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Howes and Homes Two More Renovation Projects At Dandaro



Liz consults extensively with the owners and together they work out the interior design plan and the finishing details. The body corporate at Dandaro discourages alterations to the exterior style and the footprint of the homes although the addition of verandah extensions and covered porches is permitted. The policy is intended to maintain the look and character of the Village but owners are free to customise the interiors – including the structural layout – to suit their specific tastes and requirements.

Howes and Homes has recently finished renovations for two more homes with very different results. Over the years Liz has built up a great team of subcontractors which she frequently works with, including highly skilled builders, carpenters, artisans and craftsmen.

Her personal supervision and attention to detail ensures that every project is completed to a high standard, on time and on budget. The first home we looked at is a very clean and modern, open plan design where a number of the internal walls were moved, or completely demolished, to totally transform the internal plan and function of the spaces.

Probably the most significant change was tothe master suite. The wall between the main bedroom and the smaller guest bedroom was removed to create one generous and spacious bedroom and the bedroom door was moved so there is now direct access from the lounge.

The existing built in cupboards from both bedrooms were removed and recycled and refitted in a more convenient layout creating an informal dressing area and some relaxed seating space. Part of what was originally a guest bathroom has now been incorporated into the main en suite so there’s now space for a tub as well as a large shower, and a new toilet and vanity were fitted. Because of the clever new layout there’s still space for a separate guest toilet with access from the lounge. New tiles and fittings were installed throughout and new plumbing was fitted to accommodate the changes.

Despite making the two existing bedrooms into one there’s still a second guest suite. What was originally a domestic helper’s bedroom and bathroom have now been incorporated in to the main living space. The domestic worker’s rooms were previously self- contained and independent from the main house with access only from the small enclosed kitchen courtyard at the side of the house. Large double cabinets in the kitchen were removed so a door could be fitted from the kitchen to the guest suite which has an ample bedroom and a separate shower room with a toilet and vanity. The original doorway from the courtyard was bricked up and new windows were installed. Other structural changes included bricking up the Lazyman garage door and demolishing the interior wall between the storeroom and the study. A new window – matching the existing windows – was installed alongside the main entrance to the home. This effectively doubled the size of the study/ home office making it a bright, spacious space to work with a view of the entrance and the small front garden. The position and the layout of the open plan kitchen was not dramatically changed although the existing cabinets were updated with new doors and handles, new pot drawers were fifitted, as well as a new double sink and new taps.

Provision was made for fresh, up to date appliances. The wall and floor tiles were replaced and new granite counter tops and splash backs were fitted. It’s now a neat, modern kitchen and feels like an integrated part of the main living area. Howes and Home’s scope of work included all the new electrical and plumbing work, repairs to the ceilings, cornices and skirting, new lighting, new floor and wall tile finishes and a fresh coat of paint inside and out.

In the lounge the fireplace surround was renovated and a new mantelpiece fitted as well as built-in shelving and cabinets on one side. The back verandah and the courtyard were freshened up and even the front door was repainted. It’s now an elegant and functional home that’s perfectly suited to the owner’s needs and incorporates her style and taste.

The second home Liz renovated is quite different in both the style and the interior layout. The most distinct difference inside this home is that rather than preserving the open plan layout between the kitchen and the lounge a new wall has been built to completely separate the two rooms. The kitchen breakfast counter, which previously demarcated the two spaces, had to be moved back and refifitted to accommodate the new partition wall and a moulded door from the lounge to the kitchen was fifitted. In the kitchen the cabinets were refurbished with provision made for deep pot drawers and new appliances. Granite tops and splashbacks were fifitted and the flfloor and wall tiles replaced. A generous pantry cupboard was provided for extra storage.

The kitchen leads out to the side courtyard/ utility area where a new roof was supplied and fifitted made up of a combination of solid Chromadek and translucent sheets. There’s a small gap between the top of the wall and the roof to allow for natural ventilation. A new laundry tub was fifitted to replace the old fibre cement one. The door to the staff bedroom and bathroom remains in its original position in the utility area so the staff accommodation is completely separate from the main house.

In the lounge the fireplace has been refurbished with a new surround and mantelpiece, the door to the guest toilet has been bricked up and new floors were installed. The existing glass and aluminium doors which led to the old verandah were moved outward a few metres to create a new dining room area incorporated into the main living space.

In contrast to the first home this home is filled with solid timber furniture and bookcases, original artworks and ceramics which gives it a more traditional character as opposed to the modern feel of the first home. Because the original verandah at the back has now been incorporated into the living area to create the dining room Howes and Homes added a new verandah extension. A floor slab was cast approximately three metres deep and extending part way across the back wall. A Chromadek roof was fitted with Alububble insulation and a tongue and groove ceiling beneath and a partial wall built on one side for privacy. Within the house the two original bedrooms have remained the same size with the smaller bedroom now used as a dressing room. The main en suite bathroom has been made larger by incorporating space from the old guest bathroom and a new toilet and shower have been installed. Fittings have been updated and new floor and wall tiles fitted to create a more generous, functional and attractive bathroom.

A new guest room, with a small en suite, has been created at the front of the house. The existing garage has been divided in half with a partition wall so one half becomes the guest bedroom – with a new window – and the other half, at the front, is now used as a workshop. Unlike the first house, the Lazyman door is still in place and functional.

A guest bathroom has been fashioned with space taken from the kitchen recessed area and the staff accommodation and now has a shower, toilet and vanity. Similarly to the first house the scope of work covered all the main construction as well as the plumbing, tiling and electrics – including the installation of a solar pressure geyser and moving the DB board and change over switch from the garage to the kitchen. Ceilings, cornices and skirting were replaced or repaired where necessary and the interior and exterior were repainted.

All the floors were tiled or fitted with new carpets and even new curtain rods and blinds were installed. New door locks and handles were fitted and a new stable door was fitted at the front entrance. Comparing the end results of the two renovations shows Howes and Home’s versatility and the wide scope of their expertise.

Attention to detail and close supervision ensured the success of both projects.

text by Michael Nott

photos by Structure and Design

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