Want to learn about the latest help in renovating and building?
Listen to this podcast (or read on) to learn what’s been happening.
This episode is a one-off I’m doing to catch you up on a few things that have been happening behind the scenes at Undercover Architect, and to also share news on what’s on the horizon. I’ve got some super helpful info in this episode, so stay tuned. Let’s dive in now.
A lot of the time, when I’m creating episodes for the “Get it Right” podcast, we don’t talk about time too much. Because most of what I’m creating is something that’s known in the online world as ‘evergreen’. That is, it’s relevant all the time. It’s not linked to special events, or seasons. It’s info that can help people regardless of where they’re at time-wise, and where we’re at time-wise.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t mention time, however, at the time of recording this episode, it’s the first day of May, 2020. And time is something super significant right now.
Most of us have been in some form of lockdown or staying at home for several weeks, if not a couple of months depending on where you’re located.
Australia saw the close of 2019 and the start of 2020 experiencing some of the worst bushfires seen anywhere. Here at my place, since November 2019, we’ve had bushfires nearby, then flooding in late January, then we’ve had plagues of an army grub destroying paddocks, followed by grasshoppers, and then this virus.
And so, we’ve been staying at home since late March, and navigating the interesting world of home-schooling, maintaining social distance on the rare occasions we head out. You’ll be very familiar with this too no doubt.
It’s been a very strange time, and I hope wherever you are, and whatever has been happening for you, that you’re faring well, and staying safe through all of this.
Yet, in the background of all of this, I have been passionate about creating and producing things that can be really helpful for homeowners who are planning to renovate and build, or already in the process of navigating that journey.
And so, in late March, I put together a free webinar about what COVID-19 may mean for your current or future building or renovation project.
It was really well-received, viewed by thousands, and whilst it’s not available for free anymore, it does sit inside the member benefits area for our Undercover Architect course members.
In addition, I’ve recently been doing videos that I publish on Undercover Architect’s Instagram TV and Facebook.
They’re created each weekday, and answer a question or provide info on specific topics I know homeowners are challenged by.
We’ve covered topics such as:
- what to do if you’re planning to source your own fixtures and finishes in your own project to try and save the builder’s margin.
- I also talked about how to test your design or floor plan so you can know it’s working before starting construction.
And if you have any questions you’d like me to create an episode on, be sure to DM me on Instagram, and I’ll add your question to the list!
Another thing that we’ve created and you may have seen about the interwebs is our Kitchen Design Challenge mini-course.
I launched this in March, and it’s been brilliant to see hundreds of homeowners grabbing it. It’s available for a super small price, and there’s no expiry once you join, so you can work through it at your own pace.
Kitchen design is one of the areas of our home design that really needs to work.
I see a lot of architects and building designers not necessarily nutting out the detail of your kitchen layout during the home design.
And if you don’t understand how you want your kitchen design and layout to work before you head into designing your floor plan of your reno or new home, then you can get stuck with a space you just have to fit a kitchen into, and that can be super hard.
There’s also certain kitchen layouts that really, in my experience, just do not work for family homes. And other kitchen layouts which make family life, and the use of a kitchen, much simpler and more functional.
So the Kitchen Design Challenge contains 5 individual videos that take you through specific design considerations as you tackle your kitchen design.
- We look at where in your home to locate your kitchen to get the flow, functionality and connectivity working.
- I take you through the layout do’s and don’ts to help you configure the kitchen arrangement to suit your needs and home.
- We then look at style and substance, and run through the various finishes and decisions so you get durability and performance, as well as great looks, out of your kitchen.
- Then we discuss planning tips and tricks, and I highlight the specific rules that I see homeowners follow to the detriment of their kitchen design and functionality.
- And lastly I take you through key dimensions and details to know, so you get it right. Kitchens are the kinds of spaces in your home where centimetres matter, so knowing the best dimensions to work with can be critical to get it working well.
You also get access to three bonuses.
- The first is a printable PDF that details all the layout and dimension tips and must-do’s.
- The second bonus is a printable PDF highlighting the options and material choices you’ll need to consider,
- and lastly, the third bonus is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions, and their answers, that I regularly hear for kitchens.
The Kitchen Design Challenge is valued at over $495, and I know, given how cost-intensive kitchens can be, and the chunk of your project budget they can guzzle up, what you will learn can save you far more in money and stress.
At the moment, the Kitchen Design Challenge is available for only $19, so if you’ve been needing help and ideas for your kitchen design, be sure to check it out >>> KITCHEN DESIGN CHALLENGE.
