LIKE NEW: Barbara Stubbs on the new stairs at her old Queenslander home in Rockhampton. INSET: Before being renovated the stairs were unsafe to walk on.
LIKE NEW: Barbara Stubbs on the new stairs at her old Queenslander home in Rockhampton. INSET: Before being renovated the stairs were unsafe to walk on. Allan Reinikka Rokareno

Rocky's Barbara Stubbs part of soaring renovation rates

A YEAR ago, Barbara Stubbs was huddled in her house waiting for it to collapse around her.

Now when a storm rolls in, she just sits on her verandah and laughs.

After ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald threatened to bring down their old Allenstown Queenslander last year, Barbara and her husband Allun finally decided to start renovating.

And they aren't alone.

According to figures from the National Australia Bank, seven in 10 Australian home owners are planning to renovate their property in the next year and intend on spending an average $25,000.

With the help of Smith and Sons Renovations Rockhampton, Barbara and Allun have already got the ball rolling with a new roof, steel stumps, and front stairs safe enough to actually walk on.

Leigh Mutch from Smith and Sons said they had noticed an increase in enquiries since Christmas. She said they were receiving all sorts of jobs, from small projects like the bathroom to complete home revamps.

"We've got people from their mid-20s right up until seniors coming in," she said.

Leigh said most people chose to renovate because they like where they live or because it was a cheaper option.

But for Barbara, it was simply the love for her character-filled house.

"I don't like little brick boxes," she said. "I love this house. The kids loved it and if I ever get grandkids what a lovely place for them to come and spend time."



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