And so, little by little, the house becomes a home once again . . .
The main entrance and stairway were altered to allow for a less interrupted living area and a double car garage (to make the most of the available space under the house).
The Kitchen area was brought to the front of the house from the back and the two existing bedrooms and the existing kitchen area were modified to create three bedrooms, laundry and bathroom. Plus a dry sauna. Well, why not?!
We have both travelled and love a dry sauna for the nostalgia, the health benefits and the way it fits into the house and climate. Though a temperate maritime climate, we are on the Southern Ocean and a good southerly wind can sends reveries of Antarctica.
We had talked about colour scheme ideas for over a year but even right up until the absolute hour of final decision (so the painter could purchase paint!) we were only just coming to terms with the colours. Even then, original colours needed changing to make them a bit darker, as once on the weatherboard and rendering material it was still so pale and appeared washed-out. The picture below shows our final impression of how we envisaged the end result.
Our consideration was not only to the colours we liked, but also:
- what would keep in character with the house and its era.
- what would assist with the solar passive abilities of the house.
- a colour to reflect the location of the house near beach, park and mountain.
- and what would also blend in with existing neighbouring houses.
The roses out the front in the middle picture replaced what were originally hydrangeas. These roses were transplanted from Petty French rather than have them bulldozed after the sale of the property. The same roses were put in pots for the renovation and have since been replanted in the new front garden.
The steel frame staircase in the 2015 photograph was moved up the back to enable us to access the back garden beyond the retaining wall. Another was constructed to allow access to the house from the side, enabling a nice open area to permit the double garage.
With the recent completion of all the major work we are now focussing on the project of reducing our debt, clearing more stuff and setting up the garden and outside area. We are coming into winter now as the recent rains remind us, though this should not stop the progress for if we do things right during winter, we’ll gain in the coming of Spring.
We have found that after three and a bit months already – the solar hot water, solar panels, greywater and rainwater systems are operating really well and appear to be adequate for the size of the house and the 3 adults and two Little Fellas contained inside! I’m curious to see how it all works over a good twelve months to two years as we go through different seasons. Heating is going to be interesting as there is no specialised heating source for the house as yet. We wanted to see how the house was to live in. We have noticed however the incredible difference that good insulation has made.