Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Life

I love my Life at Number 10...but Once Upon a Time, I had another life at Number 3

Some years ago when I was moving around with work, I bought a small cottage in a provincial Victorian was pretty awful. No, let me correct that. It was HORRENDOUS! Most of the advice I got was to demolish it and start again because it wasn't livable...Even my Mum, who doesn't mind the odd renovation and a bit of hard work was not enthusiastic. In fact, she was downright miserable regarding my prospects of getting this house to a point where I could live in it, with you know, electricity and running water.

But I had a vision...and not much money and I was determined to make it better. I also did some research into the property and found that it dated back to the 1850's. How could you demolish that?

The ceilings are the shape of an upturned boat...I had them sand blasted to get them back to the original timber. The walls were all pieces of packing boxes and plywood held together with newspaper and old wall paper...I pulled them out, with some help and plastered the place.

The kitchen still has it's little wood stove which I used to cook with and to heat the house. It was fabulous!

I saved like crazy and was eventually able to extend the house, with another bedroom...

...and another living area

I spent quite a few years in my little cottage, and when I moved interstate I didn't have the heart to sell it, so rented it out.

But this past weekend MONT and I had to pay my little cottage a visit because it needs some major work done.

You see, the general way to build a timber house is to lay foundations, then lay the joists and bearers so the floorboards have something to be nailed to...not this house. There are no stumps. The joists and bearers lay directly on the ground with the floorboards on top.

The small bedroom at the front of the house measures around 3.3 metres by 2.6. It was just big enough for a double bed, a small bedside table and a small wardrobe. Unfortunately though, some water has been getting in and the floor in there is now rotten...or should I say, it was rotten. It's now gone and the room is back to it's original state of having a dirt floor....just like the 1850's!

So, what next...maybe pour a concrete floor in there and replace the carpet...not entirely sure yet. Stay tuned.


  1. AH i would love to be able to work on a project like that!!

  2. Oh Kellie, if only you could've seen it when I first bought it. My friends all thought I was really crazy and way out of my depth. I'm trying to find some old photos of it pre-renovation. Fingers crossed I can lay my hands on them and scan them for you


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