Revamping heritage homes – whether simple renovations or small extensions can be a challenging project to execute. A property is considered a heritage home if the local government or state recognises it to have a cultural or historic significance and is worth preserving to keep its aesthetic appeal and structure for future generations.
The undeniable charm and intrigue that heritage homes give are just some reasons why home builders find them immensely desirable and notable special projects. Their unique designs, opulent detailing and rich characters make them a challenge for home builders to get the job done.
One of the main challenges you will encounter when you decide to renovate or extend your heritage home is complying with the different council regulations in terms of the things you can and can’t do.
Mass Constructions is one of the trusted heritage home builders in Melbourne that specialises in house extensions and renovation projects for heritage listed homes. From astute restorations to thoughtful and modern additions to heritage homes in Victoria, we are committed to honouring the original design of your heritage home upon renovation.
When completing a heritage home extension or renovation, we carefully consider the architectural design of the original home to ensure that any design changes we make will enhance and complement the existing structure.
Certified Heritage Home Builders Melbourne
If you own a heritage building in Melbourne and want to give it a new look, finding reliable heritage home builders is one of the initial steps that you need to take. Renovating a heritage home is a tricky job – hence, hiring an experienced heritage home builder is necessary.
Mass Constructions is an experienced heritage home builder in Melbourne. With over a decade of experience in designing and building ground and second storey house extensions and renovations for our clients in the south east Melbourne suburbs, we have a deep understanding of how to go about special projects like renovating heritage homes.
Our director, Tim McRae, personally oversees every project and is available for one-on-one consultations throughout your partnership with Mass Constructions. Tim has gained years of experience in the building industry and has built a reputation for being a specialist in the design and construction of high-quality house extensions and renovations.
At Mass Constructions, we understand how stressful it is to have your heritage home renovated or extended. With that in mind, we practice a flexible approach to managing your heritage home renovation or extension to keep you and your family at the centre of our plans.
Heritage Homes Are a Huge Part of Melbourne
Heritage homes are a huge part of the history of Melbourne. It’s hard not to find various heritage homes in Melbourne as you stroll around the city. Each heritage home tells a story and represents different cultures and the history of the past.
Some of the most notable heritage homes in Melbourne include:
- East Melbourne, Albert Street 268, Woollahra
Constructed in 1874, this huge free-standing house was owned by Joe Thompson, who built this home from the winnings of his horse named Don Juan in the Melbourne Cup that same year. The house had a ground floor magnificent hall, a drawing room, a breakfast room, gilt chandeliers and marble mantelpieces, and Minton tiles.
- East Melbourne, Albert Street 332, 334
The first owners of this pair of two-storey, single fronted houses constructed as mirror twins were John Alfred Porter, a Supreme Court Prothonotary. He first established his home at 332 Albert Street and then built a matching one after two years as an investment.
- East Melbourne, Clarendon Street 060, Gnaroo
This period-style home was built in 1912 by builders Morley & Whelan for Charles Tait. Designed by architects Kligender & Alsop, it is a huge two storey brick house with large verandahs, a tiled roof, and no chimney – which causes quite an intrigue.
- East Melbourne, Clarendon Street 180, Stanford House
This huge symmetrical heritage style home had a steep roof surrounded by Italianate pavilions with attic windows and was believed to be first built after the first 1852 Crown land sales, which opened the suburb up to the public.
Heritage Home Extensions and Renovations
One of the most challenging things you need to deal with when renovating heritage homes is complying with different council regulations on the things you can and cannot do.
The first step you need to take is to do your own research. Check with your local council if there is a heritage overlay. It’s necessary to identify what age and era your heritage home belongs to so you can familiarise yourself with the characteristics of homes in that specific era.
Renovation of heritage-listed homes is typically encouraged to ensure that the character and charm of the heritage home are maintained. Keep in mind that the things you can and can’t do to a heritage-listed home varies, depending on your local council. But the general requirements regarding style and appearance preservation are the same – especially when it comes to the facade of the heritage home and maintaining a balance between the old and new.
Any house extension ideas you wish to incorporate with your heritage home must maintain the visual integrity of the home and must complement the existing structure while creating a visual separation between the old and new.
Below are some of the most common and significant issues you are more likely to encounter while renovating your heritage home:
- Archaic wiring and plumbing system: Because of the age of the home, plumbing and wiring issues are not that uncommon in heritage homes. When undergoing renovation, it’s best to switch to PVC or copper pipes from the old galvanised pipes. Moreover, you might also want to consider upgrading the antiquated electrical panel together with the old tube wiring, which is a fire hazard. These are necessary to support modern appliances that consume more electricity than the old electrical systems can accommodate.
- Altering the layout: The floor plans and features that modern-day living requires significantly differ from the constructions of the older times. Long corridors and small rooms are the more common features of old homes than a walk-in closet attached to the master’s bedroom. Outdated layouts make it trickier to find a space for a house extension. It’s important to note that any structural changes to a heritage home often involve the dismantling of walls, but since this ruins the vintage appeal of the property, it’s not an ideal thing to do. Nevertheless, if you really wish to proceed, a custom builder with a portfolio of renovated heritage homes can help you solve the structural issues.
- Be cautious of unsafe materials: Properties built decades ago are more likely to have asbestos in the roofing and flooring materials used. Similarly, the walls might be painted using paint made from harmful materials such as lead. However, these materials are not dangerous if left untouched. But, if the renovation project requires wall scraping, the dust coming from the wall can be a health hazard. You need to seek the help of a professional custom builder to help you identify and taper such substances.
How Do I Know if My Home Is Heritage Listed?
To find out whether your home is heritage listed, you can either check with your local council or visit this website. Keep in mind that all historical archeological sites in Victoria are protected by law.
Mass Constructions Are Heritage Home Builders for Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs
Consulting with several heritage builders is necessary when planning your heritage home renovation or extension. It will help you find the right builder for the job. It also gives you an idea of the estimated cost of a heritage home renovation and the amount of time it might take to get the job done. There are several heritage home builders in Victoria that you can consult.
Mass Constructions is one of the most trusted heritage home builders in Melbourne. We have experience in heritage restoration and designing and building new heritage style homes. With over a decade of experience in custom home renovations and extensions, we make sure that each project is done on time and within your budget.
Contact Mass Constructions For Heritage Style House Plans
For heritage home renovations and heritage home extensions, contact Mass Constructions today. We understand that designing heritage house plans can be tricky and involves a lot of planning and strategising to ensure that any design changes will enhance and complement the original home. Request a free consultation with us so we can help you get started.