Who does what on your property team

Smart buyers know the best way to really amp up their property performance is to purchase a property with potential, and then complete projects that add value to the property.  Don’t fret if you’re time poor, because you don’t have to do any of the work yourself.

Property with potential

Typically, property types that qualify for improvement are established properties that are at least five or more years old and – in most cases – the older the better depending on a few other characteristics.

The good news is that many Australian suburbs hold plenty of properties that will benefit from strategic ‘uplifts’.  Projects include everything from a landscape update, cosmetic renovations, or adding an extra room, and right on through to structural renovations, developments and sub-divisions.  Just be sure you avoid over capitalising and keep pace with suburb capital growth.

Task allocation

Unless you have an extensive array of skills, if you’re considering a project you’ll most likely be appointing a specialist to complete some or all of the work, but how do you know who to use for each task? 

Sure, sometimes it’s obvious . .you want to add a bathroom so a plumber is going to be required, but if things are a little more complex than that it’s important to know which specialist will be best for each component of your project.

One of the components of our service is to recommend quality service providers for our clients’ projects, so we have compiled the following list to help you with your task allocations. 

Light touch / cosmetic renovations

Landscape architect / designer / gardener – design and plan all aspects of a garden in your front and backyard. This includes plants and structures (walls, ponds, trellises etc.) to make a complete and effective ecosystem. They may be involved in choosing plants, preparing the ground, installing irrigation, planting shrubs, bulbs, flowers and trees.

Colour consultant – specializes in the complex effects of color and creates colour solutions to enhance features of the exterior and interior of a property. A color consultant combines color psychology, current trends, demographic statistics, and color design theories to come up with a successful, informed solution.

Interior designer – advise on making indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items such as colors, lighting, and materials. They must be able to draw, read and edit blueprints.

Property stylist – focus on improving the look and appeal of your property typically in preparation for a sale. They can coordinate the selection and use of hired furniture to show a property in its best condition and create emotional bonds with prospective buyers.

Painter – use paint, varnishes and wallpaper to decorate rooms or the exterior of a property.

Electrician – install wiring, lighting, and power switches as well as troubleshoot electrical problems in homes. All electrical work must be completed a licensed technician.

Plumber – Plumbers install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems, and related appliances and fixtures to keep homes and businesses flowing smoothly. May include guttering and rainfall flows from rooftops.

Flooring Installer or Flooring Contractor – installs different types of flooring and floor coverings in both residential and commercial buildings. They may also work with unique specialty products including ceramic tile, concrete or wood flooring.

Tiler – Wall and floor tilers lay ceramic, clay, slate, marble, glass and other types of tiles on external and internal walls and floors to provide protective and decorative finishes. 

Carpenter / cabinet maker – Carpenters and cabinet makers construct, erect, install, and repair structures, fixtures and furniture made from wood and other materials.

Roofer – Roofers work on houses and buildings to build, maintain and repair roofs. They use a variety of tools and materials to get the job done and depending on the type of roof they will also work with asphalt, galvanized steel, and shingles.

For structural renovations and developments

Before you completely lose all hope when you look at the team of specialists you might need – depending on the project you’re planning – remember there’s a really easy way of approaching a project.  In essence, you only need two key specialists:

  • a draftsperson or designer – the right one will coordinate all the assessments, designs and documentation you will need to submit your development application
  • a builder to manage your project construction from start to finish and schedule each specialist as and when they’re needed.

For larger projects, you may prefer to appoint a project manager to coordinate the entire project for you so you only have one person to liaise with, although project managers can sometimes charge considerable fees for the work they do.

You can, of course, be more involved at key points depending on your level of skill, interest and time availability but best practice is to operate as the General Manager of your project leaving each specialist to do what they do best.

Accountant – can provide advice on the purchasing entity, establish an accounting structure for your project, coordinate business activity statements (BASs) and taxation requirements.  Mini tip – check with your accountant to see if you should allocate yourself a wage for the time you may spend on the project.

Finance broker – advises on lending limits and borrowing structures.  Ideally work with a broker who is experienced in construction or commercial lending.

Buyers agent – great buyers agents will provide assistance with feasibilities to ensure a project will be profitable prior to purchase (of course that’s what we do at Crave) as well as identifying property to meet your budget and future goals.

Lawyer – prepares contracts and related documentation to ensure your project will be completed to your specifications.  In addition, lawyers or conveyancers assist during the acquisition or sale of your property.

