With land prices continuing to climb, and the demand for heritage homes showing no sign of abating, Australians are getting savvy with their renovations. One increasingly popular response is the pre-fabricated modular extension, perfectly demonstrated by the dramatic transformation of this early 20thcentury cottage in Perth. Rather than building a heritage-look extension, the design team behind it created something much bolder.
Located in the well-heeled Perth seaside suburb of Cottesloe, the original home was struggling to accommodate the needs of its growing inhabitants. “The design brief required three extra kids’ bedrooms, a large playroom and a bathroom. With their children getting older, the family was finding the need for more space was a growing concern however they loved their prime location in Cottesloe,” says Matt Keogh, the managing director of Nexus, the company responsible for the project’s design and build.
“They wanted to ensure that the entire family could continue living comfortably in their own spaces within the home for many years to come,” says Matt. It was also important that the extension complemented the existing home. “Another important element in the design brief was to look at a way to perfectly represent the ‘old meets new’ with a modern extension being seamlessly integrated on an older style cottage house,” says Matt.
But what is most impressive about the process was its speediness – a pre-fabricated modular second-storey was added onto the existing abode, and the owners didn’t even have to vacate the home for a single night! “The clients didn’t have to move out at all during the build which is one of the main reasons so many choose to go down the modular route. The extensions were craned in in a day, the stairs were measured up a day later, and it took three weeks for them to be custom-built and installed. During this time, the carpenters finished off any jobs that needed completing upstairs as part of the renovation process, while the clients were ‘business as usual’ downstairs. All up, this drastic transformation was completed on-site within six weeks,” says Matt. Ah-mazing!
As for the clients’ favourite part or the renovation, it’s the zinc cladding used on the upper storey extension. “People seem to have very strong feelings about it and many passers-by love it. We believe that the clients’ choice was spot on and a great standout design feature – it certainly isn’t like any of the other homes in the area,” says Matt of the extension that is a striking contrast to the white cottage below.
“The ‘old meets new’ staircase is another brilliant feature. It runs from jarrah at the bottom and finishes with pressed metal stairs at the top to continue representing the two styles both inside and outside,” says Matt.