Vanessa had a disastrous experience when she undertook the build of her first home. This time, when it came to building her forever home, she was determined to get it right.
Vanessa knew she wanted a mentor and professional guidance for her home build project.
She found that in Undercover Architect’s HOME Method program, the expert advice she accessed, and the wonderful members of the HOME Method Community.
Vanessa is a member of HOME Method.
My name is Vanessa. So I’m planning to build a forever home for our family of four, yeah. So we live in Brisbane. So that’s why, one of the things I like about Undercover Architect, even though it’s for the whole Australia, but I think Amelia lives close to Brisbane.
What stage is your project at?
So I’m only at the planning stage and, which I think is quite lucky because I follow Amelia’s podcast. And the whole idea is the earlier that we get the right advice and the more chances that we can avoid those really big mistakes, yeah.
What were you concerned about before starting your new build journey?
Well I actually have had a bad experience with my … The renovation we’ve done for our current house are we massively over budget and we actually didn’t plan well enough. We didn’t have a master plan for the whole renovation, so we ended up adding things along the way.
Number one is: over budget, but number two: we didn’t quite get what we really wanted because it’s such a last minute decision along the way, yeah. So that really, really just pushed me to think, this time I got to get it right, so yeah. So that was my biggest concern.
Well because it’s my forever home, I just really, really worried I’ll make some decisions that I regret later and you cannot change anymore.
So that is actually in my head, is even bigger than budget, yeah. You know, yeah. Yes, budget is very important, but money you can probably, you know, try to earn down the track.
But if it’s your forever home, and you already build it and then if the design is not right and it doesn’t not suit your family, it’s stuck there for a decade. And yeah, I think that would be my concern.
How did you first discover Undercover Architect?
Actually I think I searched for Queenslander houses, and then it just popped up on Google. There’s a block, yeah, Amelia was writing about helping a family to do a renovation for Queenslander, and then that’s how I followed her blog first actually. And then obviously follow her podcast.
Why did you decide to join the Undercover Architect course?
I think it’s really good, Amelia in the podcast, actually outlining importance to really have a mentor in your renovation, on your build process, yeah. So that’s what she recommended. And, obviously she will be being one option, and then if, if people have other resources they could go with other, other way of getting that mentor.
l, but for me, I just don’t have that in my life, yeah. I’m not very handy and my family do not live here. I just don’t have the resources. So, that’s why I just follow the advice and just to engage in the course.
To learn the course, to empower myself to be able to do it better. And also to be able to have her guide me along the way. That’s why I chose this way.
I think you definitely get what you pay for, yeah. Because as I said, that last renovation was a bit of a disaster for us. And, actually, one of the things we were trying to do was cut costs, just a lot of things. Trying to ask, and make decisions ourselves. And we are not being … not professional and not in the industry. There’s so much limitation of our knowledge and our experience.
So yeah, so I really wanted a course that I will pay for, because that means I will have the support that I want. And (as with) anything, if you join a free course, you will know how limited the support could be because it’s free resources.
What concerns did you have before you started?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I actually emailed Amelia before joining the course. Because I am going to, I was planning to, and I’m still going to engage an architect.
So I was just raising my question: is if I’m going to engage a professional to help me with my, you know, managing my home, my whole project, do I still need to join the course? Yeah, exactly. So that was my question.
And Amelia, and she recorded, she actually took the time to record a personal message on the video for me to explain that is still quite beneficial to join the course, because it would be able to help me in actually finding the right team, including the architect that I’m going to engage, so yeah, that was really good.
What are you doing differently because of this Undercover Architect course?
Oh, so many things. Yeah, so many things. So I will probably, because I work with them, and I think the most important thing is I can now be, be kind to myself, and, and just really understand that this whole building or renovation journey is actually quite a long journey. So yeah, so it’s, it’s in a way that it’s good to really know that, you know. Otherwise you, you know, stress yourself out a lot.
And then you can see within the course, the community, and a lot of people are doing the same thing. And it takes time to plan, and take time to execute the plan, and challenge and difficulties along the way, a lot of them, so yeah.
I think my example is, I was selecting the right architect for my project. And yeah, there were times I just felt … not felt comfortable asking some questions. And yeah, with the Q & A session that I raised them, I shared my concerns with Amelia.
And she was really good to help me to, to help me to establish what’s the right questions to ask. So that I’m coming from a place of curiosity, and coming from a place of open communication. So it doesn’t sound offensive, but at the same time, you actually get the information you need to make the decision. Absolutely. Yeah. The course really helped. Yeah.
Has the Undercover Architect course helped your budget?
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. If you imagine that if you engage the wrong team, you know, you’re talking about this whole project costs, you know, thousands, thousands of dollars.
Yeah, absolutely. I just cannot imagine if I repeated the same mistake of our previous renovation, that’s a huge amount of money. Yeah.
Did the Undercover Architect course save you drama + stress?
So what I personally feel, is by joining that it’s already showing that you want to invest time and effort to really get to know your project. Actually, that’s my number one feeling about it.
Because I just feel, while before, I just kind of said, like, ‘Oh, you kind of know.’ Or, for example, if I, before joining the course, I would just say, ‘oh, if someone recommended a builder to me. Or someone, some of my friends used this builder before, then I’ll just go with that builder’. You know, that is not that sort of thinking process.
And I think the biggest,turning point is if you join this course, and encouraged by Amelia, then you actually do take the time to investigate your own project and investigate what your needs are. And, and that is already a good starting point.
Because, if you, by not doing that, then you are sort of trying to leave a lot of decisions to the other people to make, and they don’t know your project as well as you do. They don’t know you as well as you do.
So yeah, I think that is already, let alone that amazing resources in the course. And let alone the mentoring from Amelia along the way. Let alone the discussion that you will have with your fellow members in the community.
And all this, of course would all help, but for me myself, is the mindset that definitely already a life changing thing.
What was the best thing about being Undercover Architect course member?
The best thing is, I feel that I have someone to hold hand in hand with me for my project. And that someone is professional, compassionate, caring, and also with loads of experience. So I think that will make a huge difference in the outcome of my project. So yeah, that’s really important.
What would you say to others thinking of joining this Undercover Architect course?
Well, I will say, as I mentioned, I would say that, take this mindset Amelia actually introduced to us, do your study. So if you are not sure if that actually suits you or not, then study what this online course is going to provide you. And then study, and then really understand your project.
And then if you have any questions, just ask her to make you look. Just like she actually recommended you when you interview your professionals for your team. Ask her any questions you have. Ask loads of questions if you need to.
And then, just then find out if that course suits you. And I think that way will be the best, the best way to approach to find out if that’s the right course.
Anything else you would like to share?
I probably want to just add a personal note that, that alone, that…
Amelia is amazing just as a person. So it’s really good to work with, and I think that alone is a joyful thing.
That you know, you get to work with someone amazing for, for this long journey for a very long time.