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Take a look at this 100 year old house renovation in Hamilton East.


We thought that you might like to take a look at this exciting renovation project that Smartview Building have had the pleasure of working on recently in Hamilton East.

This stylish renovation has completely transformed this home – you would never guess this home was built 100 years ago by looking at it now.

Find out how they transformed this 100 year old home

A common problem many home owners experience when renovating older style homes in built-up inner city areas is the ‘room upon room’ layout. Limited yard space in tight city blocks can also restrict you from extending a property outwards, but these clever owners opted to use the existing roof void to create more living space.  This versatile new living area constructed in the roof space could be used for many different purposes such as an office space, kids bedroom, extra living room or additional storage – a great addition for a growing family.

A new staircase was built to access the new roof space level and we just love the open stairs – they allow light to flow through the home from one level to another. Opening up the space by removing an internal wall to connect the dining space was a great idea.  No more, room upon room dark rooms for this old house!

staircase-renovation-hamiltonIn the bathroom the owners chose classic white subway tiles on the walls combined with modern fittings & fixtures which works beautifully. The timber benchtop adds a touch of natural warmth to the room.

new-bathroom-renovation-hamiltonThis renovation is a great example of what you can achieve when it comes to renovating an older inner city home.  Knocking out a wall, adding a new light filled set of stairs, utilising previously unused roof space and adding a set of french doors to allow light into the living areas has resulted in this gorgeous new home.


The success of this home renovation is the result of great teamwork between the home owners and Smartview Building. We hope that you have enjoyed the sneak preview of this beautifully renovated home.

If you would like to find out what’s involved in renovating and transforming an older home in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie or Central Coast region, contact Paul at Smartview Building on 0429 121383 or visit our Renovation Builders section to find a Hunter Region builder to help you.

August 23, 2017 |

Top 7 Electrical Renovation Tips by Pete Butcher


Get the most out of your renovating budget when it comes to updating the electrical wiring and fittings in your home.  We have put a few ideas together to highlight areas that should be considered in your home renovation budget.

Our Top 7 Electrical Wiring Tips To Consider When Renovating Your Home

1. Re-Wiring & Switchboard Upgrades

Electrical wiring and circuit boards don’t last forever – older homes should be inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure no dangerous wiring is present. If you intend to add extra power points to your electrical circuit or running new lighting circuits but still have the original switchboard, you will need to have a safety switch installed to meet current Australian Standards AS3000. Depending on the age of the home your electrician may recommend updating all existing electrical wiring and the circuit board at the same time.

2. Building Maintenance

Building Reports often pick up things like rotted timber on fascia boards where the mains electricity is connected to the exterior of the house. However, if you have owned the house for many years you may not be aware of these types of maintenance issues until it’s time to repaint the outside of your home. If you need to have the timber fascia replaced in this area, a level 2 electrician will need to disconnect and reconnect the mains power to the house temporarily to allow the repair work to take place.

3. Hard Wired Smoke Alarms

Hard wired smoke alarms with a battery back up are installed to alert your family that there is a fire in the home. Smoke alarms that are operated by battery alone do not meet today’s Building Code and Australian Standards. Batteries are often removed and not replaced which leads to possible dangerous scenarios. Hard wired smoke alarms only rely on a battery as a backup if there is a power outage. An electrician will know the best place to install the alarms in your home to keep you safe.

4. New Lights and Fans

A great way to update the look of the interior of your home is to replace all of the old lights and fans with new fittings. You will also be saving money on your bills with an energy efficient lighting system. There are loads of lighting options available in your local electrical wholesale lighting show rooms, or contact us at Hunter Electrics for more info and receive a trade discount. LED Downlights are a great option to consider as they help reduce your power consumption along with reducing fire hazards common with old Halogen Down Lights.

5. Kitchen Renovations

Remember to include installation costs for an electrician to install any new kitchen appliances such as ovens, cooktops and range hoods. If you are changing the layout of your kitchen you will likely need power outlets installed to accommodate your fridge, range hood, microwave and dishwasher. Don’t forget to include any new light fittings, such as pendant lights or down lights over an island bench for great bench lighting or additional power outlets required above your benchtop. Electric cooktops will require Isolation Switch’s within 1.5m from your cooktop which is for safety to isolate power quick and effectively when needed.

6. Additional Power points, switches and sensors

Whilst an electrician is carrying out work on your home it’s a great opportunity to consider installing any additional power or TV outlets. Have you ever wished you had 2-way switching for your hallway or kitchen? Now would be the time to install any future proof switches. What about a sensor in the garage to turn the garage light on when you get out of the car or some security sensor lights?

