Dr Retro House Calls

Some of our clients don’t need design and documentation and are just looking for a single consultation to cover a small number of issues, or to get a better understanding of their Mid-Century home, and the options that are available.  Secret Design Studio offers a “Dr Retro House Call” service, and it works just like a traditional, old-fashioned Doctor who can make a visit to your home for a single consultation.

Since 2010 I have inspected hundreds of mid-century homes across Melbourne and Sydney through real estate open for inspections, or pre-purchase inspections, or client’s homes throughout most of Melbourne’s suburbs.  During these inspections I have built on my in-depth knowledge of the issues that owners of these homes face, and the options available to address these issues.

Jenny G. from Mulgrave says “I hired Alistair for a Dr Retro House Call. We have an orange brick house built in the 70’s that needs updating, while still retaining some of its original features.  There are  a lot of small things that needing reworking – some opening up of walls and doors to allow more light, and increasing the size of the master ensuite.  Alistair was able to sort through all my ideas and give sensible advice in all areas that were a problem, and my husband and I can now put together a prioritized list of what needs to be done. He also gave me some cost effective solutions that I had not thought of, in particular around the reworking of our steel and timber staircase. I was delighted with the Dr. Retro House call and would highly recommend this service!

Shelby W. from Heidelberg says “Hi Alistair,  I’d like to thank you very much for your time today. Your advice was so very useful.”

For client testimonials please visit our YouTube channel:




A typical “Doctor Retro House Call” may include some of the following services:
  1. A general discussion on the opportunities for renovation, extension and addition options,
  2. Feasibility on a ground floor or first floor extension,
  3. Sustainability assessment – strategies to make a home more thermally comfortable to live in,
  4. Review of building design documentation designed by others,
  5. Review of interior design and material and colour selections,
  6. Review of demolition or renovation options,
  7. Review of new house plans,
  8. “Know your heritage market” – presentation for real estate agents to increase their understanding of their local 20th century styles which is tailored for their suburb.


The minimum consultation period is for two hours, with most running between two and three hours.  The consultation is for opinions and advice and would not include services such as design work, or concept sketches due to the limited time of the consultation.  If a client decides that they would like these services during a “Doctor Retro House Call” then a fee proposal could be prepared after the consultation for the client to approve and for these services to commence.

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