Real Estate Agents, many Builders and modern Architects will often shy away from Heritage listed properties or those included in Heritage listed overlays. Often when it is consigned to the ‘too hard basket’ it’s simply a lack of knowledge and experience by the relevant building practitioners. But please don’t be discouraged – heritage living can be an absolute delight. Your very first requirement? A qualified and experienced Heritage Architect. It’s time to call Balance Architecture for an obligation-free consultation.
When? It depends entirely on the property in question. In many cases it’s a good idea to have a proper heritage inspection prior to purchase enabling you, the buyer, the opportunity to gain an understanding of exactly what is covered by the heritage ruling, what expenditure may be involved, what requires restoration and how a modern living extension or renovation can be accomplished without denigrating the heritage features and layout of the home in question.
Heritage properties differ immensely from simple workers’ or miners’ timber cottages through to grand Victorian mansions, churches and old hotels. Each requiring a totally and very different approach.
With larger, more expansive homes, such as Victorian terraces, villas and the more ornate Queen Anne style properties, the houses feature high ceilings, solid plaster walls, timber staircases, high windows and a host of other feature, such as verandas with ornate iron lacework and decorative period tiles, stained glass windows, baltic pine flooring and magnificent fire places. However, there are draw backs – inappropriate renovations throughout the twentieth century, ancient wiring and plumbing and incongruous extensions. It’s risk and reward. With correct restoration and careful renovation a return to the complete heritage features – plaster mouldings, wood panelling and feature stained glass windows for example, will add immense value to your new property.
In regional Victoria in places such as Daylesford, Maldon, Castlemaine, Bendigo and Ballarat – old gold mining centres – there are a full range of interesting heritage buildings. These vary from the large expansive homes of the more successful miners, bankers and storekeepers of the times through to the original miners’ cottages.
Add to this to eccentricity of the very broad ethnicity of those working on the early gold fields and you have some extraordinary variances in building styles. For example, the early constructions of the Italian community around Daylesford.
Miners’ cottages can be cosy and a comfortable retreat as a weekender or retirement living option. However, being over a 100 years old quite often they require extensive structural work to ensure further longevity and liveability. From foundations to framing, flooring and roofing these ‘quaint’ buildings (as Real Estate Agents often describe them) can be a minefield of hidden expenses. It is rare for such buildings to be intact originals in 2021 often having suffered a range of inappropriate or ‘gerry built’ modifications. Generally the façade has remained largely intact, but that is often all that remains of the original building.
The best option is to engage a suitably qualified Heritage Architect to prepare a condition report and recommendations on how to proceed with restoration and renovations. Call Balance Architecture on 0418 341 443 and speak to Andrew Fedorowicz, our Principal Architect. Andrew is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects with an enviable track record in the restoration and renovation of Heritage properties in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. If you prefer you can leave you details here for a prompt reply.
Plan for the future. Select the property you desire with confidence and a real understanding of what is required to revive and revitalise it to its former glory.
Balance Architecture – Specialists in Heritage Restoration.
Heritage – It Matters. Preserve It.