The Draughtsman who came to look at the place prior to drawing up plans for renovations got out of his car and just said "Bloody hell! Get a bulldozer in"!!!!!
It didn't have any of this turquoise weatherboard upstairs, nor lovely wide veranda. Instead, there was a slopy (and sloppy!) roof made from bits of corrugated iron the bloke (who started building this.
In 1967...) had scavenged from the tip.
And bush poles holding up a veranda that was head height - for him, head-bashing height for me - and only about a metre deep.
Holding up the iron roof were a couple of rafters that were each made of two shorter beams just nailed together. So a bit saggy.
And then no ceiling, just silver insulating foil that was orange from the smoke from his pot-belly stove.
That didn't have a chimney...
The room below was 16' x 32', with brick floors. Mostly.
There were some patches of dirt...
Probably for his 11 dogs to dig in...
It is built of a mixture of mud bricks and rammed earth for the walls. And gaps, The bloke was not very tall, so instead of buying a ladder he left gaps between the tops of the walls and the roof...
There were four small rooms, each 10' square, along the south side (which is the cold side of the house in Australia, like the north side of a house in the Northern Hemisphere) - a laundry, bathroom, junk room, and pantry.
The house is an Alistair Knox design - famous for wonderful mud brick house solar passive designs that were ahead of their time in the 1960s. More information is here and here on this amazing man and his designs.
However - HOWEVER!!!! - the builder of mine was not really a builder. He started, as I said, in 1967 - I found receipts - and in 2002 it was still far from finished! (Not just receipts, but all sorts of stuff - all his bills, wedding TELEGRAMS and cards, piles of newspapers, junk, crap and all sorts of shit. And that was just for starters...)
We took 10 or 12 tip truck loads of rubbish to the tip, as well as having a huge bonfire, that burnt for 2 weeks. We SHOVELLED dirt out of the place.
S4 used to say "This house has nothing but potential" and "This is the only house where you wipe your feet as you leave".
And in other areas there were large areas of dirt he hadn't got around to bricking.
The floor along the western end is mushy concrete, where he didn't add enough cement to the mix, so it is all flaking and dusty.
The floor in the laundry and junk room we ripped up and laid more bricks.
The bathroom floor was mostly easy - it had proper leveller under the vinyl. But only sand
The pantry floor had a great pit in the centre of it, and a hole to the outside world at the bottom of the wall. And holes in the ceiling. I think his idea was to fill the pit with water (and breed mosquitoes) and use it as a cool room. We filled the pit and the wall hole in. And laid more bricks.
He had a generator (which he took with him) and the front door was piled to the ceiling with blown up appliances.
You are all probably crying now, so I wont dwell any more on what was!!!! Now, there is an upstairs with French doors facing South, East and North with little balconies
Ever since I ran out of money back in 2004, and then got sick in 2005 (so no money AND no energy), nothing much more has been done to the house after the initial reno frenzy.
A few months ago, The Sweetheart and I decked the North and South balconies - the East one was done years ago. And we were so clever and worked so well together and it all is such a lovely feeling to be able to walk out onto the balcony instead of balancing on the joists!The upstairs is 16' x 32' - like the downstairs. It
is now my studio - at the North end, and my bedroom at the South, looking out to thousands of acres of State Forest. I only have 5 acres, but the Forest backs right onto my fence so I may as well have a Million Wild Acres!!!
The top photos are the South balcony, and these ones down here are the North balcony. You can see the roof to the rest of the house is higher than the veranda.
This is because there is also a mezzanine - The Shelf which runs along the south side and east-ish side of the big room. The living area has lovely almost double story space, and has wonderful acoustics. Not to mention a great balcony rail to hang quilts over. You may be able to just catch a glimpse on the right of the bottom quilt photo of one of the big posts holding up the roof. They came from Victoria Dock in Melbourne and are over 100 years old.
Here is a bit of rock art S4 did - lots of lovely sandstone around here, just waiting to be used. Lots of rock walls in kit form...
And this is some of the lovely wattle that flowers through most of winter. There are four or five different ones around here which start flowering in June and carry on right through to September. Lovely splash of gold amongst the green of winter.