Articles, Renovations

A Renovation for the Ages: Discover how this ‘90s Suburban House was Transformed into a Spacious, Multi-Generational Masterpiece

J.P. Build
Building Designer
Arctec Circle Building Design

Situated on the southern edge of metropolitan Sydney and backing on to the Royal National Park, this Bundeena home is the embodiment of a modern home renovation adding value, style, and a place for family to come together.

Homeowner Jen and her three children live in the home but recently welcomed Jen’s parents which was a defining moment in making the choice to do a second storey extension to the home. Originally a single-storey home, the house has been transformed into a modern two-storey home where multi-generations can live comfortably. The new second level is practically self-contained, providing a space for Jen’s parents with bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry included to optimise privacy and provide the family with options for years to come.


Data from the Housing Industry Association indicates such renovations are surging. Australians want renovations which add space and increase the value of their home. Home additions which can accommodate dynamic extended families have driven the annual growth rate of alterations and additions valued over $10,000 to 111 per cent. In the 2020/21 financial year alone there was $43.0 billion worth of renovation activity (HIA National Outlook, Spring 2021).

“The façade is your first impression of a home, your welcome, and it’s incredibly important to get the scale and materiality right here to make sure you are building a home with an inviting space that homeowners want to be in,” says Graham Irving from Arctec Circle Building Design, who worked with Jen to ensure the design of the addition provided the modern look that appealed to her and updated the design of the original dated house.


For inspiration, Jen accessed designs online, visited display homes, downloaded James Hardie’s renovation guide and also viewed the style of house in surrounding neighbourhoods’ new builds so her new home would fit into the streetscape and softly blend into the bushland just metres from the back of the property. “Living on the edge of the Royal National Park, we didn’t want our home to stand out too much. Harmony with the natural setting we wake up to every day was important to us,” said Jen.


Giving the house a modern and warm vibe, a mixed cladding look was chosen featuring neutral cladding paint colours that reflects the natural bushland surrounds. Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding fibre cement panels provided the consistent embedded cement render texture look and was ideal as the primary exterior building material making an impact with its clean lines and contemporary roof line form to deliver a modern design aesthetic. To add some drama and detail, Axon™ Cladding vertical groove cladding has been used as a contrasting secondary cladding feature on the front of the house at the entrance and around the living room window and at the rear of the house where the home opens to decks on each level from which to enjoy the view of the National Park which stretches until the horizon.


Both the render cladding and vertical groove cladding appealed to Jen, but particularly, the Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding after it was suggested by her builder James Powditch from J.P. Build. “I really liked the simple but styled textured panelling look provided by Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding,” said Jen. The home’s original exterior was rendered brick veneer and the decision was made to cover the original brickwork with the cladding to ensure a continuous look, offering a contemporary transformation of the house. “Using the cladding instead of building with brick and then rendering was a wise decision as not only would rendering have increased both the cost and build time of the renovation, but we have all the benefits of the cladding material.” Despite their different aesthetics both cladding styles come in large panels which are installed in a similar manner which helps building efficiency.


The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of both cladding types was ideal for the home’s location. “With our home located on the edge of the Royal National Park, we are in the worst bushfire category (BAL FZ), so knowing that Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding and Axon™ Cladding had a strong fire rating put my mind at ease,” said Jen. Windows also had to include shutters for the same fire safety reasons.


For a timeless look, Jen has chosen a minimalist colour palette exterior paint colours keeping it to two colours and choosing a low-sheen paint that works with the modern profile to give a contemporary matte look. For this project, the Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, which is shipped pre-primed and ready to paint, has been painted in a dark Taubmans’ Wallaby to match the Colorbond roof. Axon™ Cladding, with its striking vertical lines, colour contrasts with the rest of the build by being painted in Dulux’s Winter Fog.


While increasing square feet is an obvious benefit of any home addition, it should also be an opportunity to consider your block and how you live, to define the new space and redefine the entire home. This renovation has exceeded Jen’s expectations and she could never have imagined her vision for her home looking this good. The end result is a stunning modern family home perfectly suited to the family’s lifestyle for many years to come.

Find out how to achieve a modern renovation for your home with James Hardie’s Renovation Guide.

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