I have decided to document our renovation at our last house in Sylvia Road, Hillcrest over the next few days. Sadly, we have had three laptops crash over the last couple of years and a LOT of our photos were lost. In fact, most of our 'before' shots are gone so you will have have to just imagine what it was like before, I will do my best to paint a visual picture for you! lol. This house was a real labour of love and even now, I can vividly remember every project, both big and small. Here is a photo of our little house once we had finished.:-)
We moved into Sylvia Road in March 2007 and were there until early May in 2009. We had been looking for another home closer to the city for several months but nothing was in our price range and we had just missed out on my dream home at auction. I was devastated and lost all enthusiasm to house hunt anymore. One Friday afternoon we decided to go for a drive and look around some of the streets in Hillcrest, a suburb we were keen to buy in. We drove past this house and Taff immediately jumped out and started talking to the two agents who were just locking up. It was a deceased estate in original condition on a full site, with an extra wide section. It was everything he was looking for...and everything I wasn't. At the time we had a very small baby and a toddler and what I really wanted was a larger house, not a massive section with a tiny shoebox on site! Nevertheless, we both recognised that it was an opportunity to move into the area and it was in our price range. :-)
Rosie was becoming more active and I knew that Harry would be mobile in a few short months and we were rapidly running out of space at Sunnyhaven. I was constantly tripping over toys and running into Rosie who would ride her little bike in a small circuit through the house. Little did I know, it would be far more challenging at Sylvia Road! There was such an overwhelming response from buyers that we were forced into a 'Tender' situation, having to put in our best price. We reluctantly did so, and definitely overpaid so it wasn't a surprise to hear that we were successful with our offer. In hindsight, we purchased this house at the very peak of the 'boom' in the real estate market and shortly after we moved in, the market dropped dramatically.
These photos were taken midway through the renovation so I will try and describe what we were faced with. This house was 10 square metres smaller than our house at Sunnyhaven and was essentially a 2 bedroom cottage...actually it was more like a bach. I was able to vacuum the entire house from one power point in the hallway, that is how small it was. It had no driveway, an overgrown hedge and a massive amount of decaying foliage just wedged between the tool shed wall and the fence out the back. The house was bright green on the outside, similar to this colour:
It was complemented with a brown roof, a peeling brown deck and my favourite feature, the front door that wasn't even an exterior door...it was an internal bedroom door! On the inside everything was absolutely original and there was wood panelling and dark colours everywhere. In addition, there were hundreds of little holes everywhere in the walls, made from nails and pins. It was not in a state where we could move in, so we requested early access in exchange for a larger deposit. The trustees granted us our request and Dad and Taff spend many, many long days and nights there to try and get it into a habitable state by settlement.
They were able to complete most of the internal painting, waterpoof the bathroom and have the builder come in and build us a wall in the lounge room to create a third bedroom. We also managed to get the carpet and vinyl in the living area and kitchen ripped up so that the floors could be sanded and polished before settlement. Just recalling all these memories fills me with mixed feelings. There were things I loved about Sylvia Road and things I really struggled with, but with the passing of time, the really challenging aspects are fading and I am remembering the great memories we had there. In fact, just writing about it is therapeutic for me! :-)
There is so much more to come and each day I will focus on a different aspect of the renovation.