Kirsty and Adrian purchased this run-down 2 bedroom apartment and "camped" in it until it was time to renovate.
WORDS Penelope Barker
Entry to Sydney’s souped-up property market takes some sacrifices these days. Just ask Adrian and Kristy, who purchased a run-down two-bedroom older apartment in the Inner West suburb of Summer Hill, then virtually ‘camped’ in it until they decided to renovate.
“The kitchen was so bad we just put a microwave in there and didn’t do any cooking. We basically stayed out of it,” recalls Kristy. “We had to pour bleach all over the bathroom to make it usable before we moved in, but we avoided going in there as much as possible too!”
Eventually, the couple were ready to renovate, with a set budget of $50,000, and called in Hashim Nasser of Refresh Renovations to undertake the complete refurbishment of the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and separate lavatory into spaces that would be “really simple, clean, very usable and a lot more modern.”
With some clever juggling and sourcing of bargain prices for high-quality materials and appliances, Hashim completed the project within budget, without compromising on a quality result – and all within a tight timeframe of just four weeks.
The clients moved out for the duration, all the spaces to be renovated were gutted and work began. However, as with any renovation in an older building, some surprises emerged. “The small kitchen was fully renovated, including replacement of the fuse box,” says Hashim. “The under-sink water heater was disconnected and reinstalled as we discovered it had not been installed according to Australian standards. In the bathroom, some old plumbing had to be replaced and during demolition, when stripping off the old tiles, we found the bricks behind were very brittle and a lot of unavoidable damage was done to the walls, so we had to install Villaboard panels and do a lot of patching in the background.”
it was great to have just one person as the point of contact if anything came up, so it was all much smoother than working with different contractors
Some drain pipes in the bathroom were also leaking and causing minor water damage to the apartment below. “Once we uncover things that we couldn’t see in the beginning we make sure everything is replaced to meet standards,” says Hashim, “so we replaced the old pipes as well as some of the wiring. It’s important that while doing a renovation we also take care of some predictive and preventative maintenance. We truly believe in taking total ownership of a project and going the extra mile to ensure the highest standard of customer experience.”
The minute kitchen posed serious challenges to maximise the use of space. “We aimed to maximise storage and benchtop space as much as possible,” says Hashim. The choice of white makes the kitchen look lighter and more spacious while avoiding cupboard handles gives cleaner lines. We also managed to fit in a half-size dishwasher and a full-height corner pantry that looks small on the outside, but when you open it there is plenty of space inside.”
“What was once a basically un-liveable space now feels like a new apartment,” said the clients. “We love that it looks really fresh and clean and quite spacious for a small apartment and also has lots of storage. During the process, it was great to have just one person as the point of contact if anything came up, so it was all much smoother than working with different contractors. Any bits and pieces were fixed immediately and Hashim really listened to what we wanted then explained how he could make it happen. He even came along with us when we went to buy appliances to make sure we got the best deals.”
Hashim, from his side, also has praise for his clients. “It was great that Adrian and Kristy were fully committed to the project and were willing to move out while work was in progress. This always ensures that the whole process goes more smoothly, and the timeline can be met.”
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