hould 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.


“How can we make the best use of what we have?” 

Is there a space you are not using for what it is designed for? Whilst Media Rooms were once deemed an important part of our home, with the development of hand-held devices for all our media, perhaps it is becoming an underutilised space. Consider re-purposing this according to your needs: a guest room, an office space, a craft or hobby room. 

Try this fun activity to track the space you currently use: tape a sheet of paper to the entryway of each room in your home, and leave a pencil nearby. If you use the space for more than 30 minutes make your mark on the paper! At the end of two weeks, check and which rooms are not really used. Kids love this activity using stickers (just make sure they stick to the paper, not the walls!) This simple activity often shows that we use a smaller percentage of our home than we expected. 

Remember to also consider aspect. Whilst building in your porch or verandah is a popular way to gain space, it may alter the flow of air in your home, trapping heat and making Summer way too warm for your liking! Alternately, it may create a lovely sunny spot in winter for you to warm up. Just be sure to consider these options BEFORE you build it in!

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