7. Wall Mounting TV’s

If you are carrying out internal layout changes to your home, you could consider asking your local carpenter or builder to create a niche so that your television can be recessed. For a more cost effective solution, we can wall mount your flat screen television to your wall using a bracket system to avoid any building work.

*Always use a licensed electrician to carry out any electrical renovation wiring work around the home. Don’t attempt to remove any rotted or damaged fascia boards where electricity is connected without consulting with your local electrician.

If you live in Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton and the surrounding Hunter Valley areas Hunter Electrics can provide you with a quotation to complete any electrical wiring renovation work around your home.

Call Pete on 0423 098 241

By Peter Butcher, Business Owner – Hunter Electrics.  Lic No. 195208C

August 9, 2016 |

Keeping your home warm in Winter


Curtains not only style your window, they insulate better than any other type of window covering. Made to measure curtains that are lined and professionally fitted retain maximum warmth and minimize draughts in winter. In summer they will eliminate the hot summer heat from entering your home, thus keeping it cooler. You will be amazed how much you will save on your energy bills!

The hottest trend is a sheer with a thermal lining using double tracking.  This allows you to use the sheer during the day with the option to bring the lining across on a night for warmth and privacy.


The range of sheers on the market today is huge. A popular trend is textural linen look fabrics which come in a range of colours ranging from neutral whites, soft greys, dark charcoal greys through to black.

You only have to look at the renovation home shows on TV to see the extent of using layering window furnishings today and the reason that is because it adds softness and a sense of luxury to the homes they are renovating at a reasonable price.

Home renovators are always on a budget and with that in mind you will find that custom made curtaining is cheaper than putting shutters in your home.

If you already have blinds or shutters in your home another option for you to provide a thermally effect solution is to add another layer over your existing blinds or shutter.  This style solution softens the harshness of shutters and blinds and adds a thermal quality to your window furnishings as well as beautifying the room.  These drapes can be colour coordinated with your existing blinds and shutters with the result adding a warm and cosy feel to your home.

We layer our clothing in winter so why not layer our window furnishings!


Local company Newcastle Curtains & Blinds supply and install made to measure curtains, we also supply all types of blinds and plantation shutters and will work with you to find the right solution for your home.

So don’t hesitate, call Newcastle Curtains & Blinds for one of our qualified decorators to call to your home/business and show you the possibilities…

Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley.

Written by Catherine Martin – Dip Colour Design & Interior Styling (ISCD).

June 12, 2016 |

6 Ways to renovate a 1950s home.


Is your home feeling outdated and in need of a remodel or renovation? There are several ways that you can create a more open plan feel throughout your home.

Many homes in well established suburbs like Hamilton, Adamstown, New Lambton, Merewether, Tighes Hill and surrounding Newcastle areas of the Hunter region were built back in the 1950’s era when homes were designed and constructed with separate rooms for cooking, eating and watching television.  Although some home owners still love the layout of their traditional home, we find that most people now prefer a more open plan flow between the kitchen and dining areas of their home.

Below are some ideas to inspire you to renovate a 1950s home.

1. Connect the kitchen and dining space by removing walls

It’s common for 1950’s style homes to have a separate kitchen to the rest of the living space.  In most cases it’s easy enough to knock out internal walls and open up the kitchen to connect the dining space which instantly modernises a home. The image below is a recent large scale renovation project that we completed for a client in Hamilton South.

living-dining-room2. Add a larger window or a skylight in the kitchen area

Natural light transforms a dull dark kitchen immediately. Look at options to increase the current window size, install an overhead window, add in a skylight, or if you kitchen runs along an external wall you could consider adding a window splashback to let light in.

Look at how light filled this new kitchen below is! This is another image from our Hamilton South renovation project. The addition of an overhead window makes all the difference when it comes to maximising use of natural light.

overhead-kitchen-window3. Indoor/Outdoor Entertaining

Open up your home so that it connects you to the outdoors. This is a great solution to increase the amount of natural light coming into your home and it creates a relaxed entertaining environment. Depending on the style of your home and the position of the rooms, you could consider adding a set of bifold doors, french doors or sliding stacker doors to the rear of the property to connect you to outdoor spaces such as decks and patios.

1950s-house-renovation-hamilton-south4. Change the current room layout

Consider swapping your rooms around or re-configuring your existing internal layout to suit your current needs.  Ideas include creating an informal living space off the kitchen and dining area to the rear of the home so that you can position large windows or doors to overlook the backyard and connect the outdoors. Utilise excess space to create a study nook, a new walk in robe or add a new ensuite bathroom.

