Inside Out (Australia)
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the heritage aspect
“This house isn’t heritage listed, but it is in a conservation area,” says Andrew. “Hunters Hill is a unique spot in terms of its buildings and natural surrounds, and the council is determined to ensure any new development is sympathetic to the existing environment. First, get a heritage consultant on board to assess the quality of the original cottage. They will research the history of a property and ensure any planned work is compatible with the original characteristics. They also recommend ways to preserve and incorporate heritage features into your renovation. Hunters Hill, like many councils, has a heritage advisory panel that will provide general conservation advice to owners contemplating development, so that would be a good place to start.”
“Plantation shutters would really suit the style of this charming weatherboard home,” says Lisa. “And they don’t just look good from inside and out – they’re designed with purpose and functionality in mind. You can easily control and angle the light and heat that comes in, making life more comfortable and potentially saving on your energy bills. As a bonus, shutters are easy to clean but they also look amazing combined with curtains if you need to add extra warmth. Custom shutters are a bit of an investment but if you go for quality, they can actually add value to your home.”
“The chances of finding asbestos in this house are high,” says Wayd. “If your home was built or renovated before 1990, it’s likely that it contains some form of asbestos. Asbestos poses no threat if it’s undisturbed but that obviously won’t be the case during a renovation. It’s almost impossible to identify asbestos just by looking at it. Although there’s nothing to stop homeowners removing it themselves, you’d need a death wish to try. A licensed asbestos removalist will add to the reno cost so Stephanie and Cameron will need to factor that in on top of everything else. On a positive note, if dealt with properly, asbestos is nothing to freak out about. There are other things – such as trees – that cause more headaches.”
update your insurance
You’re making a big investment in your property by renovating, so don’t forget to make sure you have the right insurance. Give your insurance company a call before you start to find out whether your existing home insurance will cover the work and anything that goes wrong during the process, or whether you’ll need any extra cover. If you’re moving your furniture and house contents out to a rental property or storage, will you need extra insurance to cover these? Check on your builder’s professional insurance too, to find out what’s included there.
“Preserve and incorporate heritage features into your reno” ANDREW BENN, PANEL ARCHITECT