Bank Renovation 2017

We purchased this 1929 architecturally designed and master builder built former Westpac and Bank of New South Wales building in February 2017. 8 months later this tired old house attached to the bank chamber was re-invigorated and is now a very desirable residence/business premise. No-one had lived in the house part for the best part of 20 years so it was run down and looking very shabby. The bathroom was a total strip job,
floors needed sanding, walls needed to be moved or reinstated where banking operations had encroached into the living zone. With great help from family, friends and local trades this project became a labour of love. I must pay tribute to my wife whose colour selections and vision for the finished decor was fabulous.


Sash windows are challenging for those who have not worked with them before. Re-roping became a quick process and careful work was needed as the Jarrah was very old and dry and hence fragile.


Dining room floor after an two applications of Tung oil. Went for the Tung oil due to its ease of application, ability to be patched if needed and the softer look for a country home with high traffic. Some views of other rooms we painted and tidied up.

Sink removed and re-purposed in the kitchen which only had a single sink.
Doorway cut back into its original position. The other doorway, a later addition to suit the bank was removed and the hallway opened up again as originally designed.
Lunchroom plumbing retained and used to create a nightstand. This is also a view to the future as the addition of an ensuite by cutting a doorway to the right of the mirror and putting on an extension in the 4 metre space outside is relatively straightforward and the plumbing is already there.
Original door and gyprock wall back in to recreate the master bedroom as it should be.


The master bedroom was used as a lunch room and had a sink installed so we converted it back to the master bedroom, relocated the door back to its original entry point and re-instated the wall. We utilised the plumbing to install a night wash stand. This feature, common in some English houses, allows the occupiers to do make up etc. without the need to go to the bathroom. After oiling the floors, painting, addition of curtains and blinds this large spacious room was returned to its former glory. This house had built in robes in all bedrooms and two large built in cupboards – wow would the Managers wife in 1929 would have thought she had made it.

The broom type cupboard in the corner was cut down and a bench top added for extra work area. Shaker door was cut and shut to create matching cupboard look later.
Sliding door removed as they are rarely used. Gas stove was removed to create space for large refrigerator.
Gas line chased in and cook area created. Bench modifications underway.
The finished kitchen. All original cupboards retained and the addition of a mobile workbench created a beautiful working kitchen.


The 88 year old kitchen was largely untouched. We stripped back paint, tidied up and Tung oiled bench tops to retain the heritage and the feel. The hard plastered walls had an insert feature strip. This we retained and painted in the darker grey to highlight the feature. Gas stove was relocated so we could have space for a double door fridge. Old wood stove was retained as a feature. 1.8 M Mobile bench was installed by us for around $1000.

Removing the vanity in the ladies toilet freed up space to create a shower room and added a second bathroom to the house for minimal cost.
The addition of the double vanity in the sunroom made this room a useable space, allowed the second toilet access to handwashing facilities other than the master bathroom and looked like it was always meant to be there.


The Sun room was an under-utilised area. With two toilets off it, we turned the ladies vanity (inside the door to the left of the vanity which also housed the ladies toilet) into a shower room. This gave the house a second bathroom at very minimal cost. We had the asbestos ceiling removed, lined the area below the windows and installed the double vanity so the mens toilet also had access to washing facilities without the need to go to the single bathroom.

Front counter area of the bank chamber.
Out comes the moved wall which was hard up against the fireplace of the sitting room.
French doors installed to allow access to the sitting room, letting in light and when open creating a sense of space in an old traditional home without damaging the ambience of the beautiful old building.
The cleared out bank chamber. It is now a 14 m x 8 m open space that can be used for whatever is desired. the sense of space and relaxation is incredible with the 14 ft ceilings in chamber. The strong room on the left is the perfect wine storage facility.
Managers office – with the suit cupboard retained on the right. The addition of a fold out lounge has effectively created a 4 bedroom house.
The original Westpac grey paint was retained in this area as nod to the buildings past.


Once the bank chamber was stripped out we removed and had re-built the wall between the chamber and the house. We relocated the wall back to its 1929 position but had the French doors installed across the corner to match the angles in the chamber and to open up the house. Painting the Westpac Red was a 3 coat process and after we relaid the carpet tiles the finished result was very satisfying. This area is 14 metres by 8 metres, fantastic as a games area, business purposes or just for relaxing. The last photo is of the Managers office. We moved the doorway to the right, replaced the wall with a proper wall (as per original wall) and retained the suit cupboard and it is now a great office or 4th bedroom. Sadly the firepalce is not working, when the building was re-roofed at some point in the past the chimney was pulled down to under the roofline. Would not be overly expensive to have it re-bricked up.


Laundry tub before and after. Rather than the expensive option of removing and replacing the tub and tiles (and to save time) a repaint was done insitu. A good scrub and re-grout any tiles needing it and it came up looking very nice. We retained the old wood fired copper stand (chimney om right joins into the kitchen chimney. A piece of perspex from the Bank Chamber was placed on top to allow viewing of the heritage feature but to also make the space useful as a bench or storage. (October 2017)

Asbestos removal.


Before and after of the old mens toilet. Asbestos was removed professionally and then we re-clad, gyprock installed, new toilets installed by the plumber and then we painted the room inside and out. (Aug 2017)

The Master Bathroom was a nod back to the 1940’s or 50’s in colour and style. Very early on we decided it had to be totally made over so it was a floor up task. Local trades did most of the work here as we were preoccupied elsewhere. New plumbing (the old pipe from the shower was rusted through), tiling and fittings made it into a modern space with a hint to the old.

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