Renovating a Classic Heritage Home

1 Feb 2021

So, you’ve bought a classic heritage home, but it needs some renovations to turn it into your dream house – what happens next? Renovating heritage homes in Western Australia requires navigating your way through a number of council regulations and restrictions.

Here’s what you need to know.

Heritage Home Renovations in WA

Heritage homes are scattered through many older, more established suburbs in Perth and while we love their traditional appeal, renovating heritage homes can be a challenging process.

These homes often have council regulations and restrictions on what you can change. Heritage significance is assessed on historic and aesthetic values that are deemed worthy of preservation for future generations. Buildings can be independently heritage listed or you might buy one that’s in a ‘heritage conservation area.’

These can both have different impacts on your renovation goals.

Is your home heritage listed or located in a heritage precinct?

If the home is officially heritage listed or located in a heritage precinct, there will be strict regulations around how it can be renovated, and the local authority will usually dictate the colour palette and materials used.

The local council will engage a heritage consultant to assess your application, which may require a detailed design justification outlining how each of the heritage requirements have been considered and reflected in the project.

Heritage Extensions and Alterations

If you want to extend or renovate your home, points you need to take into consideration include:

  • The size and scale of the alteration
  • The streetscape or neighbouring heritage listed properties
  • The materials used

Two general rules are:

  1. You generally have more options at the back of the home than at the front and in most heritage precincts, building forward is not an option
  2. If someone else in your street has recently completed a similar heritage home renovation (e.g. a second storey addition or extension), your approval should be fairly straightforward

Any new additions must retain the ‘integrity’ of the original building. This basically means that any new addition must be sympathetic to the original building, while remaining distinguishable, ensuring the historic integrity of the existing building is maintained.

Careful consideration should be given to the consistency of floor and ceiling heights, as well as joinery. Above all you must ensure that workmanship is to a quality standard, reflective of the passion and care that was invested into the original home.

Although it may be a more complicated task than renovating the average home, choosing to renovate and reinvigorate a heritage home provides you with an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of an area’s history.

Bring your heritage home back to life with Addstyle

Addstyle Master Builders is renowned as Perth’s heritage and character home specialist. Addstyle has undertaken hundreds of heritage home renovations over the past 33 years and is Perth’s most awarded heritage home renovation builder.

Get in touch to discuss your heritage home renovation and find out why we are Western Australia’s most awarded home renovation builder and designer.


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