It is an old villa that was built in all likelihood in 1914 as part of a development that was designed to create affordable housing for workers in Nelson.
It is in a particularly poor state of repair. You can't see it from this photo, but the lean-to area at the back of the property, which housed the bathroom, kitchen and toilet, can't be lived in at the moment - well not at least with a baby. It has taken three months just to get rid of the mouse poo and urine stench.
It is proving to be a very interesting project. Not only does the property need a HUGE amount of work, it is protected by inclusion in the Elliott St Historic Precinct that recognises the importance of maintaining the houses in the street as an example of early New Zealand housing.
We had to apply for resource consent to approve the renovation work we aim to commence and were worried that this would unduly hold up the project. However we were very pleased to have been granted consent last week, and are now itching for the building consent before we commence the renovation works. The condensed list will see us re pile the house, extend the rear lean-to, renovate the front veranda and redecorate and insulate the entire old house. There are also plans to add a solar hot water cylinder and re-roof but we hope to delay that a little till the funds come through.
In the end we hope that the exterior of the building will look like this:
Will have to post progress photos.
Fortunately we have the house pictured in post Two to stay in while the work is carried out. Even better is the fact that the in-laws, and owners of the big house, are dab hands at renovation work, having fully renovated Hillwood over the last number of years. It is their expertise and support that has allowed us to go full steam into the Elliott St project.
That said, it is proving tricky balancing the demands of the project with a twelve month old baby. So this Sunday I'm on baby sitting duty while the missus is in at the house sanding and scraping (we are re-using all the original lean-to windows and doors etc.). The baby is asleepat the moment and I'm not being the productive domestic goddess that I'm supposed to be. Off now to hang out the nappies, make some vaguely pureed veges and some homemade crumpets for the adults. But while I'm doing that, I'm itching to be at the house...