Have You Considered These 6 Key Points When Reconfiguring Your Colonial/Worker’s Cottage/Queenslander?Renovations
Of all the ways to create more space in your home, reconfiguring and/or refurbishing your home is often the most straightforward.
To start with, it doesn’t require an alteration to your roofline. The changes are made within the confines or your existing home.
The average Queenslander has wasted, or underutilised space.
An experienced architect can overcome this, creating a home design that truly suits your needs.
So, is this an option for your home?
Well, that really depends on how much actual under roof space you currently have. A lot of Queenslanders are small by modern standards. But plenty have had some form of extension, or been built in under, over the years. And although these extensions tend to be poorly designed, it just might give us the space to work with to transform your home.
So, let’s look at the steps to getting the most out of the current home.
- Creating more space
Reconfiguration works by getting the most from your existing floor space.
Commonly this involves removing walls and opening-up spaces. Modern homes focus on fewer rooms, but rooms that are larger, more communal.
For example, modern homes typically don’t have separate dining rooms. Instead, open plan living/dining/kitchen spaces keep us connected in a desirable way.
Open spaces immediately make the internal spaces seem bigger. Adding large bi-fold or French doors that give a view of the outdoors is a great option. It brightens up the home, making it feel more spacious, yet more connected.
- Reconfiguring your Queenslander allows us to start utilising ‘dead space’.
Storage tends to be limited in Queenslanders. But think about the dead corners in your home. How could these be better utilised? Is there the potential here for storage options?
Anything is possible with the right design.
- Structural walls
In your home you will have structural and non-structural walls.
We can’t simply remove structural walls. We must replace it with an RSJ’s to support the weight of the ceiling.
This is where head height can come into it. An RSJ can be hidden under plaster, but if it hangs down below your normal ceiling height, then you could be pushing the limits in terms of legal head height.
There are ways around this, but it’s something that will probably need to be considered and factored into the design.
- Dividing a room
Occasionally there are times where you might want to partition off part of a room. For example, if you have a very large main bedroom, but a lack of wardrobe space, you might want to create a partition, to turn part of the room into a walk-in robe.
Partitions such as this often don’t have windows to let in natural light. Adding skylights can overcome this problem, creating a bright, airy and inviting space.
But you can’t simply put up a partition or new wall. You must consider how you intend to access this new space. What furniture will be near the entrance to the space? You don’t want to find that you’re squeezing past things trying to get in and out.
Often homes can seem small, simply because of the amount, type and size of the furniture in them.
Changing the furnishing within a home can create space that you never knew was there. It’s a matter of understanding your true lifestyle needs, cutting what isn’t important and adding in what is.
Interior design can play a part in this process, but the best results come from a combination of reconfiguration and refurnishing.
- Eco considerations
Queenslanders are not energy efficient. But reconfiguring your home can improve on many of their pitfalls.
A common problem is internal walls blocking airflow and small windows not allowing enough airflow in the first place. They often lack sufficient insulation.
Adding bi-fold doors and larger windows are all options to improve natural lighting and ventilation. At the same time, we can add more insulation, helping to reduce the running cost of your home.
So, now we’re at the stage where I could tell you more, but we really can’t get specific until we’re talking in person about your particular home and needs.
Pick up the phone and call us today. Let’s at least have a chat about the potential for reconfiguring and refurbishing your home.
It may turn out to be more cost effective to raise your home or add an extension. We won’t know until we take a good look at what you’ve got and what you want.
So, call us today and let’s get the ball rolling. You don’t need to put up with cramped conditions anymore.
DION SEMINARA, DION SEMINARA ARCHITECTURE
Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 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.