Concord Bungalow ConversionAlteration and Addition
The Site Foreman recently completed a building extension and makeover to a classic Californian bungalow in Sydney’s Inner West. The building designers of the project overcame challenges along the way but delivered a truly outstanding architectural design that translated to a contemporary modern design that combines style, functionality and comfort.
Creating a contemporary modern home design
The alterations made to the bungalow are outstanding, inside and out. The frontage is now fresh and clean having received a coat of paint to enhance its original architectural features, the removal of an awkward garden bed, the installation of a new path and driveway and a new side gate, have all enhanced the street presence and instantly added value to this much loved, Inner West home.
The magic really begins as you walk through the front door and realise how good design can really shed light on how we live. The skilful planning, clever ideas and specially selected finishes contribute equally to this well thought out suburban treasure.
Floor plans designed to meet the needs of a growing family
The front existing structure was solid with four good sized bedrooms and a well situated bathroom, however the rear was a dark, dingy and deteriorating lean-to extension, common for homes of this era. The owners needed the home renovations to provide them with two bedrooms, a master suite, an additional bathroom, an open plan living and dining area with integrated contemporary kitchen plus a study. They also wanted to create an entertainers backyard with pool and garage conversion into a multi-purpose additional living space. While hoping to achieve all of the items on their wish list, the owners were aware that their budget was tight and this may mean compromising in certain areas.
Moving through from the front, three of the four existing bedrooms were retained, two renovated with built in robes for the children, the third transformed into a master suite using half of the fourth bedroom as walk-in robe, and the other half as a combination ensuite, two-way, full bathroom. The rear lean-to was demolished but the footings retained as a cost saving and compliance measure. Initially there was concern that maintaining the existing footprint may have restricted the floor plan designer, however clever space planning meant there was no need for compromise with any of the spaces thus accommodating the client’s complete wish list.
Architectural design makes best use of light and space
Walking down the hall you catch a glimpse of the pool through the glass and instantly wonder if your eyes are playing a trick. The light that streams in through the double height louvre windows that look out onto the entertaining area and pool invites you in further. The step down from the existing house seems natural as you enter the new space which instantly evokes a sense of family and comfort.
The study is immediately off to the left, curtained from the living space by a series of rotatable solid timber panels that sit atop of a nib wall. These create a sense of separation while allowing natural light through to the work space. To the right is a concealed laundry/utility room with side door access to the cloths line and additional WC. The lounge sits comfortably against the open side of the nib wall looking out across the L-shaped living space to the dining area and out onto the pool.
Designing for style as well as comfort and function
Where size and comfort formed a major part of the client’s brief, they also wanted the spaces to be practical and functional, with smart storage solutions and easy to clean surfaces. New joinery was custom designed throughout. Wardrobes were fitted in the children’s bedrooms, and the walk-in robe in the master bedroom now makes shoe storage easy. The hallway floor to ceiling cupboards provide much needed general storage. The open shelving and cupboards in the laundry/utility room are concealable by a solid bi-fold allowing the powder room in this area to be used when entertaining guests.
Contemporary modern home designs
With contemporary modern home designs applied to a classic style home, the challenge is ensuring the old and new marry together well. Traditional materials from the existing dwelling were carried through into the new rear addition, and sit within a contemporary palette of natural timber floors, white walls and a weatherboard clad exterior. A little fun and adventure was incorporated with the selection of finishes such as the back geometric wall tiles for the laundry and powder room. The kitchen design is elegant with glass splash back and plenty of concealed cabinetry, the custom floor plan is simple but perfect for small kitchen renovations. The interior design selections and detailed custom house plans were produced by House To Home Finishes. The team worked closely with the clients when selecting and detailing the kitchen and bathroom designs, equally as much consideration was given to accommodating the existing furniture and treasured pieces like the upright piano. It is important that if you choose to work with an interior designer, you engage them in the early planning stages.
To complete the transformation to this stunning entertainer’s home, a fibreglass pool adorns the back yard surrounded by frameless glass fencing for an uninhibited view. The garage conversion to a studio/cabana to while away the summer days has created an extra living space away from the house.
Planning your building extension
The architectural plans were produced by The Site Foreman’s Inner West-based Architectural Design team and approved as a Complying Development (CDC) through a private certifier, negating unnecessary delays waiting for building approval through Council. Of course not every project can be approved as a CDC however working with an architect who understands the legislation would be the first step and could potentially reduce the time between commencement of design development and project completion considerably.
Renovating a house can be stressful, and extremely time consuming so ensure you choose the right people to work with. As with choosing an architect that is experienced with your local Council or understands how best to gain your planning permission and building approvals, it is just as important to choose the right builder. Obviously they must be licensed. (same applies to tradespeople. Ensure they are reputable). Make sure they have done architecturally designed, custom home designs similar in scope to yours in the same local area? You are more likely to have better results with a builder who has an affinity with the types of houses where you live and experience working with the local Council. Don’t risk settling for one you are not entirely convinced about, remember you have to like them as you are going to be seeing a lot of them over a period of many weeks or months! To help you make the right choice, consider undertaking a tender management process, this will ensure that the builders are working from a detailed scope of works when quoting, thus providing you with ‘apples for apples’ quotation responses.
Even with good planning, during construction there is still a lot to do, plan and consider. If you simply feel you will not be able to dedicate the required time and effort into managing your own renovation, engage an expert to do it for you. While some might see them as a luxury, a building Project Manager will most likely save you money over the course of your home renovation. More importantly they will buy you time you don’t have and provide peace of mind by overseeing all elements of your renovation.