Phil Connell’s renovations to his home on Ann St are a work in progress.
Phil Connell’s renovations to his home on Ann St are a work in progress.

Labour of love transforms South Gladstone home

RENOVATIONS can often be a project home owners come to regret, with unfinished areas of the house covered up when visitors come over.

But carpenter Phil Connell loves renovating, a passion that led him to upgrade his beautiful 1956 home on Ann St, South Gladstone.

Mr Connell and his partner moved into the home in 2011 and initiated plans for renovations straight away.

They have been living in Gladstone for four years.

"We needed somewhere to live and it was the cheapest house around at the time," he said.

"We moved from a small unit and we quite liked the location.

"It had an old kitchen and two bedrooms. We've extended it to three bedrooms and are building another bedroom downstairs with a deck out the back.

"I've modernised it and reframed it. It honestly would have been easier to knock down and start again."

Mr Connell has been working hard on the house for about 18 months.

"The vanities and entertainment unit have been recycled with old furniture," he said.

"It's probably 70% finished now. The outside needs landscaping work and there is lots of stuff to be done inside.

"Another year and it will be 90-95% done."

Mike Richards

Although it's been a gradual process, Mr Connell said the slow and steady attitude was one he was glad he adopted.

"We wanted to take our time and get it right as you go," he said.

"We've been battling away but we wanted something a bit different. We didn't like many other houses around so we decided to do it ourselves.

"It is time-consuming doing renovations on your own but I would do it again.

"We've been travelling around the world in flats and it's a nice place to call home. We've painted it together so it's a labour of love."

The house resembles a medieval castle with chunky, deep-brown timber furniture and a flag flying in the wind out the front.

Mr Connell curved the ceiling and installed skylights for natural sunlight to shine through, an idea he picked up from homes overseas.

"The timber ages well and it looks substantial," he said. "The stonework has traditional, historic appeal.

"We are pretty big on the front of the house. A lot of living was done on the street in the old days and all new houses have a backyard but a plain front.

"You can have friends at the front and I like how kids can play on the street."



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