How this 1890s Daylesford homestead was transformed into a B&B

Special publication

The owners of this 1890s solid brick homestead in Daylesford were keen to transform the property into a fully operational bed and breakfast. Thanks to the work of architect Maggie Edmond of Edmond & Corrigan and VR Builders, the results are simply stunning. 

Since the initial construction more than 100 years ago, the property had been carelessly added onto and modified throughout the years.

VR Builders were contacted by the owner to have a look at the house, parts of which were infested with termites and needed remedial works before major works could begin.

VR Builders did this while the plans were being drawn, the completed drawings then passed on to Maggie Edmond.  

This renovation is featured in the new autumn edition of the Domain Property Guide. Click here or on the photo to read the magazine online.

The idea for this 10-month project was to restore the house to its former glory, while also adding rooms such as a formal shared lounge, communal kitchen and dining area so that the building could be used as a bed and breakfast.

The rear of the property was knocked down (however some elements remained), en suites were fitted into three bedrooms, and a double storey manager’s residence with cellar was created.

The original facade was restored, while the extension is in keeping with the rest of the home. The small internal rooms were opened up to create comfortable living spaces. 

The new addition had to tie in with the existing building, with features such as the roof pitch, window style and wall heights.

A commercial kitchen was installed to cater for the needs of a bed and breakfast.

The home was also brought up to modern standards with added insulation, new energy efficient appliances and modern water saving plumbing items.

According to Ross O’Neill, builder and director of VR Builders, getting the plumbing to drain from the en suites was a challenge during the renovation, as was working with an existing building that had been hit with termites, and building a cellar in Daylesford’s soft ground.

He says making one of the rooms wheelchair compliant was also tricky, as more space was required.

VR Builders had a contract price of $770,000 with $90,000 in extras and variations.

Like every building project, various elements were added during the process, however these were professionally managed by both parties, and with innovative thinking the end result is one to be proud of.

“The old farmhouse now works well as a three-bedroom stay accommodation,” says Ross.

“The kitchen is great and the separate rooms for privacy are well appointed. It was great working with the client and architect to bring the project to what it is.”