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Philp Street

Before Photos

A modern twist on a traditional Queenslander, this renovated home brings together the best aspects of Queensland home design; louvered windows allowing effective cross flow through of the breeze, high raked ceilings to extract heat from the living areas and a large outdoor entertaining deck.

The client brief for this project was very simple, take an old property in much need of repair and transform it into a modern family home. Much of the design, material choice and finish elements were left to Nixon Build to add value to the property and enhance its position, in a location opposite a waterway and parkland and in a central location close to the City heart. We commenced with a very basic contract price with the goal of staging the project. The cost of feature and design changes were agreed upon as the build progressed.

What is now a 4 bedroom home with two bathrooms, theatre room and galley style kitchen, started with a high set fibro clad Queenslander that was largely dysfunctional and held little street appeal. To achieve the final result the house was completely gutted, redesigned to make the best use of its existing footprint. As with all renovations this property brought challenge after challenge with hidden elements that required ingenuity and innovation to overcome.

The lower level contains 3 out of the 4 bedrooms and a rear media room which can be completely darkened to create a true theatre atmosphere, as well as a modern and spacious bathroom with separate toilet and internal laundry. The laundry was designed aesthetically to second as a kitchen, in fact so much so it looks like a kitchen. This suits the contemporary finish of the building and offers a fantastic option for family occupants.

The polished exposed aggregate concrete floor with a blend of natural stone colourings is a stunning feature for the down stairs level. The ground level flooring finish was experimental in the early construction phase to provide a unique finish throughout. The building foundations and top slab is a monolithic floor using a standard 25/20 mix for the foundation and first half of the floor slab. Approx. 75mm of special aggregate blend of selected stone to provide the finish that is evident in the photographs supplied. Prior to any walls being erected, the full slab was ground and stainless steel inserts throughout the bedrooms were installed and Caesarstone inserts to the common areas, such as the laundry, hallway and entrance. This finish is very much like a terrazzo panelled floor and provides great aesthetic value to the property.

The front of the property is enhanced by French doors opening from the largest of the downstairs bedrooms onto the front entry porch. A large storage cupboard under the internal stairs provides ample extra storage to this home and make excellent use of otherwise wasted space.

The upper level is connected through an internal stair case and features polished timber floors throughout. At the top of the stair you enter a large and spacious galley style kitchen with Blanco gas burner cooktop, electric oven and canopy range hood and wide island bench, surrounded by floor to ceiling louvered windows to enhance the cross flow through of the house. The living room at the front of this level features a high raked ceiling and opens out onto the entertaining deck with large bi-fold doors which open the entire front of the house and double the floor space. The front deck has traditional Queenslander style stairs with mid-level platform leading down to the front garden. The master bedroom is on this level also and features a walk through wardrobe and two way ensuite, connected through to the powder room and separate toilet.

An open living space optimized the properties position overlooking the park. There are load bearing partition walls between the lounge and kitchen/dining area offering two separate but open plan living areas. The kitchen/dining area, that also accommodates the internal staircase offers great scope for entertaining and the floor to ceiling window allow the predominately South Easterly breeze to flow through the house. On the front side of this partition wall is the lounge/family area that features a 6m wide x 2.4m high bi-fold unit that effectively doubles the living space when you include the front deck area under roof. It is beautifully illuminated at night and once again well ventilated given the south easterly breeze. To provide this feature required some innovative engineering above the bi-fold unit. The section above the bi-fold was converted into a complex box beam transferring the load to the external wall and at the opposite end at the entrance door. The original design did have a post in the centre of this opening; however changes to this area have brought a lot of interest and aesthetic value to this space.

All the windows have been designed with energy conservation in mind, optimising the prevailing breezes to provide the most effective cross flow effect. On the southern side of the building all the windows are ceiling to floor and not too wide so as to compromise valuable internal wall space. There are virtually no windows on the North Western side and corner to help combat solar energy building up in the property minimising the need for constant air conditioning. All the external walls have thermal insulation installed for the same reason, further to this there is acoustic insulation in the ceiling and interface wall between the theatre room and bedroom.

The façade of the existing shed was modified to create a new garage that blended in with the house; a simple touch, but effective.

The driveway an exposed aggregate finish poured in sections to provide contrasting bands creating a subtle but very effective finish.

Although the building is designed to optimise thermal efficiency, there are times where no amount of forethought will combat North Queensland tropical heat. For this reason there are 7 Fujitsu air conditioners fitted throughout as a contingency. The energy efficiency has been in mind throughout the design and build phases of this project. As mentioned earlier all external walls are fully installed with thermal insulation, the highest rating air cell insulation under the roof. All windows are louvre sets with excellent cross ventilation, all rooms are fitted with ceiling fans including two in the dining area and one 1800mm ceiling fan in the living area, and one on the front deck.

Bedrooms are lined with 10mm plasterboard, however all common areas, including the downstairs entrance, hallway, laundry, upstairs kitchen, dining and lounge are all lined with VJ panel board to maintain the Queenslander style character.

All bedrooms have been cabled with coax for television reception. The bedrooms have been designed with wall mounted flat screen televisions in mind. Obviously each coax outlet is accompanied with a GPO. Further to this each bedroom has an Ethernet outlet providing computer options throughout.

The theatre room has a high ceiling and is cabled for full theatre options with provisions for overhead projection, surround sound speaker outlets and flat screen mounting options. This is the only room in the house that has carpets to optimise the acoustic. This room is a good length for theatre effect and all the windows to this space are a wood-grain aluminium blade gallery set that provides full blackout whilst operating as a theatre.

All in all, a successful house raising and building innovation worth a mention. Traditionally houses that are raised are restumped on 75x75mm SHS columns in a way that best suits the new wall configuration. These posts are usually well concealed using 90mm framing material. However Nixon Build trialled a new method that saved the customer approx. $30,000 in steel columns and PFC’s by designing all the ground level walls to be load bearing thereby eliminating all steel columns. The original house is simply supported by the structure below in the same way a new build would.

Nixon Build is very proud to have been associated with the transformation of this property.


Hermit Park
Renovations,Award Winning Projects


2013 Master Builders North Queensland Regional Housing and Construction Awards - Home Renovation/Remodelling Project $276,000 - $575,000 Winner

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