Renovate or Rebuild Episode 7 Recap: SunPower Solar and Battery Solution Saving Homeowner Thousands

Renovate or Rebuild Episode 7

We’ve reached the last house of season 2 of Renovate or Rebuild, and it was a charmer! Nestled in Sydney’s Earlwood, this 1920s Californian Bungalow was champing at the bit for a makeover. Enlisted by homeowners currently overseas were project manager Joesph and architect Jodie. Coupled with The Block favs Norm and Jess, this unique lineup was ready and raring to develop and present plans to renovate or rebuild.

1920s bungalow ready for a facelift or a rebuild

James Treble met with Joseph and Jodie to get a good look at the house in its present form. While the facade exuded charm, the interior was dark and drafty. The homeowners were very happy with the layout of the home but wanted light and an overhauled kitchen space. As avid green thumbs, connecting the living and kitchen spaces to the outdoors was a must. A modest design was something the homeowners specifically asked for, as they didn’t want to detract from the aesthetic of the street. 

These were the must-haves of the home:

  • Passive house design
  • Better natural light
  • Better flow from inside to out
  • Sustainable materials
  • An efficient, comfortable, and healthy home

The budget: $550,000 – $600,000

With the must-haves in mind, and Norm (team rebuild) and Jess (team renovate) on the case, the team began their quest for inspiration.

SunPower: solar and storage solution for the home

Catching up at a Gymea Bay home in Sothern Sydney were Jess and Roshan, Energy Matters’ CEO. They stepped into the gorgeous home of Lisa who shared her experience of installing 18kW of SunPower Maxeon solar panels and microinverters, and a 10kWh SunPower battery. The system was retrofitted on the renovated home and reduced Lisa’s quarterly $1,400 electricity bills to just $13! The plan is to get rid of gas completely and rely solely on the electricity generated by her solar system. Lisa also utilises mySunPower, an app that tracks and monitors the production and storage of the SunPower solar panels and battery.

Kyle from KDEC Electrical & Solar explained how batteries and solar can be easily installed on existing homes. With the average Australian home consuming 20kW of electricity per day, a 10kW SunPower would be more than sufficient for most homes. The benefit of the total solar solution through SunPower is that each component seamlessly works with each other. And, if anything should go wrong, SunPower’s exceptional customer service team will provide quality care. In fact, SunPower Maxeon panels come with an industry-leading 40-year warranty!

Choose SunPower to go solar with for your home or business. Get FREE quotes for SunPower products.

Roofing solutions for a coastal home

James travelled to the NSW coast to see a gorgeous modern coastal home. The home’s exterior was coated in vertical wooden cladding, grounding the very modern home in the coastal neighbourhood. Tilted roofs sat atop the two main areas of the house, which presented a design challenge for the architect. Utilising Bondor’s SolarSpan roofing, the all-in-one solution provided ease of installation, internal support negating the need for rafters, and insulation. 

Ventilating airtight homes

Architect Jodie, of Jodie Dang Architects, is a passive design specialist. Passive homes achieve 24°C temperatures all year round without the need for air conditioning. This is achieved through careful design and sustainable choices, such as wood which serves as a heat sink. When a home becomes airtight, which is one feature of a passive home, moisture can become trapped causing mould. A Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV) mitigates this issue and replenishes the home with filtered air. The ceramic core of the system stores heat when warm air from inside is pumped through it and ventilated outside. Fresh air from outside then passes through the heated core, heating the home and reducing pollutants. The opposite effect occurs during summer. The HRV system is a fantastic way to have filtered, fresh air all year round.

Lighting for all spaces and occasions

Stepping into a newly built display home in Leppington, Southwest Sydney, James investigated lighting options for the renovated or rebuilt home. James discussed the various light options available for homes and different spaces. A two-storey void was illuminated with a modern pendant light and wall sconces. Downlights are perfect to provide ample lighting while track lighting and LED strips take a space to the next level. 

Beacon Lighting’s Design Studio provides homeowners, looking to renovate or build, a fantastic way to design their homes and spaces with the perfect lighting.

Windows and doors to keep the sound out and the warmth in

James ventured to Prestige Plus where he was given a demonstration of the soundproofing of their doors. Using a recording of external street noises, including a passing aeroplane, the closing of the uPVC door eliminated almost all of the sound. James toured Prestige Plus’ warehouse where they manufacture their windows and doors. The frames are welded shut to make them airtight, waterproof, and soundproof.

Heading to Deceunick’s warehouse, James found out how their door and window frames remain the same colour for years. Where most window and door frames fade over time due to the sun and the elements, the unique foil coating of Deceunick’s window and door frames makes them colourfast for years.

The renovation and rebuild plans

The team travelled to Auburn, NSW, where their renovation and rebuild plans would be made lifesize by Lifesize Plans. Norm announced that should he win, he would venture to Vegas for a month while Jess looks after the kids. Should Jess win, she will wax Norm’s belly with the home waxing kit. 

The first cab off the rank was Norm for team rebuild.

Rebuild design – a modern overhaul

Knocking down the home would not only bring Norm pleasure but completely revitalise the block and home. The new two-storey house would feature a modern style with square features. Utilising more of the block, the design would allow for ample side access and a new carport. The facade would make use of its north-facing with sprawling windows to capture the light. Surprisingly, Norm and the team decided to split the bedrooms, with two upstairs and two downstairs. 

The kitchen would connect to the outside, ticking off one of the must-haves. The home would be all-electric, with a large solar system atop the roof and space for an EV charger. This home would have the gas disconnected, relying solely on electricity. All of this, including the passive design, would make the home achieve a whopping 8.2 Energy Star rating.

The expected cost of the rebuild was $1,100,000

Renovation design – keeping the old and making way for the new

Jess and the team decided to retain the original home, making only minor changes to the existing facade and rooms. A brand new, pre-fab extension would be added to the back of the home. This would house a new bathroom, laundry, kitchen, dining room, and multi-use room. The kitchen would open up to the backyard. A new elevated, north-facing window would allow natural light to enter the extension. 

Around the existing home, new uPVC windows would replace the existing leaky ones. The cost of the renovation was expected to be $680,000.

Decisions, decisions: The verdict

After extensive discussions with real estate agents and the homeowners, Joseph decided to renovate! With the budget being the main driver, and the desire to retain much of the existing charm of the home, the decision to renovate was ultimately an easy one. 

Tune into next week’s episode of Renovate or Rebuild on Channel 9 to see the full renovation! You can catch up on previous episodes via 9Now or watch reruns on Channel 9Life.

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