A word from Deb

How I got development approval for my Renovation Rookie project in record time!


Guess what? I got my house renovation approved!

As many of you will know, I bought a house last year and have been busy working on a plan to renovate and make it into my dream home. This is a huge project for me.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked on lots of renovation and home improvement shows, but this time I’m on the other side of the camera!  You can follow my progress and learn more about the project over at my new website Renovation Rookie

I’ve been video blogging about the project and above is my latest video update.


I got the news when I got back from holidays that my DA (Development Approval) was not only approved but without conditions.

Exactly what I asked for I got. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am!

It’s taken me about a year to figure out how I wanted the house to be. Once I decided that; I then had to work out how to make the design work within the maximum roof height.

I went through a fairly clunky process with architects to get that right, because I’m doing a lovely exposed beams and open vaulted ceiling in the upstairs living area and getting that under the maximum roof height was quite challenging.

On reflection, I think it was beneficial getting a town planner involved in this project, and I think he (Stephen Kerr) was crucial in getting the DA approved so quickly because he helped me work within the guidelines of the area and the allowable envelope for the house and advised me to get the neighbours on board.

So the DA went through council in six weeks! It usually takes 3-4 months.

I’m pretty bloody happy about that. The next step, of course, is getting the construction certificate done.

Which means a whole lot of other experts, including a structural engineer and preparing all the things that you need to start the building process. So I’m about to learn all about that.

This means we’re going to be demolishing in a few months. I have lots to do!

On my to do list is:
<li>construction certificate</li>
<li>finding a place to live while construction happens</li>
<li>getting quotes from removalists and storage places</li>
<li>selling the kitchen and other things that might be of value that is being replaced in the renovation</li>
So it’s about to get very busy on Renovation Rookie! I’ll be sharing with you the things I learn and the ups and downs, so I hope you’re ready for the ride!

P.S. I appointed my builders this week. You can check them out <a href=”http://renovationrookie.com.au/virtue-projects/”>HERE</a&gt;

Deborah Hutton

Deborah Hutton is the publisher of Balance by Deborah Hutton. She is passionate about helping woman to define their own recipe for balance


  1. Peter Bowen

    July 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Great news – I’m sure the Council knew who their client was and pulled out all stops to fasttrack your DA😉

    Hopefully Grand Designs are on side and will cover the build in an episode in 2018

    Your regular commenter

    Peter xo

  2. Anya Arkapaw

    September 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Deborah,
    My name is Anya and I’m SO glad you are doing this. It coencides with what is happening in my life. We have for 33 years lived in a broken down fibro home and are now thinking of demolishing and building duplexes and hoping to get out of debt. Like you I would love a well built and well designed home that shows my personality and creativity. I’m actually petrified because I know NOTHING! I will be following your experiences and THANK YOU for sharing.

  3. Deborah


    September 22, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Congratulations Anya! Welcome to the renovation rookie club 🙂 I have a video blog and more that you might want to check out at http://www.renovationrookie.com.au

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