webuser_887393954

Ideas for house in flood area

fianou luca
3 months ago

Hi, I have a house in a flood zone. It's a 1940s art deco house that got raised up 1.5 storeys after the '54 flood. It had a 90s byron boho/mediterranean update and now has lots of random colours including hot pink and purple! We can see a lot of potential and plan to give the house a lot of love and see it looking more art deco streamline and elegant. There are lovely tropical gardens coming along, it looks over horse paddocks and its a short walk to the village in the northern rivers. Future plans include banishing the pumpkin orange on the stucco and removing asbestos cladding and replacing with matte white colorbond. We will restump too and create a huge deck under the house with a jungalow vibe. Because we do regularly get floods that come up, last big one in 2017, we can put much under the house. There are no upstairs verandahs as they were closed in for a newer 90s bathroom, upstairs toilet (circa 1960s) and sleepout. Currently the laundry is down there and we have 2 problems.

  1. where to squeeze a laundry upstairs? is it weird to put it in the bathroom?
  2. where can we store our tools? (btw we don't have many) there is no option to have a shed as it would go under water.
    we plan to have a big entertaining deck with a light cane setting we can lift up in a flood, and the car under there (again moved out in flood). But there is still heaps of room under there. I have 3 kids who homeschool.
  3. what else could we use downstairs for?
    Does anyone else have any interesting ideas? We would rather not extend the footprint of the house too much.

Comments (47)

  • dreamer
    3 months ago

    Floor plan and photos would help?

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    This is my inspiration for the house style, but of course there won't be any rooms downstairs.

  • Related Discussions

    Brand new house — awkward living area space

    Q

    Comments (9)
    Well, I guess you first need to think what you really want to use the space for. Will it be your main TV viewing area? (If so, I'd cosy it up with a big rug first). It's a shame to use it as a TV area though, since that means blocking off the sliding doors with furniture. I'm guessing at the moment you don't need as a little kids play area or teenagers homework area - but how about a home office, or even gym/workout area? (There's a great article on Houzz today about making smart home gym spaces: [https://www.houzz.com.au/magazine/step-up-your-workout-zone-with-10-simple-additions-stsetivw-vs~39722244[(https://www.houzz.com.au/magazine/step-up-your-workout-zone-with-10-simple-additions-stsetivw-vs~39722244).) Or, given, the sliding doors and tiles, how about a conservatory? An indoor herb garden, with some orchids, ferns and maybe even a small palm? Do you have a craft or hobby that could use a dedicated area? I'm thinking artistic types would love to turn the space into a mini studio - or I could let the person with whom I share my life play with his car parts there . . . (tiles! easy to clean up!) Of course, whichever option you choose for the space, I'd keep the cat climbing frame and snuggle-pod!
    ...See More

    1980`s house, should I keep verandahs or convert it onto living area?

    Q

    Comments (42)
    Hi there Nick, looking at your photos you look like a modern hamptons family which is lovely, do you live in a warm climate. I did like the photo you posted of the open plan living and think that you are on the right track with interior colours I have marked out how I would like the first floor, I have moved the kitchen to the end wall to line up with BBQ outdoor kitchen, plumbing for this would have easy access via the garage below. The white tiles look lovely and hard wearing for the entrance foyer and Rumpus room, the stairs in timber due to the amount of traffic even continuing in up stairs foyer kitchen dining living, Carpet in bedrooms and downstairs theater. Kitchen in white but possibly Shaker style white doors these are very popular. Using existing sliding exterior doors if possible from kitchen.Dining to verandah, I think this ceiling would be best kept white to help reflect light back indoors, the tiles appear to be in good order but you might consider changing these along with new upstairs flooring Some where for a laundry shute would be handy, actually a Dumb Waiter so you could move the laundry with ease both up and down! The roof painted a soft colour, grey/white or off white, the verandah railing could be the same colour or you could do glass. The builder had a very different style of house to what I think you are wanting. Your photo
    ...See More

    Building a home? Here are some idea's on how to bring more light in.

