re dreaming of, and not waste any time or money.

When you know that step-by-step system has been created over decades of experience in hundreds and hundreds of family homes like yours, you can save so much stress in your project, and create a home that works and feels great.

And when you have the steps, as well as professional know-how, design knowledge, tools, resources, and guides, you can shortcut your journey, enjoy your experience, and avoid the heartache and drama so many experience.

If you’re keen to make your journey simpler, be confident that the home you’re dreaming of is achievable, and know the steps to get you there …’The Welcome Home Course’ is the way. Together with Eric, we’ve packaged up almost 45 years experience to show you the way to your future family home. 

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/ to learn more and join us.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Find Laney LA on the web >>> https://www.laney.la/

Follow them on Instagram >>> https://www.instagram.com/laneylainc/?hl=en

And Facebook is here >>> https://www.facebook.com/LaneyLAinc/

The Proven Process “Delighted Client” Journey is here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/LaneyLA-ProvenProcessDelightedClientMap.pdf

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/

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What do industry insiders think it’s important for you to know when building or renovating?

One of the reasons I created Undercover Architect, and why I continue to make so much knowledge and advice freely available, is because in my 20+ year career in architecture, I felt I was always finding people too late.

I'd be at the school gate, or at a BBQ, and someone would find out I was an architect, and then proceed to tell me the horror story of theirs, a family member's or a friend's project.

And there was always a consistent element ... they could have avoided the drama with the right advice at the right time. And anything I told them now was too late for them.

SHOW NOTES:

So much information and knowledge gets locked up inside the 1:1 relationship a homeowner has with their designer or their builder.

In that long journey of renovating or building, it can feel like 'pot luck' whether you end up with the right people, or getting the right advice at the right time.

Spoiler alert ... it's not pot luck.

Within every disaster story I hear, there's 2 common things:

  1. a homeowner not knowing what to ask for, demand or expect
  2. a red flag (or bunch of them) that got missed or ignored and not dealt with

There are hundreds of thousands of homeowners that visit Undercover Architect's website each year. Thousands listen to this podcast every week. Thousands receive my weekly email. Heck - there's over a million people each month that look at Undercover Architect's Pinterest account (1.3 million to be precise!!)

And yet, I still hear ...

  • "I wish we'd found you sooner"
  • "I wish I'd bought your course before we got to this point"
  • "I now tell all my friends and family to check out Undercover Architect so they don't have to experience what I did".

I’m doing my very best to spread the word that Undercover Architect is here, ready to help, with loads of knowledge and guidance available for homeowners. And I know many of you share Undercover Architect with your friends, family, neighbours and workmates … and I can’t thank you enough for continuing to spread the word with me.

I’m on a mission to make horror builds and renovations a thing of the past.

For you to all love and enjoy your projects, and create fantastic homes with design that works and helps you feel great.

Part of this is always making sure it’s not only my voice you hear. I want to bring you insights from other industry colleagues to expand all of our knowledge and experience. And I’m always seeking to help introduce like-minded professionals to the UA Community, because I know you’re keen to find good people to help you with your projects.

This season is going to be jam-packed with a range of different types of professionals, different areas of expertise and all my guests have one thing in common. They are super generous with their advice and knowledge.

Listen to the episode now to meet our industry insiders, and stay tuned for a great season ahead.

These podcast episodes will be edited versions of the full interviews which will now be featured inside my online courses …  

  • “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners, and
  • “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” for Aussie homeowners.

And they’re featured in there in both video and audio form.

As Undercover Architect has grown as an online business, I’ve loved being able to reach and connect with homeowners from all corners of the globe. I’ve got almost 25 years industry experience in design, building and renovating in Australia.

And what I’ve found is that my step-by-step system for any renovation or new building project (the one I’ve been using in client projects and my own projects for all of that time) is that when I teach this system to you, it can help you as a homeowner save time, money and stress in your project.

When you have the steps to follow, the map for your journey ahead, you can then move confidently towards that future home you’re dreaming of, and not waste any time or money.

When you know that step-by-step system has been created over decades of experience in hundreds and hundreds of family homes like yours, you can save so much stress in your project, and create a home that works and feels great.

And when you have the steps, as well as professional know-how, design knowledge, tools, resources, and guides, you can shortcut your journey, enjoy your experience, and avoid the heartache and drama so many experience.

If you’re keen to make your journey simpler, be confident that the home you’re dreaming of is achievable, and know the steps to get you there, these online courses are the way.

In them, I’ve literally packaged up what is in my head and heart from almost 25 years experience to show you the way to your future family home.

Want to learn more about the courses?

If you’re an Aussie, head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ If you’re an American, head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

And I’ve got a special bonus for the gorgeous UA Community podcast listeners. Just use the code “PODCAST” when you join, and you’ll immediately access a $50 saving.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

To learn more about the courses ...

