Restored for a new look
The salvaged wooden beams, old doors and window frames were all lovingly restored by Ruben and Tracey. “We are no strangers to salvage yards, auctions and markets. We even have a few items that we bought overseas and stored in anticipation of finding the ‘perfect project’,” says Tracey.
For instance, the granite top for the dining table on the stoep was custom made in Italy. “And the lighting on the stoep consists of tin station lights bought on auction,” Tracey explains. The pantry cupboard in the kitchen, which was once used as storage in a factory tool room, was also bought on auction. “We stripped and repaired it. Some of the light fittings are old factory lights that we bought from salvage yards and restored.” Ruben used salvaged Oregon pine and copper sheeting to finish the kitchen island.
But don’t think they simply threw things together – the Le Rouxs have been honing their DIY skills for years. “Previously, we lived in Alberton for 13 years and did alterations and interior work on our home there,” explains Tracey. When this project came around, Ruben did most of the building himself with help from a few local lads. For example, Ruben tackled the exposed Oregon pine beams on the stoep single-handedly, since no roofing professionals wanted to take on this task. “The beams had to be lined up and extend all the way to the lounge – some of them are almost 10m long!” says Tracey, clearly proud of her husband’s efforts. >>
The stained-glass door was found at Breakers Demolition Contractors as were the exposed Oregon pine rafters. The old carpenter’s table was bought on auction at Old Johannesburg Warehouse.
Any advice for other people considering steel-frame construction?
Builders are often not properly informed about this type of construction so they quote a higher price for steel work. Make sure you get a good welding subcontractor because he is, as it were, your main contractor, says Sarel. If you don’t have building experience, get a good project manager who knows what they’re doing with this type of construction. >>