All posts filed under “John Van Building Services – Projects

thirroul three
alterations & additions

Alterations and additions to our own home – an early 1900’s cottage in Thirroul

Works included:

  • Demolition of rear fibro clad extension
  • Architect designed two storey extension including new kitchen and dining room
  • Construction of an extension to rear of house to create new living areas
  • Restoration of original section of house
  • Extension to side of house to create a tandem Garage with mezzanine for storage
  • Timber framed construction with weatherboard cladding
  • Re-roofing and re-cladding to entire house
  • Extensive joinery works
  • External works including new deck, chook pen, hard and soft landscaping works

new house

New architect designed house with spectacular 360 degree views towards the ocean and surrounding Illawarra escarpment.

Works included:

  • Demolition of existing cottage
  • Extensive earthworks including shotcreting to stabilise embankments (natural spring ran through site)
  • Construction of new three level architect designed house perched on a steeply sloping site
  • Designed to maximise the spectacular ocean views
  • Suspended concrete floors
  • Steel and glass envelope
  • Quality finishes including teak flooring and decking, travertine tiles, marble benchtops, stainless steel balustrades
  • Extensive joinery
  • Electrical control system for lights, windows, pergola, etc
  • Timber sleeper retaining walls

thirroul one
alterations & additions

Alterations and additions to a brick cottage and construction of an architect designed two storey residence in Thirroul

Works included:

  • Major demolition works to existing house
  • Construction of an architect designed two storey residence
  • Original & patched brickwork walls to ground floor, structural steel and timber framed walls to first floor, fibre cement and plywood (‘shadowclad’) cladding with timber cover strips, windows and doors from recycled hardwood
  • Sliding doors to rear of house face north and open up to create an indoor / outdoor living space
  • Kitchen benchtop made from recycled hardwood laminated beams
  • Separate workshop with rendered blockwork and custom made doors and window from recycled hardwood
  • Retaining walls to back yard made from recycled brickwork
  • Extensive landscaping including paving, turfing and planter beds

“We completely renovated our property, in a 10 month high end build, through 2012/13. Our experience with John Van Building was excellent. John and his team were just a great choice for us. They were organised, professional and hardworking tradesmen who produced a remarkable end product of the highest quality. We came in on time and on budget (well almost!). Importantly they were also easy to work with. Issues were always resolved in an amicable and professional manner…until you go through the process you won’t understand just how important that is. This has extended into and includes any ongoing maintenance and/or warranty repairs that we’ve since needed.

We were impressed enough to have since used John in another smaller,  8-12 week, project and again had a similar experience. And I would definitely use him again if the circumstance required. We could not recommend John and his team any higher. They are skilled builders, always professional and importantly they are nice people.

Chris & Sara Druett 

thirroul two
alterations & additions

Alterations and additions to early 1900’s cottage in Thirroul featuring a new kitchen, laundry and garage.

Works included:

  • New garage to side of house
  • New pergola and decking to rear and side of house
  • Demolition of existing kitchen and laundry
  • New kitchen and laundry
  • Minor alterations, restoration and maintenance to existing house
  • New storage area under house

“I came across John Van unexpectedly when we moved to Thirroul four years ago. Our 1912 weatherboard house needed work but we were worried about engaging a builder, having had an unpleasant experience when extending our house in Sydney. For many weeks I walked the dogs around Thirroul looking at similar cottages to ours where work was in progress. One day I passed a house where the renovation was not only sensitive to the cottage style but the quality of the work appeared to be high. Everything looked well-organised. The site was tidy, building materials neatly stacked and a Skip Bin for the rubbish. Protective coverings were placed on the wooden hall floor. The builder’s sign said ‘John Van’. A young woman carrying a baby emerged and I asked her if she was happy with her builder. She said with a smile that she was. He was her husband. I decided to give John Van a go. Plans were delivered and a meeting arranged. My husband and I were immediately impressed by John’s polite manner. We learned about his interest in older houses, his having worked with the conservation architects Maisie and Ian Stapleton whose knowledge of Australian domestic housing styles highlighted the importance of similar attitudes in builder and owner if the typical architectural features are to be retained when bringing a building up to date. It seemed that our railwayman’s cottage would be in good hands.

We engaged John Van to do our renovation. From start to finish he was professional, available and a very good builder. He was on-site every day, working and ensuring that supplies arrived and sub-contractors were briefed. As I was the project leader I appreciated his well-considered advice and building expertise. He understood the vernacular cottage perfectly in his construction of a new rear verandah with chamfered posts, mitred corners and carved brackets,; with finished internal joinery, installing double-hung sash windows letting in much-needed sunlight, architraves, new timber ceilings and doors, kitchen brickwork and rendering , a pretty garage, a new corrugated iron roof and painting. The site (our home) was treated with respect and the sub-contractors were gentlemanly. The work was completed without any delays.

Renovations are tedious at the best of times but John and his crew made experience as painless as possible. I would not hesitate to recommend John Van Building Services and most particularly John Van himself. He is honest, clear-thinking and careful and justifiably proud of his work. Our cottage is testament to his good work. We now live in a comfortable home surrounded by good workmanship. We are fortunate to have had John Van as our builder”