Winner of The Block Simon Vos transforms a beach shack

RENOVATED DELIGHT: Making use of raked ceilings, demolishing walls and opening the inside to the outside has turned this mid-century shack in Coffs Harbour into a sleek California-style home.
RENOVATED DELIGHT: Making use of raked ceilings, demolishing walls and opening the inside to the outside has turned this mid-century shack in Coffs Harbour into a sleek California-style home.

For many young house hunters, buying their first house isn't the most daunting aspect of entering the property market, it's the thought of the renovation needed to make it their own.

While a complete reno can be a pricey venture having a firm budget, a carefully thought-out building plan, and a realistic view of long-term objectives, will help you decide how to best use funds and ultimately add value to the property.

Former winner of The Block Simon Vos and his brother are no strangers to renovating, however this time it was more personal as it was Simon and his wife Ash's own home.

Having seen the run-down mid-century beach shack at Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast five years ago, they decided it would be an incredible renovation project.

They wanted to create an Australian take on Californian resort town Palm Springs minimalism.

Simon and Ash used reliable building materials to create clever nooks, eye-catching visuals and features that not only make a statement but also provide a really enjoyable living environment.

"Firstly, we needed to get rid of a lot of old materials, including horsehair walls and ceilings, to really utilise the space," Simon said. "We tried to reuse any of the existing timber we could.

"In order to maximise the renovation, we decided to renovate using CSR Gyprock plasterboard within the whole house to make it feel brand new."

Investing in trusted brands for the walls, floors and ceilings, adds an improved level of protection, longevity and value to the property.

When a home has interesting materials such as structural timbers, renovators should consider exposing beams to add character.

"We had some incredible raked ceilings that we exposed throughout the process," Simon said.

"The original house had low ceilings that hid a cavity up to the roof. We decided to open up the house by knocking this out and using Gyprock Superchek plasterboard to create glorious, angled ceilings. Using this kind of space makes the home feel much bigger and brighter and adds an architectural finish."

Seamless, transitional living continues to be popular, with an emphasis on merging the indoors with outdoors.

"We have an amazing view of the Great Dividing Range so creating a space that incorporated the outdoors and championed open living with mass space was very important to us," Simon said.

Adaptability and flexibility are achieved through the use of folding walls and doors. Australian made Gyprock Superchek plasterboard on walls boosts strength and sound reduction, making the most of a dynamic floorplan, while providing acoustic benefits.

When planning a renovation, it's important to consider building for the future, with flexibility and the understanding of the needs of a growing, modern family.

"What was important for us when starting this project, was that the home was multi-functional and hosted properties suited for a growing family.

"By using gyprock for high-traffic areas, we knew the walls would withstand the knocks of everyday living."

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