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A first-floor extension fits seamlessly into this home
Wahroonga Renovation
More living and retiring space

This renovation project was undertaken to provide more living and retiring space within this 1950s home. The home was architecturally sound so it was decided to add on a first-storey extension to provide a space for this growing family.

Importantly, we worked hard to create a new storey that would blend with the existing roof, rather than just add a “box” on top of the existing roof. In this way, our goal was to make the new part of the home merge seamlessly with the existing dwelling so it would not be obvious that this was a new addition.

First floor extensions are always a challenge and careful consideration needs to be paid to where to put the staircase to ensure we don’t interrupt the flow on the bottom level and ensuring the upper stairway exit works with the top floor layout. This extension comprised two bedrooms (for the couple’s children) and a shared bathroom and we worked hard to maximise every centimetre of space to ensure the bedrooms and bathroom would be a decent size to allow for the children to grow.

The original home was a very traditional three-bedroom home layout with a small alcove office. The couple’s children – two boys – were fast outgrowing the space available and needed their own space. Storage was a massive consideration and we gave a significant amount of thought to how to utilise as much space as possible – for example, we integrated some of the storage into the existing roof space which would have otherwise been “dead” space.

Insulation also needed to be very carefully considered. The couple had done a previous renovation (not with Brindabella) and were unhappy with the insulation and how it worked. So, we consulted with thermal engineers to receive a detailed brief of their recommendations plus we invested a considerable amount of time in researching R Values and things like sarking and reflective values to ensure we provided the perfect solution.

We chose to use larger structural timber which allowed us to install thicker insulation. Both bedrooms upstairs have cathedral ceilings so achieving a good insulation result was a challenge with the larger roof rafters.

In considering the windows required, we also took the time to think about what would provide the best result for the clients. The windows were a challenge as they followed the cathedral ceiling so we had them architecturally-designed and custom-made for the project. We specified double-glazed windows that could be opened to allow for fresh air flow. Although we are award double glazing does not provide a lot of thermal credibility, when combined with the extra insulation, it did help somewhat. In addition, with the house being on the corner of a busy roundabout, the double-glazing provided good acoustic values to assist with noise management.

For the west facing windows – we recommended an external shutter but the clients have chosen to wait and see whether that is required.

To create a seamless connection between upstairs and downstairs, we blended the finishing architecture with large skirting boards, solid profile doors and matching door handles so there was no discernible transition from old to new.

An interesting additional note is the traditional post in the kitchen. Although the kitchen has not yet been renovated, and is not part of this entry, we were able to future-proof the home for the next stage of the renovation process. Because we were working upstairs above the kitchen, we were able to remove the structural post which had sat at the end of the breakfast bar and insert a large, structural beam in the ceiling above. This means, when the clients renovate the downstairs part of the home in the future, they will have the freedom to not need a structural post in the kitchen any more.

Awards

FINALIST 2022 HIA NSW Region Renovation/Addition Project up to $400,000

Designed & Built

Designed by Brindabella with Inspired Interiors Robyn Coté and built by Brindabella.

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