Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo update

 Fairy lights for Darren's 40th

 Re-laying the kitchen floorboards

 Oh how I love that nail gun!

 Kitchen floor finished, dining room to go on the left

 The boys in their site office

 New cedar french doors installed in the lounge

 Boards almost finished to the front and side (upstairs)

 My colour trials - weeks of agonising but I am finally happy with the selection

 Ceilings in at last, makes such a difference to the space

 Product placement, if only Bunnings were paying us!

 Kitchen and dining in their new eco-wool jumper (ie insulation).
Looked like a hay bale house at this stage.

 Insulation installation delirium?

 Dad and Darren hard at work re-boarding the walls in the dining/kitchen

 Just before the scaffolding was removed

 Decorative finials - designed by me, created by hubby.
Loving them!

 Finally free of the scaffolding and looking gorgeous in a fresh coat of paint!

Looks like a space-ship from this angle ...
can't wait to spend lazy evenings with friends on the back deck.

And lastly, just so show that we are managing a little fun and glamour in amongst all this hard work, a picture of the renovators enjoying a brief weekend in Byron and a beautiful wedding:

x M

It's been a long time ...

It's been almost TWO MONTHS since my last post! Turns out I am a terrible blogger ... But in my defence when I started this blog I wasn't working, and was looking for a creative outlet to help balance out my life as a mum. And the blog fit the bill for a while - at least until I actually did start working 3 days a week. I am truly loving being back at work, but add to that the complete and utter exhaustion that comes with renovating and keeping the rest of our lives going, and there has not been a lot of motivation or energy left to write about it all. Oh, and the house we rent has been put up for sale and we have had people through an average of 3 times a week. AND both our boys had birthdays, and my husband turned the big 40 too - so much fun, so little time!

Enough about that though, let's move on with what's been happening at the house ... and there has been some significant progress I am happy to report.

Since my last post we have: finished the external boards to the front and right side of the house, installed all the upstairs windows, ripped up and re-laid floorboards, re-built and re-lined internal walls with the original vj boards, had ceilings put in, had electricity and lighting cables run, installed insulation and weatherproof paper to all external walls, had the front, side and eaves plastered and painted, and last but not least - pulled the scaffold down. Phew, we have been busy!

A huge job was relaying the old floor boards. We had to disguise where the house had been cut for removal - the boards in the living / kitchen had an unsightly cut straight through the middle. Whilst being cut into a jigsaw is part of the house's history, it really didn't look all that charming, so it had to go. So up came all the boards and down they went again in a carefully arranged manner. And hey presto, a lovely new (old) floor!

Another big job has been putting all of the old vj boards back onto the internal wall frames. That job was only finished this weekend. Such a huge task, but so worth it for the authenticity. I'm a bit concerned I won't be able to relax in the house though, I just know I'll sit there trying to watch tv but fixated on memories of putting those boards up and all the dramas we had trying to get them level!

I have to say I have been much more hands-on in the last month. I have been hovering around until now, primarily keeping the little ones out of trouble and keeping food and drinks up to the chief workers. But my last few weekends have been spent covered in sweat, dust and grime, up and down ladders with a nail-gun in hand. And I have LOVED it! I am bruised, have spent much of my time looking far less than glamorous, and had a rusty nail fall out of my hair in the shower one night, but I am loving the satisfaction of feeling I am helping to create our family home.

This week we are having the internal walls sand-blasted (far too much lead paint and mould for us to safely tackle it ourselves) and I am really excited to be nearly at the painting stage. We also have plumbing and the downstairs concrete slab lined up in the next couple of weeks. The most pressing task now though is completing the upstairs section of the house - boarding the remainder of the external walls, painting, cornices and skirting, and the kitchen and bathrooms. After that will be the decking, railings, garage and downstairs framing. And the sewerage system. And the retaining walls. And ... so much more, but that's the general outline of things to come.

The kitchen has been designed, and I am in love with it. Just have to make the final colour selection and I will share the plans.

I walk into the house now and see the vision of what it will be - it really is starting to come together. I can't promise I will blog more frequently, but I will try to keep sharing as we are in the thick of it, so hang in there with me!