OK … another thing we’ve just finished creating, and I’m really excited about this one, because it’s been on my to-do list since 2018, which is crazy.
We’ve created a fantastic Quickstart Mini-course called “How to Set + Stick to Your Budget”.
Budget is a topic that will be at the centre of most renovation and building projects, and it’s an area that can cause huge amounts of stress and challenges for homeowners.
And I find that, in the years I’ve been working with homeowners, it’s something you get really mixed advice on. A lot of designers don’t know how to work with budgets, or keep your design on track with your budget. If you’re designing yourself, navigating budget is super tricky.
Setting your budget, and understanding some tactics to test the budget you’re setting, can be key in starting your project the best way. And then knowing when to review and check your budget along your journey, is essential to you managing your budget, and minimising cost overruns.
Far too many homeowners will wait until they’re going out to tender with potential builders to formally check the cost of their project, and suffer the heartache and frustration of discovering they can’t afford the home they’ve been dreaming and planning. And if you don’t know how to track your spending, you can let things run away from you, and end up with budget blowouts that are difficult to deal with.
In addition, there are specific areas I see people believe they can save money, or that they totally don’t realise will guzzle their budget.
Your budget is not a bucket of money to split over a shopping list of wants. Your budget is an investment to be spent strategically in the best areas to create the best home for you, your site, your life, and the money you have to spend on making it happen.
It always breaks my heart to see the area of budget trip so many homeowners up in their projects.
And so, I created this Quickstart minicourse to curate my key teachings on budget and the cost of building and renovating. From setting it at the beginning, to working out how to stretch it during your planning, right through to tracking it as you spend it as well.
“How to Set and Stick to Your Budget” will help you be super informed and strategic as you manage the money side of creating your future home.
- It contains a brilliant workshop that shares with you the 6 ways to know the cost of your building or renovation project, and this highlights the key milestones to be cost setting and checking along your journey.
- I have a brilliant E-Book which is inspired by Season 3 of this podcast, and you can use it as a workbook to note your ideas, work through specific exercises and take action along the way.
- And, there’s 3 bonuses, which include some fantastic resources to help with budget calculations and other key areas, as well as spreadsheet templates. One I’ve created to set and track your budget, and the other I’ve created to document all of your selections, and I’ve populated both of these with the range of areas, people, and items you’ll need to price and include to make that future home of yours a reality.
Again, you can join and work through at your own pace, and your access doesn’t expire. It’s valued at over $695, and I know could save you thousands, if not tens-of-thousands of dollars.
And it’s available right now at a super affordable price of $27, so check it out >>> HOW TO SET + STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
So, we’ve been busy with those things, and I’m so happy to have been able to create them and have them out in the world because I know they’ll be really helpful for those who access them.
Let’s look now at what’s coming up in the next little while in Undercover Architect.
Firstly, and if you receive my emails, you may have heard me mention this already, but I know lots of you don’t and yet listen to this podcast every week.
I’m going to be doing a live round of “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” … and we’re starting really soon.
“How to Get it Right“ is my signature online program to help you save time, money and stress in your reno or new build. It takes members through the step-by-step process of a renovation or building project from start to finish.
So, “Start” is your early conversations in speaking to council to determine what you’re allowed to do, and a range of other things you need to do before you begin your design work. Then we go through choosing your team, how to get your design right, getting your approvals, choosing your builder and then being able to interact with them during the build (and see your home finished).
“How to Get it Right” is really designed to give you a roadmap to your overall project journey, so you don’t waste time disappearing down rabbit-holes, following bad advice, missing steps, and having to back-track, or generally making big (and expensive) mistakes.
So, what’s different about the live round?
Well, normally when members join “How to Get it Right”, you dive into the online course, join the Facebook group, and then you’re able to access monthly Q & A calls I run in there.
However, this is what the live round will look like … and it’s super special, super intimate, and going to be really helpful for those who want to dive in.
So, it’s for a small, limited number group of people … a max of 40 people
- We’re going to be starting Monday 18th May
- The live round will run for 6 weeks
- You’ll get live Q & A Sessions each week with me (6 session in total)
- We’ll have a private Facebook group for the live round (and you’ll then be moved over the main Facebook group for ongoing support after our 6 weeks together)
- We’ll be able to talk about anything in the live Q & A sessions and Facebook group in our 6 weeks together … and I’ll be able to give you 1:1 feedback and help on your projects
- And the cost to join and get all this personalised help and support from me is the same as the current price of “How to Get it Right”, and comes with all the inclusions provided in “How to Get it Right” … which includes some great Member Benefits and savings on other Undercover architect courses, supplier savings and some other great stuff.
