Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 26 & 27

Sorry to lump two days together again but I've been unwell and with the odd trip to the hospital I haven't been around to the house to take pictures or help! So today got to catch up. Cornice is up in most rooms and some ceilings have been painted. All the wall paper is gone. (Yay) Kitchen is all cleared out ready for me to decide what to do. Bathroom tiles are getting planned and cut.

Reno tip for today- layout and cut your tiles so you can be sure you have the tile joins where you want them. Always start with full tiles at the doorway where you come in and against the long wall. Visually this looks better.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 25- one quarter of the way

Oh my gosh- one quarter of the way. It doesn't feel like we had done a lot but a lot of the prep work always feels that way. No time to sit back and think about it- time to get on with it. Today was putting up cornice in the bedrooms.

Reno tip-get a professional! In all seriousness this is probably the hardest part of renovating I have done. Getting angles to match up, getting you head around which ones you need. Holding it in position were all quite tricky. If you aren't really confident or Willing to try anything get in professionals for this bit!

Day 24 - the beam is in

Today the beam went in and it was so nice to see the acro props gone.

Reno tips for today- if you are lifting in a big beam make sure you have enough people to help you lift it comfortably. ( we had 5) the more people, the easier it is to manoeuvre

Day 23-illness strikes

I was struck down by a dreaded flu so hubby had to take the day off the help me with the kids. No Reno today :(

Reno tip- make sure you allocate a few days off when you are planning your renovation. You never know when unexpected illness or other jobs might force you to lose a day.

Day 22 - stubborn wall paper.

Most wall paper will cove off easily with a steamer. Usually the process is hit it will the steamer and scrape off the outer layer, hit it with the steamer again and scrape off the under layer, wash with sugar soap and go.

Sometimes, however, people decide to stick the peeling edges down with all manner of sticky substances. Sometimes the wallpaper has different glue.

Reno tip for today- You can buy wallpaper glue disolvers but I didn't find it worked. You can try acetone but it will take the paint off. I found a 50/50 mixture of metho and water worked well. Please make sure you use gloves and a mask though as inhaling too much metho can be very very dangerous.

Day 20 and 21-help arrives

An army of people arrived this weekend to help. Thanks to my parents and my mother in law who came to help today. Dad was stripping wallpaper and my mother in law wax painting windows - thanks troops!

Reno tip for today- to help get wallpaper off easily- hire a wallpaper steamer. It's only $30 for 24hr and will make the job so much faster.

Day 19- tool shopping

The girls and I went to Trade Tools - the ultimate mans shop. Luckily the girls seemed to love it as much as their dad!

Reno tip for today- don't be afraid to describe what you are after (even in the most round about way). The guys are usually more than happy to help you find the rectangle thingy that holds the criss cross sandpaper stuff you use to sand the top coat of plaster. It's got wing nut things to hold the paper on!

Day 18 - engineering

Today was all about the beam in the kitchen. Time to get a final beam size and get it ordered so the acro props can come down. We finally found an engineer who was happy to give us the information. The beam is ordered!

Reno tip for today- make sure when ordering products you ring around to find the best price- there was a $400 difference in the beam we were ordering!

Day 17- holy sheet!

Today we were hanging the plaster in the second bedroom. These plaster sheets are heavy, wobbly and very fragile. Bump them and the corners disintegrate, don't hold them in the right place and they wobble and snap. Now the wall was dry we just need to get them up there. One of the sheets needed to go around the windows. Instead of cutting little pieces and having to fill gaps, the plan was to cut out the holes for the windows lift it up in one piece and pray it didn't break. Happily all went according to plan- no breakages and all the measurements were accurate.

Reno tip for today. To cut plaster score it three quarters of the way through with a sharp Stanley knife then cross your fingers and snap. It should snap down the line you scored.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 16- water disaster

Hmmmmmm. Today not gone according to plan. They say bad things come in threes. Disaster no. one- the electrician was drilling holes to replace the wiring for some power points and accidentally hit a water pipe hidden in the floor cavity. Water everywhere.
This leads to disaster no. 2 the complete frustration felt by all at the disaster meant they downed tools and went home. Not a problem if you turned on the fan or pulled back the underlay so the wall would dry for plaster hanging the next day. Alas no.
Disaster no three- another munchy crunchy site. Investigation into the broken pipe has forced a reveal
of the last munchy crunchy site . Another wall rebuild will be in order but at least it wasn't unexpected.

