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Building and renovating seminar



"Start Right, Finish Right" is an information session that will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to take on a building or renovating project and help you avoid the pitfalls.

Building and renovating seminar - face to face
This four-hour seminar will give you invaluable tips, expert advice, insider knowledge and a step-by-step guide to successfully navigating your way through the building process before you engage design and building professionals. You will also receive a comprehensive 40 page work book containing all the information presented in the seminar.

Topics covered include: 
  • Planning your design and getting ideas
  • Doing background homework and checking Council requirements
  • Understanding fees, building permits, planning permits, reports etc.
  • How to calculate square metres and set a design budget with rates to approximate size and cost of your project
  • How to select your designers and builders
  • Questions to ask before you select your builder to help your job run smoothly
  • Questions to ask your builders previous clients
  • How to minimise the possibility of variations
  • Understanding building terminology including drawings, soil & energy reports, town planning, land surveyor drawings and specifications
  • Tips for quoting and how to do a trade breakdown
  • Understanding how there could be a large discrepancy in quotations
  • Overheads, margins and profit
  • Basic Builders Contracts, Cost Plus and Owner Builder Contracts
  • Insurances including public liability, all risk and domestic building
  • Prime cost items and provisional sums
  • Certificates of Compliance and Defects Warranty Insurance
  • Case studies on what can go wrong and how to avoid it

These seminars are open to people aged 18 years and over.


The seminar is held at our Eltham centre - 739 Main Road
The one hour online session is delivered via Zoom. Participants must have a suitable device and data plan to run Zoom. For people who are new to Zoom, we offer a free, online, supported practice session. 


What to bring

Bring something to make notes in and all your questions.

About the Tutor

John Hewish is a semi-retired registered builder and licensed plumber with over 45 years of professional experience in the building and construction industry. He has run projects ranging from small scale domestic renovations to multi-million dollar projects. John firmly believes that educating the client on the building process is the key to a stress free build. “If you start the job right and arm yourself with as much information as you can, then you can finish the job right and have a successful build.”

Concession fees

A Concession fee of around 10% off is available to holders of Health Care Cards, Pension concession cards or Veterans Gold cards. 
If you are eligible, please select the concession fee when enrolling and click "calculate discount".
You may be asked to present your Health Care card, Pension concession card or Veterans Gold card for verification when attending a course or activity.    

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Upcoming Workshops

Name Location Date Cost
Building and renovating seminar Eltham Saturday 5 March 2022 9am-1pm $85.00

Contact us



  • Diamond Creek
  • 119 Cowin Street
  • Diamond Creek 3089

  • Eltham
  • 739 Main Road
  • Eltham 3095

  • Panton Hill
  • 18 Bishops Road
  • Panton Hill 3759

  • Nillumbik Shire Council trading as Living &
  • Learning Nillumbik, Registered Training
  • Organisation No. 3989, ABN 64 487 894 794

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© 2018 Living & Learning Nillumbik