Monday, 18 March 2013

Renovator's Dream (Part 2)

The Inside Tour

There's really not much to see inside - just five (mainly) empty rooms with your typical Queenslander fixtures such as VJ walls and ceilings, belt rails that go hand-in-hand with single-skin walls,  picture rails, hoop pine flooring and a bit of fretwork. This is the view down the hallway towards the front door.

We are keeping all the existing doors and windows, but I think we may have to invest in some new hardware:

Front door hardware - pretty shabby
Back door - missing some vital things like keys and a door  knob.  Somehow the property manager didn't pick this up during the recent inspection!
The hardware on the bedroom/bathroom doors are all original too:

Amazingly, the hung sash windows are all in tact and move up and down quite easily. A bit of paint and they'll be good as new.

One interesting thing about this house is that there are no breezeways or fanlights above the doors, which was fairly typical of houses built in that era. Our house was built as a rental property by the people who owned and lived in the house (that used to be) next door.  I guess those little details were deleted due to lack of funds at the time of construction. 

And no, there is nothing wrong with my camera lens - the floor is uneven in spots but this will be rectified when the house is re-stumped.

I'm sure there were light fittings attached when we purchased the house.
The timber ceiling has suffered some minor water damage due to a few leaks in the roof. The old green tin roof (circa 1927) is being replaced with a brand new one, along with some much needed insulation. This house is a little sweat box when it's all closed up. Thank goodness the house is sited so that we get some great north-easterly breezes.

Even the light switches are original, somewhere underneath those layers of paint.

One thing that I haven't yet resolved is how the new light switches and power points will be installed without any ghastly conduit. Any ideas?

Exposed electrical cabling
This is the only cupboard in the house - a linen cupboard which is located in the bathroom, that is only marginally better than the one downstairs:

Mould heaven
The one thing I am really impressed about is the hoop pine flooring. It is in such good condition, considering it was laid approximately 80 years ago - no white ant or even the slightest borer damage at all.

So there it is - the good, the bad and the ugly. Next stage - Construction.


  1. Gorgeous floorboards in superb condition. And lovely door hardware too. I miss having double hung windows, our last house had them. Betsy's windows are a dogs breakfast and getting an overhaul, yours will come up a treat. mel x

  2. Love your house.

    We don't have any breezeways above our bedroom doors either...We thought about adding them but then thought it was better to keep as much of the house original - don't want to gussy her up too much.

    And if you find a solution to hide conduit on single skin VJ, do let us know.

  3. That looks like much like ours when we moved it!
    Although we did have light fittings!

    Our conduit really blends in with the walls.
    When we redid the electrics we used a wooden covering to hide the wires and as it is painted the same colour as the walls you really don't notice it.
    And if you put switches in the same spot on either side of the wall you only need conduit on one our living room doesn't have any but the rooms that abut the living room that makes sense? It makes the living room look a bit cleaner and more formal I think.
    Also we put the floor level outlets right on top of the baseboards so the wires come through the baseboards and you don't need any conduit.
    Now we just need to get around to stripping the paint off the original bakelite switches!

  4. This looks exciting. It's so beautifully original. Look forward to watching it all unfold.

  5. Oh - don't replace the door hardware, you can easily get replacement door knobs etc from the local salvage shop. The locks will clean up beautifully, see my blog post on locks. It takes a bit of effort, but well worth it..

    1. And as for the conduits - a good solution for single-skin walls is routed timber conduits, you can pick them up at the antique lighting and hardware shop on Windsor Rd. Salvaged door handles as well!

  6. Love your interior Caroline, looks a lot like ours (both of them).We don't have much in the way of features either, but be thankful for almost an inch of wood for a ceiling. Much nicer than a strapped fibro ceiling. We also had a louvered door cupboard in the bathroom, attached to the brown shower screen,ha , it was the first thing to go. Looking forward to seeing it all done.

  7. A clean way to install wiring in a single-skin house is to use ceiling mounted pull-switches (so all the wires stay up in the ceiling), and to mount power outlets down near the floor (so all those wires stay under the floor).

  8. It's just gorgeous, I agree with someone above who mentioned it being beautifully original, that is the perfect description. And I am so excited to see your home unfold.