Back to the Future

Back to the Future


renovation ideasThis sophisticated home from JK Ramage Builders was the deserving winner of the Best Renovation Project in its category at the 2005 HIA Home of the Year Awards
Words by Suni Golightly Photography by Simon Stanbury Photography

While the owners of this 1930s gabled bungalow loved their home’s style and feel, the cramped house was no longer suitable for their needs. The original dwelling comprised two bedrooms, a living area, dining area and small kitchen. A lean-to at rear of the house contained the laundry and toilet. The house featured a huge back yard but there was no coherent link between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Clearly, the home needed a dramatic overhaul.

Working to a budget and timeframe, the owners contacted Andrew Ramage of JK Ramage Builders with a brief to provide an additional bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe, a study, new wet areas, a new modern kitchen and family dining spaces, with a focus to the rear yard and integrated indoor/outdoor living.

JK Ramage Builders has won 11 HIA awards for excellence in building, and is renowned in the building industry for its commitment to each project and ability to finish a project on time and on budget, so the company was the perfect choice for these discerning homeowners.

The project was extensive. Numerous internal walls were removed, including those of the kitchen, which was demolished. The original portion of the house was redesigned to create the new study, two new bedrooms and a walk-in robe. At the rear of the house the lean-to was removed, replaced by the new addition comprising the new wet rooms, as well as the new kitchen, living and dining areas.

Structurally speaking, the integrity of the original home has been maintained throughout the renovations and new addition by matching the original building heights, roof shapes and gable design. Internally, the space is transformed into a sleek, spacious, contemporary home with generous open-plan living areas. The modern interior spaces sit comfortably within the original style of the structure, melding the old with the new.

Andrew Ramage’s attention to detail is the key to the success of this renovation. His reputation for expertise in dealing with homes of this era is well deserved. The craftsmanship of the building work is faultless. The addition flows seamlessly from the existing dwelling and finishes such as the red cedar windows give the addition a sense of authenticity. The modern interior works because of these details and finishes, which have been expertly executed.

“The great thing about choosing Andrew Ramage as our builder,” explains the homeowner, “is the experience he has had with these bungalow houses. While we were concerned with making sure we were building a house of the future — with extra wiring running behind walls just in case one day we need to do things like have the fridge hooked up to the internet — Andrew kept coming up with those important finishes that made sure the extension, despite being contemporary, was consistent with the established building, things we had not even thought about.”

Every element of this home works: it’s large and spacious yet warm and inviting, and it has a sleek, contemporary look and feel without compromising the building’s heritage. This project is a great example of the results that can be achieved when you have a dedicated builder with experience, knowledge and an eye for detail.

The project was built by JK RAMAGE BUILDERS 5 Martlesham Cres Colonel Light Gardens, SA
Phone: 08 8374 0757 or email: or go to
The project was designed by Geoff Matthews and Associates, 34 Stanford Ave Novar Gardens SA. Phone: 08 83764966 or email:

Kitchen, dining and living: New red baltic flooring
Bedroom: Patched existing baltic floors
Outdoor: Kapur hardwood decking

Living areas, kitchen and bedrooms: Plasterboard
Outside: Red brick

All living areas: Downlights

Vanity: Barwon 1060
Vanity Taps: Derwent range
Toilet Suite: Eildon
Spa Bath: Flinders 7 jets, oval
Bath taps: Sanford range
Shower taps: Derwent special overhead and wall mixer
Towel rail, ring and toilet roll holder: Sanford range
Tiles: From Beaumont Tiles

Vanity: Empire ensuite white top and cabinet RH gloss
Vanity taps: Sanford range
Toilet suite: Eildon
Shower taps: Derwent special overhead and wall mixer
Towel rail, ring and toilet roll holder: Sanford range
Wall Tiles: White gloss 98×198
Floor Tiles: White satin 200 x 200
Feature tiles: Glass mosaic and Coco Mini mosaic from Tiles on Bradman

Red cedar

Driveway: White gravel
Decking: Timber decking under verandah (pitched roof), with flushed Villaboard ceiling to make it look like another room

JK Ramage Builders has won 11 HIA awards for excellence in building and is well known in the industry for its “commitment to each project and ability to finish a project on time and on budget.”