HEAVY LIFTING A LABOUR OF LOVE
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.