5. Decide what to do with an old fireplace

Many older homes in Newcastle and the Hunter region have fireplaces. You could consider making the most of the existing fireplace by installing a new gas log fireplace, which not only looks great but is also practical. If you don’t intend to use the fireplace in the future you can ask you builder to seal the fireplace flue and look at cladding over the fireplace in a suitable product. Old fireplaces can be removed, but be mindful that they are usually structural and can be quite costly to remove.

6. Create more built-in storage or add a study nook

When re-modelling an older home, don’t forget to find smart ways to incorporate built-in storage solutions.  Storage options include creating cupboards under staircases, creating storage in ceiling spaces, utilising excess space in hallways and bedrooms.  Adding a study nook such as this one in our recent renovation project works a treat!

study-nookIf you are ready to modernise and renovate a 1950s home in the Newcastle region call Amaze Building on 0484 335 978.

Amaze Building – Renovations, Extensions, New Homes.

Service Areas, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Hunter Valley & Port Stephens. 

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June 1, 2016 |

What does it cost to add a new ensuite bathroom?


Being a builder who specialises in home extensions & renovations I regularly receive calls from home owners wanting to know what it would cost to convert part of their existing living space into a new ensuite bathroom. Read on to find out more.

On average we find that adding an ensuite bathroom to an existing home will cost home owners between $15,000 to $20,000+. This cost will vary depending on the type of fittings & fixtures you choose for your new bathroom.

This may seem like a lot of money to create such a small space, but be mindful that adding a new ensuite bathroom usually means that there is no existing plumbing in place to accommodate the room, the area has to be waterproofed and additional walls and door openings will need to be constructed to accommodate the new space.

custom-designed-bathroomsHere are some tips to help you plan your new ensuite bathroom.

  • You can save some money on plumbing costs if you can convert and renovate existing wet areas such as an existing laundry or old bathroom.
  • Ideally your new bathroom design would include an external opening window, but if the space does not allow for this you can consider incorporating a skylight to allow natural light into the room. If there is no opening window there is a requirement for the room to be mechanically ventilated – this is easily achieved by installing an exhaust fan.
  • If you have a small area to work with consider using smart products that will make the room appear more spacious and open. Light coloured wall tiles, wall hung vanity units, shaving cabinet style mirrors and concealed cistern toilets can all make a small space feel much bigger than it is.
  • Building Code Of Australia (BCA) states that 2100mm is the minimum ceiling height for a room – however, it is preferable to keep the ceiling height at 2400mm or above.

bathroom-renovations-hunter-valleyWeigh up the benefits of building a new ensuite bathroom.

There are obvious immediate benefits to the occupier of the home when it comes to adding an ensuite bathroom to a home. You should also consider the advantages when you sell your home. Having an ensuite bathroom will appeal to a broader market ensuring that you get a good return on investment.

It’s not always easy to find the perfect place to position a new bathroom in an existing home layout. In some cases it might be best to consider extending the property if you have enough space.

If you would like to add an ensuite bathroom to your home, or want to discuss your options of extending Jarrad Mitchell Constructions can help.  Contact Jarrad on 0431 952 685.

Jarrad Lowe, Jarrad Mitchell Constructions – Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley.

May 1, 2016 |

Complete Home Building Directory for the Hunter – How it began


Welcome to Build Local – Your Complete Home Building Directory & More!

How it all began – have you ever come across a great looking kitchen or bathroom in a magazine or online only to find out that the person who designed it is based in Sydney or the products can only be found interstate? Have you ever rang a company listed in a directory only to find out that the number is no longer connected or they don’t do the type of work their listing suggests?

We hear about these experiences regularly so we thought that it was about time someone found a better way to connect YOU to our own ‘local’ home building industry professionals and product suppliers all on one easy to navigate site.

On our site you will find a broad range of building industry professionals covering everything from the planning stages of your project right through to the final finishing touches.  You can find details of local building designers, surveyors, builders, plumbers, landscapers and product and material suppliers all in one handy location.

Each of our advertised businesses has a full page listing where you can find out more about the business and see what they specialise in to ensure that you are contacting the right company for your home building or maintenance work.  Our listings contain links to the advertiser’s email address, website and social media pages along with photos of recent work to help you with the decision making process.

We will be placing useful renovating tips and ideas on our Blog along with information from industry professionals to help you on your next renovation or home building journey. You will also find energy efficient home tips from our inhouse GreenSmart expert that have been designed to help educate home owners on the different ways they can save money on their escalating energy bills.

We are a brand new company and it will take some time to fill our listings with quality local trades and suppliers, so please be patient and check back regularly for new listings.

We hope that you enjoy using our complete home building directory as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you.

The Build Local Team

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June 25, 2013 |
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