Renovation and Home Design

Overflowing Drains

Overflowing drains

Its not unusual to see local flooding around a house, or on streets, during exceptionally heavy rainfall.

If you are unlucky you might even see a manhole ‘Pop It’s Top!’ like this one!

This is because the council drains don’t have the capacity to deal with these really heavy rains!

Why It Happens

The roof [read more…]

Saline Ground Conditions

"Valley of Salt" - Salinity in the Western Australian wheatbelt near Bruce Rock, WA.

“Valley of Salt” – Salinity in the Western Australian wheatbelt near Bruce Rock, WA. photo by CSIRO

Salinity doesn’t have to be as bad as in this photograph to cause problems in new homes.

It’s also quite common for land that has not got salinity issues to develop salinity over several years.

Building Problems [read more…]

Remove, or Vary, a Covenant

Many properties come with covenants that restrict what you can do with the site.

Although you can try to Remove the Covenant you might have a better chance of success in getting a permit to vary it instead.

A couple of examples:

The covenant says ‘Only One Dwellings’.

If you want to subdivide [read more…]

Potential Acidic Sulphate Soils

Risk of PASS

Look to buy a block on a coastal plain, alongside a river, or a reclaimed wetland and you may see the area described as Potential Acidic Sulphate Soil (PASS).

Well PASS doesn’t mean OK!

Risk of PASS

Why, And Where It Occurs

These types of soil generally occur in areas which were flooded by [read more…]

Tiger Tails

tiger tails

Buy a block near overhead electrical cables and you may need ‘Tiger Tails’ during the build.

These are plastic tubes that fit over the cables and provide mechanical protection and visual warning on power lines and conductors.

Getting ‘Tiger Tails’ installed isn’t cheap and can be in the order of $1000/month.

A twelve month build [read more…]

Chinese Lucky, and Unlucky, Numbers

Unlucky Number

I see from the papers that a significant number of properties are bought by Chinese Investors.

Also I have noticed many visits to my web site are referred from Australian based Chinese language website

So for all my fellow Gweilos’ (Ghost men) here is a quick guide to checking if the street number of [read more…]



Would you worry if you saw this guy (from Jim’s Jihad?) mowing the lawn next door?

Unlikely. . . but it does illustrate the fact that neighbours can have a big effect on your enjoyment, or otherwise, of your house.

In fact 20% of us have fallen out with a neighbour in the last [read more…]

Reasons to Re-Build

KDR rebuild

Knock Down and Rebuild, or Renovate?

It may be the only house you can find in the area you like is dilapidated, like this one.

You may already live in the house but it no longer suits your family’s needs.

If the house is un-renovated, and over 40 years old its going to need a [read more…]