Photos to come.

x M

Monday, August 1, 2011

Taking shape

So much has been happening at the house, and in life in general, that I have sadly neglected this blog. But hopefully a bunch of progress photos will let me off the hook a little! I have been in full event management mode, with work events to plan and a Batman party for a certain 5yr old. We also have a 3rd birthday and Darren's 40th (sorry babe, 21st!) coming up in the next couple of weeks. Life is busy!

On the house front, the roof is finally on - happy dancing all round! It is such a relief to have the house (relatively) waterproof at last. The roofing company do have to come back to fix up some scratches and a few imperfections, but essentially it is done and looking fabulous. I LOVE the colour, which is a good thing considering the size and prominence of the roof. We had a colour disaster on a previous house - the whole thing was painted in a hideous pinkish colour. Certainly not what we had chosen and thankfully repainted fairly quickly, but it has made me a tad nervous about colour selections ...

I have to make a decision on the external paint colours this week, so that we can paint the top level before the scaffolding is removed. My little men and I are off to collect paint samples today - wish me luck!

The internal wall framing is all complete now, so we have a real feel for how we will live in the space. The original vj's we removed will be re-used on the new frames, then sanded and painted in the next few weeks. And excitingly half of the upstairs windows have also been installed. They look beautiful, and I'm so pleased we decided to go with cedar windows. Darren and Matt worked hard to put the windows in, and despite a small incident with a falling window and a power tool, they did a brilliant job of it! It's hard to get a good photo of the windows as the scaffolding is still up.

A huge thank you to friends who will work under tough conditions and all for love - you know who you are x

So without further ado, here are some progress pics:

 The servery waiting to be installed.

Cheeky resident magpie family!

 So much fun to be had with off-cuts

 Daddy's little helper

Installing the first window in the guest room

Splashback fixed window in the kitchen

We have the builders on site for the last week this week, and then it all comes down to Darren to get it finished!

x M

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The house sans-roof

Here it is - our roof-less house. The sunshine beaming into all the rooms is actually quite lovely, but the thought of rain makes me shudder ... and apparently it is coming tomorrow.

We've actually had a bit of a setback this week. The roof trusses have been sitting on site for a few weeks now and were lifted on to the roof on Monday, only for the carpenters to find out the measurements were ALL WRONG! We were hoping for the roof to be finished (colourbond and all) by the end of next week, however it's now looking like the week after next. All of the trusses have to be re-made and then craned up again ... luckily it was the truss company's error, so they will be paying for the additional crane hire. Which is not cheap, I may be in the wrong business!

Anyway, the boys managed to get the new walls for the dining, living and kitchen all stood at the back of the house, and they also put all of the new posts to the front verandah in. So all in all it's not been a completely wasted week.

I'm off to keep praying for continued sunshine ...

 One very large skylight in the lounge - quite a nice view really!

The back of the house, looking down from the top level of scaffolding.

The dining room (from the kitchen)

Back of the house (dining on left)

Living area (bifold doors to the deck on the right, and the internal stairwell is at the far end)

Living area leading out to the deck

New posts to the front entry and verandah.

x M

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Extreme alfresco

I am so grateful for all of this beautiful winter sunshine we've had lately, because my poor little house is currently without roof or CEILINGS! Not a thing between the floorboards and the open sky. We are taking alfresco living to the extreme ... it's just how we roll here on the Sunshine Coast!

I don't suppose I'm fooling anyone with these flippant comments - clearly I'm trying to hide the fact that I am a wee bit stressed about the house being so exposed right now. Honestly if it started raining I would be tempted to go around to the house with a car load of umbrellas and tarps to protect it.

I haven't even taken any photos this week (an unprecedented occurence), I think because I'm not sure I want reminders of this stage of the renovation. But honesty will win out and I know I will be around there taking photos in the morning - if only so that I can be amazed by the "before and afters" when the roof is finally raised again.

So much of the house seems to have been removed recently that we have started to wonder this week why we bought it in the first place. I think some of those comments from concerned friends, family and even the odd stranger have come back to haunt us. So many people think that we should have just built a brand new replica Qlder from scratch. But that wouldn't have been the point for us - we so wanted the history, and the authenticity and charm of an older home.

