The transformation of this Balwyn North townhouse from an outdated rental property to a stylish and functional family home was a welcome sight for this returning Melbourne homeowner.
Stuart had been renting out his Melbourne townhouse while living overseas, but when the time came to return down under, he decided to renovate the entire Balwyn North property before settling back in.
Stuart knew he wanted to replace the kitchen, remodel both bathrooms, install new flooring across both levels, and make some changes to the laundry. Due to the level of work required, he decided to reach out to local Melbourne Refresh Renovation Consultant, Paul Cree to get an idea of how much his project would cost and how long the work would take to complete.
Stuart would still be overseas while the renovation was underway, and therefore needed to know his property was in safe hands and that the work would be carried out to an excellent standard. Despite some initial challenges due to the time difference, Stuart and Paul met over video call to discuss the project in more detail.
Using Refresh meant Stuart could trust everything would run smoothly and he wouldn’t be required to travel to Australia to oversee the work. He originally had a budget of $150,000; however, Paul explained this wouldn’t be possible due to his desire to install high-quality fixtures and fittings.
Despite the distance between them, Paul and Stuart used email and video calls to finalise the designs and find the right balance between achieving a high-end finish and remaining conscious of the revised budget amount. The duo also worked closely with Paul’s interior designer to design and specify the home’s internal spaces, making sure the whole house renovation has a consistent feel.
Concept drawings were created to show how the finished project could look, and once approved, these were followed up with more in-depth working drawings. Opening up the space between the kitchen and living area required council consent, but Paul completed and submitted all the necessary paperwork on Stuart’s behalf.
Once consent was granted and Paul had secured the necessary materials and contractors, it was time for the work to begin.
The renovation involved several different contractors, including carpenters, electricians, plasterers, decorators, plumbers, and an interior designer.
Paul scheduled the contractors in advance and oversaw the project from start to finish. This meant everyone knew what they needed to do and avoided unnecessary delays. Purchasing materials in advance also reduced the risk of not meeting the estimated completion date and meant Stuart knew how much his renovation would cost before any work began.
Unfortunately, after removing the existing flooring it was found that the floor structure was out of level. This meant Paul and the team were unable to lay the new hybrid flooring directly onto the floors as planned. A floor-levelling compound was used to resolve the issue and the project was soon back on track and executed to a high-quality finish.
An additional challenge came when it came time to open up the living space. It was found one of the posts was structural, which meant structural engineering was required. Paul obtained a building permit to enable the installation of a required supporting steel beam.
The final obstacle to overcome in the project was cracks in the external cladding, which posed a risk of water penetrating and damaging the renovated spaces. This was an important fix as part of the renovation.
These unexpected challenges meant the project ended up exceeding the original budget. However, having Paul on hand to manage everything kept delays and additional costs to a minimum.
The rest of the renovation ran smoothly and was completed by the time Stuart wanted to return home.
Opening up the living and dining area has created a spacious yet cosy room the whole family can enjoy. The new flooring has created a fresh new look, and the beautiful timber kitchen units and new dining table add to the contemporary, rustic feel.
The previously cramped bathroom has been transformed into a stylish and functional space with a modern design. Using space from the adjoining bedroom has also made the bathroom larger. The cubicle has been replaced with a walk-in shower, and changes to the layout mean there’s now room for a double sink and plenty of storage.
The en-suite has had a similar makeover, using the same tiling, flooring, wooden cabinetry, and matte black fittings as the main bathroom to create a luxurious, high-end feel. New tiling and cabinets in the laundry room have made it unrecognisable from before, and the installation of a brand new washer and tumble drier mean it’s ready to be used right away.
The air-conditioning has also been upgraded, and the new reverse cycle ducted AC system with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology will provide efficient heating and cooling throughout the house, ensuring everyone is comfortable and energy bills remain down.
Opening up the living area has created a lovely flow between the kitchen, lounge, and dining room and the house now feels much brighter than before. The timber kitchen units and cabinets add warmth to this stylish home that Stuart and his family can enjoy for many years to come.
Paul Cree is Renovation Consultant of Zennix Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise , doing business in Melbourne.
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.