I returned from my last trip to find I had a couple of walls raised on the building site, the start of the garage. After a week at home I had three walls, all concrete block, all different colours, and the jury is still out on those almond coloured ones. I do like the large boundary wall however, it is a brown-grey and tones in nicely with the old Queenslander, which is just as well as that is the side you will actually see the colour.
Exciting news, the builder has started working on the new build. They actually commenced a couple of weeks ago but the inclement weather we have been experiencing has put a dampener on getting things moving, oh and I forgot to get onto the utilities organisation to get an access point on the new lot, more on that later.
Currently we have a lot of holes in the ground – with quite a bit of water in the bottom of them, I don’t dare let the dog run around the block at the moment, as the holes are two meters deep. The excavating team have been been back and forth, attempting to dig the holes. Initially the block didn’t dry out fast enough though and the site was becoming a bit of a mud bath. They decided to wait an extra week for it to clear up and then of course it would rain again. They were able to dig some trenches for the block walls and the concrete footings for these were poured some weeks ago now.
How much does it cost to renovate a Queenslander? A lot more than I thought.
Six months ago we had a two bedroom, one bathroom, one living room house. Admittedly there was also a sleep-out and an office that had been created by filling in the verandah, while these gave us extra rooms they effectively closed off the house from any breezes (not good in a Queensland summer) and made the living area very dark. The kitchen was at the rear of the house and there was a lovely rear deck however, there was no flow between the living room and the deck. Our average sized dining table dwarfed the small dining area and blocked access to the bathroom.
There is definitely a benefit in going away for six weeks while a major renovation is being handled by your builder. Now I know most people want to be around so they can answer any questions about where the power points should be placed or have input into the many minor adjustments that need to be made when something just isn’t where it should be according to the plans. I’ve decided though that I’m not one of those people. We went away with the house sitting like a bloated spider on spindly legs and have come back to a house that is almost at lock up stage.
This week I have had to go through the house and look over those minor decisions that the builder has had to make and every one of them has made sense so I don’t see that me being here would have made much difference to the outcome, perhaps just slowed down the process while they waited for me to make a decision. Of course you do need to have a good builder that you can put your confidence in and that’s definitely been the case here. Read more
Why, oh why, do I do it to myself; take on a major project just before the start of the Christmas close down period, during the hottest, stormiest time of the year and before I take an overseas holiday? Well as I said, this blog is possibly also about ‘how not to do things’!
Sometimes, things just work against us. Yes, I did procrastinate a little, but in my defence I had a lot of outback work going on and couldn’t concentrate on another project of this size. It was only after the work commitments eased up a bit that I could devote more time to moving the renovation and new build forward. Read more
Okay, some of you reading this know me quite well and are probably wondering why it has taken me so long to get my act together and make this renovation and development happen. Well, in my defence I have been doing the preparation work for it in my spare time, in between spending most of the past eighteen months on the road for work purposes. Any time something like this becomes an optional extra, as opposed to a full time renovation or development project, it will take a lot longer.
Apart from the workload, we were in no rush to get things done as we were living in the house and, at a basic level, it was meeting our needs. Read more