TURNING A HERITAGE LISTED BUILDING INTO A PRIVATE MANSION
A renovation project always feels like a mission. The challenge of blending or expanding the old with the new while keeping the existing building integrity sometimes seems to be a pipedream only seen on reality TV.
This challenge becomes even greater when it comes to renovating a heritage-listed building. With steep council restrictions and having to work around old building methods, it demands a high level of precision and mental tenacity to navigate through all the complexities.
The design, documentation, and communications to both the council and the builder needs to be on par, otherwise, it will become one of those “good idea” projects that never get finished.
Having a lifestyle like a royal family is entirely possible – the classy picture inheriting the legacy of a fine, solid building with modern living features, opening a bottle of red from 1996 in front of a modern fireplace next to the sleek, industrial kitchen.
And that will be a dream come true in 12 months for our client Mark and his wife with their project at Ashfield, NSW.
Mark and his family recently bought their new home in Ashfield after renovating and selling their previous house in Summerhill.
Though according to Mark their previous house was, “a perfectly good house,” but it was only 300 square meters. Mark said this new house is, “a fixer-upper for sure, but it sits on a 930 square meter block.” Mark and his wife saw the amount of room this vintage home has and decided it is ripe with the potential to convert into their dream mansion with six rooms, a pool, and a splendid wide-open kitchen among other luxury amenities.
They were ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work until the local council decided that though the 1880s house is not heritage listed, it had to maintain its heritage features.
This is where most people seeking a home renovation would have given up or thrown a tantrum.
Or thrown a tantrum and then given up.
Had Mark and his wife given up nobody would have blamed them. Seeking council approval for home renovations, especially with any relevance to heritage can turn into an infuriating back and forth. This is especially annoying when the approved renovations don’t align with your initial vision.
We are so privileged that Mark and his wife chose to work with L&T Associates, for we love making drawn-out processes like this a breeze.
Having worked with 4 different architects on previous projects, Mark was initially sceptical about meeting Lauren and bringing her on to help. Previously the architects couldn’t fully grasp the vision his wife had in mind and could only handle simple construction. This renovation was going to be a major undertaking in need of years of experience and a wide range of knowledge.
Lauren absolutely exceeded all expectations. She was able to align with what Mark’s wife was envisioning for the major renovations and expansion on the house and is obviously on the same page with them for what the end goal is.
Adding to their confidence, friends of theirs had also started working with Lauren, and was very impressed with her 3-day turnaround upon their request.
According to Mark, the follow-up process and personal touch was next level in comparison to other architects, some of which hadn’t even followed up in 3 months!
“She has been incredibly easy to work with and has the same end goal in mind.”
The key to completing a complex project like this is full transparency and diligent communications. Mark says he can hear his wife talking to Lauren on the phone every day.
Lauren has been so high on engagement and follow-up, driving 2 hours back and forth weekly to accompany them to council meetings and taking extra precautions on the project.
When the council approval didn’t initially go through Lauren put Mark in touch with a heritage lawyer, who was able to speed up the approval process and made it foreseeable for their dream mansion to come to life.
Mark knew they were getting tremendous value for their money, compared to the other architect who didn’t follow up for 3 months with a quote three times LT & Associates’.
“Lauren and her team just get the job done.”
We are so glad Mark and his family are satisfied with our expertise, diligence and resources to bring their vision to life! And instead of settling for an ordinary 3 bedroom home for the rest of their lives, Mark and his wife will move out soon and let the builders take over and finish building their six-bedroom heritage mansion.
Within 12 months Mark will be opening his special bottle of vintage 1996 red by the infinity pool in their expanded backyard. A daily life fit for royalty and relaxation. Meanwhile, Lauren will be on the phone with your wife in the other room discussing how they can transform your heritage features into the mansion of your dreams.