Digging up the back yard

Walking around the house at the end of this week, it didn’t look as if much had changed. But that was because most of the change happened underground.

The digger makes light work of installing a ditch for the external pipework.

The digger makes light work of installing a ditch for the external pipework.

This week belonged to the plumber. He was there with his assistant early in the week fitting off some of the internal tap ware. The hand-basins in the en suite were installed as well as the toilets in the powder room and family bathroom. Read more

The problem with painting an old home

The addition of window hoods to the house - although awaiting iron sheeting - adds a decorative as well as practical element to the front of the house.

The addition of window hoods to the house – although awaiting iron sheeting – adds a decorative as well as practical element to the front of the house.

This week the exterior of the house gained a bit more Queenslander decoration; the addition of two timber awnings over the front windows. They still need to be kitted out with some iron, but you can start to see how they will look and also how they will shade the windows. The house had a metal window hood on the now upper window when we bought it, however this didn’t seem to suit the house. These new ones are more in keeping with the original style of the home and complement the single skin look I mentioned in last week’s post. Oh, and we didn’t take the old hood to the tip, we put it out on the front nature strip and when I looked out about an hour later it was gone, freecycling at it’s best. Read more

Balancing costs in a renovation

New front door has now been glazed and a lock added. The decorative single skin effect of the Queenslander house has been added.

New front door has now been glazed and a lock added. The decorative single skin effect of the Queenslander house has been added.

Kitchen cabinets, vanities, built-in drawers, a front door with glass in it and a lock, even new balustrading and front and rear stairs. It’s been all action this week!

When considering renovating the house, we decided that where possible, we would maintain as much of the Queenslander feel as we were able. This is why we opted for matching weatherboards (rather than a rendered blue board on the lower floor that I see on many renovations), double hung windows in the front with awnings (currently being constructed) and bringing back the single skin effect in the entrance and upstairs balcony areas. This is all coming together nicely. Yes, it has been a little more expensive, but we have balanced this out in savings in other areas – recycling the kitchen, sliding windows on the sides of the house and timber look vinyl rather than polished timber boards. Read more

The fiddly things

The renovation of the bathroom upstairs continues with the installation of the shower head and taps and the free standing bath.

The renovation of the bathroom upstairs continues with the installation of the shower head and taps and the free standing bath.

We seem to have arrived at that messy stage where little bits and pieces are being done by different tradies and at different times. They arrive at the house, do a few hours of work and go again, returning a few days later to do something else. I’m sure if I was one of those well-organised renovators who had a gantt chart, I wouldn’t have quite so much of this. I guess it also would also have been easier if I hadn’t gone away for six weeks while the renovation was going on! The delay in ordering some items has had an impact. We are still waiting on the the front door to arrive as well as the kitchen and vanities to be installed. This is holding up the tiler and plumber and is also causing the painter problems as he can’t start working upstairs until the old kitchen is relocated down to the ground floor kitchen space. Read more

Can knowing the history of a home increase its value or perhaps decrease it?

In the UK and Europe the houses are a lot older than here in Australia. Many of these older houses have a known history and proudly display signage to proclaim this.

In Europe the houses are a lot older than here in Australia. Many of these older houses have a known history and proudly display signage to proclaim this.

Ok, I know that our cities and suburbs are relatively young compared to Europe, with many suburbs, or areas of a suburb, less than 100 years old. Here in Australia we tend to think a Victorian house or even a Post-war home as old. In my street we have a mix of house styles ranging from the ‘between the wars’ Queenslander, like ours, through to the low set brick home that was built last year (and which generated a lot of tut tutting from those owner occupiers in the street, its unsympathetic style marring the streetscape – but more of that in another post). So my question is ‘if the Queenslander is one of the oldest houses in the street, and most likely in the suburb, and we can discover its history, is this likely to make it more attractive to buyers?’ Read more