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What will become of the Queenslander home and should more be done to protect them?

The traditional Queenslander home is an iconic piece of architectural design, but debate is growing about the best ways to protect their heritage value and keep them standing for years to come.


PHOTO: Some renovated Queenslanders still hold their original detail including verandah trims and entrances.


New developments have now have moved away from the classic style and opted for modern and easy-to-maintain home designs, but they lack the Queenslanders' distinctiveness and charm.


The classic traits of the Queenslander include tall ceilings, distinctive timber and wide verandahs perched high to catch the breeze during hot summer days.


Verandahs also offered larger living spaces and sleep-out areas.


PHOTO: The long verandah is a classic trait of the Victorian-style Queenslander.


Shane Earle, the director of Queensland Heritage Restorations, said the handywork seen in the historical homes was part of the reason they should be saved. Mr Earle said,


"When you get into the older Queenslanders, there are pressed-metal ceilings and archways and fret work — you get to see part of the tradesman in the house."


"Some of the houses were made with second-hand materials and as you peel them back when you are renovating you get to understand and read the house."


PHOTO: An inter-war Queenslander at New Farm, Brisbane.


Mr Earle said many people were drawn to the style because of its unique characteristics or they lived in one growing up.


"In the 1980s my parents started doing up houses and were buying them for $16,000 with a $3,000 renovation budget and would sell the house for $40,000," he said.


"Our streetscape and lifestyles are made for Queenslanders."


Still well-suited for the climate


Many buyers or renovators have claimed the homes that were once built to catch the breeze are not needed due to modern conveniences such as air conditioning.


"The elevation of the house was necessary to keep it cool, but they were also elevated to stay away from termites," Mr Earle said.