I’m doing things differently this time, because it just doesn’t feel appropriate to be bombarding inboxes with marketing emails about this. (If your inbox is like mine, it’s never been more chockas).
So, perhaps you’ve been considering joining “How to Get it Right“, and so …
If this live round is something you’d be interested in, you can head here and see more info about it all. We also have a payment plan too.
So, if a productive 6 weeks of taking action in your project sounds good to you, and you’d love the chance to spend 6 weeks getting my personalised support and guidance, then be sure to check that out. We start really soon, so don’t dilly dally!
Lastly, let’s talk about the coming podcast season. Because this is something that’s been a while in the making as well, and I’m so looking forward to bringing it to you.
Firstly, we’re going to be having a break from the podcast for a few weeks.
And then, we’ll be back with a season I’m calling “REBUILD + BUILD BETTER”.
As I said upfront, in late 2019, early 2020, Australians experienced some of the worst fires this country has seen. The damage and trauma was significant and extends over a wide-ranging area, with so many having lost their homes, livelihoods, family members, and of course the loss of flora and fauna.
Before all of this happened, a member of “How to Get it Right” who was closely involved in the recovery efforts after the Victorian Fires of 2009, had got in touch with me about creating helpful information for those rebuilding after bushfires.
At the time, it didn’t seem relevant … crazy how quickly things change hey?
In November 2019, we prepped our property for evacuation, packing belongings into our car, as the fires were 14kms away from our place.
And by Christmas / New Year, I knew how essential this content was going to be for people who were not only rebuilding after losing their homes, but for anyone who is building in a bushfire prone area and or purely wanting a home that is more resistant and resilient to deal with ever increasing events such as bushfires and extreme weather.
This is going to be a bit different to other seasons.
Talking to experts has been tricky, because so many of them are tied up in efforts to help with the current recovery that’s going on. And then COVID-19 happened, and threw another spanner in the works.
I normally like to take you on a nice sequential journey through a podcast season, but I’m not sure that will be possible this time without waiting a really long time to have all the episodes recorded. So, rather than wait, we’re going to be diving in.
And we’ll actually be kicking off the season with information I know will be amazingly helpful to not just those impacted by bushfires, but for anyone with insurance on their home.
The conversation I had with David Keane from Solve My Claim, who works with people to help them get the full amounts they deserve in their insurance claims … it blew my mind.
And having had personal experience in battling an insurance company for 13 months to get a settlement 5 times what they initially offered us after we suffered storm damage in one of our homes, I know just how needed and important his knowledge and work is.
So, you’ll be hearing from David first up, and then there’s going to be some incredible people with expertise in financing difficult projects, bushfire assessments, rebuilding on these sites, doing sustainable and affordable solutions in bushfire prone areas … the list goes on.
I really can’t wait to bring it to you, and so, watch your inboxes or Undercover Architect’s socials. Or be sure to be subscribed to the Undercover Architect podcast on your listening platform of choice, so you get notified as soon as the first episode drops.
I’m just so passionate about this helping those who need it, so I’ll also be asking you to share it far and wide, and we’ll be providing the information in a few different ways so it’s super accessible and freely available.
OK … so, let’s summarise, because I covered a lot there:
Firstly, if Kitchen design is something you need help with, and you’d like to learn the practical formula to designing a stunning kitchen you’ll love spending time in … and that works for you and your family, check out the Kitchen Design Challenge.
Secondly, if you’re wanting to learn how to find out what it will cost you to build or renovate your home, have reliable information that you can then move forward with, and know how to stay on track (and manage your costs) along the way, then be sure to head to How to Set and Stick to Your Budget.
Thirdly, if, kicking off next Monday, the 18th of May, you’d like to spend 6 weeks getting personalised support from me, as well as learning the best way to navigate your journey towards your future home, and be really well set up as a member of “How to Get it Right”, then head here.
And be sure to tune in in a few weeks time, plus tell those you know it’ll help, that we’re starting a new season called REBUILD + BUILD BETTER to help those rebuilding after bushfires, and also help anyone wanting to build more resiliently, or build in a bushfire prone area, which frankly, is a heck of a lot of areas these days given the mapping.
And, all those links are in the resources below, so you can head there.
As always, thank you for tuning in, and for letting me be your secret ally. Until next time, bye.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:
The Kitchen Design Challenge can be found here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/kitchen-design-challenge/
How to Set + Stick To Your Budget >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/set-stick-to-your-budget/
Our LIVE Round of “How to Get it Right” (starting 18 May, 2020) >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/courses/how-to-get-it-right/