Warehouse conversions – what you need to know

Within most Australian cities it seems the saying “everything old is new again” is in full effect across the inner city suburbs as space becomes more and more of a premium. Buyers and investors are flocking to snap up heritage warehouses and factories to renovate them and transform them into hip, modern homes and business spaces with a nod to the past. Typically, the conversions will retain the traditional exterior of the building sometimes with the addition of contemporary touches such as Exterior Folding Doors and modernise the interior often using Bifold Doors within the design to make warm, rich, inviting spaces for living or working.

In a world where cities are becoming increasingly homogeneous and sterile architecturally, the real appeal of the warehouse conversion lies in the uniqueness, rawness and history of the building, with many buyers willing to do without some of the mod cons of a newly designed and built home for the sake of these. But there are pitfalls that an unsuspecting buyer may be trapped by. It’s important to look for quality bricks, quality Door Hardware, interesting trusses and overall good “bones” to the entire structure of the building. If you are buying a completed conversion, make sure the conversion was done properly and the structure is sound and will not need repair work down the track. If you wanting to renovate the building yourself, beware, many people have been stung when conversion costs start to add up – remember many of these buildings are heritage listed so repair work can cost much more than an ordinary building.

Warehouses are by nature, large, open spaces that originally were used to, you guessed it – store things. So how can you break up the space in order to not feel as though you are living in a train station? Generally, humans like to feel “cozy” in their living spaces, so dividing the large open space into smaller spaces for specific uses is a great way to get this feeling in a warehouse conversion whilst retaining the overall volume of the space. Many architects use small partitions, Sliding Doors or various Screen Solutions to create these designated areas. There is now a great range of Sliding and Folding Door Hardware available now that has a raw, industrial look to integrate into warehouse spaces such as the Brio Open Square Rail door which has exposed stainless steel rollers.

So whether you are in the market to purchase a completed conversion or looking to dive in and renovate an old warehouse, take the plunge and enjoy the character and nostalgia that comes with conversions and feel good about the fact you are helping to retain some of the original character of a modern city.