When you renovate an old heritage home, it is important to preserve its character features whilst harmonising them with a new, fresh look.

This brick and tile, 1930s era duplex cottage renovation in Naremburn, Sydney is an excellent example of a successful makeover. The extension integrates perfectly with the original part of the building, resulting in an exciting and alluring space.


Architect:Wayne Farmilofrom  Willoughby Architects
Builder:Sydney Home Builders
NewTechWood Supplier:Big River, Kiama Cukuna Sales
Project type:Residential dwelling, Extension and Renovation
LocationNareburm, Sydney, NSW
Size:297m2 / Building: Existing 100m2, Addition 48m2/ NewTechWood Shadowline Cladding in Walnut, 150m2


Naremburm Shadowline Cladding NSW


The owner’s objective was to maximise the site’s natural light opportunities and create a comfortable living space. The use of NewTechwood Shadowline composite cladding in Walnut formed a harmonious link with the original brick colours, whilst also helping the new structure to recede into the surrounding trees.

While the exterior has been modernised on the southern and eastern sides of the house, the original brick structure on the western street frontage maintained its original character.

Cottage renovation to maximise natural light

With architect Wayne Farmilo’s help, the owner worked through various design options for this constrained and awkwardly shaped site. As a result of careful planning and some clever design features, the owners now enjoy a light, bright home which offers comfortable living spaces and, which maximises opportunities for natural light and views from comfortable living spaces.

“The main goal for this cottage renovation project was to get a simple, light-filled home our clients love to spend time in with their families,” says Wayne Farmilo from Willoughby Architects.

“It is not always easy to find an architect who can combine design creativity with responsiveness to client needs and awareness of the project costs. However, I believe we balanced these objectives. The house is on a sloping block, necessitating an elevated extension. This, in turn, required a lightweight construction to mitigate cost,” he adds.

This environmentally aware strategy focuses on the local area. The extension of the building comprises a new lounge and kitchen added to the home’s southern side but projects to the east to give a northern aspect to the new lounge area.

Image: Willoughby Architects

In addition, the new extension integrates a dining room within the envelope of the original house (i.e., a portion of the southern wall of the original house has been removed to connect with the extension).

NewTechWood cladding aligned perfectly with modernistic design appeals

Thanks to the modernistic design, there is a distinct visual separation between the new extension and the original structure on the (western) front of the property.

At the same time, NewTechWood Shadowline cladding in Walnut fits perfectly with the existing brickwork.

“The client didn’t want natural timber as the access to maintain it was difficult,” continues Wayne Farmillo. “We initially selected other cladding, but the client then found a locally supplied product – a product that, until then, we were not aware of. The NewTechWood panels look great – far more natural-looking than we’d anticipated.”.

Owner Tony Miller also shared his impressions about the exciting cottage renovation project.

“We selected a composite wood cladding product specifically because of a desire to achieve an unpainted timber look, while minimising maintenance compared to natural timber cladding. We chose NewTechWood because it had the most natural visual appeal and suitable colour. In addition, it requires less maintenance than alternative composite wood products.”

“The promised long-term integrity (colour, no cracking, bending, etc.) and 25-year warranty of the product was a critical factor in our decision-making. We trust that our faith in the product will be fulfilled and that it will be appropriately supported by NewTechWood.”

If you have a dream makeover project and want a low-maintenance, durable and attractive alternative to timber, contact us to make your dream a reality.

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