Using an architect can make heritage renovations a breeze

architectIf you own a heritage home that hasn’t undergone a recent renovation chances are your lifestyle is being compromised in some way. After all, when heritage homes were originally built they never had many of the modern conveniences that we do today.

So chances are you would like to renovate, but heritage renovations can be a very involved process. Fortunately though the entire project can be made easier by engaging an experience architect and dion seminara architecture has a lot of experience in this field.

So let’s look at some of the things that you need to consider when renovating a heritage home.

Heritage renovations compliance

A heritage listed home has limitations on what can and can’t be done. The streetscape normally has to retain its appearance – so no rendering for example. You also cannot demolish the home nor can you build up. However that’s not to say that you can’t add to the property, you just can’t do it to the parts of the property that are seen from the street.

Often the front rooms of the home also need to be maintained. Special permission can be sought to knock out internal walls but even if permission is granted you will most likely need to retain at least some part of the original wall in your final design.

Heritage properties are important historical buildings that create a link back to a bygone era. So it’s important that they are preserved. Breaking any of the rules around heritage renovations or restoring heritage homes can be a costly so working with an architect who understands the rules and what can and can’t be done within the framework of those rules is vital.


Heritage homes were built before cable tv, wi-fi and other modern conveniences. It’s not expected that you suffer through without those creature comforts, but adding them in a way that works in with the property is vitally important.

Modern homes feature a lot more electronic devices than heritage homes so additional power points will most likely be needed but these should be added strategically and with as little alteration to the materials of the home as possible. If it hasn’t been done already your home will almost certainly benefit from being rewired, so power and/or data points can be added at the same time.

The plumbing may also need to be looked at. You will almost certainly need to replace old copper pipes with new copper pipes rather than PVC but copper does last well and it should only need to be done once.

Kitchens and bathrooms can be renovated giving you the chance to create a more modern interior. Think of all the modern appliances and finishes found in most new homes and you will almost certainly be able to achieve these in your heritage listed home as well.

Contemporary additions

Whilst there are limits on what changes you can make as part of your heritage renovations these are typically confined to the front of the property. That still leaves the potential for a more contemporary addition to the rear of the property in many cases.

The keys here are firstly to present a proposal that is likely to be accepted and secondly to create a design where any new addition ties in with the rest of the home rather than looking like it’s been tacked on the back. And it’s here that design talent and experience play a big part in the success of any heritage home renovation.

At dion seminara architecture we have that experience and design talent. So if you’re looking to undertake heritage renovations, contact us today and let us turn a challenging process into a breeze.


dion Seminara architecture | Brisbane architects committed to satisfying client living + working needs | Renovation and unique new home specialists, multi-residential and fitouts | Servicing all suburbs of Brisbane and surrounds