ANDREW Winter and Neale Whitaker know all about the headaches of renovating.
As well helping hundreds of homeowners transform their rundown properties, the property guru has just spent 12 months giving his Gold Coast home a complete makeover, while the interiors expert is in the middle of refurbishing a cottage in country NSW.
The co-hosts of Love It Or List It Australia will battle for the hearts and heads of homeowners across the country in a new season of the show as they grapple with the dilemma of whether to renovate or sell.
And while the stars sit on opposite sides of the fence on the show — Mr Winter always wants the homeowners to sell, whereas Mr Whitaker wants them to keep the property and renovate — both agree the Queenslander is for keeps.
The sunshine state features heavily in the new season of Love It Or List Australia, which resumes on Foxtel on September 26.
In fact, about 50 per cent of the series stars homes in the suburbs of Toowong, Corinda, Daisy Hill and Boondall in Brisbane, and Ashmore on the Gold Coast.
Last financial year, Queenslanders spent $1.6 billion on home alterations and additions, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
In Brisbane alone, residents forked out $872 million for renovations in 2017/18.
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Homeowners in Brisbane’s south splashed the most cash on upgrading their properties — spending a whopping $132.5 million, followed by Brisbane’s inner north, where homeowners spent more than $117 million.
The suburb where the most money was spent on renovating in the past financial year was Paddington-Milton, with residents there forking out more than $32 million.
New Farm was next, with homeowners spending $24 million on renovations, followed by Ashgrove at $22 million and Bardon at almost $21 million.
Mr Winter said the Queenslander style home leant itself to being loved, rather than listed.
“It’s only recently Queensland, and Brisbane, has taken notice of its old homes,” Mr Winter said.
“The interesting thing is that the Queenslander home is probably one of the most popular forms of architecture I’ve ever come across in Australia.
“I’m not saying everyone wants to own them, because of maintenance, but these days there are so many options.”
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Mr Winter said it was hard to go wrong investing in a property that had history.
“There’s nothing like an original Queenslander, so if you happen to have an original one, then you’ve got something that is likely to be really sought-after in a couple of decades,” he said.
“Sydney and Melbourne’s old houses are taken seriously — really, really seriously.”
Mr Whitaker agrees.
“Queenslanders are up there as one of my favourite homes,” he said.
“I love the architectural style — I find it so elegant and full of character and personality.”
Mr Whitaker said he loved the traditional look of the Queenslander home from the outside, with a modern interior.
“They do lend themselves well to be opened out and modernised,” he said.
“The layout of the Queenslander allows you to do that.”
But he warned about the dangers of overcapitalising when it comes to renovating.
“Really have a look at what you’ve got before you start spending big,” Mr Whitaker said.
“We’ve got the renovation bug in Australia, which is great, but at the same time, it can get you in financial trouble.”
David Chapman and Charlotte Hyndman have just bought their first home in the inner Brisbane suburb of Newmarket.
They fell in love with the 1930s, three-bedroom character home, even though it could do with a makeover.
“It’s a little rough on the outside, but on the inside there’s some really good spots in there somewhere,” Mr Chapman said.
“You can’t not fall in love with a home like this.
“It just has some old-world charm to it.”
The couple plans to spend the next three to five years renovating the property with a budget of about $50,000.
“There is just so much work to be done to it, but it’s all achievable — the bones of it are amazing,” Mr Chapman said.
“We’ve already made 10 visits to Bunnings within three weeks of buying it.”
ANDREW WINTER’S TIPS FOR RENOVATING IN QLD:
*Preserve the old, rather than build new
“We’ve always presumed you need to flatten it and put a slab down — that’s not the case anymore.”
*Don’t put the bedrooms upstairs in a raised, two-level Queenslander
“It’s a big mistake to raise and put the bedrooms upstairs because you’re hiding all the character of the original home in the bedrooms.
“You need to put the living areas in the original part of the home, otherwise it’s a bit of a waste.”
*Remember that even the most dreary home can be resurrected
“You can install roof lights into rooms, get rid of sliding windows, and put in louvres to inject more light.
“And don’t be scared of internal brickwork — you can whitewash it to perfection.”
NEALE WHITAKER’S TIPS FOR RENOVATING IN QLD:
*Consider whether you’re renovating for resale or for yourself
“If you’re renovating for resale, of course you want to maximise the size and potential of the space.
“The best thing you can do is keep it as neutral as possible. Allow your buyer to dream.”
*Use the climate
“You have the most wonderful climate in Queensland, so maximise the light and indoor/ outdoor flow as much as possible.”
“It’s easy to go over budget. Look seriously at what comparable properties are going for, and what are you likely to achieve, and be realistic.
“If you’re planning to sell, don’t rush out and put in a brand new kitchen or bathroom because you think you have to. Think about a spring clean before a whole scale renovation.”
QUEENSLAND’S RENOVATION HOT SPOTS
Brisbane East: $53.6m
– Capalaba $14.2m
– Wynnum-Manly $26m
Brisbane North: $88.6m
– Bald Hills/Everton Park $10m
– Kedron/Gordon Park $15.5m
– Wavell Heights $11.6m
Brisbane South: $132.5m
– Camp Hill $11.5m
– Holland Park $10.7m
– Coorparoo $12.8m
– Greenslopes $11.4m
Brisbane West: $87.5m
– Chelmer/Graceville $11.4m
– Indooroopilly $10.6m
Brisbane Inner: $51.2m
– New Farm $24.6m
Brisbane Inner East: $47.5m
– Hawthorne $10.8m
Brisbane Inner North: $117.7m
– Ascot $13m
– Clayfield $19.1m
– Hamilton $12m
– Wooloowin-Lutwyche $11m
Brisbane Inner West: $104.5m
– Ashgrove $22.1m
– Auchenflower $12.4m
– Bardon $20.9m
– Paddington-Milton $32.1m
Clifton Beach, Cairns: $17m