Rock solid

This newly renovated seventies home in Merewether Heights is as solid as the rock it was built on.

When Annie and David Stazak bought their house in 2010, their vision was to give it an update that honoured the original features. Annie is a landscape designer and David’s building company, Built2Last, specialises in renovations and services such as house raising or re-stumping that not many builders can offer. Given their backgrounds, the couple went into the project with their eyes wide open. “We fell in love with the area, the elevated outlook, the cathedral ceilings and all the wonderful timber. We love stone, timber and stainless steel and we knew we would be able to easily incorporate all these elements into this home,” says David.

Post renovation there’s even more to love: four beautiful bedrooms and three bathrooms, two stylish living areas and a pool. A careful and extensive renovation of the 1975-built home has transformed it, although Annie and David admit it had great bones and was in such excellent condition there were no nasty surprises during the work. Annie explains, “It was built so well back then, with quality features that truly stand the test of time and we kept some materials that will easily last another 45 years. However, we did rewire the whole house, replace the old plumbing and added a new Colorbond roof.” They also incorporated a 19 panel, 4.75 kW solar system but since the roof is so big there’s room to add more panels in the future, allowing them to go completely off grid.  The couple chose to live in the house while renovating: “We moved in on our wedding anniversary and funnily enough most of our wedding anniversaries have been spent renovating. The kids would go off to our parents’ house for the weekend and instead of having a weekend away we’d end up sanding, painting, scrubbing, pulling apart and building something,” smiles Annie.

Tough times

With a young and expanding family, living through the renovation was no easy feat. Annie recalls, “There was a period of three months when I was heavily pregnant with our third child and we had a 12-month old and a three-year-old. It was okay while we had a sink, which David left after pulling out the old kitchen and I cooked on a camping stove in the living area for about a month. But as soon as that sink got removed, it became too much and I moved to my parents for three months while David stayed and completed the kitchen.” Despite all of this, David says living in the house was the best decision. “Living in a home and slowly renovating allows you to spend more time planning and getting a perfect execution of the work and flawless finishes. There’s really no comparison,” he adds.

19 Rembrandt Drive in Merewether Heights is currently on the market with The Agency, Newcastle. The auction has been scheduled for 7 December.

Read more about this amazing transformation in the Summer issue of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.

Story Cornelia Schulze, photography Dean Osland