IT has been 11 years in the making but Patrick and Bozana Smith have restored their Stornaway Road residence to its former glory and been rewarded for their efforts.
The couple received the award for restoration of a residential building at the 15th Queanbeyan Heritage Awards.
‘‘We’re very, very happy [to win the award],’’ Mrs Smith said. ‘‘All the effort was definitely worth it...I’d encourage anyone to do it, and there’s great satisfaction because of the effort.’’
Other award winners were the Royal Hotel for restoration of a commercial building, Queanbeyan Historical Museum for contribution to landscape/garden, 11 Park Street for new building design, 6 Morton Street for certificate of merit for restoration of a residential building, and Brendan O’Keefe for outstanding contribution to heritage.
The Smiths have the accolade proudly displayed near the front entrance and it is a reminder of all the hard work it has taken to transform the run-down deceased estate to a beautiful family home.
‘‘It was a lot of sanding, weekends, blood, sweat and tears but it’s rewarding in the end,’’ Mrs Smith said.
‘‘With a heritage house, it has a lot of warmth, character and history.’’
There is no shortage of history to the Smith’s house, which they said was built in 1939 and formerly owned by Ray Colverwell. The Smiths believe Mr Colverwell lived there for most of his life and during renovations they even found a photo of him and a friend hidden in the bathroom wall. This is one of many photos Mr Smith has in an album documenting the restoration period, which also includes the original flier from the auction.
Mr Smith recalled when he first saw the house.
‘‘In the backyard there were weeds six to seven foot high and paint peeling everywhere,’’ he said.
There were a few changes in the early days to turn the house into a livable state but most of the tweaks were completed in the last two years. The restoration included a new gate, fence, replacement of the rotted wooden veranda, a new coat of paint in the approved colours of stonewear and heritage green, landscaping the front and back yards and pulling up the carpet.
On top of that, the couple added an 80 square metre extension to the back of the house to make a new kitchen and living area. They estimated it cost them $200,000 to turn the two-bedroom and one-bathroom house into a four-bedroom and two-bathroom abode.
The Smiths said council approval was essential when making changes to a heritage house but they found it to be a smooth process. The couple said they would not be deterred from renovating again but were content with the way the current state of the home.