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I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

magen_
New Contributor

I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Hi! 

 

I just settled on my new home, an apartment in an Art Deco building in Ascot Vale. 

 

I have some experience renovating (I just sold my family home which I renovated extensively, a lot of it myself), but that was a 1950s double-fronted weatherboard. Easy access to electrics and plumbing behind the plaster, house on stumps, walls easily removed... I’m completely out of my element in a double brick property, especially an apartment, where all the internal walls are double brick and are likely supporting the upper floors. 

 

I’m engaging a few builders for quotes and will also speak to an architect, but my main issues at the moment will be renovating if I’m unable to remove any walls. The space is pretty small, and the kitchen is awkward in that it has two doorways (one into the room and one to the backyard). 

 

I have a few ideas, but ideas you may have for anything at all, or suggestions/basic costs for removal of internal double brick walls would be appreciated. I’m a sponge and will soak up all your knowledge and experience. I’ll be doing as much as I can myself going forward, but given the complexities and age of the building, I’ll be leaving a lot of the work to the professionals. 

 

Thank you in advance :smile: 4A0E40DE-034C-468E-9D7B-51E87EE5B494.jpegI’d like to add shelves above the built-ins (I have a lot of books!), and replace what’s now a small electric heater with a gas log fireplace.

 

E3FEA0AC-3D8D-49CF-A303-20552278A8BE.jpegThe bath will be coming out.

 

170D4E26-149D-4ABD-84D3-FBBEEBB2A6B6.jpeg

 

05FA341C-ABE9-480F-9675-98BE534D77EB.jpegI don’t have the kitchen/bathroom measurements handy, but they’re small. All doorways are all also narrower than normal.

 

B56F128B-8D72-43F2-9D2F-545D3AF7BBF7.jpegI’d like to keep this section, but will be removing/replacing the blinds and replacing the exhaust fan. Doesn’t seem to be doing much (there’s some mould on the ceiling). That light will also be removed/replaced.

 

A4FA2C20-35E4-4F83-AF7A-79EAA368A244.jpegThe door into the toilet will be coming off. Judging by the amount of dust on top of it it was never closed anyway.E6A23784-FEED-4CB2-A671-09A81C569E19.jpegThe most basic of ideas I have without removing walls. I have a few ideas for the kitchen and bathroom sketched out somewhere.

 

D3BE6CEA-1844-49EB-A9F4-260F6787E27E.jpegHall down to the bathroom and second bedroom

 

85B5EAE6-70DC-481D-92D6-5DBE55FB4038.jpegOther half of the kitchen. The entry door is to the left.

 

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Congratulations @magen_, it looks like a wonderful apartment. We are looking forward to seeing you put your stamp on it. 

 

Let me tag one of our expert renovators in @2Belindas who might be able to kick off the discussion with some thoughts for you. 

 

We are pleased you have joined the Workshop community and trust that you'll get loads of helpful advice and inspiration for your renovation as you progress. 

 

Welcome,

 

Jason

 

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2Belindas
Established Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Firstly, great apartment @magen_ I'm jealous! Your ideas are spot on. Love the idea of refining the entry to the study and closing the access to the bedroom.
How much further you can take the renovation will depend on what the property will be worth in the end, and what budget you chose to allocate to the project. Also, an engineer should be the first person you call in to ask specific questions about how many internal walls you will be allowed to remove (if any). Removing doors won't be an issue, but opening up walls will. And you will have to work in with strata management. They can be a bit of a pain, but find out what they require first e.g. where they want you to have the skip bin delivered etc., and also if they have any restrictions on the type of flooring you are allowed to use.
If it were me....assuming the TV will be on the same wall as the fireplace, I'd love to see the wall between the lounge and the kitchen opened up as much as possible, allowing you to add an island bench to the kitchen. Opening up that space would give it a modern feel. Spend money on taller skirting boards, which will create opulence and a nod to the era. The cornices are great!
Have fun with the cosmetic changes, especially the tile choice. Enjoy this project. I love older units with entry doors like yours, as they are so pleasant and breezy to live in.

Creating a beautiful home on a budget
Mathy
Established Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Hi @magen_ - what a beautiful space, I find Art Deco really kind of funky. The advice I’d offer (having removed walls from a couple of places) is get a good building designer/engineer/Architect. It is only possible to remove load bearing walls, by putting in a beam to support the load. Looks like you’re on the ground floor, so it’s likely to be difficult and expensive - but not impossible. 

 

And I’d heartily recommend the purchase of a good hammer drill and excellent masonry drill bits - I’m in my first double brick place - all the previous were limestone block, which is a doddle to drill. Personally, I’ve given up on getting a good fix with masonry plugs into the wall. I drill my hole, back fill with “Knead It”, wait 20 minutes and just screw my fixings in.

 

I wish you much enjoyment of your new apartment, and look forward to seeing pictures of your progress, cheers Deb :smile:

Isobel
Trusted Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Cogratulations @magen_, it looks like a beautiful apartment. Please do keep posting as you renovate.  

magen_
New Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Thank you so much for your message, @2Belindas! I’ve only just finished moving and spent my first night here last night so I’m finally getting a chance to reply. 

 

I’m not a huge fan of TVs over fireplaces so for now it’s along that left wall, with a two-seater couch to the right. In an ideal world that left wall would come out, but I’m going to get some quotes and see what I’d be in for with that first. I like your idea re the skirts. I was also thinking of adding a ceiling rose in the living room, tie in with the era of the building. What do you think? 

 

I recently found out that my neighbour is an architect and had a wall removed in his place (the one separating the toilet from the bathroom), and he’s offered to show me his designs for that. What a lucky start! 

 

I’ll keep you all posted as it progresses 😄

2Belindas
Established Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

Exciting times for you @magen_ 
It's a 'yes' from me about the ceiling rose, thats a nice idea.  And handy having an architect in the same building.  I'd definitely ask him over for coffee!

Good luck and please share your photos.  

Creating a beautiful home on a budget
jan-jan
Junior Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

That apartment is SOOO gorgeous! I can't believe there's so many original features still left in there. Get your claws into that architect and don't let go - he'll have a great network.
Ply him with fancy foods and drinks...
redracer01
Super Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

@magen_ 

 

It's late but I managed to finish one side of your kitchen. If I have time I will upload some more tomorrow.

 

magen1.jpgMy suggestion for the cooking side.

magen_
New Contributor

Re: I just bought a double brick apartment and would love some advice

@jan-jan  I know! No one bid on it or made any offers aside from me. I think the decor and the fact that it needed some work put a lot of people off.

 

I’ve barely seen him since I moved in but I’ll definitely be hitting him up for advice!

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