And we are reminding each other that most of the materials that have been taken down will be recycled back in if at all possible (all of the ceiling vjs will be re-used on the walls of the new rooms), so really it is just a temporary stage of the house looking bare and open.

I have a feeling this will be a big week of progress at the house - fingers crossed!

x M

Monday, July 4, 2011

Now THAT's a deck!

Our carpenters, Danno and Luke, have been hard at work this past week and have managed to really get the back deck happening. And I have to say, it is HUGE! It looks so much bigger than we (I) was expecting. But being Queensland I know that we will spend most of our time out there eating, entertaining, playing and chillaxing (Darren's word of the moment).

There has been much "man talk" amongst the carpenters, Darren, and his mates about the deck as work has progressed. Future get-togethers have been planned, as have deck furnishings ... including lounges, piped gas heating, dual-opening fireplaces, swivelling wall-mounted televisions, integrated sound systems and the all-important BBQ area (it's nice to dream boys!). In fact I wouldn't be surprised if invitations have already been secretly sent out for a deck-christening party ...

With all this secret men's business I fear the deck is in danger of becoming a "man-zone", so I am quickly stamping my femininity on the area with plans for fairy lights (oh yes), hanging cane chairs, and beautiful scatter cushions. Let the battle for the deck space begin!

Seriously though, it already feels like a fantastic space and I know that we'll have some memorable times on this deck. Below are some photos taken yesterday. Since then the posts on top of the deck have been raised and the roof has all but gone (but that's another post entirely!).

 Looking towards the kitchen (on the right) and
the future dining room (the empty space to the left)

There will be bi-fold doors the length of the right-hand section of the house.

The red iron roof in the picture above is no longer there!
It's very alfresco right now.

View of the deck in progress from the living area / kitchen.
Yes, that is my child up a ladder waving to the camera (daddy is hovering somewhere nearby).

Already enjoying the deck!

x M

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dreaming of the past

Despite not having made any more progress on researching the history of our little house, I am still slightly obsessed with revealing it's past. Every time I visit the house I find myself wandering through the rooms, running my hands over the vjs and wondering who lived here, what were their lives like, what would they think of what we are doing? I am determined to research further, but it will have to be put on hold for the time being. I discovered quickly that it is quite a labour-intensive task.

As work has been continuing I have been secretly hoping that we would find hidden treasures buried within the walls of the house. Unlikely as that would be, considering that the house has been cut in three pieces, driven 150kms on the back of a truck and reassembled. Nevertheless, I have been waiting for the magical moment where a perfectly preserved time capsule drops from the ceiling ... imagine a box filled with photos, love letters, and old trinkets!

Ok so maybe I do get a bit carried away sometimes ... but although it's not quite a time capsule we DID make a few exciting little discoveries at the house. 

We have managed to save 8 beautiful old hooks of different shapes and sizes from various areas of the house, including the kitchen pantry and a bedroom wardrobe. I plan to create a coat/hat rack with them to hang in our hallway. 

Behind the old oven in the kitchen we discovered quite a little trove of forgotten items. I was not quite inspired by an avocado-green plastic ladle, or the cheap (and very grotty) kitchen knife, but the sweet little spoon and chopping board pictured above were a nice find I thought. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but most likely clean them up and find them a home on display in our new kitchen.


But perhaps the most exciting find was an old newspaper (above). Dated 4th August 1940, it is an old Sunday Mail and was laid underneath layers of lino and thin metal beneath the oven. Darren had told me before we discovered this that builders often place a newspaper, or leave some kind of mark, somewhere within a building during the building process. I think this may have been more of a practical placement than for any sentimental reasons though! It is very brittle, and we only managed to remove these two small pieces. We suspect the newspaper was put there during a kitchen renovation, as the original house dates back further than 1940. I'm going to frame these little pieces of history.

So it was not quite the treasure box I was dreaming of, but still lovely little reminders of the history of our house. Perhaps we should create a time capsule of our own for future inhabitants?

x M