THERE’S always been a team behind Mark Bradford’s successes at sea.
But as the skipper of Queensland’s supermaxi yacht, Black Jack, prepares the crew for the start of his 13th Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day, he is keen to acknowledge another team that has anchored him through a personal project, the renovation of his Zillmere home.
“This has been a combined effort,” Mr Bradford said of the five month renovation which he undertook with his partner Cassie and their blended family of four children.
Originally a three bedroom Queensland War Service home, 11 Norbiton St, Zillmere was built in 1956 with brush box timber floors and a brick build basement.
Mr Bradford bought the 620sq m property in 2013, recognising the solid bones of the house, and has more than doubled the floor space, turning it into a four-bedroom home with 378sq m of living space including the house, shed and new outdoor entertaining areas.
The house has been raised, extended and built in downstairs to include a parents retreat, laundry and double garage.
The upstairs kitchen has been extended and a 5.9 x 5.2m deck built to capture city and Moreton Bay views.
“The demolition we did ourselves on the weekends,” he said.
“We called it, ‘reno fit’. That was the in-joke.
“On the weekends you would be working your arse off to get fit, but renovating at the same time.
“It could become a thing, like crossfit.
“It gave us all a bit of ownership.”
Mrs Bradford said the renovation helped with bonding.
“The reason we are such a beautiful, moulded, blended family is in part because of that time we spent together,” she said.
“Kids love to demolish stuff and my son and Mark had a lot of one-on-one time doing that.
“We did all lose weight too.”
Australian and international yachting history has been incorporated into the $430,000 renovation with Mr Bradford using his skills as a master sailmaker.
A Black Jack sail used in a Sydney to Hobart yacht race has been repurposed as a privacy blind on the new back deck.
The internal screens on the windows are made out of the mesh used to stop the sun getting in to the yacht.
There’s marine ply shelving in the hallway, marine grade stainless steel in the balustrading and the build also features a piece of footpath from Mr Bradford’s time in Valencia with the America’s Cup.
“I’ve always been a fan of that mid-century, California bungalow style so we researched that and we used a draughtsman, but it was all our thinking with a little bit of marine in there from sailing,” Mr Bradford said.
Mrs Bradford focused on developing a usable backyard with sporting facilities to encourage outdoor play.
“Because we have teenage kids we wanted to create a space where they didn’t lock themselves in their rooms and never come out to partake in family stuff,” she said.
“So we didn’t design the house with a teenage retreat because we wanted them out in the backyard.
“We researched a proper basketball hoop and got one custom made.”
The family have lived in the completed home for three years but with school commitments changing, have decided to put their house on the market.
The property is for sale through Stefan Blee of Place Ascot.