DRIVE down Howick Street in Lathlain anytime this month and you’ll see a home renovator’s delight that can only be described as next level.

Kelly Grey and her family knew they had outgrown their fairly small, single storey house but regular options such as building another storey on top, demolishing and rebuilding or adding an extension proved unaffordable or unsightly.

Instead, they settled on the dramatic sounding but rather speedy process of lifting the 1930s-built house to a second-storey height and adding a new level on the ground floor.

“The whole reason we kept the home was because we like the way it looked, so putting an ugly carport out front wouldn’t really work,” Mrs Grey said.

“Why would you ever demolish a beautiful home when you can do this, keep your house and keep the heritage.”

The most impressive aspect is what happened at No.83 in the week before Christmas: the act of hoisting the house 3m up took less than eight minutes.

“It was terrifying at the time; it’s a 30-tonne home and they did it with all our personal belongings still inside and that includes lounges, my kitchen and TVs still on the wall,” Mrs Grey said.

“But I tell you, seeing that house being raised was the most exhilarating thing ever in my life.”

Fans of classical music and the movie Shine would be well pleased with the Greys’ decision as acclaimed concert pianist David Helfgott, the subject of the 1996 film starring Geoffrey Rush, is said to have spent time living in the house while at university.

The Building company involved J-Jack has lifted more than 150 houses and describes the house-lift process as innovative and a cost effective way to double a home’s living space.

The Greys, who are renting nearby, could be out of their house for as little as six weeks.

The new home will be the epitome of upside down living with kitchen and dining along with original bedrooms, located upstairs.

In coming weeks the pad will go down and the walls erected as the ground floor – which will have a theatre, lounge, master bedroom, ensuite, new laundry and carport – takes shape.

Published by the Southern Gazette -