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Hi Nick, thanks for that, lets hope there is a lot of building happening in SA cheers
    ...See More

    Help! Outside the box contemporary shade ideas for pool area

    Q

    Comments (10)
    Yep I agree with this structure, think it'd be great. Louvres might work, but I'd love to be able to pull most of the shade right back if possible and they wouldn't let me do that. It IS a reasonable sized area so it's complicated. Need it over the decking mostly, but it'd be a bonus if it could shade some of the pool. Considered a fixed arm awning on a similar structure....
    ...See More
  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    This is my back of house inspiration

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    but again no rooms downstairs!

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    This is what the house looks like now. The downstairs is on woodenposts that is not real brick underneath but rather some sort of chicken wire and concrete combination.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    This is the floor plan

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Now the floor plan is not how it actually is right now, but what we are aiming towards. we've rebuilt the front stairs. we've fitted out the office. the kitchen and bathroom are where they are and we're avoiding moving them. the dining area is currently just a waste space near the backdoor with an old loo we plan to move into the bathroom. this is really not to scale, as I find it so hard to draw up to scale, the bathroom actually pretty big, but I'm not sure its big enough for a laundry and toilet as well. beds 3 and 4 are currently a sleepout. the front living area is a bedroom right now but not for long.

  • C P
    3 months ago

    I think your inspo ideas look fabulous. I just can't imagine undertaking a massive renovation on a house with such significant flood issues. would your local council even approve anything? Sorry I realise that's absolutely no help whatsoever.

  • pottsy99
    3 months ago

    Seeing this , your question about the louvre windows makes a lot more sense -- the house is as I imagined it by your descriptions , except I didn't realise how it was lifted .


    And that would be my first question that I'd investigate ( presumably you already have , as you have done the office etc ) -- what is the basement engineering like ? I have no experience of flood properties , but 70 years of water on and off must take some life off timber , steel , cement , even chicken wire haha . Even power , plumbing and maybe underfloor insulation must have higher than average degradation and corrosion ?


    That aside , I assume you have looked at your priorities as far as space goes -- you have 2 living areas , an office , but only 1 bathroom , no laundry , no 'spare' storage , Bed 2 in particular looks smallish , the bathroom is off the dining , etc , etc .


    I can't work out if you have a terrace in front of your kitchen , in fact it almost looks like you have moved the kitchen wall in to make a terrace ?


    With 3 children and home-schooling , I probably would have gone for 1 slightly larger living area , but a study area ( I assume the office is for you ? ) as well , and personally also tried to fit the laundry and a second bathroom there too . Two living areas is nice , but I wouldn't have done that at the expense of a laundry and second bathroom .


    If anything , I would have considered a second 'living' and rumpus area downstairs -- yes , I know about not being able to supervise children , but just as an example , if you entertain adults reasonably often , MAYBE have that area area downstairs , and you could 'have fun' working out the technical issues -- maybe have a TV that swings up so it sits flat against the roof ? Maybe one of those long low glasss fronted bar fridges or wine cellars mounted against the ceiling and/or able to drop down ?


    In the 'old days' of lego and barbies and bullrush , you could have childrens area there , but these days when you need 45 USB sockets , 6 monitors , a 100" tele , and as much computing power as NASA , thats out of the thoughts .


    Presumably the mains power is either mounted on the roof and/or able to be turned off , but you almost certainly couldn't have floor lamps or spa pools or computer networks or power tools downstairs , but I assume spades and garden forks would be okay -- maybe even have fun and make a flat punt that floats to store the lawn mower on ? I quite like challenges . . . . . . . . .

  • Kate
    3 months ago

    Love the inspiration pics. Can you draw up the floor plan to scale with dimensions as it is now.
    Storage on a floatable bed sounds great idea. Or on a pulley system that can be raised

    fianou luca thanked Kate
  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    CP, it's pretty common to have houses raised in this area. If your house is not clinging precariously to a hillside its down on a flood plain. Lots of people have granny flats or rooms downstairs but of course they always get flooded and I don't want that cost. the floods are regular, but they are not usually catastrophic they gently rise and fall over a day or 2. The upside to the hills is you are out of flood, but there are always issues with water run off. the upside to the floodplain is a flat yard with no reactive soils that shrink and contract. None of these houses were built with engineers, its rare to find stormwater drains even. our stumps are in good condition and are lovely hardwood, but they were never concreted in, so we will replace them with steel for longevity, and maybe reuse the timber stumps for the decking. I am in the rainbow region, its rural, but also its increasingly gentrified as its hinterland byron, so its very lifestyle! I have horses over the back fence, geese and chickens wandering down the lane and i can walk to the cafes and shops and I always see someone I know. The area is populated with well-travelled retirees, intellectuals, hippies, organic farmers, artisans, artists, and professionals who want a slower pace, but they all like pretty houses with gardens. There are a lot of bells and whistles that aren't needed. The housing stock is old but they are worth a lot. We were lucky to find something that doesn't need any major repair, and was a bargain. It was neglected a bit over the years. It's worth the investment, and as we peel back the layers and fix little things it shows its a lovely old house. I've done a lot of research into art deco and, while I never liked it before, I really admire it now! I'm landscaping in lush tropicals which should help with the tropical deco vibe. But almost wanted to paint it miami deco pink, but it's probably not wise haha.

