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.

The single skin Queenslander look is a nod to the homes built around Banyo and other Queensland suburbs in the early part of last century. The exposed stud walls of the single skin house were probably a combination of cost containment and allowing the house to cool down quickly. These were often used in partition walls and the original upstairs bedrooms retain this feature. Because of insulation requirements these days, we couldn’t construct a traditional single skin wall. To recreate the look, the builder has used VJ look sheeting on the exterior walls of the entrance and upstairs balcony and added the ‘studs’ to the exterior as a decorative feature.

Husband extraordinaire has been on site over the past few days picking up all the rubbish that appears to accumulate through the renovation process – plastic wrap, old timber battens from the roof, oddments of plaster and sarking and the left over parts of the old kitchen.

 The recycled kitchen has been installed with a new bench top that brings it up to date.

The recycled kitchen has been installed with a new bench top that brings it up to date.

I must say, I am really pleased with the look of the kitchen. The new bench-top has brought it up to date and the cabinet makers have done a great job creating the extra cabinetry needed to make it fit into the space available. I had thought it would be a simple case of relocating from the upper floor to the ground floor. However, slight changes in the size and shape of the room below, combined with me not noticing that the architect had changed the location of the fridge on the plans, meant the layout had to be re-thought out. The result, though, is great. My Saturday morning job this week was to go out and buy some 300mm x 600mm white tiles, with a rectified edge for the splash back. This sort of tile allows minimal grout lines and will be laid vertically, the poor man’s version of a glass splash back.

The vanities in the bathrooms also look good. It will be great to have the tiler and plumber back next week to finish these off.

The first coat of paint has gone on all raw timber. Now just waiting for the windows to be installed so the old paint can be washed down and painted.

The first coat of paint has gone on all raw timber. Now just waiting for the windows to be installed so the old paint can be washed down and painted.

Our painter and his off-sider have been busy on the outside of the house this week. They have just about completed the first coat on all the raw timber on the exterior of the house and have completely finished the eastern wall as this had to be re-clad in all new timber. The painter is now waiting for the three upstairs bedroom windows to go in so that he can wash down the original paintwork before sanding and repainting over that. I love the colours the colour consultant chose, it was definitely worth paying out to have a professional do this. You can already start to see the value as the paint job progresses.

The reno is drawing to a close very quickly now. Only a few more weeks and we should be moving back in!

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2 thoughts on “Balancing costs in a renovation

    • November 25, 2015 at 7:06 am
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      Definitely, it’s best to get the most bang for buck when renovating, so the things that can add the most perceived value should be a priority.

      Reply

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