In Metropolitan Melbourne, in major Regional cities such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong and in many rural areas, heritage listed properties and residences covered and bound by Heritage Overlays sometimes provide property owners with major dilemmas.
Externally the reasons for the original nomination for heritage status are obvious. Stunning designs and early constructions, many featuring a level of artisan craftsmanship seldom found in today’s modern constructions. Therein lies the dilemma – how best can such properties be restored and then provide the level of liveability and comfort expected today? Can a home that promises so much visually truly provide for modern living and the lifestyle choices of today?
Each individual building is different in the most critical of areas, structural integrity. Over the last 170 years all heritage buildings and properties have been maintained, renovated, refreshed, restored and denigrated, not necessarily in that order, by previous owners.
Some buildings have been faithfully maintained from day one, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most heritage listed residences have suffered the indignity of what, at the time, where considered appropriate alterations, additions or part demolitions.
Add to this the complications of old and inefficient drainage systems, plumbing and electricals. It can be as simple as storm water drainage being neglected and water lying beneath the attractive and restored Baltic pine floor boards, causing rising damp and associated mould.
Solid plaster walls with many layers of paint, original timber flooring replaced with plywood and carpeted, and ornate features removed – Victorian iron lacework on verandas, decorative Victorian tiling, stained glass features – the list goes on.
The solution lies in planning. The first requisite is a full Architectural Report completed by a competent and experienced Heritage Architect. A Report that is entirely focussed on your individual property with a demonstrable understanding of what is required and what is permitted within the Heritage Guidelines for your property.
Structural integrity is the very first requirement – a thorough analysis of the current state of your property’s building or buildings – foundation, walls, ceilings and roofing.
The second component is to address what your individual requirements may be and to determine feasibility and ensure both planning and heritage compliance offering a practical renovation plan to achieve comfortable and attractive liveability.
The third component of the plan should be a practical restoration, where possible, of the innate heritage features.
From a full Report to Architectural Planning and Design should be a seamless process. With Balance Architecture it’s a process backed by many years of experience and success in genuine heritage restorations.
Andrew Fedorowicz, Principal Architect at Balance Architecture is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects. Over many years Andrew has worked on a broad range of projects, and he is passionate about heritage in all its forms from simple miners or workers cottages through to grand mansions of yesteryear. He continues to thrive on unique projects, such as his latest major works, the reconstruction of the original ornate timber fernery built in the late 19thCentury at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. It’s his eye for detail and a unique understanding of historic design and construction that sets Andrew apart.
Redeveloping the heritage aspects of your property can not only be immensely satisfying it can also add significant value to your property when executed with real knowledge and skill. Call Andrew now on 0418 341 443 and arrange for an individual consultation at your convenience. If you prefer, leave your details here for a prompt reply.
Heritage restoration can be a rewarding and profitable experience when undertaken with guidance and genuine expertise. It’s a chance to avoid pitfalls and unnecessary rectifications and to create a living, yet comfortable, heritage gem complementing your lifestyle and your ultimate vision for your residence.
Balance Architecture – luxury, design and comfort.