Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Retro House Facade

This is the first photo I saw of my house (and the very first time I ever clapped eyes on it.)

I'm not sure what appealed to me so much , maybe it was the retro palm tree and great architectural angles. I think I was attracted to the white brick too. Either way, something grabbed me enough to ring the real estate agent and ask for a look through.

Whilst attracted to small retro details like the palm tree and the white pebbles, the practical reality of these things soon kicked in. The palm tree was cracking all the concrete paths/carport and the pebbles were either getting eaten or thrown at the windows by the two year old. We decided to remove them. I love the retro design of the windows and the shape of the house but they all needed serious maintenance. The windows were completely replaced with double glazed new ones (but still in the same shape) and aluminium Colourbond flashings were placed over all the rotting facia boards.

The shiplap timber above all the windows and doors needed replacing so we bought extra to use as a feature timber fence along the front of the house. It has given us privacy as well as more enclosed yard space.

We had the old driveway ripped up and a double width one installed in a charcoal colour. Where the old palm was, we've paved.

Kai staring out as me from the hall window!

Whilst not as retro any more, the house is still a 60's beauty but now with a modern touch.

Old colours have been replaced with dark and more modern tones (Colourbond Monument) and whilst we didn't replace the old roof, we had it spray painted to match the windows and facia boards.

And of course, a new letterbox to top it all off!

I love how the house has come along but there is still plenty to do. I need to plant a garden and Karcher clean the bricks. Not to mention new paths and tiling the porch (I'll leave that to Roge!) but what has been done has made a world of difference to the street appeal of the house. It was attractive before, it felt really original 60's but it desperately needed some TLC and some updates to meet our needs.

The changes we've made have made the house exterior quite low maintenance. The exterior of the windows are aluminium as are the new facias. The timber fence will need a new coat of oil every two years but apart from that, a quick clean with the Karcher cleaner from time to time will hopefully be all it needs.

The main costs:

Driveway $14500 (employed a tradie to do)
Fence shiplap $3500 (material cost only, we did the work)
Facias $1350 (material cost only, we did the work)
Painting $4000 (employed a tradie)
Paving $500 (we had some pavers already, just needed to buy a few more and we did the work)

Note: some of these costs could be made cheaper if you did it yourself ie. the painting and some of the cost were cheaper because we did them ourselves.

I hope that I've done the house justice and haven't ripped the soul out of it! I don't think I have but it's something I think about when making the changes that we have. It's a fine balance to keep the house's 60's integrity but make it meet the needs of a growing family in 2014. What do you think?


  1. I think it looks fantastic - as you say... maintains that 60s feel whilst being totally updated, functional and modern (with better colours and a much more reasonable chimney, haha!). Great job!

    Hope you are doing well!

    1. Hi there Sarah, great to hear from you.

      Thanks for your tick of approval, it's nice to be reassured that I haven't completely ruined the retro house! And yes, the colours are sooooooo much better aren't they! I'm not much for the traditional reds and greens (spew).

      We're doing great, busy but great. How about you guys? It's getting cold isn't it. I don't spend a lot of time outside at the mo and when I do I have my big puffer jacket on.

      Anyhoo, it's that time again (tea time). Keep well.


  2. We're doing good! Heading back to Canada for a holiday this coming Thursday, so busy preparing for that. We're having some painting done while we are away, so I'm busily tucking things away and prepping the lounge and study rooms as well. Lots going on!

    It is getting cold! But the sunshine is glorious. We just spent the morning at the Tamar wetlands and it was lovely.

    Hey - renos question for you.... can you recommend anyone to custom build an interior door? We are looking to bust a major hole in our lounge to open it up, but want the option of closing the door for sound and heating purposes. We had one quote for double French doors and it was $2500! Maybe I'm nuts but that was double what I would have expected to pay back home. Ideas??

    Take care!

    1. Yay, a holiday!! Even better, a holiday that is somewhere warm!! I hope you have an awesome time.

      In regards to your french doors. Yes, I do know a company who I like very much (did all my doors and joinery), they're called Anstie Constructions.

      Alternatively, I have a thought....are you after glass panelled french doors (you're classic type) or something more custom? If you simply want wooden, glass panelled doors and can work with a standard size door (820mm wide) then I'd buy two standard doors off the rack from Bunnings. They cost about $150 each. I'd then employ a carpenter to build a door jam and fit them. That would be sooooo much cheaper. It all depends on whether you can incorporate standard size doors tho?

      Anyhoo, if that isn't a go-er then definitely get a quote from Andrew and Megan Anstie. They don't care if the job is only little, they do ANYTHING and they are very good at what they do.

      Good luck. I hope the painting, packing and painter co-ordinating goes well! Have a wonderful holiday if I don't hear back from you and we'll chat when you get back.