There’s a great affection for the traditional Queenslander home with its elevated construction, airy veranda, and decorative fretwork. When renovating a property for profit, a Queenslander house renovation is a worthwhile investment that usually offers increased real estate value. By incorporating a few of the adjustments that custom home builders use, a Queenslander house can easily be updated without losing its colonial charm and character.

Ideal Design

Being built on stilts is perfect for the tropical climate as it allows cooler air to flow beneath the property and prevents flash floods damaging the main living space.

However, to create a streamlined area between the house and backyard many renovations include extra rooms on the ground floor. Ceiling heights have to reach at least 2.4 metres to comply with regulations which might involve the expense of raising the stilts. 

The Queenslander home is also a popular style in non-tropical regions of Australia where increased insulation is a priority to combat the winter chill and keep energy costs to a minimum.

Capturing Sunlight

Older Queenslander homes built in the 1920s or even earlier often appear in economic auction listings which are ideal when renovating a property for profit

One common failing of such older properties are poor orientation. Simply reorganising the interior will maximize sunlight, create cosier rooms and increase the property’s real estate value.

Ensure the main living room, kitchen and dining area face north or north-east and avoid the colder southern aspect. Installing skylights and extra casement windows will help improve natural daylight and provide additional ventilation.

Versatile Exterior

Photo on Flickr by John / CC BY-SA 2.0

Every Queenslander house renovation has a spacious veranda. It not only gives the house its distinctive character but provides shade in the extreme heat and a ventilated area that’s perfect for entertaining. It’s also an ideal way of increasing living space for a young family. 

Adding a wrap-around veranda is versatile and protects the core of the property from adverse weather although a shadier south-facing side has far less appeal to buyers. 

When painting the exterior a Queenslander property will be more marketable if it matches the traditional image. Avoid vivid contemporary hues and choose softer steely blues and greys highlighted with crisp white or cream.

Decorative Interior

Custom home builders always recommend preserving the original Queenslander features such as VJ paneling and fretwork. They not only add to the compelling charm of the style but have practical functions. The decorative fretwork over windows and doors helps to improve airflow by dispersing refreshing breezes during the heat of the summer. 

The VJ (vertical joint) boards are traditionally colonial but are also perfect for modern streamlined interiors. They also add an insulating layer to the walls. Choose from a variety of hardwoods for luxury or moisture-resistant MDF for practicality. 

Colour schemes of light pastel shades particularly in cream, blue or grey increase the image of a cool airy interior. Add accessories such as cushions or throws in bright vivid shades to keep the interior décor up-to-date.


A successful Queenslander home renovation relies on a combination of modern facilities and traditional charm. When renovating a property for profit preserve the original features wherever possible. Including practical additions such as a spacious veranda, convenient access to the outdoors and colour schemes that are easy on the eye are sure to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. Learning how to renovate a Queenslander house will result in a property that has a timeless elegance.

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