Insurer – ideally take out insurance on your property as soon as you have a signed contract (that is, prior to settlement).  Insurance is also required during the construction phase of your project.

 Architect / Building Designer / Draftsperson – design plans that meet your requirements as well as council’s regulations.  Often, architects will coordinate all the assessments required to compile your council submissions.  All project plans must be submitted to council prior to any activity taken on your site.  This includes any demolition works.

Town Planner – ensures the use of the land conforms to the local council’s codes, policies and planning regulations.  They also create a town planning report to accompany development applications submitted to council prior to your project receiving approval to commence.

Surveyor – update boundary lines and prepare sites for construction so that legal disputes are prevented. Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, map making, and construction projects and ensure the correct site is used for construction.

Builder / Building contractor – responsible for the construction phase of your project after you have received council approval and your building certificate.  Builders should be using the plans and specifications approved by council, and will coordinate trades and other specialists as required to complete the project.  Use a builder who is experienced in building the type of property you require – for example town houses or manor houses . . there’s a difference.

Building surveyor / certifier – responsible for certifying the building permit plans and constructed work conform to building regulations.

Acoustic Engineer – conducts field testing and recommends construction methods to minimize the effects of noise pollution, particularly in locations near a busy transport route.

Civil Engineer – designs drainage, earthworks, roadworks, sewer and water reticulation (pipe works) that must accompany your council development application.  This is required because your pipe works will need to link up with existing council infrastructure.

Electrical Engineer – designs electrical and telecommunications plans as part of you council submission.

Environmental Engineer – assesses the environment and develops methods for controlling or minimizing the impact on important features.  For example if your building may impact natural habitat, or if contamination issues need to be dealt with due to use by a previous owner.

Geotechnical Engineer – analyses the composition of the soil and reports on the suitability of building on specific site areas.  The report is used by the structural engineer, the civil engineer and landscape designer to make decisions about their designs.

Hydraulic Engineer – provides advice on the management of roof water drainage, sewerage and water reticulation caused by the building, and their designs are required as a component of your council submission.  The information is required to compensate for changes such as larger roof areas which will change the flow of rain water on a site.  This is a sub-discipline of civil engineering, focusing on the changes any new construction will have on the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water and sewage.

Mechanical Engineer – designs mechanical devices such as air-conditioning systems, elevators, internal bathrooms or basement ventilation.

Structural Engineer – designs the building foundations, retaining walls and building frameworks to meet council requirements.  The structural engineer will also supervise construction, particularly to ensure conformance with building codes.

Traffic Engineer – assesses the impact of future traffic flows and designs appropriate solutions to meet council requirements.  For example, if your building will introduce more cars coming onto a busy road (actually any road) council requires a traffic report as part of the development application.

Quantity Surveyor (QS) – responsible for auditing and managing construction costs and loan drawdowns and preparing depreciation schedules.  Your lender will usually require QS sign off before they will release staged components of funds for construction.

Valuer – responsible for assessing the value of the development during construction and also assessing value of the completed project for finance purposes.

Quality selection is critical

Selecting each specialist is key to your project’s aesthetic and financial outcomes so ensure you use experienced licensed professionals, check examples of previous work and obtain recommendations from reliable sources.  As mentioned earlier, we assist our clients to identify quality professionals as part of our usual project service.  Contact us on 1300 289 289 if you would like to discuss the viability of including a project as your next purchase.


 Buy smarter = limitless ways to build lifetime income

Crave Property Advisory is a unique property strategy and buyers agent service. As the only independent and unbiased advisory that can help you use any property strategy Australia-wide, Crave’s services extend to home, investment and commercial property.  A highly client focused organization, Crave developed the Modular Investing System (MI System) to provide clients with the ability to use a tailored mix of strategies and efficiently build profitable portfolios that create lifetime income. 

Debra Beck-Mewing is the CEO of Crave Property Advisory, and has more than 20 years’ experience in property investing, Australia-wide. She has used a range of strategies to build her property portfolio including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is skilled in identifying development opportunities, and sourcing properties that have multiple uses and multiple exit strategies. She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business.

Follow us on facebook.com/CravePropertyAdvisory for regular updates, or book in for a strategy session to discuss your property questions.

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551 Great North Road, Abbotsford NSW 2046
PO Box 578, Concord NSW 2137
1300 289 289

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