Cottages nearly finished

Defence Housing Australia regional director Mark Turtle onsite at the Gunners Cottages, which are nearly ready for residents to move into following restoration work. Pictures: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au   d441764
Defence Housing Australia regional director Mark Turtle onsite at the Gunners Cottages, which are nearly ready for residents to move into following restoration work. Pictures: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d441764

With the buildings in various states of disrepair, Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has been working to turn the cottages into homes for defence personnel and their families, fixing structural damage and installing modern internal modifications.

However, while cottages one to nine are expected to be finished later this year, internal and external cracking has compromised the structure of cottage 10, pushing back its completion date for specialist work to be done.

DHA managing director Peter Howman said research suggested the site was at one point a quarry, which had affected cottage 10�s structure, but that progress on the rest of the cottages was going well.

�All the cottages have been stripped out to accommodate the installation of essential services, including hydraulics,� he said.

�The partition walls to the bathrooms and laundries are currently well progressed, and paint preparation to the ceilings, walls and woodwork are well under way.

�This includes major restoration of the existing double hung windows which involved modifying the existing sash weights to accommodate the additional weight of the 5mm glazing.

�The roofs of all nine cottages have been completely retiled, the chimneys totally refurbished and the new fire separating walls between units has also been completed.�

Mr Howman said the cottages played an important role in Fremantle�s maritime history and it was important to keep them for defence families. �These cottages are an important part of Fremantle�s military heritage and DHA is pleased that this restoration work will also enable them to become part of its future.�

DHA will also build six new homes on the site.