Behind The Renovation Scenes: Adamstown Project

The Brief 

When 22 King Street, Adamstown, was purchased by the owners it presented as a run down two bedroom cottage. This deceased estate that had been unmaintained for an extended period of time. This was due to the previous elderly owner not being fit enough to look after it. This led to our team being engaged to begin the process of a major renovation. 

All Design Construction set out to transform the existing two-bedroom cottage into a modern family home. Maximising the available space and use of natural light, creating some privacy and flow between indoor and outdoor living. 

The design was a collaboration between Andrew Fowler, of All Design Construction and Chris Toner, of Toner Design. Initial ideas and sketches were done by the builder. Then Toner Design brought unique feature elements like raked ceiling with louvre windows, assisting airflow. The builder also incorporated new design elements throughout the renovation and construction. Such as continuing the timber decking boards up the alfresco area cabinetry. As well as adding timber battening to the carport door frame. 

The Renovation & Extension Approach 

The house was constructed in three stages: 

  • Stage 1 was renovation of the old structure 
  • Stage 2 was new construction at the rear (living area laundry back deck) 
  • Stage 3 was the pool and landscaping 

The Result 

This renovation is layered with custom style and sophistication in a 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom floorplan that is deceptively spacious. In a stroke of clever design, sleeping quarters rest in a zone of their own at the front. While a voluminous open plan living space ex-tends at the rear to the covered entertaining deck and saltwater pool. 

From the handcrafted hardwood battening on the property’s façade and Blackbutt timber detailing in the alfresco BBQ area. To the engineered timber floors, 2-zone ducted a/c, stunning custom cabinetry and kitchen and high-quality bathroom fittings. This home showcases flawless attention to detail throughout. 

Renovation Features Summary 

  • Complete renovation transformation of an original 2-bed cottage into a stunning 4 bedroom rendered home 
  • 678sqm block set behind secure electric gated entry with secure parking for 2 cars 
  • All four bedrooms are fitted with built-in or walk-in robes, black ceiling fans, aluminium shutters 
  • Master ensuite and full-size family bathroom with Caroma tapware, large showers, eye-catching vanities with marble top vanity and freestanding bath to main 
  • Open plan living with 5 metre vaulted ceiling, custom joinery and storage, louvre windows to harness northerly light and beautiful crossflow 
  • Blackbutt timber deck with built-in BBQ and wine fridge overlooks concrete in-ground pool 
  • Landscaped gardens with mature plantings, new lawn and tiger grass that will provide wonderful privacy once fully grown 
  • Quantum quartz stone island kitchen with 900mm electric cooking appliances, dishwasher, Italian mixer, and awning servery window to deck 

Design considerations and challenges 

There were many design considerations and challenges to overcome: 

  • Structure stability during renovation of the existing structure and adding the extension on the back of the house: All internal brick walls were knocked down, however the builder had to keep structural integrity throughout the process. They first kept three external existing walls and the subfloor structure, to keep the house together. This base was also required to allow for safe placement of the new roof trusses (the roof design was changed from the existing and the material changed also.) They then took half of the roof off and rebuilt half of the new roof – so they didn’t lose the external walls in high winds. They then knocked down the other half of the existing roof and completed the new section of the house. Only once the new roof structure was up, were they in a position to knock down all internal existing walls. 
  • Had to cut in all new windows to the existing part of house: The existing house was a double brick structure with old lime mortar brickwork. This was challenging when cutting in new windows into the old structure. This required careful handling of the existing structure and teamwork.
  • Large scale of the open plan living area (incorporating the kitchen, dining, and lounge): Once the extension was built and fitted out the sheer size of the open plan living space felt like it needed further balancing and softening, to make the living space seem more inviting and homely. Design flexibility was required and it was opted to create a low structure, which could be used flexibly as a seating area, a shelf, or stand alone as a decorative feature (the same engineered flooring material was used to cover the top of the surface).
  • 5m ceiling height in the open plan living/dining area: where the internal raked ceiling is approximately 5.5m high. This posed a challenge when considering what resources and safety measures would be required, and in what sequence the works should be done. The construction of the steel portal frame was required. All timber structural walls were built with 140 x 45 instead of 90 x 45 for additional structural integrity.
  • COVID-Safe Site: A standard Work Health and Safety challenge for all builders in 2020-21 – keeping the site COVID-safe. 
  • Lack of privacy overlooking two properties at the rear of the property: The Colour-bond fence didn’t provide sufficient privacy for two 2-storey townhouses to the rear of the property. This has been addressed by mature plantings, which will in 12 months be at a stage of screening the neighbours achieving full privacy. 
  • State of the land: The land was very overgrown as it had not been maintained for some years and required much more garden waste than anticipated. The builder was able to rehouse a couple of mature trees, including gifting and relocating a giant Frangipani tree to the next-door neighbour. 
  • Easement location: An easement is located to the rear of the property and contains a main sewer line. This required careful planning in collaboration with the structural engineer, for best placement of the swimming pool when considering the zone of influence of the main sewer line. 
  • Local wildlife: One of the neighbour’s keeps a beehive in her garden, which proved a hazard when the queen bee one day got out and the builder’s team working on the swimming pool excavation had to run for cover as a swarm of bees flew across and land-ed on the excavator!