Hi there! I'm Marianne Taylor, but my alter ego is The House Detective! I'm an architectural historian, which is basically a fancy way of saying that I research the history of houses for a living.

Every home, from a humble cottage to a grand mansion, has a fascinating story just waiting to be revealed!

 I would love to see what secrets I can uncover about YOUR house!!

I'm based in Brisbane, Queensland, but I research houses and buildings from all over Australia.

I offer a number of different research options, depending on the level of detail or type of information you are after and how you would like the results presented. You can view the details of my different packages below. However, I am also more than happy to tailor a package to your requirements or budget.

If you would like to see what types of information I can discover about your house, you can read about some of my previous cases here.

I also offer pre-renovation and restoration advice for old Queensland houses, to help you understand your home, identify what features are important and to get the details right for your era and style of house. 

If you would like to learn more about your family or put together a family tree, I also love to do genealogical research. I warn you though, I may find a few skeletons in the closet! ;)

Contact me NOW to get The House Detective on the case!

You can also follow my research and history adventures on  InstaFacebookYouTube and Pinterest!

Gold House History Package - $3900

This premium package provides a detailed history of your house and the people who lived there. It includes everything in the Silver Package, but with a much more detailed history of the whole lifetime of the house and an analysis of the house style and any changes to it over the years. In addition, the final report is provided as a beautiful, high quality, professionally printed, hardcover book with colour images (the Silver Package includes only an electronic version). You also receive a USB with an electronic copy of the final report- perfect for sharing it with friends and family! The price includes the research, purchase of all relevant documents, preparation of the report and the printing and delivery of the hardcover book and USB.

The history in this package includes:

  • Background history of suburb/street
  • History of subdivision of land
  • Original owner(s) names
  • Date of construction
  • House name (if it had one)
  • Architect (if applicable)
  • Detailed history of all the families that lived there
  • Search for old photos of house, street and suburb
  • Search for old maps of street and suburb
  • Search of old newspapers for articles about the house or families
  • A series of aerial photos showing the evolution of the house and street
  • An analysis of the architectural style, building features and interior decoration
  • Summary of any major alterations to the house

To try and find this information, I visit the house (if in or near Brisbane), a variety of archives, libraries, historical societies and also search extensively online. This package involves approximately 30 to 40 hours work.

You also have the option of purchasing additional copies of the book and/or USB for relatives or future house owners, at an additional cost.

Examples of the beautiful hardcover book you receive as part of the Gold Package

Silver House History Package -  $2300

This package provides a short history of your house and the people who lived there. The final report is emailed to you as a PDF, laid out in high-resolution book format with colour images.  The price includes the research,  purchase of all relevant documents and preparation of the report.

The history in this package includes:

  • Original owner(s) names  
  • Date of construction 
  • House name (if it had one) 
  • Brief history of the main families that lived there 
  • Search for old photos of house 
  • Search of old newspapers for articles about the house and families

To try and find this information, I primarily search online but visit archives / libraries / historical societies as required and if time permits. This package does not include a visit to the house and involves approximately 15 hours of work.

You also have the option of purchasing the history as a hardcover book and/or a USB with an electronic copy of the final report on it, at an additional cost.

An example of Silver Package history (emailed PDF document)

Date of Construction Research (including Pre-1911 and Pre-1947 dating for BCC Planning Requirements) - $950

If you'd like to know when your house was built, or need to establish if it was built either pre-1911 or pre-1947 to determine planning requirements under Brisbane City Plan, this is the package for you! It includes four hours research to begin with, but may need to be extended if it is a tricky one. The price also includes the purchase of up to two historical Certificates of Title for the land, or Birth, Death or Marriage certificates, if required. If more time or more documents are required, I will contact you for approval before I proceed. The results of my research are emailed to you as a PDF report. NOTE: Although for most Brisbane houses I am confident that I can find the year a house was built, I cannot guarantee this for all houses. I also may not be able to find conclusive evidence of a date of construction, but can usually find "circumstantial evidence" to work out the most likely date. In some cases, I may only be able to narrow it down to a range of a few years and in rare instances I may not be able to establish a date at all. Unfortunately, this is just the nature of historical research, as different sources of information survive for different houses and I never know until I've had a look!

An example of Date of Construction Research (emailed PDF document)

Hourly House History or Family History Research - $200/hour

If you have a specific question you would like answered about your house, e.g if it ever had a name or if there are any old photos of it,  then I recommend hourly research. Alternatively, if you have a family history mystery that you would like me to look into, I also do genealogical research. I charge $200 per hour and a maximum number of hours can be set for these types of requests. However, I am happy to negotiate to suit your budget, or if more research is needed I can extend it, with your approval. If the purchase of historical Certificates of Title for the land, or Birth, Death or Marriage certificates is required, this is an additional cost on top of the hourly research ($30 each), however I will contact you for approval before purchasing them. The results of my research are emailed to you as a PDF, or provided on a USB at additional cost.

An example of Hourly House and Family History Research (emailed PDF document)

Memory Keeper Package -  House History or Family History Books - Contact me for a custom price

Have you already researched the history of your house or family but it's all sitting on your computer never to see the light of day by anyone else? Or have you had to make the difficult decision to sell the family home? I offer a service to capture your special memories, by compiling all your information and photographs into a beautiful, high quality, hardcover "coffee table" book with colour images, so that the whole family can enjoy reading about it!  You can purchase as many or as few copies as you want and choose from a black or white cover.  It makes a great gift for family members and it will become a wonderful memento to be cherished by them forever!

As the time required to undertake this work will vary greatly from client to client depending on the amount of information, number of photographs and detail required, I price each one individually. Contact me now for a custom quote!

Some examples of beautiful "Memory Keeper" hardcover books produced for clients

Pre-Renovation Advice Service - $2100

If you are planning to renovate an old Queensland house, it is important to get to know your house a little better first. By better understanding the age, history, design and construction of your home, you can ensure that your renovation is appropriate and sympathetic and will add the maximum value to your property. This package combines my many years of experience as an architectural historian, as well as my previous employment as a heritage consultant. I will visit your house, work through it room by room with you and discuss your ideas and plans. I will identify the style and era of your house, discuss the original design intent, point out important original features that should be kept if possible and provide advice on the right style of any replacement features (e.g. verandah railings, fences, etc). I'll also answer any questions you may have.  I also email you a PDF report containing my findings and advice, so you can refer back to it as required. 

*Please note that I am not a qualified builder, town planner or architect, so I cannot advise on technical or legal aspects of your plans. 

Contact Me

Want to know more about my house research or want an official quote? Drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!

I'm based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, but I research houses and buildings from all over Australia.

0404 859 008

Or find me on Insta, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest!


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