The Queenslander House: An Icon of Queensland

The Queenslander is basically a house made of timber and set on stilts that is very popular in, would you believe, Queensland.

The Queenslander is so typically Queensland, that in the “Typically Queensland” category of Queenslanders top 150 icons, the Queenslander house came second, beaten only by the backyard barbecue.

Let’s see if we can find one. What’s this behind these trees…

QueenslanderYes, it’s a Queenslander! Look…

Queenslander CloserYou can just about see it is raised off the ground and you can certainly see is made of timber. What are the other typical characteristics of a Queenslander?

  • They usually have one or more veranda spaces to allow for sitting outside in the warm climate.
  • The spaces underneath are designed to help cool the building and protect the house from attacks by pests and termites.
  • The stilts, which are actually called stumps, allow the house to be built on uneven surfaces and slopes.
  • They have large, steep pitched roofs.
  • They were a very popular construction from the 1840s through to 1930, but finally fell out of favour after the Second World War, although some new Queenslanders are still being built today.

Queenslanders are packed with character; some of the older ones have truly stood the test of time and were built by skilled craftsmen. French doors, wooden floors, double hung windows, picture rails and high ceilings are all part of their historic architecture.

A second-hand Queenslander

These houses can even be picked up by huge transporters and taken away. Some of them end up in massive yards being sold, just like a second-hand car. Search Google for “buy second-hand Queenslander” to find out for yourself. You can pick up these Queenslanders for as little as $40,000, rising to over $100,000. These prices often include delivery and ‘restumping’ or, as I would have said, sticking the house back up on its stilts.

Before you get too excited though, you will need the land to put it on, planning agreement from the local council, services to the site including electricity, telephony and sewerage and, if it’s a new site, you’ll probably have to make a not insubstantial payment towards the local infrastructure.

The price of ALL that will vary hugely; $250,000 is probably the low end.

Stump height

I don’t believe there is a standard height that the stumps should be, but most people these days try to utilise that space underneath; maybe build a sports room, or a bar area, or perhaps just a car port.

Sometimes owners raise the height of their Queenslanders so there is enough space underneath to meet the regulations to build extra living accommodation like bedrooms, dining rooms or a rumpus room, which is the Aussie term for a playroom.

Prices of raising your Queenslander can start, I believe, from as little as $15,000.

But for some people, raising their Queenslander solves a different problem. They are not looking for more storage space or a bigger living area, just protection in the event of Brisbane flooding again. I drove past these houses in Rocklea (Edit: My bad, sorry, these houses are in Oxley, as pointed out to me in the comments below, don’t know what I was thinking!) the other day, an area that suffered badly from last year’s flooding.

They weren’t this high up last time I saw them…

Raised Queenslander
Raised Queenslander 2But how do you raise a Queenslander? One stump at a time, bit by bit…

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Kenneth Lawrence November 4, 2013, 12:36 pm |

    This is great! Thank you for sharing this. also shares some tips about home improvement.

  • Ryan June 25, 2013, 8:43 am |

    That’s a huge costs for local infrastructure Bob, nice post though!

    • BobinOz June 25, 2013, 9:38 pm |

      Infrastructure costs on their own, I reckon (you’d probably know more Ryan :-)) are probably between $20,000 and $40,000 per house, the $250,000 I mention is for ALL the additional costs, and to save confusion, I have now included the word “ALL” so there’s no misunderstanding.



  • notRocklea November 27, 2012, 3:24 pm |

    Those photos are of Oxley, not Rocklea. Otherwise, nice blog!

    • BobinOz November 28, 2012, 12:39 am |

      Yes, you’re right, I’m looking at it myself and I have no idea why I have said it is Rocklea, I know it’s Oxley. Why did I type Rocklea?

      I’ll never know, but thanks for pointing it out and clearing that up for us.

  • beenamanu July 7, 2012, 3:39 pm |

    Thanks a lot to this informative,funny, special,typical post.For me it’s a in Kerala I just heard about houses in tree.(In Malayalam (our mother tongue)we say it as ERUMADAM’. before it’s used by the tribal’s to protect their life from the wild animals.
    Some bamboo houses also here. But it’s really nice to see this Queenslander house.Allow your fingers to write this type of special things ……………

    Today is the best day
    warm regards
    beena manu

    • BobinOz July 9, 2012, 4:32 pm |

      Haha, I am just imagining you living in a house, in a tree, with your Apple computer and Wi-Fi connection 🙂

      Sorry, couldn’t help that. I suppose in a way Queenslanders are a bit like houses in trees, got the same advantages.

      Thanks beena!

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