Remodelling is revitalising Canberra’s older suburbs
The streetscape of Canberra’s older suburbs is changing. Many modest houses on generous blocks are being remodelled, in keeping with the character of the traditional, tree-lined streets. Comfort, lifestyle and location are driving homeowners to modernise over knocking down or moving away.
Remodelling specialists, ProStyle Building, has been revitalising homes for 20 years. Co-director, David Fogg, is a 36-year building industry veteran. Formerly a building designer for AV Jennings, David and fellow co-directors, Josh Fogg and Craig McGovern, have always taken a hands-on approach.
That’s how they got hooked on the remodelling market – experiencing first-hand how a well-designed extension or remodelling project can change a family’s life and reinvigorate an established neighbourhood, even though it can be a contentious issue for some Canberra residents.
“There are some people who would like our older suburbs to be retained – locked in the 1950s – but we have to change,” David said. “Energy efficiency measures and lifestyle expectations mean remodelling, renovating, and knockdown rebuilds are inevitable, which can be really positive.”
The award-winning builder has a reputation for remodelling homes that are both suited to the needs of the client and are sympathetic to the suburb. For many clients, that’s what sways them to upgrade their existing home rather than relocating away from schools or starting from scratch.
“There is no doubt renovating and remodelling your home improves its value,” David said. “In my view, if you are planning to stay in the home, you can never overcapitalise – it’s all about time.”
“The beauty of what we do at ProStyle Building is we can design to your budget and we build in price allowances for all the bits and pieces – so there is flexibility for the client and it’s a one-stop shop.”
Known for being super organised and having a sharp eye for functional design, David has the following considered advice for would-be renovators weighing up their options:
Remodelling is not a race
As someone who has been around the block a few times, David’s number one word of warning to clients keen to jump straight into a remodelling project is to stop. He recommends new homeowners live in the house for at least a few months before making any hard and fast decisions.
“What we see time and again is people are quick to update their kitchens and bathrooms without giving much thought to how this impacts on the potential to renovate or extend,” he said. “It’s about thinking long-term about your family’s lifestyle, and not being short-sighted.”
Design for flow and function
At ProStyle Building, flow and function are at the top of the design must-do list. David describes it as, “feeling comfortable when you walk in the front door.” David believes it will make or break your home and should be prioritised when planning your remodelling project.
“When we’re designing homes, we look at ways to get to three areas of your home from the front door,” he said. “Sometimes, it means we have to move the location of the front door!”
Don’t get this right, and the layout will feel awkward, which will detract from all the hard work and effort that has gone into bringing the home up to speed on the style and functionality fronts.
Improving an older home’s functionality is often one of the main motivations behind a remodelling project. By incorporating double-glazed windows, suspended concrete slabs, hydronic heating and cooling and exterior cladding options, both comfort and sustainability get a big tick.
Play up the “ooh-aah effect”
With the flow and function sorted, it’s the kitchen , ensuite and bathrooms that will ultimately sell any home – David calls it the “ooh-aah effect” because it draws people in, every time.
“When you think about it, the kitchen is the hub of the home, when you’re entertaining friends or family, everyone starts at the fridge or kettle,” he said.
According to David, having strong relationships with local suppliers like Southern Innovations gives ProStyle Building clients a leg-up – their expert sales consultants can help renovators pick and choose high-quality products from world-class brands that will achieve that sought-after wow factor.
“At the end of the day, we steer people in the direction where there’s value and quality,” he said. “Brands like Villeroy & Boch and Rogerseller are popular with our clients – they’re stylish and built to last.”
Remodelling projects will continue to revitalise Canberra’s older suburbs, bringing with it a mix of excitement and trepidation. By partnering with ProStyle Builders, homeowners are in the hot seat to create comfortable lifestyles for their families and stay connected with their local communities.
Want to reinvigorate your older-style home?
Visit one of our showrooms in Canberra, Goulburn, Albury or Wagga Wagga to speak with one of our specialist sales consultants if you’re planning to renovate or remodel your home. Modernise your older house with the world’s leading kitchen, laundry and bathroom accessory and appliance brands.
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