Renovation ideas: from holiday rental to permanent home
Turning a holiday home and rental into a full-time family house was the challenge set for Queensland building designer Simon Scott.
Scott is a designer with a difference: as well as cleverly overcoming design issues, he is hearing impaired. Not that that holds him back in any way.
When the owner’s dream for his Noosa property proved too big, Scott had to rework the plans and negotiate compromise.
Careful thought and clever design has resulted in a lightweight, sustainable renovation that gives the owners much more room – and much more luxury.
Clever redesign: making the most of available spaceSimon’s task was to maximise the footprint of the two-bedroom, two-storey unit. But the client’s initial design brief included some elements that had to go, simply because the original developer had maxed out the gross floor area so there was no room for expansion.
The main losses were a proposed rear extension and the addition of a third bedroom.
The solution Scott came up with to realise the client’s desire for more space was to put shutters around the existing alfresco area and replace the old rear walls with bi-fold doors.
“This meant that the visual effect, although not as perfect as the client wanted, would give him the feeling of open space to the pool area and would also give good cross-ventilation having the shutters fitted,” explained Scott.
Big renovation, small time-frameVirtually the entire interior of the house, other than the staircase and flooring, was demolished and re-built. The whole project took four months.
As well as replacing the rear wall, the renovation consisted of rearranging the kitchen, converting the old cloakroom into a guest shower suite and creating easy access to the outdoor spa. The old pitched roof was demolished to build a balcony with access from both bedrooms, a study area introduced upstairs and a glass pool built.
Eco features have been incorporated into the build to ensure the house is green. These include cross-ventilation shutter doors, an energy-efficient boiler, new light fittings and a lightweight wall with sliding doors next to the balcony.
Rewarding renovation results“Although this wasn’t the biggest renovation I’ve undertaken, it did have some challenging moments,” said Scott.
“But what made it so special was the client realising that what was achieved was going to make this very dated unit a pleasurable, efficient and relaxing property. We were both exceptionally pleased with the finished work.”
To top it off, the house has been submitted for a 2012 Queensland Building Design Award for best sub-$150,000 renovation.
Hearing impairment no challengeScott is a hearing-impaired designer – not that this holds him back in any way.
British-born, his last role before he left England in 2008 was with a blue chip architectural firm in central London, managing projects up to the value of $30 million. These included office buildings, high-rise residential towers and educational projects.
“I have never classed my hearing impairment as a problem or a handicap,” he said. “I never pre-warn my clients – no more than anyone who wears glasses would.”
Scott has a support team to make and receive phone calls for him and uses Skype, email and text to keep in touch.
“My hearing loss has never got in the way,” he added. “Architecture is my passion and I believe – and my clients confirm it to me – that it shows in my work, from conception to completion of a project.”