Quality in the Custom Details for a Classic Queenslander


The client Kim selected Clem Carpentry for our specialisation in restorations to Queenslanders. Also, because the residents travelled frequently, for our capacity to take the project from start to finish in collaboration with our expert teams. Clem Carpentry was equally the winning choice for our aesthetic. We emphasise luxury through clean simplicity and classical beauty, and premium materials, processes and finishes for beauty, longevity and durability.

The Brief

The brief was for an overall update to the property. If possible, we were to add a wrap-around veranda and butterfly staircase to give the house a classic Queenslander façade. The client desired structural soundness coupled with street appeal that fitted with the general period. Our result was also to deliver added market value. We knew we could provide this through our aesthetic and long-lasting material and process choices. The work should also offer low maintenance reaching far into the future, given the client’s busy lifestyle.

Collaboration and Concept

When we connected Kim with our architect Mike, a final concept readily emerged from the discussions. In fact, it made such perfect sense architecturally, it was as if the house had always been unfinished.

The house found elegant completion through:

  • a dramatic butterfly staircase in kiln-dried dressed hardwood timber

  • durable custom rosewood batwing gates with custom lattice work and decorative custom slat-work, and fancy door knobs and hardware

  • a custom rosewood front door painted gloss black to tie in with the new colour scheme by a qualified colour consultant and complement new black coach lights

  • new French doors on the upper veranda in custom rosewood with custom cedar joinery

  • a balcony roof with ‘secret fixed’ exposed rafters and new colour bond roof

  • new ‘secret fixed’ kwila decking boards on both the new upper and existing lower balconies and stair landing finished with Intergrain Decking Oil.

The Process

Clem Carpentry removed old balconies, and cut back roofing. We obtained engineering input to dig footings to 2000mm and created new concrete square footings above ground.These we boxed tidily to harmonise with landscaping by our expert team.

The structural components were also engineered. These included spotted gum beams customised to length to avoid joints and waterproofed through 100% lamination using polyurethane glues. Additional measures such as painting all joist surfaces with primer and top coats, along with joist protection and aluminium flashing completed the task. Custom cedar joinery replaced the existing aluminium windows and doors with weatherboarding and finishing trims that tied back to the original trims.

We enclosed the balcony roof to offer the new space excellent insulation. Then Clem Carpentry’s exceptional professional roofing team installed a new colour bond roof in a colour from the new scheme.

The team painted and oiled at 5am over four consecutive days. This was in order to find the right temperature conditions for a perfect result from the premium-option four-step Intergrain.

The renovation was rounded off with landscaping, including garden lighting, all in keeping with the aesthetic of simplicity and classic beauty.

Over to You

We share the client’s delight with their renovated home. This was a particularly rewarding job for the outstandingly aesthetic result. It resurrects a somewhat formless but promising Queenslander to give it a classic, even iconic, finished look.

At Clem Carpentry, we have the expertise to perform virtual miracles, with particular expertise in and love for Queenslanders. We look forward to our next such project. We’d love to hear from you today.

Geoff R