Injecting older homes with a whole lot of style Part 2
Do you dream of turning a rambling farmhouse into the quintessential country retreat or dragging a creaking Victorian into the present day with a sleek, modern makeover?
When we think of renovating it’s often these homes that come to mind. Highly sought after (with a price tag to match), with ageing wiring, stumps and dated layouts, costs for these fixer-uppers can skyrocket before anyone’s even started swinging a hammer.
So what about tackling a home from a less popular era like the 70s, 80s or 90s? Could there be one tucked just around the corner from that dreamy California Bungalow crying out to be updated?
While they might not have the initial street appeal these homes can really shine with a little love and offer excellent value for money.
Ask the experts
We’re also lucky enough to be able to show you the transformation of a 1970s Castlemaine home purchased from Waller Realty in 2015. From 70s relic to sleek, contemporary home.
“I think the best place to start with homes of these eras is by opening up the floor plan,” says Dugald. “This will bring in more light and create living spaces more in line with current trends.”
“One of the great thing about these homes is that the trusses usually extend to the external walls so removing internal walls isn’t an issue, ” he adds.
Dugald also suggests using skylights and solar tubes to bring in more light and one of the simplest renovation options of all – paint!
For our 70s transformation everything from the walls and lintels to door jambs has been given a coat of bright white and the change is striking.
Electrics can be a significant cost when renovating. Adrian says cabling in these homes is generally in good condition and won’t require re-wiring.
“We tend to find most fittings are compliant and safe and if switchboards do need to be upgraded it’s a pretty easy job,” he says.
Both Adrian and Dugald recommend checking how much power is at the property as mains may need to be upgraded if renovations include adding swimming pools or large air conditioning units.
Bathrooms are often a sticking point in houses of this era. Dated and dingy, gutting them is often seen as the only option. But with some simple changes like new tiles and taps, a bit of re-grouting and paint they can be brought back to life.
See the transformation above. New vanity, taps and toilet and suddenly this dated relic is looking right on trend.
When it comes to bathrooms no one likes to share. Homes of this era are more likely to have an ensuite than your ageing Edwardian and, while it might not be the one of your dreams, Dugald says this can be a real advantage.
“Cosmetic changes like replacing old style shower bases and screens with modern walk-in showers and updating tired tiles and vanities can all be done for a lot less than the cost of adding a new bathroom,” he says. “When it comes to managing a budget this can be a real advantage.”
Next time, local interior decorator, Lynne Mewett from Creative Ambience shares some ideas for simple upgrades in the kitchen and living areas.
Renovation images by @lynchmobmedia