Living Room

Going from this:                                           To this: 3 years*

lounge3       hpim4093



Or, at.  And for us, this was it.

Bigger than we ever expected the job to be, this project took us 3 years to complete – *because of unforeseen circumstances. From January 2003 until April 2004, we lived without a lounge room, dining room, real bedroom or anywhere to relax in for all this time  – and it was ugly. Very ugly.  Most of this time the whole front of the house consisted of blue bunnings sisalation nailed onto joists. No wall. Very drafy. Why? Read on.

You may have read in previous posts how the ‘front room’ was an old, closed in verandah, ‘constructed’ of single thickness masonite (truly) originally constructed as a verandah in the 40s, and enclosed in the 60’s. Sometime in the 90’s, ALTEC had put on a new enclosure roof.   (NEVER use this company – later you will see why).

The photo below has been highlighted *heaps* so you can see it’s glorious hideousness. It was actually  very dark and dungeon-esque. There were 2 tiny sash windows each side of a *very* suspiciously flimsy sliding glass door. It looked like a tacked on games room – only it was at the front of the house and not the back.

lounge3      lounge51

To the right, you stepped up a brick and tile ‘step’ (see above) into the ‘sitting/lounge’ room. (This became the master bedroom). And to the extreme right, a built in bar complete with mirror tiles and ship in a bottle. (Directly ahead was an awful wall with a table built into it – housing a SKULL with a candle inside. This tasteful entry way statement, sadly, had to go, too.)   Once cleaned, and the table and bar ripped out, we live in it for 8 weeks or so whilst we clean everything else in the house.  You can see the temporary loungeroom below – and a glimpse of that dining room which became the master bedroom.  Take note of the exposed sloping beams, the lime green walls, the tiled sloping floor. And that doorway to the right? Leads to the loo with a view.     When you entered the 1960’s aluminium unpowdercoated glass door, a sloping tiled floor awaited your feet. There was a 1 inch drop, sloping from the side affixing the house, to the side where you can see the doors.  The roof sloped to the same angle, and exposed beams sloped too – giving a strange feel to the room – rather like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  So, we cleaned it up and removed the curtains, and lived in the lime greeness for a year or so.

lounge21     lounge4

In January 2003, Santa brought us a sledghehammer. This room was demolished and the entries sealed up with plastic as we gutted this room completely back to a floorless verandah, the rebuilt.  Below, you can see how the ALTEC company had roofed over the old verandah in an inverted ‘T’ shape, with part of it being re-constructed as a lean to in th 1990s. The wall you can see being removed is what was laughingly referred to as the loungeroomwall in the Real Estate ad. We doubt it was legal. You can also see how we removed one end of the tiles and scaled down supports to be able to build an even floor of recycled floorboards in keeping with the rest of the house.

boards   windows2

We finish the room in December 2004, just in time for Christmas. (yay!) All that’s left to do in here is sand the floors and she’s finished.  The plan is ready to move ahead come late January.


14 January 2004 – and Brisbane is struck by the worst storms and cyclonic activity it has seen for many years.

Our far northern beachside suburb was badly affected.  The ALTECcompany roof seams failed. The insulation bats filled with water until they became so heavy they saturated the ceiling and the ceiling fell in. The newly renovated lounge room and all it’s contents were destroyed.  Damage to furniture was beyond repair. Insurance were fantastic. Butthe main problem with our water damage was the ALTEC roof for the patio had been incorrectly fitted from the beginning. 3 independent roofers and the insurance company all agreed. *BUT* ALTECwould NOT honour their so-called 10 year warranty. They told us to take them to court.  They told us it would cost us more to prove them wrong than was worththe cost of the repairs.  Their warranty – not worth the paper it’s printed on. The insurance company agreed to settle ut of court and we were awarded replacement cost of goods only, and damages,  but the roof remains.

So we start this room again, only not quite to the extreme.

Finally, come December 2006, the room is finished. The paint is painted, the plasterers plastered and new furniture is in place. This room took foreverdue to the insurance claims. At least it was secure, so we were able to continue with the rest of the house – and by then we were working on the bedroom, kitchen and laundry project.

So, here we have the completed room, with floors sanded in 2008.  Finally.


Specs: Walls, VJs and dado rails all painted antique chalk white USA. Hand plastered mouldings (not prefrabricated).  Floorboards from an old school house in Gympie and laid by us. Antique silky oak casement windows from Big Red Shed installed by us.  Guests furniture couches, woollen rug from Freedom, Long low TV cabinet from Country Living. (Flat screen TV from ALDI!!!)

You can see all of the loungeroom renovation photosrenovation photos here (along with the finished house, if you like).