Home Renovation Project Updates

Architectural Renovation at Eimeo Beach

Nathan and Lisa’s (not their real names) house in Eimeo, just across from Eimeo Beach, was a 1970s home with sweeping views of the Coral Sea that stretch over the horizon and beyond.

As a 1970s house living in the 2020s, the home had already seen its fair share of love and life.

With fancy raked ceilings and exposed rafters, the house was ahead of its time when it was built – back in the days when builders were still converting feet and inches to metric measurements in their heads.

The original plans for the home were hand-drawn and came to us as pdfs with an orange background tinge that made you think of blueprints except in vivid orange. This home was always an architectural masterpiece. It was time to extend its heritage and modernize it.

The house was strong enough in its day – but wind standards had changed enormously by the time this home was earmarked for a renovation and revival.

There was a time when single skin bricks and semi-reinforced floors were all the rage – but not anymore.

It was time for this old girl to drag herself (and her structure) into the 21st century.

Design Inspiration

Great renovations don’t start by themselves. There is a heck of a lot of planning and searching and visiting and researching that goes into every renovation – long before the job finds its way to a structural engineering office.

If we had to guess, the inspiration for this Eiemo Beach house renovation came from the house itself.

  • No longer would the mission brown timbers be fancy enough to wow the visitors.
  • No longer would the anodised aluminium sliding doors be featured leading to the balcony.

It was time to up the ante.

Enter the architect and interiors design team at Bold Architecture. Led by the experienced and business savvy Stewart Bagley, the Bold Architecture team guided the 1970s widow out of the darkness of the 70s and into the light of the 2000s.

A vision emerged.

Gone were the drab browns.

Goodbye to the hidden facade and outdated exposed timbers.

Hello to bright, crisp lines. White door frames. Brilliant exposed white balustrades. Bright airy decks captured the essence of the ocean and coerced it throughout the home.

The vision was complete and Nathan and Lisa were filled with anticipation.

It was time to put some bones behind the beautiful, architectural skin.

Enter the Structural Engineer

I don’t want you to think the structural engineer is the hero of this story. You may if you truly wish – but really, the engineering in this renovation was an accompaniment, a chorus, an atmosphere that allowed the architectural vision to shine. Like a strong solo voice that lit up a grand hall filled to capacity with awe-struck listeners, the structural engineering was just the stagehand.

Only better.

The real world enveloped the project for a time. Site inspections. Site measurements. Hidden, inexplicable variations from the 1970s way of doing things and unfortunate hiccups that threatened to bring this starship back to earth.

Structural engineering calculations and realisations that indeed wind codes had changed substantially in the years between the original masterpiece and the new vision.

The design was some hard work – even for a structural engineering firm experienced in calculating wind forces and load paths and building strength and stiffness to resist the fury and power of a cyclone.

And the design twisted and turned as the architectural vision melded into reality and found itself tied down to exacting cyclonic wind standards.

Yet the vision was retained.

What emerged from that trying time was a glorious mutual recognition of strength, structural and aesthetic appeal. This building had it all.

Time to Get Real

So far these torments and visions were held within confined pdf walls of white backgrounds and lines upon a page.

A builder that could set the vision into reality was needed!

Enter the team at Fergus Builders.

Already an experienced team of builders presenting perfectly posed residential paradises, Fergus were the ideal team for this project.

They set about turning the dream into a vision, into a reality.

Once again the history of the building came crashing through the paper-thin veil of life.

The effect of being so close to the ocean with its wonderous views came at a price. Corrosion had reduced the thickness of steel embedded objects and they had to be repaired.

  • Who imagined the frame would be a steel frame – from back then!
  • Who would ever have thought those big timber roof rafters were supported on steel-framed trusses. What fancy. What a pain!

But communication – and lots of it – came to the rescue.

You see, an engineering design isn’t real until it is. Fanciful thoughts on paper are just suggestions – an approach to a perceived problem that isn’t real.

Those ideas have to come together on a site, within time constraints, close to the ocean, while owners wait to have their home back.

Communication. Emails. Photos. Questions and answers. The information flowed and one by one, the answers came.

And the building process continued.

And the Evidence We Were There

So. Enough of the story. Enough of the tribulations. Time to get real.

Here are the photos.

Now you know we can do it. We can engineer and turn your renovation dreams into reality. We can’t promise your builder won’t have some questions. We can’t promise your architect is going to have already considered our structural needs and planned for our beams and bracing.

We can promise that we will work hard, very hard, to realise your vision. We will make our structure work to please your mind. We will answer questions. We will design and draft our ideas into a sensible, logical set of plans that make it easy for your builder and your architect to read and understand.

We will communicate freely. We will probably give you our opinion when you need it most.

We have been there.

We were there 20 years ago and we’ll be there tomorrow and the next day. And each and every day we are one day smarter and one day more ready to do even better.

Try us and see. We were there. Why not benefit from our experience.