Bringing a Run-Down Workers Cottage into its new future.

The existing home

The Owner for AQWA Constructions – Paul Galvin – worked with these homeowners, they wanted his help to locate this hidden gem and then to breathe new life into this old home. Helping it become a modern, inner-city, family home. Paul had recently completed renovation works for the Owners. They engaged Paul in the planning, design and construction of this exciting new inner-city Home.

The existing home is a dilapidated Queenslander cottage. It’s sitting on a sloping site that is 234 m² in size. The owner is a health professional and has bought the home to renovate and live in with their family. It sits in a street filled with character homes that date pre-1946. By engaging Paul to design, build and manage this project, the Owners we able to take on a home of this age and condition, Paul helped them manage the quirks and surprises that a home like this can throw out during its renovation!

The Owners Expectations

The existing floor plans show the home as a compact 3 bedroom home, with a laundry and kitchen to the rear. The Owners told Paul they would like to create a home that:

  • Feels luxurious, spacious and liveable
  • Is private, given it’s a small site with neighbours overlooking it (especially from higher land on the rear and southern side)
  • Is modern, with the feel of a character Queenslander
  • They told Paul they wanted a home with a “WOW FACTOR both inside and out”.

They told Paul their motivation was not just a renovation for profit, but there was some scope to vary the budget based on the value in the renovation, and potential return when sold.

Paul’s Observations about the Existing Home and Brief

  • They’ll require some innovative and clever solutions to stretch their dollar, given this is a project they might one day sell for profit.
  • This requires investing where it matters, where it makes an impact, and saving money where it doesn’t (or won’t make a difference in their return). It’s a difficult balance to manage, but worthwhile
  • The existing home has planning constraints
    The existing home is on a small lot (as defined by Brisbane City Council) and has Character overlays.
  • There are local planning issues, as well as general planning rules to satisfy.
    The home would need to be raised and restumped to achieve off-street secure parking for the lower floor garage.
  • A clever design strategy is required so the project isn’t bogged down in contentious town planning negotiations. As such, Paul sought advice from his Town Planner early in the process, to assist with this.
Renovation of Workers Cottage
Photo of Dining Room

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