Rescue Mission For a Grand Dame

Joy and her husband Ian moved from Tasmania to live in Lorn, one of the Region’s quaint heritage suburbs just outside of Maitland, where Joy who started renovating when 19-years-old, had renovated an English-style home. Being an ardent home renovator of several projects she had tackled many a renovation, even when renting. “I have to leave my mark on every home I live in,” she said. While living nearby in Lorn, Joy literally saw the “for sale” sign being erected on this weatherboard early 1900s cottage in need of a great deal of TLC. “I think it was virtually one of the worst homes in Lorn at the time,” she said. Home renovation is not for the faint hearted yet Joy was up for a rescue mission despite her friend’s shock and horror at the challenge she faced. When she walked in to the house, she thought this is it! “The house was telling me it was the one and I could make it a beautiful home – it seemed to have a soul”. Within two weeks of settling on the property Joy had started demolishing the rear porch on the back. “You see I was on a tight budget so had to do most of the work myself and demolition was one of the most expensive tasks to do,” she said. “Ian was away from home working all the week doing long shifts to finance my obsession,” she
said laughingly. Finding a builder who was willing to work with a female project manager and also one who wanted to be hands on as well proved an initial problem, until a talented young builder Shannon Wilkins came on the scene. While working on the rear yard which had old machinery sheds Joy demolished them all to make room for the in ground swimming pool which was planned with an especially deep end for one of her 6ft+ sons in mind.