A Stylish and Functional Garage Transformation in Camberwell, Melbourne

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Brown wooden fence and garage

Lack of insulation and questionable structural integrity deemed this Camberwell garage ‘past its prime’. To better utilise the space, the homeowner wanted to replace the old garage with a functional multi-purpose room.

Before After
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Getting Started

With ample street parking available around this Camberwell property, a decrepit garage was hardly valuable to homeowner Jan. At nearly 30 years old, the posts had rotten and the garage’s structural integrity had become compromised. Jan wasn’t able to fully utilise the garage and instead wanted a functional, multi-purpose space with an aesthetic that blended seamlessly into the rest of her property. 
To help execute this transformation, Jan contacted local Refresh Renovation Consultant Paul Cree who, with his excellent project management experience, could bring Jan’s vision to life. Starting out with an initial consultation enabled Paul to understand Jan’s vision for the project and discuss expectations, such as budget and timeline, before moving on to the more detailed design stages. 

Expert Advice

Jan envisioned a bright space that she could use as a workshop, gym, or office and which flowed effortlessly into a beautiful garden. Multiple access points were an essential part of Jan’s requirements for the renovated garage. As it stood, the garage wasn’t sealed nor did it have any insulation, so a warm, cosy environment was a must for the versatile new multi-purpose space. 
The concept and costing phases revealed the details and logistical requirements of Jan’s new garage. To maximise the value of Jan’s investment, Paul made cost-effective recommendations such as re-purposing materials; the existing garage door was in great working order so instead of trading it in for a new, pricier model, the crew could simply salvage and re-install it within the new design. With expert advice like this, Jan was able to tick all the boxes on her wish list without over-investing. 

Talking Details and Budget

Jan’s garage was initially a carport that had been enclosed; the structure wasn’t viable and needed to be demolished and removed. Paul organised the permitting process which included planning permission from the council and a building permit for the structural work for which he enlisted an independent building surveyor. 
Paul estimated that the full scope of the project, including the permits, would cost about $76,000 which Jan was happy with. With Jan’s approval and the appropriate construction documentation in order, they could finally break ground on the new garage.

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Tearing Down and Rebuilding
Demolition of the old garage began in October. With material shortages and significant lead times for the timber trusses, delays appeared to be on the horizon. But Paul circumvented the issue by having the engineering design updated to allow for on-site construction using readily available timber rafters. 
The construction progressed steadily as the timber frame went up and new aluminium framed windows were installed. Colorbond metal sheets comprised the roof and external wall cladding from James Hardie completed the exterior. The interior walls and ceiling were well-insulated and lined with plaster to ensure a cosy feeling year-round as well as a modern finish. Epoxy paint was used to create a smart, durable, dust-free surface on the concrete floor. 
By the time December rolled around, the crew had completed Jan’s new garage in a total build time of 11 weeks, just in time for her to enjoy the space during the summer. Thanks to Paul’s quick problem-solving and smart project management, he was able to deliver the project on time and within the expected $76,000 budget. 

The Finished Product

The sharp geometry of the finished garage perfectly echoes the rest of the architecture on Jan’s property, making it a harmonious addition that improves the property’s overall curb appeal. In terms of functionality, Paul and the Refresh team nailed it. With overhead lighting, several sunny windows, and access from the garden, street, and side yard Jan can utilise the new garage for nearly any purpose. And, since the garage is now fully insulated with a highly durable epoxy floor, she can enjoy the space during any season for many years to come. 
Supplies were sourced from James Hardie.

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This project was completed in
June 2023
Project description
A garage replacement
Jane Doyal
Project duration
11 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Material shortages and lengthy lead times.
Interesting aspects
Complementary architecture.
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Paul Cree is Renovation Consultant of Zennix Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise , doing business in Melbourne.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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