Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Renovator's Dream (or is it a Nightmare) Part 1

I thought I'd give you a little tour of the old girl before work gets underway.

Let's start at the front. Our front fence/gatehouse is looking a little worse for wear. It's not particularly straight and a most of the palings have either rotted or have completely come away.

The front gate - only just hanging there on its rusty hinges

Slight case of wood rot

I'm not sure if the fence is keeping the Bougainvillea up or perhaps it's the Bougainvillea holding the fence up. Either way the fence is beyond repair, so a new one will replace it at a later date.

A little while back we had to do some remedial work as the place had become unsafe. You can see from this photo that a few of the treads on the front stairs have been replaced and others have been "chocked up" with bits of timber to keep them from moving about.

Same with the front verandah - I'm surprised nobody fell through the boards!

I think most of timber on the front verandah (ie flooring, handrails and posts) will need to be replaced.

Original Timber Stumps
Handrails are peeling away from the posts

Here's our laundry that is located in the undercroft:

Trough to be converted into a herb garden
Our bathroom is definitely due for an overhaul - (WARNING: you may want to look away)

Were they trying to achieve an industrial aesthetic with the corrugated iron walls and concrete flooring?

Exposed bathroom shower taps
This original bathroom is also located underneath the cottage. There is a "newer" bathroom upstairs built into a lean-to addition at the rear of the house - both will be demolished.

And it looks like we have squatters - some brush turkeys have built a nest just outside our back door.

These are just some of a handful of things that require fixing and/or replacing. I think the old pine floorboards are the only things that are in good condition (considering their age.) I'll take you through the interior in Part 2.


  1. Oh the horror! lol! She's just waiting for some TLC and a new lease of life. Is that clawfoot bath tub beyond redemption? Edwina from the old post office is doing up hers...xx

    1. When I work out where the light switch is, I'll get a better look at it. We won't be using it for this house, but I'm thinking of hanging onto it for another project. xx

  2. I think our toilet and laundry under the house might be even more horrifying than yours!
    Although I do love our big old cement laundry tubs...can you imagine actually doing laundry in there! That is the real horror!

  3. Even so, I think it is wonderful!

  4. Gosh she makes Betsy look like she's had botox! Actually Betsy's deck is worse but the rest of her is pretty good. That downstairs bathroom is a shocker, for a minute I was thinking surely your tenants hadn't been using that one until you mentioned the second one upstairs. Looking forward to part 2. mel x

  5. OMG Caroline what a task you have !!! but she is a beautiful old girl though... i absolutely adore seeing the original layout and how they set things up :) there is so much history at your home... great pics and love the old wash tub... most parts of our fence and our laundry are not far off yours (i had planned for the tub garden too) russ wanted to throw away the old tub NEVER !!! i wont let him ...

    Great pics and cant wait for part 2 :)


  6. Wow!

    I have been catching up on your post and crikey you have been busy!

    I think you are doing a tremendous job fixing your house. There is definitely a lot of work in there, and that claw-foot tub is divine!

    I have those same troughs and pulled them out of my house when we did the laundry, I can't imagine actually doing laundry in them though.

    I love your frangipanni tree - are you able to keep it, or is it going to be in the way of your build?

    Great pics!

    1. The frangipani tree at the front is definitely staying, and I'm thinking about putting an advanced one next to the terrace in the backyard (near the little semi-circle brick wall.) xx

  7. It's all fixable,that's whats great about these old girls.Keep the laundry sink, keep the bathtub and keep those cool shower fittings, love the shower head.If they are copper they would be great all polished up in your house or would make a great outdoor shower for boys. Are you thinking a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" bathtub chair? Looks so much like the Reno cottage!

  8. Oh she's so lovely though,you're living my dream :-)