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Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Home Renovation

Course CodeVSS008
Fee CodeFD
Duration (approx)1000 hours
QualificationFoundation Diploma

Study home renovation

There are many facets to renovating a home. These will extend from the bricks and mortar of the building, walls, and any other structures, to wood used in any parts of the building, to the surroundings - the garden and aesthetics of the site. In addition to these elements, it is also useful to have knowledge of the materials that you are intending to use - their environmental impact, and also how they affect the occupants of the house. 

This highly detailed qualification will provide you with core knowledge to be able to research and analyse the work that you are intending to undertake. Elective modules then enable you to concentrate your studies on areas of particular interest to you or your business.

By successfully studying to improve your approach as well as your knowledge, you have the potential to adopt a more professional approach to developing your business and the service you are able to provide.

The course is studied by distance learning and with online and eLearning study options you have the ability to choose when and where you study. This means you can fit your studies around your existing commitments as well as putting into practice your new found knowledge as you learn.

You can start your studies at any time and you are able to study at a pace which suits you. Our specialist tutors are on hand to help you at every stage of your studies and you are free of time restrictions which other distance learning providers may impose, giving you additional freedom in your studies and removing the worry often accompanies the commitment when enrolling on such an extensive course of study.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Home Renovation.
 Building Renovation BSS104
 Research Project I BGN102
 Materials Technology VSS202
 Painting & Decorating VSS201
 Research Project II BGN201
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 7 of the following 14 modules.
 Carpentry BSS100
 Cottage Garden Design BHT110
 Home Garden Expert Course AHT101
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Masonry Work BSS101
 Mud Brick Construction ASS103
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Healthy Buildings I BSS200 (Building Construction and Health) BSS200
 Natural Garden Design BHT215
 Research Project III BGN202
 Healthy Buildings II (Building Environment & Health) BSS300
 Thesis Preparation (Research Project IV) BGN301

Note that each module in the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Home Renovation is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Why are You Renovating?

This course helps you to understand the reasons for renovating, and to make properly considered and appropriate decisions about when and how to renovate.

Some people renovate their own property, to make it more suited to theeir needs; but more commonly, people renovate to either stem the deterioration in a building, or to increase it's value -perhaps prior to selling it.

There are many different things that can cause the value of a property to degrade, and lead to it needing renovation.
Changes in fashion can lead to property becoming outdated, and unfashionable. Natural events such as storms, floods and fire can damage a building. There are also a range of biological impacts that can lead to property needing renovation. potential sources of biological damage which each pose risks to a building's structure. 


Termites are a significant problem in some countries such as Australia and the United States. Termites are something of a 'silent destroyer' of timber in houses because they often cause extensive damage without homeowners being aware that they have invaded. It is only when the surface of a wall or door sinks that damage become noticeable and the termites are discovered. Their nest may be outside the property some distance away and the termites gain access through underground tunnels which enter houses beneath floorboards. They can spread inside wall cavities, through ceiling spaces or behind plaster work. Termites are always in search of timber which is their main food source. As such termites will eat structural beams, floorboards, doors and window frames, wooden furniture - anything made from timber.  

Once discovered it is usually necessary to call upon professional pest removal experts to assess the damage, locate the nest, and work out whether the termites are still active. If they are a current problem, then destruction of the nest is carried out as well as inspection of nearby land to see if there are any other colonies which pose a risk since termite colonies once they reach a certain size tend to splinter into further colonies. Each colony can contain many thousands of termites.    

Rodents are another unwelcome guest in properties although the damage they cause is less likely to affect the structure of properties unless the house has been vacant for many years. Rats and mice gnaw through materials to make tunnels through which they can pass. They have teeth which continue growing throughout their lives and gnawing is how they file them down. They are capable of gnawing through a wide range of materials including cardboard, laminates, and timber as well as plaster. Sometimes they chew through wiring and service pipes which can cause other problems inside properties. If discovered there are different possible approaches to removing them.  The humane approach is to trap them and kill them swiftly or use old-fashioned mouse traps. Catching them and relocating them may not be such a good idea since they are territorial and become familiar with their own territory. If released elsewhere they can die a slow death because they don't know where the food sources are in that area and will have to compete against other animals which do, as well as predators. Glue traps and poisons also often cause a cruel death. 

Dead animals in cavities or roofs cause a stench which attracts blowflies and other insects. If they can get to the corpse they will lay their eggs on it. The maggots which emerge eat the carcass and become flies. If trapped inside a sealed space where insects can't get to it the carcass will decay more slowly and the smell will last longer.    


Birds are only usually a problem in vacant houses which have entry points such as smashed or missing windows and holes in roofs. The interior of a property provides a safe haven for birds like pigeons and doves to brood, but other smaller birds may shelter in buildings too. Some may nest in the corner of a room if they can gain access. Owls are known to inhabit old barns if they are not sealed and will nest on roof joists. Faeces and ticks form birds may create a health risk and will need to be removed. 

Birds don't usually cause structural damage but some birds like cockatoos are known to rip shreds off weatherboard exteriors, like bark from a tree, in search of insects.    


Moulds are a type of fungus. Different types of mould can become problematic in households. Like all fungi they reproduce by minute spores which are distributed in air or water. Since many thousands of spores are produced by mature moulds they can spread quickly if the conditions are favourable to their growth.

Moulds thrive in moist environments. Outdoors they can be found on wet leaves beneath a forest floor, in caves or in clogged gutters. Indoors moulds can be found in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms, but they also emerge where there is inadequate ventilation and moisture such as on the insides of windows where there is condensation and between the linings of curtains. Different moulds may be of different appearance, for example black moulds on walls and ceilings appear as many black dots joining together and spreading in a thin film. Moulds found on kitchen or bathroom pipes may be more yellow or orange in colour. Other moulds can have a white and fuzzy appearance.

Regardless of the type of mould it is moisture which is the key to their survival. Remedies may be: installing an extractor fan, pumping foam insulation into wall cavities to stop external wall temperatures from significantly dropping lower than internal air temperature, installing a light or some other source of heat close to the floor to heat air, using a dehumidifier, or installing and using air conditioning. 

Dry Rot

Dry rot is another type of fungus. Whilst moulds usually only cause superficial surface damage, dry rot can cause significant structural damage. Wherever dry rot is found, somewhere there is a fruiting fungal body which is usually a yellowish white colour but sometimes brownish and can vary in size up to the size of a football. Typically, it is located underneath floorboards or in a roof space. The fungus grows in damp and cold conditions, so it is often a problem of older houses and especially those that have been uninhabited for some time or which have been poorly heated. As the fungus grows it sends out white strands which consume moisture and wood. The strands can pass behind plaster and will destroy laths in old plaster work. They will also spread through mortar between bricks in search of moisture and timber.  
Similarly to termites, the damage can be very extensive by the time it is noticed. Often there is a musty smell associated with its presence. Once discovered the fungus will be killed off by heating the building adequately, and improving ventilation.  Damaged timber may need to be replaced, walls re-plastered, and so forth. 



Our home renovation tutors are all friendly and enthusiastic about home renovation. If you have any questions about the course, they are more than happy to help.

Ask a Home Renovation Tutor a Question