The Country Retreat – Restoration and Renovation

For many city dwellers, a country retreat is now desirable and sought after. With beachside property at an all time premium, the rural retreat provides a cost effective alternative. In areas like Victoria’s Golden Triangle with townships like Daylesford, Castlemaine, Maryborough and the Ballarat environs all within reasonable distance of Melbourne, rural retreats, whether a simple miner’s cottage or a more expansive property with acreage, offer delightful possibilities.


The key to enjoying such a purchase is to recognise that houses built in the 19th and early 20th centuries are often very cramped with poor heating and no insulation. Life was entirely different in those times with less choice, diversity and comfort.

Before purchasing any rural property, why not consult with a heritage architect? Discover what the possibilities are and what are the pitfalls that possibly await you. It’s sensible to commission an architect’s report, noting heritage overlay requirements. Those often dictate what is possible and what is not in any proposed renovation or restoration.


In many cases, restoration is an excellent proposition adding real value to a property acquisition.

Buyers need to know and understand what is physically possible with any property they consider purchasing or have purchased. Many older buildings for instance are dependent structurally on inner walls, so when considering ‘opening up a space’, it’s necessary to consider two aspects. One, is it permitted under Heritage regulations, and two, is it really possible?


What seems like a simple project (take out a wall) may in fact require a total internal rebuild. Older properties for instance are often built upon bluestone lintels for foundations. Under modern building regulations any extensions or renovations may require reinforcements or replacement supplementary foundations.

The weekend get-away can be a delight. Here we have displayed some fully renovated properties where restoration has been developed and supervised by Andrew Fedorowicz, Principal Architect with Balance Architecture.


What’s possible will be determined by your available budget. To know what can be achieved, consider a budget that includes your purchase price and any planned renovations and restorations. It’s very easy to overcapitalise on older dwellings, Bluestone constructions are a good example.


Stone houses are seemingly very attractive, with good natural insulation. It’s timely to consider when a property was constructed. 19th century dwellings were built using very rudimentary mortars and often require repairs, if not a full rebuild of structural walls. Stonemasonry is very expensive. Can you afford that ‘delightful bluestone cottage – a renovators delight’? Or will it become a ‘money pit’, a nightmare, a drain on your life rather than providing the peace and tranquility you desire?

Even some things as simple as a picket fence may be included in a heritage overlay. Your choices may well be limited to replacing it with an exact replica. In fact in some cases where expensive high stone walls have been constructed as replacements, municipal Council orders to remove have been enforced, at great expense to the property owners.

Andrew Fedorowicz is only too pleased to assist you with both advice and professional design, planning and implementation. With many years experience in all forms of Architecture, Andrew is passionate about heritage restoration and renovation. He is extremely knowledgable on all aspects of construction and renovation and can greatly assist you in developing your property to be that ‘Shangri-La’, the peaceful retreat you desire.


Call him now on 0418 341 443 for a free, no obligation consultation at your convenience, or leave your details here for a prompt response. Alternatively call 03 8696 9700 and ask for Balance Architecture and a booking can be arranged for a consultation.

Take the time to do it correctly. Whether you live in an inner city terrace, a modernist beachside home from the 1950s or an original farmhouse constructed in the 19th century, ensure you achieve and maintain genuine Heritage status for your property.

With Balance Architecture and Interior Design – The Heritage Specialists.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

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