If you’re an Aussie, head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/ If you’re an American, head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/the-welcome-home/

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So you want to build or renovate a Passive House?

Your specialist team may need to include a Certified Passive House Consultant to help test and measure your Passive House design.

Let me introduce to you Luc Plowman, of Detail Green. Luc is a Passive House Certified Consultant and Certifier. In fact, he’s only one of 2 Passive House certified building certifiers in the country, and there’s only about 50 world-wide.

Luc was brought in on the Owl Woods Passive House project as Talina wasn’t certified yet. He assisted with reviewing and auditing the design, running it through the Passive House modelling tool, and providing feedback and advice on what needed to be included and amended in order for the home to reach required benchmarks.

SHOW NOTES:

Meet Luc Plowman, from Detail Green.

Detail Green has a wealth of building design, engineering, construction and sustainability performance experience.  This includes both local and international projects in residential, commercial, industrial and educational buildings across multiple green building standards.  

Luc is a Sustainability Engineer. With 15 years experience he has been involved in a wide range of green building and sustainability projects across Australia. He’s a director of Detail Green based in Beechworth, Victoria.  

With a background in the commercial building industry and a range of Green Building qualifications Luc provides specialist ESD input to all areas of the built environment.   

Luc is both a Certified Passive House Consultant & Building Certifier and one of Australia’s most experienced Passive House professionals.

In this episode, I ask Luc ...

  • How do you describe what Passive House is?
  • What is your role on the Owl Woods Passive House Project? Is this how you’re normally involved in projects?
  • You’re a Certified Passive House Consultant ... what does that mean?
  • How did you get involved in this type of work - what is your professional background? what made you choose to become a Certified Consultant?
  • Is a Passive House not really a Passive House if a Certified Passive House Consultant is not involved?
  • As a Certified Consultant, do you find that homeowners come find you because they really want to do this type of home and they’ve first done a lot of investigation and research themselves? Or do you find that there’s an interest, and then still lots of education to do on your part?
  • What misconceptions do you see about Passive House?
  • I know homeowners will say to me “oh my climate is quite mild, I don’t need to be this extreme about my home” ... what would you say to them? Is there anywhere that Passive House is ‘over the top’ as an approach?
  • What key tips do you have for homeowners considering this as an approach for their renovation or new build?

Passive House can seem initially like a complex process of data and analysis. However, Luc shows us its fundamental aspects and the opportunity this methodology has to help us predict the performance of our homes - before we build them.

Listen to the episode now.

This episode is brought to you by my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”.

This is a superfast course that will help you get ready for your renovation or building project in the best way possible.

In it, I share my step-by-step system to help you save time, money and stress in your project, so you can know what you need to know and create the perfect home for you - simply and with confidence … avoiding the dramas and heartaches.

You can join now, get access to a fantastic Facebook community, Live Q & A sessions with me, and all the tools and resources you need to achieve success in your project. Head to www.undercoverarchitect.com/howtogetitright to learn more and join us.

FOR RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST CLICK HERE

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Talina Edwards, of Talina Edwards Architecture, is the architect on the Owl Woods Passive House project.

This project didn’t start out as a Passive House, and Talina didn’t start the project as a Passive House Certified Designer … but that’s what she is now, and that’s what the house is now.

I think you’ll learn a lot from hearing how Talina talks about the process of working with a client, understanding their wants, needs and aspirations for their home and her responsibility in bringing that to life … and how she’s worked collaboratively with the client and other team members to deliver this family their forever home.

SHOW NOTES:

Let me introduce Talina Edwards to you, and Talina Edwards Architecture.

Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design studio is passionate about creating healthy, beautiful, functional, comfortable and sustainable architecture. The practice has a passion for design that improves people’s lives – for residential, community and commercial clients. Talina strongly believes that high quality design of our built environment has many positive impacts for people and the planet.

Talina established her Architectural Studio in 2013 after more than a decade of working as a registered architect with Melbourne practices who excelled in sustainable architecture. Talina recently became qualified as a ‘Certified Passive House Designer’, which is an international standard to deliver the healthiest, highest-performing and lowest-energy buildings in the world. The standard is heavily based in building-physics for proven performance. Talina embraces this scientific, rational and practical side of architecture, as well as the more creative and intuitive approach to design. She employs a holistic and collaborative approach that is responsive to the whole picture, whilst including careful consideration of all the small, important details. She is very interested in how the principles of biophilic design can be applied to architectural projects to improve our wellbeing by connecting to nature. Talina recently attended the ‘Living Future Institute’ 2018 symposium and is committed to this ideology, which aims to redirect our future towards a society that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

Talina is hugely engaged in her local community, in the architectural community and the sustainable design community as well. She is an active member of several industry organisations, and a huge advocate for her local professional community.


