Galvanised Steel

Galvanised iron verandah

Raw galvanised chic

Call me old fashioned but I cannot understand why people choose raw galvanised steel for renovations. It just reeks of penny pinching and looks awful. Galvanised steel is fantastic for high voltage power line towers, electricity substations and bridges. The choice of using it on the first floor verandah of this trendy hotel left me struck dumb when I saw it the other day.

The balustrades look as if they are some sort of heavy duty sewer grate which have been bolted shamelessly to the exposed steel “H” girders by equally exposed bolts. The galvanised steel is ageing nicely and has acquired a dull, drab grey pall that is almost as exciting as the colour of raw concrete. I guess this “industrial look” is very fashionable however, in my view, it has had the opposite effect on the hotel. It gives it a Third World look.

How improve this galvanised steel?

This is one disaster which would need a lot of painting and paneling to improve the look. I am still staggered that anyone would choose such a balustrade and material. They should remove the balustrade grates and replace them with glass. At least it would lighten the look and open up the verandah. The H girders and exposed bolts really could be dressed up a bit to make it look more finished. All this would cost a lot of money so it wont happen – we all have to live with the eyesore.

Kaohsiung Confucius Temple

Confucius temple lattice

At first glance it looks like wooden lattice

It costs a lot of money for the maintenance of buildings particularly those with important cultural value like the Confucius temple in Kaohsiung. Repairs and replacements need to reflect the original. To save money shortcuts are sometimes made with disastrous results.

Fake lattice at Confucius temple

The Confucius Temple on Lotus Lake in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung is a case in point. What appears to be traditional Chinese lattice on all the doors surrounding the inner quadrangle, on closer inspection, turn out to be thin plywood cut-outs glued either side of perspex windows. They are poorly cut and sealed resulting in the plywood delaminating over time and falling from the windows.

It’s a pity more money wasn’t spent the first time around so the job at the Confucius temple could have been done properly.

Confucius temple plywood lattice

Plywood cutout lattice with perspex

Confucius temple delaminated plywood cutouts

Delaminated plywood cutouts

Rustic Australian Carport

Rustic Aussie carport

Rustic Aussie carport

Here is an excellent example of an Australian carport in the rustic/country style. The clean lines of the raw timber structure combined cleverly with the paling fence compliment the unpainted corrugated iron roof.
Although this carport could add character and charm in the right situation, adjacent to a modern home in an upmarket street is not one of them. It makes the house look like a dump.

Solution – demolish the carport

Even an effort to paint the carport would only improve things slightly. The best solution to improve the look of the house is to remove it altogether.

More unsympathetic blunders can be found here.

A carport is potentially the single biggest eyesore that can be added to a home.

Block A Window

Block a window

Blocking out a window

There are times when you need to block a window. The attempt shown in the photo is unimaginative and uses far too many wooden corner brackets from Bunnings. If that wasn’t bad enough to block a window they have used a piece of unfinished cheap plywood as a cover. To really make it look terrible they have used walnut wood stain which highlights the tacky grain pattern of the plywood.

No effort has been made to hide the screw heads securing everything and the name (photoshopped out to save embarrassment!) are large brass house letters, also from Bunnings.

No way to block a window

There are two of these windows that have been blocked in this manner and, being quite large, are a real eyesore on an otherwise wonderful Art Deco hotel. It is not a good method to block a window.

A better solution would have been to dispense with the corner brackets and brass letters, have a plain painted panel filling the window and then attach an Art Deco inspired grille to the front.

Window Grille

window grille in wall

Hole in the wall

The creative use of an aluminium reproduction iron lace balustrade panel as a window grille left me breathless. Granted it must have something to do with ventilation but *anything* would have made a better looking window grille than what has been installed in this wall. The builder was obviously very proud of his work because he has painted it white. The window grille looks terrible and it seems to scream out from the brickwork.

Window grille improvement

Painting the panel the same colour as the bricks would help a great deal. Anything to hide the awful balustrade panel.

A nice DecoWorks Chinese lattice grille could have been the perfect choice.

Garden Lattice

Garden lattice charm

The charm of lattice

This house has a very *lived in* feel to it. Cheap garden lattice can be used almost anywhere in the garden to great effect. It is cheap, easy to use and is usually treated. The only place it should be used on a house is to disguise the space underneath them in flood prone areas. Though garden lattice can add charm to a home, as a decorative treatment on a verandah it fails to impress. This house looks like it has been rented for a very long time.

Lose the garden lattice

Removing the garden lattice on this verandah would make a big difference to this house. An even bigger improvement would be made by losing the old cane blind as well and cleaning up a bit. A nice coat of paint would be the icing on the cake.

Front Window Bars

Front window security bars

The birdcage

The security bars on the front window of this house look like the entrance to a birdcage. A bulky, boring and run of the mill solution for security bars. It’s at street level, facing the street and looks unbalanced on the window. The inspired choice of the guttering colour for the front window bars only adds to the humdrum effect.

Better design front window bars

This could have looked so much better if a better design for the front window had been installed. A more neutral colour would help to take the focus away from the existing installation. In many cases, security bar installations look uninspiring because the customer was trying to save money. It is false economy to get a cheap job done on such a prominent position of a building.

Iron Lace Fringing

iron lace brackets

Is something missing?

What happened to the iron lace fringing between the corner brackets? The butt end of the corner brackets cry out for something to be attached to them. At least iron lace corner brackets have been fitted to all the corners. It looks like they were trying to save money by not fitting all the iron lace fringing between them. In such a prominent position on a house you should not scrimp on the money.

Make the iron lace look better

Just spending a few more dollars to fit iron lace fringing between the corner brackets would have made this house front look so much better. As it is, it looks cheap and unfinished.