Renovating your First Home with Simon and Ash

How a charming mid-century style house with an incredible view in need of a renovation made the perfect first home

For many young house hunters, buying their first house isn’t the most daunting aspect of entering the property market, more so, it’s the renovating and revamping required to create a home. While a complete reno can be a pricey venture, having a firm understanding of a budget, carefully thought-out building plan and a realistic view of long-term objectives for the property will help decide how to best utilise funds and ultimately add value to the property.

Former winner of The Block and DIY Expert Simon Vos and his brother are no strangers to renovating, however this time it was more personal as Simon and his wife Ash recently completed their own home, a renovation that injected some California into Coffs Harbour.

Having seen the Coffs Harbour house on the New South Wales north coast five years ago they decided it would be an incredible renovation project. With plentiful style, design flair and inspiration to create an Australian take on Palm Springs, the couple set about transforming the run-down mid-century beach shack into a sleek, modern home

“Firstly, we needed to get rid of a lot of old materials in the house including horsehair walls and ceilings to really utilise the space.  I tried to reuse any of the existing timber we could” says Simon. “In order to maximise the renovation, we decided to renovate using Gyprock plasterboard within the whole house to make it feel brand new.” Investing in trusted brands when building the foundations of the home like the walls, floors and ceilings adds an improved level of protection and value to the longevity of the property.

If starting a complete refresh of a home, utilise some of the structures that are left from the initial strip out. If the home has interesting materials such as structural timbers, consider exposing beams to add character. “We had some incredible raked ceilings that we exposed throughout the process,” says Simon. “The original house had low ceilings that hid a cavity up to the roof. This wasn’t used for storage, so we decided to open up the house by knocking this out and using Gyprock Superchek plasterboard to create glorious, angled ceilings. Utilising this kind of space makes the home feel much bigger and brighter and adds an architectural finish.”

Taking into consideration key trends in interior design will also add value to any property. Seamless, transitional living continues to be popular, with an emphasis on merging the indoors with outdoors. “We have an amazing view of the Great Dividing Range so creating a space that incorporated the outdoors and championed open living with mass space was very important to us,” says Simon. Adaptability and flexibility are achieved through the use of folding walls and doors, allowing rooms to be opened up for additional space, or closed off for privacy. Gyprock Superchek plasterboard on walls boasts strength and sound reduction, making the most of a dynamic floorplan, while providing acoustic benefits to make the house more comfortable to live in.

When planning your renovation, it’s important to consider building for the future, with flexibility and the understanding of the needs of a growing, modern family. This type of space versatility adds value to potential homeowners when it’s time to sell. “What was important for us when starting this project, was that the home was multifunctional and hosted properties suited for a growing family. By using Gyprock Superchek plasterboard for high-traffic areas, we knew the walls would withstand the knocks of everyday living.” says Simon.

Gyprock is made in Australia and available at Gyprock Trade stores, Gyprock resellers and Bunnings nationwide


Gyprock has just launched the new Gyprock Living Simple to Stunning magazine with design tips to show how elevated design thinking coupled with great craftsmanship can take a basic building material like Gyprock and shape them into timeless, sophisticated architecture.

Like this Article? Check out our other blog posts below