The house ‘Alan Dale’ belonging to Johnson & Tessa, located right next to the Jubilee Mission Hospital, Thrissur, looks like any other typical modern house you see around.
But this house has another face, another tale that dates back to 15 to 20 years. When Tessa saw the house for the first time, she never thought it would be fit to live ever, with the rowdy grass sprouting from even the terrace! Exactly why Johnson and the engineer Sajan made sure she was brought back only when the work was completed.
The house was almost 20 years old and was in a dilapidated state as the owner was abroad. Built in an Australian architectural style, there were doubts as to whether remodelling could be done and to what extent this was possible.
Leakage was the major issue with the house. This was because the concrete on the sunshade had washed away. The structure though was intact and solid enough. The other problem was that the rooms appeared too small for their liking. As these could be easily rectified, Johnson decided to go ahead with buying the house.
Rain–proofing the house
Whenever it rained, it was more like it rained inside the house too! The structure of the house was strong and they felt it was best to prevent the leakage by giving a sheet roofing. Atop the slanting roof, a frame as high as 1 feet was given and shingles was stuck onto this. GI Sheets were used in the corners or in places that weren’t front–facing.
Resizing the rooms
The work area adjacent to the kitchen and a bedroom on the top floor were the rooms that required resizing. The rooms are built in such a way to give the impression of a 3- storey home. From the sit out, the entryway leads to the living room. The entry to the master bedroom is also through here. A second level that is around 4 to 5 steps high has the dining area and the family living area. A bedroom is at this level too.
The rooms are in line with the existing height level of the plot. The kitchen opens onto the wash area that is near the dining room. From the wash area, you can go down a few steps to get into the master bedroom.
The first landing of the staircase has been fitted with a computer console, and another room comes in this portion too. While the next bedroom is on the third level. All the bedrooms are bath-attached. Apart from this, there are two common bathrooms in the house. The bathroom of the master bedroom is huge and almost as big as a room itself. Adjacent to this bedroom is a walk –in wardrobe.
According to the engineer Sajan, they had just 2 months’ time for all the renovation works. And they have tried to do the maximum in this short span of time. The flooring wasn’t altered much. It was just given a classy marble polish.
The old house had a ceiling done up using brick tiles that had aged very much. This had to be covered up in every room using a false ceiling. The major expenses here were incurred for this purpose. After a putty finish and painting, the walls got a brand new look.
The plumbing, electrical fittings and sanitary wares were entirely replaced. The cupboards and tiles in the kitchen were redone. Some of the doors of the inner rooms were changed whereas the rest of the doors and windows were just painted white to go with the home’s interior theme.
Renovating a home does not mean that you go outright and bring down the whole house. You need to take a sensible stock of what can be retained and what needs to be replaced. Blindly remodelling without considering the existing structure will only lead to unnecessary and exorbitant expenses. This can be avoided with a little practical thinking.
When you buy an old house, always check the terrace first for leakage. If this calls for truss works, choose a home depending on the cost factor involved. Most often the flooring, plumbing and electrical works will need to be redone. This can be done easily with the help of an electrical or plumbing layouts. It is also important to overlook the position of the septic tank.