Our team at House Design Solutions was engaged by the Oakleigh South Family to create a low budget extensionThey wanted an upgrade that would serve them well for the next couple of years in their “terminally ill” family home until they could move to somewhere with a decent backyard. The house was one of those houses that was initially positioned very poorly on the site, leaving no meaningful back yard and a very exposed front area.

Rather than conceding defeat on this house, we asked some probing questions and took some time to think over the situation. Our query was that if we could magically rotate the house so that the living areas flowed onto a generous back yard, would they be happy staying and would their budget be higher. They hypothetically answered that they could find a little more money and would remain indefinitely if the sins of the house were rectified but they felt this was probably not possible.

In the 30 years as Melbourne’s House Design and Development Experts, we have seen many situations where the client has deleted possibilities on their property only to be pleasantly surprised with what is actually possible through good design solutions.

We took this house as a challenge and produced a brilliant solution that was both cost-effective and life-changing for the Oakleigh South Family. We cleverly proposed a garage at the front, blocking part of the front yard off, to create a new rear yard behind. We introduced sliding doors from the existing living room to flow out to this “back yard” space creating an indoor-outdoor connection. To save money, we complimented the existing “blond brick” 60s victim façade with a “retro” design which most agree is a stunning result.

The budget did not allow for a colour or style overhaul, which in this case turned out for the best. By locating the extension at the front and making great choices on the new elements, the house got a “free” makeover as part of the general extension costs. This combined with the addition of a “back yard” scenario elevated the house into a fantastic family home.

The development was a total success, and the family stayed a lot longer in their near perfect newly-renovated home before selling well at auction last year.

One wonders where these guys would be today if a “salesperson” or “builder” with limited design expertise had given them simple extension advice rather than our team’s expert design solution.

Over the years we have met others that “wished they had spoken to us earlier” luckily for the Oakleigh South Family we were given the chance to add value to their home and their lifestyle.

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