The only way is up

With room to build be­neath

Canning Times - - NEWS - Matt Zis

When it comes to must-see home ren­o­va­tions, this one in Lath­lain is truly up­lift­ing.

DRIVE down How­ick Street in Lath­lain any­time this month and you’ll see a home ren­o­va­tor’s de­light that can only be de­scribed as next level.

Kelly Grey and her fam­ily knew they had out­grown their fairly small, sin­gle storey house but reg­u­lar op­tions such as build­ing an­other storey on top, de­mol­ish­ing and re­build­ing or adding an ex­ten­sion proved un­af­ford­able or un­sightly.

In­stead, they set­tled on the dra­matic sound­ing but rather speedy process of lift­ing the 1930s-built house to a sec­ond-storey height and adding a new level on the ground floor.

“The whole rea­son we kept the home was be­cause we like the way it looked, so putting an ugly car­port out front wouldn’t re­ally work,” Mrs Grey said.

“Why would you ever de- mol­ish a beau­ti­ful home when you can do this, keep your house and keep the her­itage.”

The most im­pres­sive as­pect is what hap­pened at No.83 the week be­fore Christ­mas: the act of hoist­ing the house 3m up took less than eight min­utes.

“It was ter­ri­fy­ing at the time; it’s a 30-tonne home and they did it with all our per­sonal be­long­ings still in­side and that in­cludes lounges, my kitchen and TVs still on the wall,” Mrs Grey said.

“But I tell you, see­ing that house raised was the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing thing ever in my life.”

Fans of clas­si­cal mu­sic and the movie Shine would be well pleased with the Greys’ de­ci­sion as ac­claimed con­cert pi­anist David Helf­gott, the sub­ject of the 1996 film star­ring Ge­of­frey Rush, is said to have spent time liv­ing in the house while at univer­sity.

Build­ing com­pany JJack has lifted more than 150 houses and de­scribes the house-lift process as a cost ef­fec­tive way to dou­ble a home’s liv­ing space.

The Greys, who are rent­ing nearby, could be out of their house for as lit­tle as six weeks. The new home will be the epit­ome of up­side down liv­ing.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Kelly Grey de­cided to raise her house and build un­der­neath in­stead of adding a sec­ond storey.

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