The impending arrival of our second bub has spurred us into renovating another room. The room we have referred to as the "termite room" due to the hole in the floor will be done up and used as a bedroom. We have a bit of work ahead as the floor has a few rotten boards that need replacing, the electrical work will have to be redone and the lintel above the external doorway has rotted and will need to be replaced. Carpeting and painting will also need to be redone.
The somewhat daunting view from the kitchenette door.
From the other side of the Filing Cabinets
The window, anyone for a cuppa?
Looking back from the external doorway
A close up of the rotten lintel taken from outside the external door.
After a day's work we have removed most of the junk and redistributed it to other parts of the house, at least we can see what we are up against. The house was originally plumbed for both town and acteylene gas, this room still has it's sconce on the wall. We found the burner outside on the wood heap.When we had removed the top layer of lino, which had been painted green there was some even older lino laid face down against the eastern wall, we found a copy of the West Australian dated 1908 with this lino. Interesting that a copy of this paper which has the stamp of the Mechanics Institute on it should make it's way to Yass.
Looking towards the external door which leads to the enclosed verandah on the eastern side of the house
A view back towards the kitchenette, the gas sconce is to the right of the door
Old lino which was under the top layer and used as underlay
A copy of the West Australian dated December 1 1908, this was stuck to the back of the old lino above.
The termite damage that gave the room it's name.
After cleaning out the room we have started repairing the floorboards, its been a relief to find that as with the lounge the termite damage is fairly minimal and easily repaired using the boards we recovered from the bathroom. We have also replaced the sash cords in the window and stripped a few layers of paint from the sashes prior to repainting them.
Termite damage removed from boards prior to fitting replacement timber
Initials carved into the top of the lower sash. We're assuming Keith Barber, the previous occupant of the house when he was a boy which would make the graffiti nearly eighty years old.
We are preparing for our stonemason, George Ranken from Goulburn to re plaster the walls and repair the damage to the masonry outside the house
A large piece of cement render needed to be removed from the wall and replaced with lime based plaster
Frantic work is progressing as the arrival of our new bub gets closer, I took a week off and removed the iron from the roof, vacuumed the cavity and put insulation in the roof. I also needed to replace the top of the doorframe, thankfully the Ironbark lintel was as straight and solid as when it was put there 145 years ago. Painting is also progressing.
The new doorframe fitted
The wall has been replastered and the roof painted
A coat of paint does wonders, we used Porters Limewash on the walls, as well as being historically correct it hides a multitude of sins due to it's texture.
In the foreground you can see the plumbing for the acetylene lighting system, after repairing the battens I put in some pink batts to insulate the room
Under the tarp the limestone capping had cracked and allowed water to flow down through the wall. George replaced the capping with sandstone and repaired the damage.
The finished product, we remounted the gas jet and the carpet has been laid
After completing the new room George has been doing what we originally hired him to do, that is repairing the chimneys. We received a $1000 heritage grant from Yass Council toward the cost of the works. At least we won't have to worry about the chimneys being blown over in a storm anymore. George has been removing and relaying the top six or so courses, removing the old mortar from the remainder of the chimneys and repointing them. We also installed some mesh near the top of the chimneys to add some more strength and to prevent possums from falling down the flues, one 4 am encounter with a chimney sweeping possum running amok in our bedroom was enough!