THE Dunlops are the first to admit they are in desperate need of a holiday.
After five years of late nights, weekends and all their spare time taken up with renovating, it’s time for a break.
But Louise and Adam Dunlop have already set their sights on their next project — much to their children’s dismay.
“The kids aren’t happy,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“We’ve just got this home to a beautiful state and we’ve already got our eyes on another little, rundown home, so they’re not thrilled!”
This is the couple’s fourth home renovation — and their favourite so far.
They loved the Indooroopilly area and were looking for a new venture, so when they came across 54 Meiers Rd in 2014, they knew it was for them.
“We found this little, old, rundown home and it just had an enormous amount of character and a massive big yard, which was sort of a rarity at that time,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“I saw it, brought my husband through and put an offer on it that same night, and we were lucky enough to get it.
“It was very rundown and the yard was overgrown, but you could tell it was a beautiful little home underneath — the bones were beautiful.”
The renovation process was undertaken in three stages, with the couple deciding to retain the original 1950s home rather than demolish and rebuild.
“Our main objective was to retain and restore the original cottage and bring it into the modern era,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“At no stage did we want to knock it down, although it would have been a lot easier and cheaper.”
Mrs Dunlop said the first stage required getting the home in a “liveable state” so they could move in — noting they had two children, aged 10 and six, at the time.
“Adam demolished the entire interior and oversaw the rebuild, which involved installing a new kitchen and bathroom, levelling the backyard and landscaping it,” she said.
“At that stage it was just a two-bedroom cottage, so unfortunately for them, the kids had to share a room.”
The second stage of the renovation required removing the asbestos extension at the back of the cottage, adding a carport, guest bedroom and bathroom, and laundry, which Mrs Dunlop was happy about after having lived without one for a couple of years.
Both stages were completed solely by the Dunlops, with Mr Dunlop using his skills as a tradesman and Mrs Dunlop using her creative flair to design the interior.
“He’s gone very grey,” Mrs Dunlop said, referring to her husband.
“We’re needing a holiday.
“The kids are sick of spending all our money on houses!”
But they brought the professionals in for the third and final stage — a massive, three-storey extension, encompassing the master bedroom on the top floor, a media room or fifth bedroom on the second floor and a large, multipurpose room on the basement level.
“At this stage we engaged an architect to help us connect the old home to this new modern extension,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“We wanted it to look as seamless as possible.”
They also installed a large, undercover outdoor terrace and pool.
The 870 sqm yard features lush lawns with plenty of space for the kids to run around.
“The kids have plenty of space inside and out,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“We can always see the kids, but you can’t hear them!”
The property is also in a highly sought-after location, close to the University of Queensland and the in-demand Ironside State School and St Peters Lutheran College.
“We don’t want to leave this one — it’s got a beautiful feel,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“It’s very humble when you look at it from the street, but once you walk in, you discover it opens up to this beautiful big space.
“It’s full of surprises.”
But the Dunlops are itching to start their next project.
“It’s too perfect for us1” Mrs Dunlop said.
“The kids are getting too spoiled here.
“We need to find somewhere that needs a makeover again.”
Mrs Dunlop hinted that their next home would also be something with “a bit of character”.
“I don't think I’d be happy with a standard, big project home,” she said.
“Imagine what the landscape would like if everyone had the same.”
The property is being marketed by Alex Jordan of McGrath Estate Agents - Paddington with a price guide of $1.85 million to $2.05 million.
RENO FACT CHECK
Time taken: 5 years
Total spend: $1.03m
Originally published as What a five-year home reno looks like