With vacant land a reasonable distance from city centres now almost impossible to find, families looking to build a new home are increasingly turning to demolition sites.

This custom designed luxury canal-front home is typical of the rebuilds currently being undertaken by Unique Homes. Conveniently located just under a kilometre from the heart of Surfers Paradise and within walking distance from the beach, it replaced an older single storey dwelling from the 1970s. Unique Homes’ Company Director, Jim Taylor, says there is probably not a better time to consider this option. “Older properties built in the middle of the last century in Brisbane’s inner suburbs and on the Gold Coast’s early canal developments are now keenly sought after.”

“In their time, the homes represented the latest ideas in design and building materials but times have changed and so have the aspirations of today’s buyers. By today’s standards, these homes provide limited off-street parking, out-dated kitchens and bathrooms, smaller living areas, low ceiling heights and inadequate entertaining areas. “Today’s families aspire to a different lifestyle; they enjoy entertaining and that leads to an increasing demand for Florida rooms and alfresco outdoor dining areas.

Home Designs to Accommodate The Needs of Modern Families

Facilities like master bathrooms and walk-in dressing rooms adjoining the master bedroom have replaced pokey en-suites and built-in wardrobes. An increasing number of clients require workable home offices, guest suites and media rooms.”   Jim says having a home custom designed ensures a result that’s exactly suited to a family’s lifestyle requirements. The musically gifted family of this home required four spacious bedrooms, a home theatre, recording studio, generous formal and informal entertaining and dining areas and a pontoon berthing for the family’s boat and jet skis.

On the ground floor, a huge plate glass wall, 3.6 metres wide by 2.14 metres high, at the end of the tiled hallway reveals a broad view of parkland with a sandy beach and tropical coconut palms on the opposite side of the canal. The feeling of grandeur extends to a spacious formal lounge and dining area that features 4.1-metre-high ceilings. Opposite, and separated by a sub wall, is a gourmet kitchen featuring Italian marble bench tops and splashback.

Here also, generous storage space, an island bench and six-burner and a gas-fired European stove combine to make entertaining a pleasure. Adjoining the kitchen is a large family room and casual eating area that lead through bi-fold doors to the wide rear patio complete with quality barbecue and comfortable outdoor furniture. A 15-metre lap pool overlooks the canal while the pontoon berth is only a few steps away.

EXPERT TIP: Seek a builder with considerable experience in demolition and re-build projects. Council requirements vary considerably.

Occupying the first floor is a master bedroom with adjoining sitting room, a guest bedroom with its own ensuite facilities, two further bedrooms, also with en-suites, and a luxurious home theatre. Three of the bedrooms have direct access to a full-width upper-level balcony, also overlooking the park and canal.

A private bathroom off the master bedroom boasts double vanity units and a beautiful spa bath while a substantial dressing room adds to the feeling of Hollywood-style luxury. The luxurious home theatre is a secluded retreat from the outside world. Its plush leather lounge chairs have been stepped to ensure everyone has an uninterrupted view of the screen while heavy drapes offer effective sound insulation.

The Importance of Choosing an Experienced Builder

Jim advises that it is important to work with an experienced builder in projects of this nature. “Builders need a detailed knowledge of council requirements an in-depth knowledge of the issues involved to avoid increased construction costs,” he stresses. Unique Homes (BSA 78053) has been building custom designed luxury homes for over 30 years.

The company provides a 25-year structural guarantee and offers a complimentary design and interior decorating assistance with every home it builds. Clients deal directly with the company’s own design team and can view computer-simulated three-dimensional images of both the exterior and interior of the home before plans are finalised.