“When I first saw the house I thought it was hideously ugly,” explains Hayley Little. “It was painted a depressing shade of brown and didn’t feel warm or inviting. But the view was magnificent. We look out onto the Gold Coast Broadwater.”
Having already undertaken six renovations with her builder husband Terry, Hayley instantly had some ideas on how to freshen up the property; from the big changes of swapping the roof (from curved to pitched) and adding a media room, fifth bedroom and ensuite to the simpler updates of painting inside and out and updating the kitchen. “It was a structural renovation, we didn’t change the existing floorplan very much, just added a few rooms. We did lots of smaller changes like removing the old staircase, re-carpeting, pushing the garage out, renovating two of the bathrooms and laundry, adding some benchtop and storage space to the kitchen and changing the door hardware, tapware and splashback, enclosing the balcony with glass louvres and more!”
Taking around a year to complete, Hayley marks the paint job as the easiest and most effective update. That, partnered with the changed roofline and the new white cedar shutters throughout the house are her favourite changes to the property. “From the outside, the biggest change would definitely be changing the roofline. Inside I think the paint and new white cedar shutters made a huge difference to the overall vibe of the house.”
In contrast, Hayley says the hardest job was just working with the parts of the house she didn’t like and the fact she had a budget to stick to! “The hardest thing was working with what was already there. It is so much easier to start from scratch. I also found the budget hard to work within! My husband did so much of the work himself though, so obviously we didn’t pay for labour. But we ended up spending upwards of $250,000.”
It also wouldn’t be a home reno if there weren’t some unexpected issues to deal with and Hayley had her fair share! “We went on a holiday to the USA during the roof removal, and then when we came home we had to stay at a hotel for a couple of months. We were hoping to move back in but we hadn’t anticipated the weather, it rained constantly for weeks and threw out the timeline dramatically.”
With Hayley and Terry owning their own building business Caribbean Contractors, they have been renovating together since meeting in 1995, a partnership that they find incredibly rewarding. “We work well together as we both know each other’s strengths and we both know our roles in renovating a house. Basically, I decide on the designs and colours and my husband makes it work structurally and within the budget. It works for us.”
Heather ross says
Amazing transformation. From cold and stark to beautiful warm and inviting.