Home Renovations - - HOUSE -

When new job op­por­tu­ni­ties meant re­lo­cat­ing to Dur­ban, the Stockil fam­ily’s lim­ited bud­get and grow­ing fam­ily forced them to con­sider a num­ber of dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties. And while the house they even­tu­ally bought was noth­ing like the 100-year-old farm­house they’d left be­hind in the Drak­ens­berg, Si­mon and Jules knew that this home in Salt Rock north of Bal­ito would af­ford them a sim­i­lar life­style to the one they’d en­joyed on their fam­ily farm.

“It was a very ugly but func­tional lock-upand-go cot­tage and we knew it would re­quire sig­nif­i­cant work to give it the farm­style look we were af­ter,” says Si­mon. “We had to do a com­plete ren­o­va­tion on a lim­ited bud­get, so we had to be very care­ful how we spent our money.”

The Stock­ils de­cided to go the DIY route. “Jules grew up in a fam­ily of gen­eral con­trac­tors. With the ad­vice of a re­spected lo­cal build­ing con­trac­tor, KR Projects, we worked out which in­ter­nal walls could come down with­out af­fect­ing the struc­tural in­tegrity of the build­ing, while also en­abling us to cre­ate a more open-plan liv­ing space,” says Si­mon.

The cou­ple called in the help of three men who had worked with them on their pre­vi­ous home: be­tween them, Skum­buzo Ce­bekhulu, Lucky Nyan­deni and Good­win Meya of­fer skills rang­ing from car­pen­try and brick­lay­ing to paint­ing and plumb­ing.

“Be­cause our bud­get wouldn’t al­low for the dras­tic makeover we had in mind, buy­ing any­thing new was out of the ques­tion. In­stead, we went on a mis­sion to find as many fix­tures, fit­tings and fur­ni­ture items as we pos­si­bly could on Gumtree, lo­cal buy-and-sell groups on Face­book such as Bal­ito Sec­onds, and from Dur­ban-based Atomic De­mol­ish­ers.”

Jules and her team of handy­men set about cre­at­ing an open-plan kitchen, din­ing room and liv­ing room. Through­out the house, the floor­ing was re­placed with lam­i­nated wood or par­quet blocks and two smaller bed­rooms were com­bined to cre­ate a main en-suite bed­room.

“All our wooden fur­ni­ture was either up­cy­cled by Jules and Skum­buzo or built from scratch by Good­win, us­ing pal­let wood and of­f­cuts. This gave our home a unique and invit­ing feel,” Si­mon says proudly.

The Stock­ils built a bal­cony above the stoep onto which the bed­rooms open and the store­room on the ground floor was con­verted into an en-suite guest room. Out­side, what was once the gar­dener’s room was con­verted into a laun­dry and another out­door room was turned into an en-suite bed­room for the nanny. Be­tween the kitchen and laun­dry the cou­ple cre­ated a court­yard and spruced up the gar­den.

“Af­ter two months of hard work, Jules and her team gave us the green light – even though it was a tense two weeks lead­ing up to the move!” laughs Si­mon. In the end, they were all proud of how the house had been trans­formed with a new façade and un­der­cover stoep next to the guest suite.

Best of all? The only new items they bought were two toi­lets, 80m2 of lam­i­nate floor­ing and a ceil­ing fan. Im­pres­sive! >>

To cre­ate an en­ter­tain­ment space, Jules and her team con­verted part of the down­stairs stor­age area into an out­door din­ing room and lounge by re­mov­ing the garage roller doors and open­ing up and squar­ing off the arches.

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