Rewards of playing the waiting game


After 25 years in residence, the owner of this cottage knew exactly what needed to change writes Robyn Willis.

One of the golden rules of renovating is to live in your house as it is for a while before making any changes. After 25 years in her single-level home, Sarah Fogg knew all to well what she wanted. With a dark and poorly organised kitchen at the rear and an outdated bathroom, she concentrated her attention and budget on the two most expensive areas of the house. Knowing you want to to change your home is one thing. Finding the right person to make it happen is another. Fortunately, one of Sarah’s colleagues said her husband, architect Colin Brown from Arena Design Architects, would be able to help.

Colin says he knew this would be a challenge from the get-go. “We didn’t need to move any walls, which made sense from a budget point of view but when Sarah came up with a detailed brief, it was fairly challenging.” he says. After looking at it from a number of different options, they settled on a plan that provided Sarah with a new kitchen & dining area, new bathroom & laundry, new ensuite and a number of additional upgrades to the general built fabric and services.

The six-month building process had a final spend of around $300,000 with additional big-ticket items being rising damp rectification and extensive re-roofing, fire-protection demanded by council and a new sewer line and resultant landscaping, While the garden is still recovering from the process, Sarah is enjoying the fruits of these labours and the new connection to the garden. Best of all, the house now marries old and new while serving Sarah’s needs now and into the future.

Project published in Daily Telegraph Home Magazine November 10 2012


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