5 Ways to get the Perfect Extension for your Colonial/Workers Cottage/Queenslander

5 Ways to get the Perfect Extension for your Colonial/Workers Cottage/Queenslander


If you own a Queenslander style home, you are probably over living in cramped conditions.

Even if your house has been renovated previously, chances are you still require more space.

Queenslanders typically have small interiors. Many renovations have added rooms, below the original house, but few of them have enhanced the functionality of the home.

It’s often more common for people to build under Queenslanders, but extensions are still a great option for these types of homes.

Design is the key here. The renovation design of a home from this period needs to maintain the best parts of the building, whilst giving it a contemporary upgrade.


The solution to your home extension needs

If you want to increase the space within your home with a design centred around your needs, then you need to call us and get us to design it.

It’s that simple.

We are specialists in creating stunning extension designs for Queenslanders.

But if you still need more convincing, let’s take a look at the top 5 things that need to be done right with any home extension.

  1. A home extension designed around your true needs

The obvious starting point is to work out what is the purpose of the extension.

I’m talking beyond giving you more space within your home.

Common reasons for adding a home extension are needing an extra living area or needing more bedrooms. The need for more bedrooms is common when younger children are growing into their teenage years and no longer want to share a room with their siblings.

But why exactly do YOU need an extension?

It’s important to understand why as this will decide the shape, size and best location for your extension. Your budget is of course the overriding factor that dictates what is and isn’t possible.

  1. Be open to the possibilities

This is a big one.

A lot of clients come to me saying ‘We need to add a (insert bedroom, living room, entertaining area etc.) to our home”. Which tells me that they have already decided what the extension is going to contain, and I’m simply required to draw some lines on the page.

But is this really the best solution?

For example, let’s say you need an extra couple of bedrooms, so you want to add an extension on to the rear of your home. But what will be between these new rooms and the rest of the house? How will it be connected? The original house wasn’t designed with this extension in mind so should the extension be bedrooms? Or should the existing house be tweaked to create the extra bedrooms you need, and the new extension be used to create a new living space.

It’s important that you approach your new home extension with an open mind. We are design experts. Let’s explore the possibilities and options together so we can come up with the very best outcome for your needs.

  1. Left, right, front, back – which way should your extension go?

Another consideration is where your extension should be added.

The size and shape of the block will obviously have a bearing on this. But this is yet another reason to be flexible when it comes to design. You may wish to have another living area added to your home, but the best direction to extend the home might not suit where your living space is best to be located.

But none of this matters if you’re open to adjusting your floor plan. Think of your home as space under a roof. The actual rooms themselves can be changed to give you the best lifestyle outcome.

  1. Material concerns

A lot of people talk about the importance of matching the materials used in your existing home when building your extension.

And you can do this … or you can get adventurous.

The old and the new structures need to ‘work’ together visually. But contrasting the new against the old can lead to a far more satisfying outcome.

Using new materials can give your home a point of difference, a wow factor that immediately lifts its appeal and adds real value to your home. It’s all about proportion and balance, another reason why design skill is so important.

Similarly, inside the home there needs to be a connection, but that’s not to say it needs to be identical.

  1. Sustainability built in

Queenslanders are not well designed in terms of energy efficiency and comfort.

A lack of insulation, poor sealing, small windows and dark interiors result in air-conditioners and lights being used more than they should be.

Even if your home has been renovated, chances are these and other shortcomings won’t have been sufficiently addressed.

If we have designed your new extension you can guarantee that it will have been designed with sustainability in mind. You’ll benefit from ample natural lighting whilst also taking advantage of any prevailing breezes.

More open floor plans and larger windows designed to catch any breezes will help to lower the internal temperatures within your home in summer.

However, to get the best out of your overall home you may want us to suggest some other alterations that will enhance airflow and natural lighting throughout the rest of your home.

The wash-up

As always, the most important thing is quality design.

There is no need to endure cramped conditions and feeling of frustration, when a home extension can immediately improve your quality of life whilst dramatically lifting the resale value of your home.

Home extensions are a great investment, but only if they are well design.

Is an extension the best option for your home? Well I wouldn’t know. Not until I’ve spoken to you, got to know your goals and needs and had a look at your property.

All it takes is a simple phone call to get the ball rolling. We can have a chat about my process and the options available. At this stage it’s simply a chat. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.