Reno tip - ALWAYS clean up you disaster as soon as it happens.

Day 15 - engineering change

Today was a lot of organising and fiddling trying to get an engineer to design a steel beam to replace the wall in the kitchen. There is such a range in price and what they are willing to let you do to reduce the cost. Some insist on coming to site with a hefty $600 call out fee. Some are happy to work from drawings and pictures. At the end of the day it is a necessary cost to ensure you are going to support the wall appropriately. I learnt a lot about roofs today, under purlins, hanging beam etc long story short we finally have the info we need to order the beam to take out the wall. Kitchen space here we come.

Reno tip- don't be afraid to shop around for engineers. Some are very busy and less willing to negotiate their fees. Try and find one that specialises in smaller jobs- they sometimes have a smaller price tag

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 14- two down two to go

Today is two days of renovating down. It feels like more than that. It's a bit like when you are watching something disastrous happen and you see it in slow motion! We have two weeks before we need to move in. That means all the walls, floors and bathrooms need to be done. I can survive without the kitchen I have decided. Especially with the Matador BBQ Steve bought. The ceiling in the bathroom needed to be redone so that was today's task. Most of these photos have been "taken by toddler". She was our official photographer today.

To say was not my favourite job is an understatement. Plaster sheets are heavy and they were just high enough over my head that my arms were at 3/4 stretch. A really awkward position to hold something heavy. Not to mention the gymnastic back bend required to lift it into position. Note to self- too much time spent away from yoga.

The sheets did go up finally and the plaster set so tomorrow will be a pit of paint a bit of cornice and the room is ready to tile! Yay.

Today's Reno tip- putting up plaster sheeting on the ceiling is hard! If you don't know what you are doing ripe in as many people as possible to hold it up. You can build a wood T like apparatus called a third man to help but as far as I'm concerned about 5 men would have been helpful.

Day 13- nan is back in the building.

Today Nan came back after a nice month long holiday in the continent! To say I'm relieved, excited and down right jumping for joy that she is back is only slightly understating it! Trying to renovate with two little ones is like trying to renovate with two hands tied behind your back but I just found another set of hands. We are going to be full steam ahead now.(I hope)

Today there were guided tours for the family. Safety gear a must! The kids searched the backyard for nuts while the adults got the low down on the plans.

That left little time for much else except repairing the window where the munchies had been snacking.

Today's Reno tip- make sure you have an adequate support base to help with babysitting etc if you plan to renovate with kids. Also even the most inexperienced family members can help with things like washing walls etc if they are keen to help. Don't turn anybody down.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 12 - seals in the bathroom

Today the wet sealing is complete! A lovely blue coat of sticky paint stuff that seals the bathroom. Something to do with making sure the tiles don't fall off. That seems quite important to me. Don't want to tile falling off in the middle of the long relaxing bath I am invisaging myself taking. It might knock off my glass of wine! Sadly a few more weeks before that will even be possible.

Today's Reno tip- it seems obviously but went paint a floor start from the furthest corner from the door and work your way back to the door. Don't want to paint yourself into a corner! You laugh but we have seen this done in a building site in china. I will see if I can find the picture.

Day 11 - putting up walls

Today was rebuilding day. The wall to the bathroom had to be repaired( read here rebuilt) after the munchy crunchies had their way with it. Thankfully it hadn't been a supporting wall or the roof could have been quite saggy. I know how it would have felt!
It has given the bathroom back it's shape and we can really see how it's going to look. It's amazing what a difference it made taking out the cupboard in the bathroom and replacing it with a shower. Next bug job is to wet seal the bathroom ready for tiling.

Today's Reno tip- if you ate putting in a wall or rebuilding one, think about whether you want to hang or build anything out from that wall. Put in extra noggins in the wall so you can put screws straight in where you want them. That is unless you prefer my method of ten holes for every screw! Noggins are those little bits of wood between the upright bits of wood. That is the technical definition in case you were wondering.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 10 - one tenth of the way

This was a day of milestones. First day on site working for me. First day of daycare for the little one. One tenth of the way through our timeframe. Dont think I could say we were one tenth of the way through but we are getting there.