  • pottsy99
    3 months ago

    Without getting too sidetracked , here in NZ we have 'twin cities' called Napier and Hastings , which are about 20-25kms apart , and were struck by an earthquake in 1931 . A lot of the central business districts were rebuilt in Art Deco .


    Probably the most famous is the Rothmans building in Napier ( google it everyone haha -- it is absolutely stunning ! ) . Here are a few pics of other ones ( these ones are Hastings from memory ) --








    Even note the street lights -- modern LED made to look 90 years old !

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    looks similar to the buildings my main street.

  • pottsy99
    3 months ago



    Around 2010 , this building ( the former Rothmans building ) had to change its name as it is illegal to display tobacco brands !

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    With your Deco house being in the Hinterland with a flood challenge, for me I would consider doing Med- Deco that would work beautifully with your tropical garden. The lower level would be simple concrete or tiled, with formed concrete seating around the perimeter that could have cushions for comfort. these are easy to remove and clean up would be hosing down and possibly using a Karcher to help.

    This first photo gives a basic idea of what I'am suggesting, the link is Elle Decor showing an historic Miami house, You can choose to go with colour or just simple white,

    Miami Beach is a great place to visit for many things,even just to see the Deco buildings in all their glory.

    https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/house-interiors/g29775852/alex-alonso-historic-med-deco-miami-home-listing/


    fianou luca thanked siriuskey
  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    You may also find this interesting

    https://www.storiesbysoumya.com/art-deco-in-mumbai/

    fianou luca thanked siriuskey
  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Very cool Siriuskey. I have looked at some asian art deco for tropical inspiration, singapore has some cool ones, but I hadn't read that article! What does the med in med-deco stand for? I really like that concept from Elle! Though there are some complications with using concrete.... I have a good builder though so I'm sure with some tweaking we could get a similar look. There are Highly reactive soils in our area... the ridge is called Fairymount and I'd like to think that refers to the way the soil 'dances'. It's not as bad on the flood plain but it does still swell and contract. slabs and concrete walls can easily crack with all the movement. But if the concrete isn't load-bearing and there is not one massive slab but sections of slab that can move a bit it could work? Our builder designed our new steel staircase so it can wiggle and he will restump with adjustable tops. I'm not a massive fan of concrete slabs as they really hurt my legs when I walk on the,, but they do suit the art deco style and can be housed out easily. I'll certainly consider something like that! I like the built in bench seating idea.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    Med - Mediterranean /Spanish revival which is big in Miami, You could look at floating concrete , you must have got a DEAL to buy into that position?

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    @siriuskey I googled med-deco.... interesting. I think the owners who bought it in the nineties were going for a mediterranean vibe. They painted it orange, made that faux rendered brick cladding at the bottom of the facade, and laid terracotta tiles in the kitchen and dining room. Not a bad idea, I guess, and I know that mediterranean look was all the rage back then. But I hate the orange! They moved the bathroom from where the office is (I found pink terrazzo mosaic pieces under the house) and enclosed a section of sunroom at the back. I don't like the location, as there is an amazing view out there, but I wont' move the bathroom unless it needs rebuilding down the track. And the original bathroom was tiny and without a toilet! They also laid terracotta tiles through the kitchen and dining. they are nice, but have cracked so badly with the movement of the house so have to go! it's just too big an area to have rigidly tiled. Retro style lino would be more appropriate I think.

