Buying a Renovated Queenslander. Risky or Riskless?

Seeing a renovated Queenslander stand proud in the street is a sight many people love and strive to have for themselves. We have so many of the beautiful homes in Manly and surrounding bayside suburbs. But is it best to buy a renovated Queenslander or buy an old Queenslander and oversee the renovations yourself?

What to consider when looking to buy old Queenslanders with renovations

There’s no doubt about it, a Queenslander looks stunning when renovated. But beauty doesn’t mean they’re not hiding potential headaches and inconsistencies. As experts in Brisbane building and pest inspections, we’ve seen plenty. Here are some tips to help you make your decision.


It’s a known fact that when you buy an old Queenslander, you’re committing yourself to lots of regular maintenance. Depending on what was renovated, be prepared to factor in painting, roof and guttering, electrical wiring, plumbing and more into your budget.

Structural defects

When you look into buying a Queenslander house, it’s easy to get swept up in its beauty, all the while missing the ugly bits. These hidden defects can include damaged stumps including cracks, wood rot and concrete cancer. Structural defects can also include issues like balustrading that is not up to code. Defects are a red light that indicates a professional is needed.


Queenslander homes give termites aka. white ants, easy access to their favourite food – timber. Ensure the renovation doesn’t cover up any damaged areas, that there’s nothing that can attract termites and that ant capping is in place.


Low ceilings

It’s very popular with old Queenslanders to dig down underneath the house to build underneath. Unfortunately, some people bypass this step and build underneath where the ceilings are too low and not up to code. When ceilings are lower than the minimum 2.4-meters, rooms are not habitable. If a renovated Queenslander has two bedrooms that are below height, you can’t advertise these as bedrooms if you decide to sell.

Poor quality

Whether you’re looking to buy a Queenslander or you’re considering a post-war house renovation, the same philosophy applies; you can’t judge a book by its cover. Sure, the house looks fantastic but what about the quality of the renovation work and the things you can’t see like internal leaks that eventually cause rising damp or dodgy concrete cancer cover-ups on house stumps. That’s why, in the home of the Queenslander, Brisbane building and pest inspections are essential.

Character Profile

Many Queenslanders are in areas classified as character housing zones. Character zones mean any alterations to a Queenslander can affect the value and resale of the property. Examples of out of character renovations are carports, decks with roofs that don’t complement the original roof and enclosing a veranda. 

If you’re in the market to buy a renovated Queenslander, remember that you can’t be too complacent, no matter how good it looks. No house is going to be free of risk. But, you can reduce risk by taking the time to look at everything and give building inspector Brisbane – Safeguard Inspections – a call to do a pre-purchase inspection. Contact us today.

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