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5 things to do before starting to plan your renovation

When you decide to renovate your home it is an exciting time, and here are a few suggestions to get you started:

1. Have a look at Actmapi

Actmapi is the ACT mapping website with information on Territory Plan overlays, zoning of your block, links to the Territory Plan, heritage and bushfire prone areas to name a few items.

Actmapi is available here:

2. Arrange a site survey

Contact a site surveyor and arrange a survey, showing the location of your home on the block, contours, tree heights/locations, your block boundaries (fences are not always on boundaries) and all the other surface/cadastral features of your land.

A list of registered surveyors can be found here:

3. Building file search

When you purchased your home, a building file search should have been included in your contract of sale. This would include any approved plans for the original home, carports, garages and any renovation works since. This will flag if anything on your block is unapproved, and can help with identifying how your existing home was constructed.

For a fee of around $40, you can also request a new building file search here:

4. Have a look through the Territory Plan

The Territory Plan is a statutory document that guides planning and development in the ACT. Within the Territory Plan there are precinct maps and codes (by suburb/district), codes by zoning (ie. RZ1), and residential zone's development codes. The main code to consider, that lists setbacks and building/solar envelopes etc is the Single Dwelling Housing Code.

It is available here:

5. Do your research

Renovating your home is a challenging project, but also incredibly rewarding. Take your time thinking about why and what you are hoping to achieve, what your priorities are... and what your realistic budget is. Talk to family, friends, neighbours, and check out some of these great free resources:

ACT government "buy, build or renovate" website:

Your home website:

Dont forget to have some fun, and start collecting ideas from websites like Houzz & Pinterest.


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