    My first thought was to paint the house white at the front asap. but you do get used to having a weird coloured house. It makes it easy to find. The miami deco houses with mint green and pastel peach and pink are soooo cute. I loved all the colours on the Indian deco. I have Indian heritage so it appeals a lot.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Design-wise its a weird house. Art deco houses were never meant to be raised up on posts! It's challenging to try and stay true to the style. The original house would have been so stylish. the loungeroom floors have alternating blackbean boards in light and dark stains. There was an epic fireplace between the loungeroom and kitchen, but not even 4 years after it was built it was flooded and raised and the fireplace demolished. The bricks are all under the house. there is a really awkward patch in the floor which we'll have to do something about. The original entry path was through 2 palms which got blocked off when they raised the road. It's a shame they didn't just raise the whole front yard! Even the 90s reno never got finished. The owner we bought it off said straight up to us they had no intention of fixing anything and just wanted to move out when it got too run down. They weren't into houses and renovation which I totally understand. It has beuatiful silky oak trim in the hall which we found after stripping off the dark blue gloss paint. It's been a disappointed house and it really shouldn't have been, so it means a lot to us to let it finally shine, I know a lot of people wouldn't bother but an art deco house can be really cool, as long as I try and let the style subtly flow through the whole build. Luckily there is no one design in art deco and many houses were unique. I've looked at cuban art deco too, as they tended to be less ornate.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    I thought you had, Miami has beautiful Deco houses and buildings and is in a tropical climate which should work for you with your garden. You can do the all white but I would go with your gut feeling and perhaps call on your Indian heritage for inspiration, Singapore also has good examples, So your house can combine all of this into Australian- Deco

    I would have a chat to a flooring expert builder to see what would be the best way to go with flooring, lino could be great, Lino Planks laid on a single underlay with stress joints might work too, Is the house on acerage

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    If you add dimensions to your hand drawn plan it will be easier to make suggests, along with interior photos cheers

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Argh... but then you'll see all the mess!

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    It does look gorgeous, I would like to live somewhere like that and have started searching

    Don't worry about anything, living in a reno I always think gives you licence to be a bit messy, more important things to do

    Is the house in the first picture for sale?

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    No it's not acreage, just a little town block, with borrowed acreage views. behind those trees is the river and the main street is just 5 minutes away.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I grew up in a neighbouring village but my neighbour was from here... she recently passed at 97! she used to say that this was the centre of the universe and then start a story that proved it. The current town motto is 'come for a day and stay for a lifetime'. because so many people passthrough and bought a house and stayed. I live in Kyogle if you want to check it out. It's a fair way inland from byron, but half hour from lismore, 20 mins to nimbin and you can get directly to brisbane via lions rd or via murwillumbah. The average price is around $300,000. Ours was well below that.... Sadly no that house is not for sale. It sold recently, and belonged to a decent acreage right in town. the owners moved the white queenslander over behind in at the start of last year and are fixing it up. they rent that one out.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I actually think I've found the solutions. I think I'll just put the laundry AND tool shed in a cupboard out on the back deck. I can put a retractable clothesline out there too. It would also act to insulate the bathroom a bit from western sun.

    I also found a great concept for downstairs here on Houzz. I don't believe this is solid brick wall, I think it's just cladding so I could maybe use colorbond matte cladding, the more flat profile so it can be pressure cleaned after a flood. I absolutely LOVE the shutters and this company is at burleigh heads so I could probably use them. We can use part of downstairs as a carport and some as an outdoor room.

    Custom Timber Shutters · More Info


    Custom Timber Shutters · More Info


  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    Thought you were near Kyogle, going by your refferrence to the mountain, that's included in our search. And yes love the Med - Deco Vibe

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    The Florida style shutters would work in whatever colour as they push up and away from any water, so install them so that they can swing inwards and be fixed to the ceiling

    Key West Residence · More Info


  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Yes they're nice too! They'd probably be cheaper than the arched shutters, but I do love the arch. I could use these upstairs though. Well @siriuskey if you find a property you like out our way, don't hesitate to ask me any questions. I can give you all the local intel haha. I can certainly say the lifestyle up here is great. If you like a larger acreage, the areas between Kyogle and Lismore are lovely, close to a bigger town 15-20mins drive, and mostly out of flood. So check out Jiggi, Larnook, Cawongla, Bentley, Rock Valley.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    Thank you, could most likely do the hinged shutters the same way with the arches. Yes we have been looking at Northern NSW, one of our kids were born in Coffs Harbour

    If you hear of any with an airstrip please let me know

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Have you considered Coramba, its a really cute spot near coffs, You mean an airstrip ON the property or nearby?

