The main challenge associated with this project was to marry in the old and the new. This Heritage listed home built in 1873, had been part of "addition after addition" situation with porches and entrances added on over time to create different looks. The current owners' wish was to restore and reuse materials from the existing demolition, where possible incorporating these into the landscaping.
This renovation included the relocation of the kitchen also adding a new opening into the original maid's quarters transforming a small unusable room into a scullery. This cold dwelling once had limited light from windows, doorways and rooms that were kept locked up, now these rooms are filled with sunlight from newly formed openings through triple brick walls creating a warm family environment.
There were many challenges throughout this 10 - 12 month project. As the owners chose to fully occupy the residence, this created not only a sectioning off of the lower level, but the building works had to then be broken up into separate portions, so that each living space had to be completed before embarking on the next. Simone - the owner - has high allergies and therefore there was a no chemical policy not only on site but for any product being introduced to the site, this included ecofriendly, nontoxic Porters paint products, no glues, cleaning products or builders bog!
The demolition phase included incorporating the design for the Agg drains to be built into the cellars to let the water flow from the blue stone foundation through the intricate network of french drains under the existing floor level, that lets the water flow out, around and past the building and away. There is also the addition of sub floor ventilation that blends into the landscaping to create cross flow under the ground floor - a must see. We also incorporated hydronic heating system in the laundry and the main living areas, this was completed by burrowing - by hand a tunnel, several meters under the ground floor, cleaning out with a vacuum cleaner and emptying when full.
The incorporation of additional openings to the northern side allows full sunlight into the residence which was once cold and damp. Some of the hurdles faced throughout the project include rising damp, demolition whilst the residence was fully occupied by the family, the removal of existing add-ons that uncovered wood rot in the main front door - the owner had the motto "to fix it as we go" which ensures this to be a lasting effect not a band-aid solution.
Added features include a Cheminee in the main living room, an AGA gas cooking appliance, lime washing the laundry walls, but not in the cellar and setting the wall out from the bluestone to allow moisture to seep away via the complex drainage system.
The additional openings - there were approx 6 of - were a task which saw the entire upper level being pinned up by props and LVL's to allow the lintels to be put in place.
The original door way from the added on porch was reused as a garden mirror, giving depth and the marble table top was added as a feature in the paving.
There was also the addition of a powder room in an existing cupboard space and the original coal chutes were utilised as the hot water space and hydronic heating area as storage - on one side and a magnificent wine cellar on the other. The featured lighting in this home is spectacular, adding light where needed and enhancing what is now, a beautifully transformed home.
This home was a recent winner in the 2014 Launceston City Council Heritage Awards.
Additional variations (by client request): $142,000
View photos of the York Street Heritage Listed Renovation.