“Should we sell up and build new, or renovate or extend? How do we know what will work best?”

The Darling Downs is full of cute-as-a-button “character” homes. Real estate agents describe them as “Classic Toowoomba Gables”, “Workers Cottages” or “Post-War Chamfer on Brick”. They are often filled with extraordinary features like high ceilings, ornate plaster work, and beautiful timber floors. They also have their drawbacks; one bathroom, one (or no) car accommodation, draughty windows, and ZERO storage! 

There are options when your lifestyle no longer fits your home. As mentioned above you can:

1)      build;

2)      renovate; or

3)      extend.

How to choose what suits you best? There is no one-size-fits-all, no average cookie-cutter answer. There are several considerations to sort through when looking at this choice.


“We’re not sure what we like and what we really NEED!”

We often ignore things in the day-to-day rush, focused on the tasks at hand, and we miss what actually matters to us in upgrading our home.

Try this exercise:

Create a notebook and leave it somewhere accessible to all – perhaps on your kitchen bench or coffee table; somewhere both accessible and communal. Invite all members of your family each day to think about something from the day that they love about your home, and something that annoyed or frustrated you all! Try to find reasons behind why it annoyed you. (Clothes on the floor could indicate lack of storage – or just lazy teens!)

Some good examples:

Mum: The period features are beautiful BUT towels piled up on the bathroom floor – no linen cupboard space!

Dad: The view from the small front deck is beautiful and I enjoy breakfast here, or a glass of wine at sunset BUT Mum and Dad come over for dinner, but no place where we could all sit together.

Child 1: I like my room, I am glad I don’t share a room anymore BUT I can’t fit my clothes in my drawers, I need some more space!

Child 2: I like being able to shoot hoops in the driveway BUT I’m always in trouble for leaving my bike at the back door, but I can’t fit it in the shed!

Having these items written down can help you make decisions on how to best use the space, or what feature in the spaces are important to you.  From the above you could suggest options for better linen storage, space for entertaining for guests, larger wardrobes for children, and make sure an outdoor space is available for the kids. Think what more you might uncover!

What about you? What do you love and want to change about your home?

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