top of page
  • Writer's picturesouterbuilt


Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Wollongong is home to a range of classic architectural styles – and if you’re lucky enough to live in one of them, you’ll know how beautiful heritage homes are. But some period homes aren’t made for modern-day comforts or perhaps they’ve not seen some love for a while and need a little TLC.

There is something special about bringing an old home back to its former glory, but what do you need to know if you are planning to restore, renovate or extend a heritage home? And how do you find an experienced heritage builder in the Illawarra to entrust the restoration of your home?


Is your property heritage listed or within a heritage conservation area? The classification of your home can significantly impact what changes you can make. A property that is heritage listed can be the most restrictive and often requires development approval from local or state government. However, it is possible to make changes to a heritage listed building if the character of the property and significant historical elements are maintained.

Heritage conservation areas (HCA) ensure that groups of buildings, suburbs and streetscapes maintain a particular heritage style – but allow a little more room for variation compared to a heritage listed property. Exterior features such as paint colours, metalwork or window treatments often need to follow HCA guidelines, with most local councils supportive of additions or extensions if it sympathetic to the original building and its design era. For this reason, many owners extend behind the original building and keep the front façade intact to minimise the visual impact on the heritage streetscape.

Not sure what applies to your home? As part of their Heritage Act, the Heritage Council of New South Wales provides criteria for buildings of environmental heritage and state heritage significance.


There are nine distinct styles of heritage architecture in Australia that take inspiration from English, European and American designs:

  • Colonial (1788 – 1840)

  • Mid-Victorian (1840 – 1870)

  • Late Victorian (1870 – 1895)

  • Federation (1895 – 1925)

  • Californian Bungalow (1925 – 1938)

  • Inter-war buildings (1918 – 1939)

  • Modern Movement buildings (1935 – 1960)

  • Post Modern buildings (1950 – 1975)

  • Brutalist buildings (1968 – 1975)

Each architectural style has its signature features and varied in popularity across metro and regional New South Wales. Style influences from overseas were more immediate in major cities compared to country towns where the influence lagged by as much as ten to fifteen years, explains heritage specialists Heritage 21.

In Wollongong, mid to late Victorian styles were particularly popular and are often seen in Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul, Bulli and Mount Kembla, with others styles also appearing across the region.


Engaging an expert heritage builder from the beginning of your project is ideal to allow the best advice for your possible restoration. A professional Master builder with experience in restoring homes can provide priceless advice and troubleshooting, while ensuring the historic aspects of the building throughout the restoration.

Specialist heritage builders can also utilise construction and design contacts, including access to unique trades and craftsman to get the historical details right, to ensure every step of the home building process is accurate, true to the history of your home, efficient and cost-effective.


The great news? You don’t need to travel far to find an expert heritage restoration house builder in the Illawarra. The award-winning Master Builder Souter Built is based in Wollongong and has a passion for creating high-quality homes that complement the history of the original building.

For expert advice on restoring your historic home, talk to award-winning local builder Souter Built. Specialising in heritage restorations, passive buildings, commercial and residential new builds, commercial fitouts, alterations, additions and renovations in Wollongong, the Illawarra, Sydney and the Southern Highlands.


Recent Posts

See All

The granny flat. Once considered an afterthought or a simple structure built in the corner of the backyard, the granny flat of old often gets a bad rap. Dated and dull, the humble granny flat was far

Ask any builder what they think of renovation shows like The Block and House Rules and you’ll probably get a roll of the eyes in reply. Reno shows are incredibly popular and loved by many, but for tho

bottom of page