And a huge labour of love.
For ten years 92 Amherst Street, Cammeray was left vacant, a bare shell with just the brickwork and foundations in place.
Bought with an existing DA in place, it took a family with vision and determination to create a masterpiece out of what could be best described as a bit of a messy wreck.
Margaret and Malcolm Verman were just the ones to take on this mammoth task.
A licensed builder, specialising in remedial repairs to strata buildings and the owner of a boat building company, Malcolm had the know how to make this work. Alongside Margaret, and an expert team of tradespeople, the whole project took just nine months to complete.
This is one of the best “before and after” renovations we have come across, so we sat down with the owners to find out more.
Stone: This was a huge renovation and completed in such a short amount of time. How did you manage to get so much done?
Malcolm: Enthusiasm and detailed planning. Renovations are fun and extremely gratifying, the whole process is decision after decision, right down to the shape of a screw head and the direction the screw slot should be aligned.
Margaret: During construction, every Sunday, Malcolm would drag me screaming and kicking down to the house to relocate building material, clean up builders lunch wrappings, sweep & shovel up off cut and more builders rubbish. Oh yes, don’t forget the toilet, what do they do in there? The joy came when revisiting during the week and tradesman would comment that this was the cleanest site they had worked on and were appreciative.
We also got a benefit in that they could find everything and the job progressed quicker. 9 months for all this work was outstanding.
Stone: What do you love most about the home?
Malcolm: I love the whole house, every minute detail. I love the garage with the motor bike lift up to the loft, the air compressor mounted on the wall with the air hose reaching wherever I need compressed air. I love the garden and enjoy seeing it mature. I love the detail in the family room ceiling. I love the rooms upstairs, light and breezy. The whole house is cool in summer and warm in winter.
Stone: The home has so many additional features and real attention to the detail.
Malcolm: The attention to detail is everywhere. The iron board has its own custom designed cupboard for storage. Nothing was built without consideration for its end use, for its size and location. No different to a boat where space is a premium.
Every internal and most external doors have some form of restraint with cabin hooks or stoppers. All are unique to that door as each door has its own open situation, i.e. some open against down pipes, some open against gyprock etc. all cabin hooks are of a specific length and unique to that door.
Margaret: My enjoyment is the kitchen. A place for everything!
The walk-in pantry, plenty of shelves and a drink fridge. The main fridge with the wine fridge module. The Wolf appliances, the double oven, warming drawer, gas cook top with super low simmer features.
I can cook up a storm! I actually just finished making 28 Christmas pudding for thank you gifts to close friends.
I often sit in the family room and just admire the ceiling and all its detail. This family room has a 5m wide set of concertina doors that lead directly onto a covered veranda. With the doors open the veranda becomes part of the main room. We have equipped the veranda with overhead fans and Sonos sound. I enjoy entertaining in this area, lovely on balmy night.
When in bed at night, I gaze out through the vegetation onto the surrounding lights and am reminded of a village atmosphere, people about but no one to be seen. The quietness of the house, the nearby Cammeray village, the friendliness of everyone around.
Stone: It seems like it’s going to be difficult home to leave.
Malcolm: It really will be. We have loved living here, but our family situation has changed and we are in need of a larger home.
I am very proud of what our family has built.