Construction Progress Photos
This project involved
alterations, a major addition and a full renovation to an existing house set on
a granite hill that had inadequate vehicle access. Some challenge.
This project offered a
high degree of difficulty from the outset as there was no vehicle access to the
site and the first challenge was to remove the existing stone retaining wall.
The site was steep and the logistics of deliveries and cranage played a major
role in programming construction. This was especially evident when the existing
house was raised for the new extension.
Nixon Build owns their
building lifting equipment and expertise and can therefore ensure that existing
buildings can be preserved after calculating the estimated deflection expected
and adjust the equipment accordingly. In this manner distortion of the existing
building is minimised.
Often you don’t know what view you have until you have the building raised and
in position. Although nobody enjoys variations, there are times where the
benefits far outweigh the cost and this proved to be one such case.
The owners were delighted to discover the extended views gained by elevating an
additional 600mm. Naturally there were complexities associated with these
changes but we were in a position to consult with our engineers, negotiate
setbacks, extension of stairs etc. The owners on this project had a great sense
of design and balance and understood what worked and didn’t and it was a
combination of skills that contributed to a spectacular finish.
Making a difficult
site work is the difference between extraordinary and ordinary. Early on in this
project we discovered the neighbouring properties pool encroached onto this site by approx. 600mm making it very
difficult to achieve the desirable radiuses for motor vehicle access. The
problem resulted in a remedy which resulted in a much better space under the
building by moving two centre posts.
This was achieved by installing 2 x 360PFC’s providing an 8m opening to allow the vehicles to point and turn on
exit. It also provided a sensational uninterrupted space under the house.
Unlike a new build
workmanship and craftsmanship is a must to survive in the renovation world. The
art is to transform an old building often in today’s standards non-functional
space, into a space that best satisfies the modern open plan living. The
objective is optimising
functionality without losing the charm of what the building once represented.
The finish throughout
the extension maintains the old Queenslander charm with great workmanship and
craftsmanship. The extension looks as though it belongs with the original
build. Maintaining the high ceiling throughout the rear extension that includes
the kitchen, dining, outdoor / indoor
living areas, main bedroom, walk in robe, ensuite and main bathroom. The
extended living space off the western side of the central living area features
a raked ceiling, raking down to interface with louver gallery sets running the
full length of the building, wrapping around the front on the southern side.
The building is fully
air conditioned. However, the site catches the prevailing breezes and this
house is cool every day, all day. We worked through the North Queensland summer
as we do every year, but everyone had a request to work at this site knowing it offered a level of thermal comfort.
The attention to
detail can only be appreciated by a site inspection. Although the photographs
present the property well, the real detail is appreciated at close inspection.
The kitchen and the bathroom designs are spectacular. The main bathroom
features a freestanding bathtub, separate shower, full width grate drains,
toilet suite with in wall cisterns, wall tiles over 3m to the ceiling and
amazing glass screens.
Similarly the lighting
throughout is simple and stylish. The beautiful polished Tasmanian oak floors,
match well with the original wide pine boards in the original building.
The external of the
old building was completely stripped and recladded and naturally continued the
timber chamfer board look throughout. Traditional timber balustrade and 90x40mm
kwilla top rail delineate the railings and stairs. Aesthetically the finishing
touch outside I believe is the valance apron wrapping around under the
perimeter under the floor. This feature blends well with the neighbouring houses
and offers a real Queensland finish.
The street appeal is
fantastic. Looking at the property the front retaining wall defines the
boundary and affords the property both a yard and also definition. The driveway
is a radiused exposed honey stone aggregate drive wrapping around the radius of
the retaining wall providing vehicle and pedestrian access.
Value for money I
believe is often in the eyes of the beholders, there are many features and
finishes not detailed on the drawings that Nixon Build have absorbed in the
build costs. There are often unforeseen items that are included without
variations in order to have a great outcome. We believe there is great value
for money and the owners have an official bank valuation that supports this.
The site has been well
part of this project and the rear of the block which was not part of our scope
has potential for a great landscaping project in the future.
The West End hill side
architecture has a diverse range of buildings and this property is clearly one
of the most prominent. The building is in great company, it is an area that has
been redeveloped in recent years. The south eastern aspect that this property enjoys
offers many benefits, particularly the absence of solar intrusion and with the
benefit of beautiful sunrises. Because the western sun is behind the hill, you
don’t experience the late afternoon sun.
Nixon Build is proud
to be associated with the transformation that has occurred with this project.