Restoration Australia

Time Schedule

Mon 22:00 | Tue 11:00 | Wed 15:00 | Fri 19:00


Over each episode, Restoration Australia host Stuart Harrison, Architect and Historian, will follow homeowners across the country as they restore Australia’s great buildings – important buildings that would otherwise be turned to rubble. From inner city grand terraces, to countryside homesteads, we start at the beginning of the homeowners restorations as they take the keys to their rundown properties in desperate need of some love, care and attention.

Their vision of re-creating the houses to turn them into ‘forever’ homes isn’t simple. To faithfully restore with original fixtures and fittings, they first must replace termite damaged floors, water damaged walls, and rotten ceilings. Some homes don’t even have all four walls or a front door, but the homeowners cannot bear to see them torn down. Stuart is going to help them fall in love with their homes even more by investigating the origins of the house and it’s owners, informing viewers of the first homes of Australia and why they were built the way they were.

It’s not just a case of will their budget and time be stretched to the limit, but how are they going to do the property justice whilst creating homes suitable for 21st century living without losing the features they fell in love with in the first place.
From the federation eras all the way to mid century modernist, there’s a style of house for every housing enthusiast.

23-29 Nov: Episode 3

Jack Clarke

Having grown tired of their cramped, apartment lifestyle in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, High school teacher Laura and her husband, university administration officer Reece have bought a four-bedroom 1960s modernist home in Frankston South with plans to turn it into their dream family home.
Laura and Reece are aiming to restore it, while adding on a contemporary extension.
It’s an unusual project as other similar era homes in the area are usually demolished to make way for new houses.  But Laura and Reece have fallen in love with its architectural features and it’s outdoor spaces. It’s even got a pool.
As they explain their plans to host Stuart, it becomes apparent they’ve undertaken a mammoth task.  They want to retain features, such as the sunken lounge room and full-height glass windows, yet also extend the house in two directions, raise the roof and reorientate the kitchen.
To complete the restoration, Reece and Laura have given themselves a 10-month schedule and set a budget of $600,000.
When host Stuart visits during the renovations, he voices concern that they’re removing too many unique qualities of the modernist house and worries they may end up stripping the house of its mid-century essence.
Reece and Laura also face a difficult choice when it comes to retaining the backyard pool.  Laura has her heart set on their 1960s home having a Palm Springs vibe with a pool to splash around in, while Reece is worried about the cost of keeping it.
Other challenges arise as the project continues such as tricky and expensive tile choices and ensuring enough natural light enters the home.
Will the house still maintain its 1960s vibe when the works are completed?

Episode 4 – Rosenthal

Having run the Killarney Hotel for more than a decade, publican Jan is ready to retire and yearns for a quieter lifestyle and a chance to put her feet up.
But when the opportunity to purchase one of Queensland’s oldest properties presents itself, Jan finds it too irresistible to pass up.
The 1840s Rosenthal Homestead and adjoining cottage in Darling Downs, southern Queensland, has been home to pioneers and even once hosted notorious bushranger Captain Thunderbolt.
It was last on the market in 1919, so opportunities like these don’t come along too often.
Jan and her daughter Annie snap the property up after falling in love and have grand plans to preserve some of the area’s iconic history.
Annie’s partner, carpenter Chris, will look after the year-long restoration.
They want to restore the homestead for Jan, while Annie and Chris will reside in the nearby Squatters Cottage.
Early on, it becomes clear Chris will be pushed to his limits during the restoration, with multiple structural issues to contend with.
There are sagging walls, uneven flooring and extensive pest damage to the timber homestead.
Chris makes steady progress, but it’s slow going as he’s doing a lot of the hard labour on his own, and is also helping Jan and Annie run the pub.
While Chris chips away, host Stuart and Jan go digging through the archives to find out more about the rich history of Rosenthal.
Knowing Rosenthal’s past spurs Jan on to continue with the restorations, as she’s committed to maintaining the historic home so it hosts future generations to come.
Yet it will be a slog to finish, with plenty of unexpected setbacks along the way such as structures being dismantled. Will the build prove too much of a load for Chris to shoulder?

Episode 5 – Tatachilla Stables

With the aim of having the family come for Christmas, mathematicians Johnny and Ann have set themselves a tight time frame to transform a 150-year-old stables into a new modern home.
As if that isn’t a big enough challenge to tackle, they’re also restoring two pickers cottages to rent out as B&B holiday accommodation.
Located south of Adelaide in wine country McLaren Vale, the two properties are part of the former Tatachilla Estate, where vineyards were first planted in 1867 by founder John Kelly.
It’s no longer a working winery, but the views across the nearby vineyards are a stunning backdrop.
Ann and Johnny, both in their 70s, are keen to tackle the restoration to keep themselves young and bring something to life that was on its last legs.
To save money and to be close to the build, the couple live in a modified shipping container at the site while the building process gets underway.
Early construction work on the pickers cottages is promising, however restoring the slate floors is painstaking work.
With an initial focus on the Pickers cottages, work on turning the stables into Ann and Johnny’s new three-bedroom home takes a backseat.
Along the way the couple face several challenges such as ensuring the build adheres to heritage planning regulations and weather delays.
When host Stuart Harrison visits during construction he voices his concerns about whether the couple are adhering to their original vision of letting the raw features of the buildings shine.
And with Christmas sneaking up on the couple, will they be able to gather the family together in their freshly finished home?

Episode 6 – Gasworks

AFL fanatics John and Rosie have bought an iconic 19th century gasworks building overlooking North Melbourne Football Club and oval that they want to turn into their dream home.

The ornate red brick regulating house, and the once adjacent gasometer that towered over the suburb, are indelibly stamped into the memories of AFL fans having featuring regularly in the background of football replays in the 70s and 80s.

John himself watched football at the oval as a child and remembers the buildings well.

Passing the design of their new home to their architects, John and Rosie plan a tree change to the country for the term of the build, trusting their team to deliver the goods. The hands-off approach is deliberate – they want to enjoy the process from a safe distance!

With a blank canvas and trusting owners, architects Sioux and Cimone set about designing and building something truly original –  a super modern home that will push contemporary notions of design and include a remarkable three level pod.

But it’s not long before the eclectic design throws up challenges and unforeseen problems. With massive blowouts to the schedule, John and Rosie will need to wrestle back control. The question is, what compromises will have to be made to get their project back on track?