Brad Munckton awarded best renovation by South East Master Builders Association

Bermagui builder Brad Muncktonwith his Master Builders Association award for his renovation of Camel Rock Brewery and Cafe. Picture: Alana Beitz

Bermagui builder Brad Muncktonwith his Master Builders Association award for his renovation of Camel Rock Brewery and Cafe. Picture: Alana Beitz

Bermagui builder Brad Munckton couldn't believe it when he won the Master Builders Association award for his renovation of Camel Rock Brewery and Cafe. 

"I was blown away," he said.

"I wasn't even sure about entering my work to start with, and I'd only been with Master Builders for not quite 12 months, so it was magic."

The awards ceremony was held in Ulladulla earlier this month.

Mr Munckton walked away with the title of Best Regional Commercial Refurbishment under $500,000. 

The project was close to home.

He was repurposing an old weatherboard lodge at his sister's holiday park into a new bar and dining area. 

"They wanted to keep as much as the old structure as possible," Mr Munckton said.

"It's got quite a bit of history and it's been in the area a while now.”

Mr Munckton says the weatherboard was originally built at nearby Wallaga Lake Bridge, but in about 1930 the entire building was relocated to where it currently stands. 

After this date, it was used for accommodation, and separated into private sections for guests. 

"It was a funny building, as a lot of older buildings are," Mr Munckton said.

"We found a strange brick structure in the middle, sort of shaped like a chimney, but it was actually an old toilet."

About a year ago work began to convert the space into a dining area, with room for a brewery at the back of the building. 

"What we really wanted to do was create more height in the building without changing the original exterior," Mr Munckton said.

"So instead of adding to the top, we worked from underneath."

The result meant the building's original roof height stayed the same, and the builders excavated underneath, effectivly doubling the height of the indoor space. 

This involved removing the original floor of the building, but Mr Munckton creatively repurposed the materials for his renovation.

"We spent hours trying to get the old floorboards up and not to hurt them," he said.

"But now we've been able to reuse them for the flooring in here, and even some of the dining tables are made from them."

The same painstaking effort had to be made for the exterior cladding to ensure it could be reused for the project. 

"So there we were, removing all the old cladding, denailing it, and the guys spent weeks out there cleaning the boards up, taking the old paint off and what not," Mr Munckton said. 

He said the labor of repurposing aspects of the old building far outweighed the expense of new materials.

"Some people probably don’t like it, because it is a lot of work. You're going back before you're going forwards,” he said.

"But the whole job was just reusing and recycling what we could. And I think that was the reason we ended up with the award."

Although he is fairly certain their recycling efforts were the reason behind their win at the award ceremony, he's still not 100 per cent sure. 

"When they called out my name I went up with my two apprentices, but the thing is, when you're up on the stage you can't hear what they're saying for all the noise," he said with a laugh.

"But like I said, it was a great night for the whole team."

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