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
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.
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.
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
Cogratulations @magen_, it looks like a beautiful apartment. Please do keep posting as you renovate.
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 😄
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.
It's late but I managed to finish one side of your kitchen. If I have time I will upload some more tomorrow.
@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!