So far-
bathroom -gutted, sheeted and bath in. Plumbing adjusted.
Kitchen- wall taken out but waiting on support beam
Bed 1- walls washed, windows prepped
Bed 2- walls taken off and termite damaged rebuilt
Annex- walls, ceiling and floor stripped
Lounge- windows and doorways prepped

Reno tip for today- if you do nothing else to a house when you renovate, fill in all the holes- that includes the gaps around the outside of windows- before you paint. It will make the world of difference.

Day 9- rub a dub dub

The bath went in today. It really is starting to feel like a bathroom. It is amazing the amount of little things you have to decide. Are the tiles going to come up to the bath, over the end of the bath or form a ledge around the bath? How high are you going to put the shower? Which way will the door open? Where are you going to put the hooks for the towels etc etc etc? So much easier to sit back and go- I don't like that towel rail there rather than choose one from scratch!

Reno tip for today- if you are tiling the floor through to the shower remember that where you put the drain hole in the shower is going to have to be lower than the rest of your floor otherwise the water want drain down the hole.

Day 8- tiles tiles tiles

Today's task was to find the bathroom tiles. This task required bribery with the IKEA playroom. Oh how I love you Ikea. Had a very helpful conversation randomly with a stranger in the restaurant. Isn't it funny how small children seem to break down that fear we have of talking to others! But I digress.

Porcelain, ceramic, rectified, 1.5mm spacers. Have you zoned out? I did at the tile shop. Thankfully the shop assistant bribed my 3 yr old with a shiny tile and 10monther was asleep. Tile choosing strategy, pick cheap then good looking and then match the logistics. Thankfully colour matched and tiles are a winner. Shame the girls clothes are not holding up to crawling around in Reno shops.

Reno tip for the day: when choosing floor and wall tiles for a bathroom, if you want the tiles to line up be sure to choose tiles that require the sand grout spacers. Porcelain tiles and cermaic tiles take different spacers and the tiles would gradually misalign as you times. Eek!

Day 7- we rested

Poor hubby was back working today- putting all the sheeting on the bathroom ready for the plumber tomorrow. We however went to the Mummy Tree Markets and gave the girls some time off from renovation shopping.

Day 6- falling more in love with Masters

Masters you are wooing me. I took the girls there today to get the bath. This was a different masters than the one I visited yesterday. Their customer service was excellent- the wheeled the bath all the way to the counter, out to the car and helped me put the seats down and the bath in the car! Their parent room was really well appointed with toilet and baby change facilities- proper ones not fold down versions their array of trolleys both novelty and functional was quite vast. I like that it feels better quality. What a hardware snob I have become!

All that aside, Shelley craft if you are reading(I wish) a perfect challenge for next years block: make them do all their shopping with two children. That is a challenge and a half!

Day 5 - and the walls come tumbling down

Today the walls are coming down! We are taking off the sheeting in the kitchen and rebuilding the bathroom wall. I say we as if I am having something to do with it! I'm taking the pictures. It is definitely not recommended to undertake rebuilding a wall with a 3yr old and 10 month old in tow. Although I'm sure they do it in many countries around the world- all I have to say about that us hail to those super women!

Back to progress..... Moving in in two weeks is looking more shaky by the say. Hopefully things start flowing faster or we will be sitting in amongst dust grime and unusable plumbing ( sounds like many of my holidays overseas!)- not ideal for little ones.

Today's Reno tip- make sure you have checked what extra support you need before you remove walls and use acro props to support the weight in the mean time. When in doubt- get a professional to do it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 4- Shopping

Today I tackled bathroom shopping with two girls in tow. Not recommended if you want to take your time-however we don't have time to dawdle so it forced me to think quick. We stopped at Brisbane discount lighting and bathroom and i wished i had taken the ipad. They did have s section with toys bug they hadnothing on the hundreds of sparkly, dangly, crystal treasures hanging just at toddler height. I had Visions of leaving the store with a maxed out credit card, ugly broken chandelier and a toddler I wouldn't speak to for the remainder of her natural life. Thankfully we are still speaking although there are a large number of odd photos on my phone. A small price to pay to keep her occupied! Happily vanity and all bathroom fittings sorted. We celebrated with a trip to the kids play room at Ikea ( and perhaps a chocolate truffle cake......shhhh)

Reno tip for today- Lots of places will have ex demo, seconds, or last of things they want to sell. Always check your measurements and don't be sucked into buying something just because it's cheap..