Queenslander house renovation projects
‘Queenslander Renovation’ is not just repairing an old house and restoring it to its former self.
What we understand it to mean is taking an original house that was built around 100 years ago, built to standards considered adequate back then (“How did they survive?” I hear you ask), and then building under it and extending it, to transform the home into a modern masterpiece including:
- 4 or 5 beds, many bathrooms
- An amazing kitchen
- Minimum 2 car lock up garage
- With all mod cons in terms of electrics and Air Conditioning, to rival any new home built today.
Often this can include demolition of earlier out of date extensions, decks and badly ‘built in’ sections, lifting and sliding the house, re-stumping and new steel work below to provide for garages and rumpus rooms, and major excavations and retaining walls in hilly areas.
There can be a lot of work to do before you actually start to build the new house.
Volume (mass market) home builders, and particularly ‘new home’ carpenters, are not ideal for this complex renovation and extension type of work.
Why not? Well, for a new house you build from the ground up. First install the drains then, the slab, then wall framing and so on until it’s all finished. Most new homes are built with prefabricated wall framing panels that just need to be joined together like a Lego kit. Even floor framing is going this way. And of course most roofs these days are framed with trusses.
So if the mass market builder makes sure the slab is accurate and level, everything above it is straightforward. Everything can be pre-ordered and will fit as long as the house is built to plan, which is not hard to do.
To be fair, the carpenters that build these new homes are very fast at it because they work to well proven plans (all the bugs having been resolved on the prototypes) and they have often built the same design many times over before. ‘Practice makes perfect’ and ‘the more times you do the same thing the faster you get at it’. As Henry Ford proved.
Queenslander renovations are bespoke building projects
In contrast, Queenslander renovation and extension projects have to work around what is currently there, and resolve all the out-of-level and out-of-plumb issues built into the existing house. Nothing can be prefabricated apart from roof trusses; and even then they can only be ordered after careful site measurement just before they are needed to make sure they will fit correctly and work well with the existing roof.
It’s like the difference between a made-to-measure bespoke garment and an off-the-rack garment. Both have their place in the market but the end products are very different.
We have in-house expertise building Queenslanders
Because of the expertise required for Queenslander renovation and extension projects we mostly train our own team. Or in needed we choose very carefully in the market place for carpenters with sufficient experience and right skill set for this work.
We also do all our own steel work in house. This is invaluable for our clients because nothing can be prefabricated on a Queenslander reno and everything is measured, cut and fixed or welded on site. It must be made to fit around what is there or to solve a problem not foreseen on the drawings (which is very, very often).
As a result of these demands we need very experienced workers on site that have been trained to think like we do, and also think for themselves and not be afraid to ask the supervisor for help if they are unsure and need a second opinion.
High level of supervision and attention to detail
Therefore we invest in a high level of supervision on all our projects to keep them moving ahead and to maintain the quality of build we aim to achieve.
In the end, we end up constructing a brand new home for the owners only by overcoming all the challenges and restraints imposed on the build by the original house. See what our previous clients have to say.
But we love the challenge – and we get a lot of pleasure in bringing an old Queenslander right up to date. And with the traditional parts preserved they make a unique blend of old and new.
If you have a Queenslander or a major renovation project you would like to discuss with us please get in touch. Then we will arrange a complimentary initial meeting to discuss what you would like to do.