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NT Government offers stimulus package for home renovations

To give homeowners a kick-start on renovations, the Northern Territory Government has invested $20 million in a Home Improvement Scheme that will provide a $2,000 grant towards minor improvements, repairs and upgrades to the home. Owner-occupiers in the Northern Territory can now apply to receive a voucher.

The bonus can be used towards renovation projects of up to $20,000. The scheme will also boost small businesses involved in home improvement and maintenance during a time of flat economic growth. The downturn in the mining sector means that Darwin’s property prices have declined. According to the Domain House Price Report Darwin’s house prices saw a significant drop in value of 4.9 per cent in the March 2016 quarter and units a drop of 4.1 per cent. Experts commented in April this year that house sales were at their lowest in more than 16 years. With Darwin’s homeowners holding on to their properties, renovations are likely to be on the rise as people seek to modify their existing homes to suit their changing lifestyle and needs, so the government stimulus has come at the right time.

What can homeowners expect to be able to do to their homes with the boost to their renovation budget? Eligible small jobs include electrical work, plumbing, tiling, roof repairs, landscaping and tree lopping, irrigation system upgrades, fencing, painting and plastering. Up to 30 per cent of the $2,000 government grant can go towards goods and materials that are part of the job.  Good news as Darwin’s tropical climate can wreck havoc on building materials, especially timber.

To keep timber looking in tip top shape in a climate with high humidity and rainfall, there’s a fair bit of maintenance to perform. Anyone with a wooden deck will know the challenges – sanding, staining or painting each year, as well as hammering any ‘popped’ nails back in. And it’s not only the weather, Darwin’s conditions mean termites are also a big problem.

Consider using the renovation bonus towards replacing a worn timber deck with HardieDeck, a smart alternative to timber decking.  Extremely durable, it can withstand the challenging conditions of the Northern Territory as it won’t rot, split or warp under the harsh Australian sun. The fibre cement boards are resistant to termites, moisture damage and fire, making HardieDeck a smart choice material in bushfire zones.

Cement composite decks are categorised by a clean, contemporary design, giving any home that architecturally-designed look and provides homeowners with the option of colour choice. A beautiful addition to modern or traditional homes, HardieDeck can be stained for a timber look, clear sealed for a cement look or painted just about any colour with durable paving paints to match or complement other elements of the house.

The concealed fix system makes for a speedy installation and is ideal for tradies and the keen DIYer. HardieDeck’s fibre cement boards and powder-coated aluminium accessories are all backed by a 10 year warranty

A local James Hardie installation manager can provide advice and guidance on materials and installation. Get in touch to find out how you can replace your old deck, or install a new one, with funding assistance from the NT Government’s Home Improvement Scheme.

For more information on this or to apply for a voucher click here