How does it work?
Your step-by-step guide to home modification

Step 1: Enquiry and referral 

Are you experiencing difficulty getting in and around the house, attending to showers, cooking or engaging with everyday activities?


Are you a partner or family member caring for someone with an increasing need for support?


Are you an older person who would like to remain living in your own home but recognise how a better designed, more accessible and safer home environment can enable that choice?


You may be thinking about the difference home modification could make to improve your lifestyle, independence, safety and care-giving.


Each home modification is different depending on the needs of the person and the layout of the home.


The first step is to engage someone with training and experience to explain the process and assess your home modification needs. Home Modification Victoria can arrange an a Home Modification Specialist consultant to visit you.


Private clients may contact us direct to arrange a home modification consultation and assessment at any time. This is also a good option for people who can't wait or don't qualify for funding.


To obtain funding for assessment from a government program or insurance, you may need a referral letter from your general practitioner for an occupational therapy assessment. Let your general practitioner know you want an assessment by an occupational therapist to talk about your lifestyle and possible home modifications. 


Contact us regarding referral.

Step 2: Assessment and planning 

Clarify your lifestyle needs and discuss possible home modification ideas. 

"Your home modification specialist will advise on design, construction and concepts to achieve the desired function and look."

When we receive your referral, we will call you to arrange a visit to your home to understand more about your lifestyle and needs. At this visit you may like a family member or carer present.

The Home Modification Specialist will ask you questions about your lifestyle, needs and experiences, and make suggestions for possible changes to improve your independence.

We will look at the modification potential of your home and advise on design possibilities, construction issues and options for achieving the desired functionality and look.

Home Modifications Victoria has many years of experience in designing and delivering home modifications for people with a wide range of disabilities and issues related to health and ageing. So you can be confident in our assessment of your situation.

We also understand the laws, regulations and standards that apply to domestic building, and fully appreciate the importance of good design, quality and value for money. So you can be reassured about the standard of and value of our work.

In consultation with you, the Home Modification Specialist will develop your preferred options for the home modification.

A home modification might consider simple as well as more complex strategies such as:

  • Ramp installation. 
  • Creating stepless thresholds — removing steps and uneven floor between rooms.
  • Installing hand-railings, circulation spaces and doorway widening.
  • Chairlift and lift installation between floors.
  • Bathroom modification — accessible fittings, toilet, shower, vanities and storage.
  • Kitchen modification — accessible appliances, tap ware, sinks, accessible bench and storage. 
  • Bedroom modification — circulation space and accessible wardrobes.
  • Assistive technology — automated and remote control systems.
  • Internal and external lighting design — sensor lights, location of switches and power.
  • Landscape design — external access paths, stepless thresholds, handrails, car parking access and transfers.
  • Interior design — furnishing, flooring, glazing, colour schemes and lighting.

It is important to have your say about what you wish to achieve, the changes you want, and how you would like things to look. It is also important for you to listen to experienced advice.

We will write down our recommendations, draw up the proposed design and provide an estimate of the cost for your home modification after the assessment visit.

For insurance clients, the insurer will assess and approve the funding for full or part costs of the home modification. If you are partly or fully paying for the work, you will decide whether or not you would like to go ahead.

Contact us to arrange an assessment and cost estimate

Step 3: Design

Finalise the design and prepare the plans and specifications.

"We will consult with you to produce the final design best suited to your individual needs and style."

The design plans ensure that your home modification is built to the right specifications and standards — and will meet your needs for functionality, quality and style.

A registered architect or designer is required to prepare the drawings and specifications for any work requiring stuctural or complex modification.

Home Modification Victoria is an A-plus member of the Australian Institute of Architects, so you can be assured that we work in accordance with the code of practice, standards and regulations that guide the design and construction industry. 

Your Home Modification Specialist will work with you to finalise the design choices, select fittings and fixtures, and assist you to visualise the finished project so you can sign off the design plans with confidence.  

You will sign off on the final design plans. Once signed off, the design plans and specifications are final. 

Contact us to discuss your home modification design

Step 4: Contracting and construction

Successful completion of your home modification.

“Your Home Modification Specialist will manage your project and keep you informed every step of the way.”

The final stage of home modification involves contracting and construction.

Before you enter into a building contract, your Home Modification Specialist will obtain written quotes from one or more builders. These offers are called tenders. Builders will base their price offers on the design plans and specification documents provided in the tender.

Home Modification Specialist will handle this on your behalf with your permission, and keep you informed every step of the way.

Home Modification Victoria maintains a register of suitably qualified, insured and experienced builders with proven track records in home modification projects.

You may choose a builder yourself, but they must be a registered practitioner and preferably experienced in the aspects of the building code and standards related to accessibility. Your Home Modification Specialist can assist you in this.

When the builder is selected, the contract is written. 

Building permits

A building permit will be needed for any work that includes structural changes or footings. Only a registered building surveyor can provide a building permit. The Home Modification Victoria Specialist will arrange any necessary building permits on your behalf with your permission.

Construction

The construction stage involves the builder and sub-contractors completing the home modification as designed under the guidance of the Home Modification Specialist project manager. The Home Modification Specialist will sign off on project completion and notify to your insurer and occupational therapist if required.

During construction, your Home Modification Specialist can arrange for site visits at key stages.

Cost

The total cost to you of your home modification will be identified in the tender and contract.

Clients who are approved for funding by government programs, insurance agencies or other third parties will be required to pay any difference for any part of the home modification that you choose in addition to the recommendations of the occupational therapist and Home Modification Specialist. This amount will be itemised in the contract.

Private clients will pay the full cost of the home modification specified and agreed in the contract.

The home owner or funding agency will make payments to the builder at agreed stages throughout the construction until the final payment upon completion.

Contact us to discuss contracting and construction