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Claremont, are learning what can be achieved
with heritage-sensitive renovations and things
will go a lot more smoothly if you sit down and
discuss things with them early.
Separate old and new
In general, planning
laws stipulate that with
additions to heritage-listed
properties, you must show
an obvious delineation between original building
and addition. The moderations can be subtle or
ultra-modern but must be compatible with, and
not a poor imitation of, the original style.
Challenges can include
the removal of unstable
asbestos and lead-based
paint and the moving or
complete renovation of kitchens and bathrooms,
the most expensive areas to work with.
Look before you leap
Heritage issues must
be considered when
renovating or demolishing
and rebuilding. So check
with your local council to see whether your
property is on its local heritage list under
its Town Planning Scheme or the Municipal
Heritage Inventory (MHI). If it is, find out if there
are any constraints on what you can do. Check
the heritage classification of the home, street
and area with the local government authority.
Suburbs affected go beyond the obvious Subiaco,
Mt Lawley, East Fremantle and Claremont, to
include whole areas of the City of Stirling and
suburbs such as Hilton, where examples of
post-war state housing are even considered to
be worthy of preserving. Also check on www.
register.heritage.wa .gov.au whether your
property is on the State Register of Heritage
Places, overseen by the Heritage Council of
WA. A property might be on a local heritage
list but not on the State Register or more rarely,
the other way around.
Get it in writing
Ask for council planning
information and constraints
in writing, as it can vary
from verbal information.
Many local councils, including Subiaco and
Perusing the work of
architects, designers and
builders is an effective way
of choosing work you like
and admi re. Practitioners recom mend making
decisions based on whether you identify with
their work and enjoy it or not.
Word of mouth
Recommendations play a
part. But be aware that one
person’s dream architect
or builder is another’s
nightmare. Within a firm, there are also often a
range of styles and personalities, so don’t look at
it as an homogeneous entity. If going on a referral,
ask for the same project manager who did the
job for the friend who provided the referral.
Also, you may get a good recommendation
from a practitioner you approach. They may
feel a colleague would be “a better fit” for your
particular job and refer you to them.
A meeting of mi nds
Go with your gut because
paramount and personality
fit and the ability to trust
and work together is essential. Some people like
being told what they need while others have a
fixed idea and simply want it translated. If you
don’t feel comfortable in the beginning, it won’t
get any easier as the job progresses.
On the same page
Whether you choose an
architect to do the whole
project from initial sketch
through to the garden
and interior design, or split this up among a
few professionals, convene a meeting of client,
designer, landscape designer and builder and
get them all working on the same vision.
“Peeling back the layers
to reveal original features
is incredibly rewarding -
you’ll be surprised
by what you find.”
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