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    On a property with a small cottage so we can attach a Liveable Shed nothing flash

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Nooo... I haven't heard of that, but Casino and lismore both have small airports used for recreational planes. Or could you build your own airstrip?

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    No, there are private grass airstrips on a lot of properties, we looked at one a few years ago which had the strip to the right with a Hanger and beautiful large dam with water lillies on the left

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    oh wow! i had no idea!


  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    Farmers use light aircraft 185, 206, Barons etc single and twin engines, along with Helicopters for all sorts of reasons apart from just loving to fly. So you can be my spy on the ground. I noticed on another thread that you have trouble with accessing certain things around the house, if so, how will you manage with your new house, I hope you don't mind me asking. So will this be something that you will need to factor into what you do with the house.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Well it's a case of blooming where you are planted... the best I can do is make it as functional as possible. the main thing is I spend a lot of time at home, so it needs to be a nurturing sanctuary that makes me feel happy to be here. Lots of rest and recreation space is important. It would be nice not to have so many stairs, but we'll make do. I can do stairs most of the time, but sometimes I can't. For the days I can't get down, I want upstairs really nice and looking out on a beautiful garden or the horses is really nice. My symptoms wax and wane so on good days I get out and garden. Realistically, to custom design and build a house to suit my needs does not fit a disability pensioners budget, and honestly I don't think i have the stamina to take something on like that! Life always challenges our perceptions of needs, wants, and desires. Having a place for everything and making things low maintenance helps. There's something that after struggling for so long even to have a place of our own, makes me want to make it really lovely.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    Life ain't for the faint hearted quoted a lady of the golden years of Hollywood, you with your challenges have an amazing outlook, we could all learn from you so keep on grabbing life with both hands and achieve your dreams.

    You have picked a beautiful part of Australia to create your beautiful new home, are you able to see the river from your upstairs rooms. Could you add dimensions to your sketched floorplan x

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Yeah I will have to set some time aside to go measure all the rooms, so bear with me. I think I'll need to re-draw the original layout too, so it makes more sense what I'm doing long term. A previous owner opened up the current dining room and kitchen but it means the lounge has 5 doorways and is an awkward thoroughfare with nowhere to put furniture. The kitchen then ends up too visible. I keep hoping the drawing will turn up but it's not so far! My parents are compulsive renovators, so I grew up checking out salvage yards and open houses and worst house in best streets and talking over "what would you do with this space?" We ended up moving like every second year! It means I know I can turn this house around. I don't however intend to do all the hard graft for someone else to enjoy.
    Its really more of a creek than a river so it's not super wide, so the tree line shades the waterway a bit, but its all gorgeous and green year round. At the moment the windows aren't quite in the right spots. when we reclad I'll open the up more. The bath has a great view.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    on another note, you got me curious about properties with airstrips, and now I realise of course they are used for farming! There was a cool property on the clarence, its on it's own island!! How cool would it be to have your own island!

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    There's an island near us which catered for commercial aircraft, but they wanted too much for it, The Clarence and east coast has some interesting places. What is your internet connection speed like

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    pretty good in town, as we are on NBN, but its fibre to the node. Depending on your provider though it can vary. The the usage is typically low so it doesn't crunch at peak times. We find it quite sufficient for streaming tv directly, skyping, our ph is on the net. I know people that work in sydney technically but do it from here remotely so its good. My husband was happy with it and he's in IT. Out of town, it gets a bit more variable. The main issue is the policy to use mobile networks, and a lot of areas are in blackspots. especially when you are nestled up valleys against the ridges.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    We found that Telstra gave the best coverage once you were out of the Major cities so you can be quite restriced.

  • fianou luca
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    with mobile, yes certainly. For your landline there are other providers that purchase from telstra and have used iinet(was good at first but became dodgy) then on advice switched to aussie which has been great.

  • siriuskey
    3 months ago

    We have used iinet in our Sydney business and now on the Nth Coast of NSW, iinet was sold 1-2 yrs ago, Telstra?, so we had to talk them and they are great again, we have a phone included which is attached to the modem, but at the end of the day Telstra, NBN controls it all