builder willoughby exterior

A contemporary house renovation in Willoughby, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, transformed this lacklustre property into a home that oozes appeal – and all on a tight budget.

When we show clients the before photos of this Willoughby renovation, they can’t believe it’s the same house. This clever exterior makeover and interior renovation transformed this boring, red brick, project home into a contemporary cottage that exudes character and street appeal. Don’t believe us? Scroll down to the photo gallery below…

The owners of this Willoughby cottage had a limited budget and their plans had to be amended several times.  We happily adapted to these changes and advised them how we could apply clever renovation techniques to save costs at our end.

The exterior renovation included repainting the drab, red bricks a contemporary grey colour. While much of original facade remained, the brown aluminium windows were replaced with larger windows with timber frames.

We installed a new front fence, gate and letterbox.  Our landscapers laid new lawn turf and tidied up the landscaping.  The stone path leads up to the newly tiled patio, welcoming guests inside. The transformation was spectacular!

The original tile roof was in good condition so we suggested this remain.  The owner plans to replace it in the not-too-distant future when their budget allows.

builder willoughby kitchen

Internally, the original house was a series of very small rooms – even the kitchen was a separate room. It was cramped, dark and there was no sense of flow.  In the 1970s when this was built, open plan living wasn’t de jour.

To take full advantage of all the internal space available, we removed walls to create a greater sense of space and let in more natural light. A series of skylights were installed to let in even more light.

Large sliding doors were installed off the kitchen and dining area flowing seamlessly out to the new back deck. An all-weather roof was added to the deck, along with large skylights, to create another room that can be used all-year round.

The former garage was converted into a fourth bedroom (we added a carport and paved the driveway to provide ample parking) and an extra bathroom added to accommodate the needs of the growing family.

builder willoughby deck


  • Paint red brick exterior.
  • Install new windows and doors.
  • Retile front patio.
  • Carport addition and pave balcony.
  • Front garden landscaping.
  • New front fence and letterbox.
  • New guttering.
  • Convert garage into fourth bedroom.
  • Addition of a new bathroom.
  • Renovation of existing bathroom.
  • New Gyprock walls, cornices and skirting boards.
  • Bamboo flooring in living areas. New carpet in bedrooms.
  • Kitchen renovation.
  • New deck with all-weather roof and downlight integration.
  • Custom joinery in living room and bedrooms.
  • Skylight installation.