A family affair
WHEN Sue and Kim Newstead fi rst looked at buying a heritage- listed cottage in Battery Point, its pokey little nook sunroom was, unfortunately, a deal- breaker.
A whole year went by before the couple changed their minds and moved into the charming Kelly St property.
Today, the home’s glorious new sunroom extension has changed the way they live.
Two of the Newsteads’ sons – builder Nicholas and architect Giles – worked with their parents to transform the 1850s house.
Kim said his brief for the extension was to build a new sunroom that fi t with the original house, to use timber extensively – the house now features celery top, blackwood, silvertop ash and oregon – and to take some infl uence from Hobart’s Long Gallery.
It was important to the Newsteads to be respectful of the original home but improve it with modern, energy- effi cient design principles and techniques.
“Even though the house is 175 years old, it now has a six- star rating,” Kim said.
Giles, associate director of Dock4 Architecture, said when working on a modern extension of a heritage property, there are always extra details to consider.
“Just one example is a former exterior wall and a window that we wanted to not only preserve the integrity of, we also wanted to highlight it by stripping back the wall’s paint and lifting the roofline above the window to showcase it,” he said.
When designing the extension, Giles kept the roofline low but created high sunroom ceilings by digging into the backyard.
The property’s new solar panels and solar hot water are hidden from view, unless a visitor knows exactly where to look, on tippy toes, while in the courtyard.
Giles designed the new room as a “heater” for the original house.
He said homes of this vintage could be cold and shaded.
“We have used a fan to pull air from the light-drenched sunroom and then pump it into the remainder of the house,” he said.
Kim said the sunroom’s solar passive design “works a treat”.
“With the double glazing, fl oor heating, dark ceramic tiles, it is a heat bank,” he said.
Kim said the house construction was amazingly thick with 550mm walls.
He said all of the windows were sealed by Seal a Sash combined with shutters that give almost the same performance as double glazing.
“Our addition to my parent’s home has fundamentally changed the way they live for the better,” Giles said.
“It’s now warm all year round and it has an attractive openness that links from the sunroom into the courtyard.
Giles said sometimes an extension of this kind will feel like two separate parts that don’t ever cross over. One stops, the other starts.
“We used the same sandstone pavers inside and out to blur the line from the courtyard patio into the sunroom, while also creating a sandstone bench seat,” he said.
Kim, 69, and Sue, 70, are both retired, formerly working as a teacher and business consultant.
This property was supposed to be a “downsize”, however it has become a four- bedroom home with a study, den, the expansive sunroom and two bathrooms.
Kim has dug deep into Hobart’s history in researching their cottage.
He is not certain if Captain James Kelly ever lived in the cottage, but he was granted land in the area by Governor George Arthur.
“I have been told that when the Battery Point shipyards were short on work, the yard owners used shipwrights to build cottages in the area, either on spec or to accommodate the shipwright families – I think this house may be one of these,” he said.
Kim and Sue have owned about 10 houses and built two, but the Kelly Cottage is a fi rm favourite.
“With the mix of heritage and modern living, this is the nicest one we have ever lived in,” Kim said.
Sue agreed, although she had to pause for a moment to consider their waterfront property at Clifton.
“I have an active lifestyle including bike rides and art, and living in the city is much better suited to that,” she said.
“And people drop in here all the time, which is lovely.”