Total transformation: The home reno you have to see to believe

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Teagen and Cliff Bensted with their children, Gus, 2, and Audrey, 4, at the home they have renovated in Mount Gravatt East. Picture: Annette Dew.

BOWLS of half-eaten food strewn across the house, walls stained with nicotine, and an ugly brick facade.

It’s enough to put even the hardiest of home renovators off, but not Teagen and Cliff Bensted.

The young couple learned not to judge a book by its cover when they were searching for their first house five years ago.

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“We were basically trying to get into the Mount Gravatt area because it had a nice, character feeling, without being pretentious,” Mr Bensted said.

“I’d seen our house up for sale and kept looking past it. Eventually, I clicked on the ad and saw it had VJ walls and breezeways between the doorways.”

BEFORE: The front of the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East, before the renovation.

AFTER: The front of the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East, after the renovation.

Mr Bensted said he thought the property at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East was a “post-war mess” until he realised it was one of the original farm houses in the area.

“It was super grotty,” he said.

But behind it all, he could see the high ceilings, wide floor boards and VJ walls.

The couple continued renting for about six months while they got their new purchase in a liveable state.

BEFORE: The back of the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

AFTER: The back of the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East, after the renovation.

They moved in once they had installed a new bathroom and sanded and polished the timber floors, but still had no hot water.

They excavated underneath the house to create a lower level, including two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a laundry.

Upstairs, in the original house, walls were moved to change the configuration slightly.

Two of the bedrooms were joined together to become the master bedroom, with a ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.

Internal stairs were installed, along with a back deck and a large section of the roof was replaced.

BEFORE: The kitchen in the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

AFTER: The kitchen in the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

All new plumbing and electrical was installed and the yard landscaped.

“I hired a builder and two carpenters to try and do it as quickly as possible,” Mr Bensted said.

“I did all the painting and there was a lot of time where I just did labouring for the builder.”

Many of the materials used in rebuilding the house were sourced from all around southeast Queensland, including the iron lace balustrade framing the front porch, which came from an old railway station house.

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BEFORE: The main bathroom in the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

AFTER: The main bathroom in the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

They wanted to change the front of the house, where a brick extension had been added in the early 1970s.

They rendered the brick and painted the exterior of the house black, which Mr Bensted admitted was a risk — but it worked.

“The whole front and the whole right side of the house had aluminium windows, which we replaced with recycled timber windows,” he said.

BEFORE: Inside the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East, before the renovation.

AFTER: The living room in the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

The end result is a picture perfect, colonial-style Queenslander home — with a difference.

“We wanted to get away from the Hamptons style that everyone’s doing,” Mr Bensted said.

“We wanted to make it fun as well, instead of just mundane.”

Teagan and Cliff Bensted after buying the house at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

AFTER: A close-up of the front of the home at 22 Pettigrew St, Mount Gravatt East.

The property is being marketed by Ben Salm of Place – Coorparoo and is scheduled to go to auction on May 18 at 11am.

RENO FACT CHECK

Time taken: 18 months

Total spend: $400,000

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