RENOVATIONS

With Townsville turning 100 years old in recent times, there are plenty of “renovator’s delights” available in the local market. We recognise that there is a growing need to provide honest, practical and reliable building advice and services in North Queensland.

Making the choice to renovate can be a daunting task but not when you work with Franzmann Constructions – the Custom Home and Renovation Specialists. Our experience with renovations expands a varied range of projects from raising houses and building in the ground floor level, to single level major home extensions. From smaller to larger-scale projects, we have the expertise to cater to your needs.

With our local knowledge of Townsville, we have experience working in low-lying and coastal suburbs throughout the city that can often be susceptible to stormwater and storm tide flooding. Our past projects have involved working in areas such as these and we are well equipped with an understanding of the planning and building regulations that affect some established suburbs where many clients wish to renovate.

Before beginning down the path of a renovation, consider some of the following handy tips:

  1. What is in scope and what is out of scope? It sounds like a simplistic question but often clients overlook the need to really consider the extent of what they want to do early in the planning process which can really affect their budget, their expectations and the overall outcome. To help make this easier, prepare a list of the parts of the building you wish to retain, and the parts you wish to change then draw a sketch of the house. Never underestimate the benefit of the humble hand drawn building plan! This will also help the draftsman, building designer or architect when it comes time to get certifiable house plans drawn up.
  2. How much are you willing to pay? We won’t beat around the bush, major renovations delivered with quality you can be proud of can be expensive. It is critical to bear this in mind when you are working out the scope of your renovations. We can work with you to develop a plan that considers potential staging of your project to allow for progressive delivery of your renovations.
  3. Is your house in a Character residential zone or is it a listed Cultural heritage building? This is particularly important to homes located in older suburbs of Townsville such as South Townsville, Railway Estate, North Ward, Hyde Park, Hermit Park or Gulliver. If your home is listed in these areas under the local planning scheme, then a development approval may be needed before a building permit can be obtained from a building certifier. It is always handy to know – for your own peace of mind – whether your house is affected by one of these zones and/or overlays before you design your renovations with a draftsman or building designer. Don’t leave it until the last minute to find out. You can contact the Planning Department at Townsville City Council (or your local government) to find out if your property is in one of these character or heritage areas.
  4. Is your house in a flood prone or storm tide inundation area? As with character and heritage requirements, this is an important piece of information to find out early in the planning process as it may determine whether you need a development approval before a building permit. Some low-lying or coastal properties may be affected by low, medium or high flood hazard as well as medium or high storm tide inundation hazard depending on where they are located around the city. If your property is affected by either of these hazards in the local planning scheme then this may need to be taken into consideration in the building design, such as how high the ground floor level of the house needs to be above the natural ground level. You can contact the Planning Department at Townsville City Council (or your local government) to find out if your property is affected by these hazard overlays.
  5. Do some research about the types of features, fittings and materials you want to include to avoid surprises. This doesn’t mean saving your dream designs to a Pinterest board alone. To set a realistic budget and practical scope for achieving your ideas, it is always helpful to do some research about what materials and services actually cost so you are not disappointed or overwhelmed when you receive your quotes. But do not be discouraged. Often you can achieve the look you are dreaming of for your home by making some simple cost-saving measures. For example, when designing your bathroom, think of what the flagship feature. If it is about highlighting some bespoke, higher end basins then consider pairing back on your tile and vanity selections. While we want you to be happy in your home, it is also worth considering the longer-term, you may love the bespoke basins, the tile feature wall and the higher end vanity but will a future buyer really appreciate all of those elements and the price tags? Or, can you achieve the overall look and feel at a smaller outlay by showcasing a single element?

South Townsville Dream Home Renovation

On meeting the owners of this beautiful old Queenslander in 2017, the gamut for the project was to convert the bones of the original house into the family’s forever home. The build involved raising the original building and building in the ground floor to create a spacious and open kitchen, dining and living space flowing directly onto a new timber deck overlooking the backyard and new pool. One of our favourite additions to this project was the polished concrete floor extending throughout the entire ground floor which was customised for the owner’s style.

The first floor of the original house was returned to its former glory by reusing much of the existing timber cladding as part of converting the upper level to the family’s bedroom and informal living room. Homage was paid to the building’s Queenslander heritage by installing plantation louvres to the front façade and constructing a new entry deck with gabled roofline to the front door. This renovation highlights how the traditional Queenslander building can be revitalised and brought into the 21st century with contemporary touches, like a modern exterior colour choice, that work to enhance rather than diminish its simplicity and beauty.

It brings our team great joy to know that many happy years (and happy beers on that deck!) will be spent by this family in their “new” home.

Tulip Street Sweetheart Renovation

Not all renovations need to be expensive to achieve optimum results. This is an example of a cosmetic makeover without vast structural changes while still transforming the overall look and feel of the building.

These renovations included removal of carpets throughout to expose and polish the hardwood timber floors beneath, bathroom and kitchen facelift, demolition of imposing half-wall between kitchen and lounge to create an open plan living space.

Consider how similar small alterations might make a big difference at your home.