Discover tips from the experts behind the Williamstown Bluestone Cottage from episode 7, season 5 of Grand Designs Australia.
When Jason Bretell and Jennifer Pancari first set eyes on a dilapidated old bluestone cottage in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Williamstown, it was love at first sight. The 150 year old derelict structure was left almost frozen in time with decaying tools, utensils, and other remnants amongst the ruins – bits and pieces Jason and Jen hope to salvage as they bring the cottage back to life.
Their grand plan is to restore the tiny four roomed cottage and add a two storey contemporary townhouse on the back…a modern, edgy, industrial style structure that will contrast sharply to the heritage bluestone frontage.
Sounds romantic…but the reality is far from that. Storm water damage to the original footings means that the whole front wall will have to be deconstructed and rebuilt. Finding the right stonemasons with the skills to dismantle the cottage one rock at a time, numbering each in the process and then reassembling again block by block, is a feat in itself.