HEAVY LIFTING A LABOUR OF LOVE

The Courier-Mail - Property - - INSIGHT -

A BRIS­BANE sub­di­vider with a pas­sion for Queens­lan­ders is tak­ing the stan­dard lift-and­shift ren­o­va­tion to the next level, with a unique project in Hawthorne.

Henry Vec­chio, who has been sub­di­vid­ing blocks and mov­ing old homes for almost 20 years, has split a house in half, re­moved the mid­dle, and put it back to­gether.

“Be­cause it had two gables, ei­ther side, we cut out the hall­way, joined the house back to­gether, raised it and moved it to one side,” he said.

“At the end of the day, you have all the orig­i­nal fea­tures of the house.”

The plan came about after the block was ap­proved for split­ting, but the house was too large to fit on ei­ther side.

Mr Vec­chio said the “surgery” re­quired a lot of plan­ning and the house had to be chained up and re­in­forced so it did not fall over once the mid­dle was re­moved.

Builder Allen Mortensen has 50 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence and has com­pleted sim­i­lar projects.

Mr Vec­chio said there was more scope for sub­di­vi­sion in the Bulimba-Hawthorne area, fol­low­ing the new City Plan.

“Coun­cil has in­creased reg­u­la­tion around de­mo­li­tion con­trol but re­laxed set­backs and heights and made (sub­di­vid­ing) eas­ier to ac­com­mo­date,” he said.

“(Pre­vi­ously), you could put the garage to the bound­ary, but now you can build to the bound­ary. It just makes it eas­ier to work.”

Mr Vec­chio said he was par­tic­u­larly fond of old Queens­lan­ders and character hous­ing, and applauded Coun­cil’s pro­tec­tions.

“I don’t like to re­move the old homes; I think they should be kept on site,” he said.

“I have been do­ing this since 1996 and a lot of the time I’m work­ing with the orig­i­nal house or, even if I don’t, I like to do con­tem­po­rary homes with a tra­di­tional look.

“We try to main­tain the streetscape but inside we give it the more con­tem­po­rary look.”

The home at 16 Govett Ave, Hawthorne, is about a month from com­ple­tion but IS al­ready un­der con­di­tional con­tract for $1.54 mil­lion to a buyer who missed out on a pre­vi­ous home by Mr Vec­chio.

DY­NAMIC DUO: Builder Allen Mortensen with de­vel­oper Henry Vec­chio.

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