Talina loves sharing her love of all things elemental design (green buildings, sustainable architecture, healthy homes and natural living) by writing articles, exhibiting at Smart Living and Building expos, and giving presentations to her community.

On the weekends, she loves spending time amongst nature with her partner, children and playful puppy – as Talina knows this is the best way to slow down and re-connect and maintain a sense of wellbeing.

In this episode, I ask Talina ...

  • How do you describe Passive House to people who ask?
  • Tell me about what happened when the clients, David and Yvonne, first approached you for this new home ... discussing sustainability measures, design etc ... how did that go?
  • One of the things that’s been interesting about Owl Woods Passive House is that it didn’t start its journey as a Passive House did it? Can you explain more about that?
  • When did Passive House start becoming part of the conversation? Who drove that?
  • What was your aim for the design initially, as the clients briefed you on what they wanted, etc ... and then as it became a Passive House? Talking through the ideas, the pavilion style, designing a home for people who will have older children who'll leave and come back, etc.
  • Since starting this project, you’ve achieved your Passive House design certification - why?
  • David spoke about how they went about the process of finding you, and then have really sought to trust you, and seek your support as they move through the project. It appears you've created a really trusting relationship, and a collaborative one. How do you think that has happened?
  • As an architect, who has come from a sustainable design point of view, to now move into this area, what have been your key learnings about what’s needed to get this right?
  • Do you think you need to be a specific type of architect to tackle this area of design? It seems very technical to an outsider.
  • Have you found any of this limiting for your creativity?
  • I had a client joke with me that seeing homes we’ve designed get finished must be like seeing our children grow up and leave home ... what are you most looking forward to in seeing this home finished?

If you’re wondering what it’s like to design a Passive House, or work collaboratively with an architect for your new build or renovation, this episode provides great insight, tips and strategies to get it right.

Listen to the episode now.

This episode is brought to you by my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”.

This is a superfast course that will help you get ready for your renovation or building project in the best way possible.

In it, I share my step-by-step system to help you save time, money and stress in your project, so you can know what you need to know and create the perfect home for you - simply and with confidence … avoiding the dramas and heartaches.

You can join now, get access to a fantastic Facebook community, Live Q & A sessions with me, and all the tools and resources you need to achieve success in your project. Head to www.undercoverarchitect.com/howtogetitright to learn more and join us.

FOR RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST CLICK HERE

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Are you chasing the after photo? Styling and staging may be seducing you to make the wrong choices for your home design.

As you browse the internet, look at glossy magazines and spend hours on Pinterest, it’s easy to fall in love (and aspire to achieve) the images you see of renovation and building projects.

But it’s not all about the ‘after’ photo.

SHOW NOTES:

The way we view renovations and new homes when we look online, or on reality TV, is very carefully crafted.

Heavily curated homes, with the ‘right’ amount of furniture, artwork, cushions, rugs, and throws, make for beautiful photographs we begin to lust after and collect as inspiration for our own home.

It can be easy to think … “I just need to achieve that ‘look’ and my home will be perfect.

However, in my experience, styling and staging are not what make a home work. It’s not how a great home design is actually achieved. And it can seduce you into chasing the ‘after’ photo, and ending up with a home that’s disappointing and lacks soul.

Far too often I see homeowners start down the path of creating a home that is truly, uniquely theirs … and get lost in the on-trend, stylish and lust-worthy photos. They lose confidence in their own style, their own desires. And they create a cookie-cutter version of whatever is trending on Pinterest right now.

And the worst of it? Because the ‘look’ is usually high-end, they find knock-offs and low-cost substitutes to create it. Knowing they’re not durable. Knowing they’ll break down in a few years. With any luck, they’ll be out of fashion by then, and it won’t matter too much.

STOP.

You … and your home … deserve better than this.

Don’t go chasing that ‘after’ photo at the cost of living sustainably, flexibly and authentically.

Seek your way to keep it real, and create a home that works for you, and your family.

A home that is “YOU-WORTHY”.

This episode is brought to you by my online course “Manage Your Build”.

Are you planning to build your new home or renovation? Do you fear it will be a stress-filled ride of budget blowouts, compromises and dramas?

MANAGE YOUR BUILD provides you with industry-insider knowledge, checklists and strategies to save you time, money and your own sanity when building your new home or renovation.

A collaboration between Amelia Lee, Undercover Architect, and Duayne Pearce, of D Pearce Constructions, Manage Your Build shares know-how, expertise and experience from over 45 years in residential design, building and renovation.

This online course will prepare you for your construction phase so you can know you're actually getting what you're paying for, and avoid the heartache and drama of a horror build.

It gives you the clarity, confidence and information you need to start your project on the right foot - and navigate throughout each stage of construction.

Head to https://undercoverarchitect.com/manageyourbuild/ to learn more and join us.

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