My husband and I moved from Coogee (in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) to Cherrybrook in the North West , in search of a larger home and more lawn about 11 years ago. At this stage we had 2 little ones in tow and received regular visits from our respective families in South Africa.
At first, we could only afford to rent and needed a house with enough room for us, as well as our visitors. Luckily, in those days, you could haggle the price down in Cherrybrook and get garden services thrown in 🙂 The property we had our eye on, had been empty for a good 7 weeks, so bingo, it was ours! After a good five years of renting this house, we put in our offer to purchase it. It was just in time, as in recent years, everything had changed in Cherrybrook!
A bit of background:
Inspiration of the name Cherrybrook is rumoured to have come from cherry trees near Cherrybrook Cottage, a cottage built in the mid 1800s. The area was mostly rural land until around 1959, when it was subdivided and became the first project home village in Sydney. The original bushland was bulldozed, and exhibition homes were built and landscaped. For this reason, most of the homes here look fairly similar (Federation style), with entertainment areas, double garages and multiple bathrooms. The area has great public schools and beautiful parks that offer all sorts of sporting activities throughout the weekend.
After the introduction of the North West Rail link in recent years, the median 4 bedroom house price shot up from 800 000 to about 1.4 million, so this is where our story begins…
Our house was built in 1998 and had not been renovated until we moved in. Our kitchen has a tile splashback depicting fruit, peeling laminated kitchen cabinet and an oven door that wouldn’t close. The bathrooms didn’t fare any better, with gold plated shower doors and peach coloured tiles. We decided to start renovating at the top and work our way down. We started renovating our bathrooms last year, so if you’re curious about the end result, see our main bathroom make over, as well as the kid’s bathroom make over.
As you can see, we’re not the most effective gardeners. Low maintenance all the way 🙂 What we do love, is the hedge in the back yard. It efficiently blocks our neighbours view into our yard. Unfortunately, the pergola roof has a hole in it, as our son wanted to see if he could kick a rugby ball from the street onto our lawn. He missed by 2 metres…
We’ve had plenty of get togethers, epic bbq’s and a dance or two under this roof. No wonder it’s starting to look a bit worn out, time to move on 🙂
Renovating a home is a time consuming, money consuming and patience consuming journey, so you need to consider it carefully. Before we made our final decision to move on or stay, we had to do a bit of homework first:
What we wanted:
- A new kitchen with an oven door that closes and without fruit tiles
- Timber floors
- A bar (essential, especially during a renovation)
- A swimming pool (Cherrybrook gets hot)
- A fireplace (Cherrybrook gets cold)
- An enclosed outdoor area to entertain (because we love it)
We went to a few open homes in the area to see if there was anything on the market that offered everything on our list. After a few heart attacks (only accepting offers over 2 million (what?!!) for nothing spectacular) we decided that renovating was the way to go. After going through several builder’s quotes with a fine tooth comb, we settled on a great local company. If you’re currently in the same boat; going through the process of selecting a suitable builder or draftsman for your project, give us a call to guide you through this phase.
So this is the grand plan for the outdoor area:
- Remove the hedge at the back and trees on the side to make way for a new pool, deck and tiled area.
- Extend the formal dining area wall and build a fireplace into it.
- Replace the roof of the tv room and cover this and the new entertainment area with a sloped roof
- Enclose the entire entertainment area with bi-fold doors
The grand plan for the interior of the house:
- Modernise the kitchen and place built in cabinets in the pantry
- Widen the window between the kitchen and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold windows.
- Remove existing interior tiles and replace with timber flooring
- Level the formal dining area with the formal lounge area
- Remove window between formal dining area and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold door
- Build a bar in the formal dining area.
- Remove “beautiful” pillars in the formal dining and formal lounge area
- Square up the corners of the TV room
Shouldn’t take too long, right? WRONG!
Next week, I’ll show you what the interior looked like before we renovated and possibly a few sneak peak after photos …
Cheerio ’til next time!