Story behind our Hamptons Inspired Knockdown Rebuild
Sometimes renovating isn’t the way to go. The old house had to go!
One of the biggest transformations from old too new, this build is a classic example of a bad house in a good location.
A massive Knock-down rebuilt with the end results truly breathtaking! The existing house on the block is not something you would call good bones. The house was a pretty basic fibro shack which had been brick veneered in its' past. The odd orientation of the house meant it took no advantage of the ocean views, or the nature of the sea breezes. It was time for this old house to go.
It was a fairly inexpensive knockdown, we knocked it down for about $15,000 which is pretty economically. Be aware though that brick veneer can hide unwanted asbestos and can add a lot of expensive to your demolision.
The design of the house was fairly respectful of the area and the street scape. The garage parking area built underground took advantage of the slope of the block. The driveway on the low side allowed access to park underneath the house with side access so you could drive in from front to the back of the block, allowing for off street parking, space for three cars. You could park anything in there, truck, caravan, boat and trailer, motorbike.
The 60 sqm basement area underneath was a very general-purpose room. It could have been used as a studio, office or a salon and would have also serviced well as a granny flat. It took a lot of time getting this out of the ground because there was so much earthworks. There was 1200 tonne of dirt that came out of there.
Going up a level, the brief was to have the floor system as solid as it could be. A traditional carpenter’s technique of herringbone blocking which is also referred to as silent flooring so there was not a squeak to be heard in the whole house. It takes time and effort but well worth it for the result.
Hardwood parquetry was laid in Blackbutt throughout. All the cabinetry was custom made. All the internal doors including the front door had highlights above to give that traditional look. Simple elements to add to your build but when executed correctly can give a big impact.
The house was designed and orientated not only for the warm sun or the cool sea breezes but to take advantage of the magnificent views. The view from the front of the house was picked up from the entry, the front room and the Master Bedroom and the view out the back, was utilised with floor to ceiling louver windows from Wideline, who supplied all the windows throughout. An alfresco area out the back celebrates the view and created a flow between the inside and outdoor living spaces.
Incorporated into the deck space was a pizza oven, that was installed early on in the piece as the oven weight over 800 kgs.
It’s pays to have a lot of forward thinking before a build.
Up a level again into the loft. Lofts are a very unutilised space. Having built a lot of large acreage homes over the years, Adam frequently says ‘you would quite often look in the roof space and would think “this is the biggest room in the house and apart from the cost of fitting it out, affectively its free space”.
A loft is a very clever way of utilising that roof space.
The room in the loft was over 70 sqm’s so it was the biggest room in this house. Velux skylights were installed and chosen to allow the heat to escape and the breeze to flow through the house. The rain sensors on these are a brilliant peace-of-mind. The loft space was utilised as an office, then a bedroom and a movie theatre room. Provisions were put in for a bathroom if it ever wanted to become a Parents Retreat.
The frame was all hand cut and the roof was conventionally pitched, that was to take full advantage of the loft. It also combined to some roof trusses out the back, the back room had an open area of 10 x10 which is more effectively trussed. Cladding was done in a James Hardy product.
Back to the entertaining outdoor living space. The pool was dug in after the fact. An inground concrete pool was chosen here that took advantage of the sloping of the block and became a part of the retaining system as well.
The pool has a beautiful glass end in it and was orientated quite close to the back of the house.
We are finding that it’s part of the trend these days to have the pool as close as you can put it to the house. The closer to the house, the more it reflects that natural shimmer inside the home and the more appealing it is to swim in the pool. As crazy as it sounds, the further away the pool is from the house the less inclined you are to use the pool.
So, we really incorporated it in the design to be a part of almost the inside of the house.
A lot of effort went into the draining of the block. When we first got there, it was quite a damp block, it held a lot of water so there was a lot of drainage.
Drainage is crucial on a sloping block.
An abundant amount of agricultural drains were put in and all of that fed into storm water drains which fed out to the street.
The block always stayed nice and dry and with all the drainage, this kept the mosquitos at bay.
So how do you design a house as a classic Queenslander but still make it feel connected to ground? Building on a slope is a great place to start.
Slopping blocks, as long as they’re not too steep, make for an interesting house. Any sloping block makes for an interesting house and if they are built effectively you can really take advantage of that, keeping in mind that the steeping the block, generally the more expensive it is to build on.
The house was picked because of its north facing backyard, which had great views out to the front, but it also had wonderful, private views out to the back.
Another winner with picking a block, if you’re looking for a knock-down rebuild, is to look at how many houses are looking into your backyard.
Many homes on the Central Coast may see 10 different houses looking into your backyard, a lot I know, it seems physical impossible!
Look for screening option and things like landscaping to block some of those houses’ views.
The gardens at this build effectively screened out the only neighbour that did look in, within three years would was good.
So early planting and clever planting are a good one for fixing that problem with close neighbours with a view of your yard.
Having a healthy budget in place before you start any renovation, or new house build is very important. Keeping control of that budget is also very important.
So is having a contingence so knowing that one or two things are likely to change.
One good piece of advice on that is it’s the $500 decision made 20 times over that is the one that really adds up quickly.
At the time you may be picking tap wear or stone tops or door handles or things like that, where you say,
“It’s only another $800 dollars, we will go with the more expensive option”.
You do that 20 times over and that’s $16,000 (16 grand).
They’re the decisions that you have to be careful making to keep your budget under control.
The sort of slopes you see around on the Central Coast are quite manageable and can be utilised wonderfully.
Try to find something with a northernly aspect is always a good indication of a good build.
This renovation was a true transformation, but don’t take our word for it, check out the gallery.
If you have found your ideal home and now wish to start your renovations to make it your own, call Adam at W Residential 0408 050 050
The team at W Residential will not let you down, they are your local Central Coast builders you can trust.