Narrabundah House


Location | Narrabundah, ACT

Date completed | October 2013

EER | 6 stars (started at 0)

Area | From 115m² to 172m²

Builder | Jigsaw Housing

Images | Rod Vargas


Character and reinvention

A clear distinction between old and new was one of the key elements of the client’s brief – specifically, the ability to distinguish immediately between the original structure and the modest additions.

The new elements are clearly legible as black insertions against the white façade of the existing monocrete, which was insulated with polystyrene and rendered to greatly improve its energy performance.

With new floorspace restricted to a small increase in the living room and the addition of an ensuite, the overall footprint remains modest. However, the rearrangement of space – relocating the laundry, opening living areas and enlarging the kitchen – has resulted in a vastly improved floor plan. From the street, the garage and front doors appear ‘hidden’ in a screen of fine galvanized steel mesh, which seems opaque from the outside but appears transparent from within.

A great collaboration with a client committed to retaining the original character of the home while improving its energy efficiency, the project was featured in The Sunday Canberra Times Relax magazine on 23 March 2014.


Key features

Extension: entry, laundry, ensuite, robe and family room

590m² relatively flat site with orientation of north to the back

New carport/storage as well as separate workshop shed

Customised joinery throughout existing house and extension

Floor finishes include; concrete, timber, tiles and carpet

Tailored to the site and designed to our client's brief



High levels of insulation retrofitted to ceilings, walls and floors

Ceiling fans

LED lighting

It was so refreshing talking to Light House, as they take it as given that you want your house to be contemporary, well-designed, well-insulated, energy-efficient and comfortable – in contrast, when I first started researching my options, one builder tried to talk me out of double-glazing because ‘no-one would notice it at re-sale and you wouldn’t get your money back’. Light House have their finger on the pulse in a way that so many in the industry just haven’t. The team really takes a personal interest in their projects, and in their relationship with you as a client. I just love living in this house
— Homeowner | Narrabundah House