Selling Houses Australia

Turn A Country Shed Into A Home

See all the details of the amazing pro bono home makeover in Selling Houses Australia Extreme episode four.

Address: Calliope, QLD
List Price: Offers over $350,000
Sale price: $390,000
Makeover budget: $50,000* total retail cost
*Many local businesses supplied pro bono goods and services

Story Synopsis

When is a home not a home? When the council says it’s not. In the town of Calliope on the outskirts of Gladstone, Queensland, single mum Crissy’s home on 10 acres is classed only as a shed, making it impossible for prospective buyers to get finance. In order for the team to help Crissy, whose chronic illness means she needs to move back home with her parents, they firstly need to get it reclassified and secondly need to rid it of its shed-like qualities. Eight years ago when Crissy bought the land she and her husband had big dreams. But things didn’t work out, leaving her with custody of three young children and this enormous property to look after by herself. Now, she needs all the help she can get from the local council, community and the Selling Houses Australia team to get this property sold.

The Interior:

This job was different to anything the team had ever tackled, gaining planning permission to turn Crissy’s shed, into a house. There was a lot of structural work to do both inside and outside the building, turning it into a virtual construction site.

The first job for Shaynna and the team was to waterproof the concrete slab and treat it for termites to bring it in line with Australian housing standards. This meant ripping up all the existing carpets and floor coverings, applying a waterproof paint to seal the slab, and drilling out small holes in which a termite pesticide was applied. Once the slab was treated, the team could then replace the floor coverings. ‘Natural Grace’ carpet was laid in the bedrooms supplied by Harbour City Tiles and Carpets, and a new floating floor in ‘Sumatran Teak’ from Inovar Floor was laid in the lounge/dining area.

The other big job for Shaynna was the bathroom. It was originally installed without waterproofing, so the whole bathroom, tiles and all, had to be ripped out so the room could be waterproofed properly. Once that was done new ‘Lumina Bianco’ tiles from Harbour City Tiles and Carpets were fitted on the walls, and ‘Sunderstone Beige’ for the floor. New shower and tapware were supplied by Caroma Dorf, and a vanity unit from Marbletrend finished off the fresh and modern look Shaynna was going for.

The roof of the shed wasn’t strong enough to meet council standards either, so new cross bracing needed to be added. Steeline Roofin Spot supplied the structural steel key to strengthening the foundation necessary to having Crissy’s home reclassified as a house. They also supplied and installed all the ceiling insulation.

After all the structural work, there wasn’t much money left in the budget to add a designer finish, but Shaynna made a few simple cosmetic changes to give the interior a more contemporary feel. She painted the walls in Taubmans Endure Interior “Grey Cast”. This soft green paint blended with the environment outside, and helped the house look visually cooler in the hot Queensland summer. A range of new ceiling fans and lights were added courtesy of Mica Lighting.

The kitchen got a basic upgrade thanks to Appliances Online with a new cooker and fridge. Simple neutral pinch pleat curtains were hung from Blinds Online and Shaynna borrowed a few key pieces of furniture from a local store Sassi to complete the look. The final impression was a modest but contemporary interior that wouldn’t leave buyers thinking they were moving into a shed!

The Exterior:

Like inside, much of the work Charlie had to do was in answer to council’s structural regulations. The first massive job was to extend the concrete slab foundation by 300mm all the way around. This meant jack hammering out a trench and pouring new concrete footings 400mm deep, with help from Boral.

Once that was complete Charlie’s next job was to cover up the roller doors that made up one side of Crissy’s shed. Rather than removing them Charlie got supplies from local hardware store Busteed Building Supplies and built a timber framework straight over the top and used a tongue and groove cladding to give it a much more homely look. He painted the cladding and remaining faces of the building in Taubmans Endure Exterior ‘Almaz’ to blend with the earthy tones of the surrounding countryside.

The other enormous job outside was updating the sewerage system. Crissy’s old septic tank wasn’t working properly, so was replaced by Everhard Industries with an eco friendly Aqua-Nova Wastewater Treatment System that uses enzymes and bacteria to break down the sewerage. Once installed, the treated water will be clean enough to use to irrigate the garden (but not on veggies).

Charlie used the little money he had left in his budget to dress up the front entrance. He converted an old metal water tank into a giant planter and carefully staggered a range of hardy plants and grasses. This was placed by the front gate for dramatic effect. Then Charlie built a low solid fence out of recycled timber, which defined the boundary of the drive and front yard, and helped to funnel buyers towards the house.

Taubmans Paint Guide

Interior Ceilings - Ceiling “Flat White”
Interior Walls - Interior Low Sheen “Grey Cast”
Interior Trims - Interior Semi Gloss “Grey Cast” 1/4 strength
Exterior Trims- Exterior Low Sheen “Aspen Snow”
Exterior Walls - Exterior Low Sheen “Almaz”

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