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House rules'ish external makeover....help!

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by avalon_darkold, 14th Aug, 2016.

  1. avalon_darkold

    avalon_darkold Member

    Joined:
    18th Aug, 2015
    Posts:
    7
    Location:
    QLD
    Waddup ladies and gentlemen!

    After having hit my head against the wall countless number of times and being unsuccessful, I have finally gathered courage to seek your help with this project. I have attached photos at the bottom of this post, please do not ridicule my awesome plot layout I did in PowerPoint within 6 mins.

    Background
    Bought this property in Brisbane a few months back and finally moved in 4 weeks back. This will be my PPOR for at least the next 3-4 years until I start earning (quite) a bit more, when I will make this property my IP. I have done small bits and pieces of improvements inside (floor sanding, polishing, tiling etc) and have decided to do something about the outside (street appeal, landscaping, back and front yards etc).

    Problem Statement
    • No lock-up garage - Although I do have a carport (which is small and barely is able to fit in my sedan), I long to have a double lock-up garage some day.
    • Ugly backyard and lack of open space - The yard on house's right side is wonderful, but it is disconnected from the back yard (which is surrounded by ugly looking privacy screens on top of retaining walls). It will be great to remove those privacy screens (and plant some more trees/bushes adjoining neighbour fence) to give the back area a more open feel.
    • Lack of a warm private feel when in the back - The suburb is pretty safe, but I still feel a bit apprehensive to place any outdoor lounges and BBQs as there is easy access to the back by anyone. I will be installing 3 ip cameras pretty soon, but I'd like to chill in my back and side yard without people walking down the street looking at me.
    What I have thought of up till now
    • Build a double carport (maybe pretty much where my car is parked currently?), cover all the sides with something secure while the front with a roller door).
    • Remove privacy screens and tear down the carport walls.
    • Convert the existing carport to patio with outdoor seating and BBQ.
    • Somehow convert the existing patio to add some more turf and join the side and back yard if possible.
    • With the number of garden beds surrounding the house, concrete them up and place plants and bushes near the boundary of the plot.
    What am I after from you guys
    • Advice on how to uplift the street appeal and value of this house
    • Considering I don't plan to live in this house forever, how much is a good amount to be spent? I am willing to spend another 10 grand if it significantly increases the feel of this house. I'd rather spend the next 4 years of my life in this house feeling good than not.
    • What will be the best layout for this area? Where should I place the carport, how to integrate the back and side yard?
    Considerations
    I am a reno newbie, will be getting people to do the job for me. I looked up a couple of landscaping architects and builders but I am assuming they will be significantly expensive. I would consider just getting a top handyman to do most of this work if possible.

    Highly appreciate your help!!

    Photos

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    Side yard
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  2. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9th Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    837
    Location:
    Hunter Valley
    Two things struck me immediately ...

    You're right about the garage - it needs to be in the corner where you had your car parked. This will increase the size of your backyard/patio area and provide privacy Remove the bessa block walls and probably the roof too. Open it right up as looks very pokey atm.

    For street appeal - the planting out the front is simply awful. A hodge podge of nothing matching. Really what you need is mass planting of something (not to tall) if you area after privacy in the front ... yet you need to define the front door better with a broad path and garden edging. Put in a decent looking letterbox setup (some horizontal timber slats with the box poking thru).

    Google "front yard makeovers" - look at the images for inspiration ...
     
  3. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9th Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    837
    Location:
    Hunter Valley
    Oh - and a major (full) makeover inside and out should never cost more than 10% of the value of the property
     
    Propertunity likes this.
  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    932
    Location:
    Qld
    And find another place for the rubbish bins!
    Marg
     
  5. avalon_darkold

    avalon_darkold Member

    Joined:
    18th Aug, 2015
    Posts:
    7
    Location:
    QLD
    Thanks Lizzie! Good to get my ideas validated. Would you know how to best get this work done? Do I call up a landscaper (like Residential & Commercial Landscaping QLD | Exigo) or a handyman? I'm assuming landscaper will do a design as well,but might be costlier .
     
  6. avalon_darkold

    avalon_darkold Member

    Joined:
    18th Aug, 2015
    Posts:
    7
    Location:
    QLD
    I was thinking of installing a hedge through the entire house width and have some plants & trees behind it to make it look neat and for privacy. And possibly get rid of the trees right next to the house walls. There are garden beds outlining the house from all sides and I'm thinking that's not best for the soil especially with stumps holding onto the house (and termites)?