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.

We went into a huddle with the builder and plumber yesterday, discussing the best options for the hot water cylinder. We had planned on installing a solar system, but the cheapest one was just over $3,000, plus the costs of having the plumber install it. An electric heat pump system is around $900. So, with the renovation funds diminishing rapidly, we decided to save where we could and have opted for the heat pump version.

The cause of some quick ringing around late Friday to find some different toilets to fit the outlet as we had purchased toilet pans with 220mm set back.

The cause of some quick ringing around late Friday to find some different toilets to fit the outlet.

Other little things have cropped up throughout the week that have required my attention. Yesterday, I had to make a quick phone call to the bathroom supplier about getting three 140mm setback toilets. We had purchased 220mm ones and had supplied the plumber with all the specifications for these, but he obviously hadn’t taken note of this and had made the outlets the current standard of 140mm. It’s annoying, but no use getting upset over it – mistakes happen and the remedy was easy enough.

On a positive note, the shower heads and taps have been installed in the shower areas, the bath has been unpacked and is sitting in the upstairs bathroom, and the tiles on the small verandah off the bathroom have been laid. I chose a freestanding bath (acrylic) to give a more luxurious feel to the bathroom; I think it looks great, even though I probably won’t use it – I prefer showers!

The downstairs area painting has commenced with the undercoat and first top coat sprayed on and the second top coat rolled on. Waiting for its third and final coat.

The downstairs area painting has commenced, with the undercoat and first top coat sprayed on and the second top coat rolled on.

Fantastic news! The roofing company has been back and the roof has finally been finished off. It was great having my builder on-site, as he pointed out a couple of things that needed minor adjustments, such as the placement and finish of the downpipes that I wouldn’t have thought of.

The painter has almost completed undercoating the outside of the house. The dalmatian effect in the picture is where he has painted over knot holes. He said if he didn’t do this the knots would bleed through the topcoat. You learn something new every day! There is one more coat of paint to go on inside on the lower floor of the house, then that area will be finished. It’s looking good.

The plasterers have been back a couple of times during the week to finish off the inside of the laundry, as well as put on a top coat or sand various areas of the house. They seem to come for a couple of hours and tackle a section, putting on tape and a base coat and then return the next day to work on the next stage.

The carpenter has been working on the fiddly fit-out work, installing the timber skirtings, architraves and cornices upstairs where we are trying to retain a more traditional old Queenslander look. Looking at his work, I’m glad we decided to get the professionals to do this. Yes, we could have done it, but it would have taken us a lot longer to finish.

The side windows couldn't be ordered until the old aluminium ones were removed and the space measured.

The side windows couldn’t be ordered until the old aluminium ones were removed and the space measured.

We have learnt a lot from doing this renovation. It has made us reconsider aspects of the new build and helped us understand what we need to have in place and what information we need to supply to different tradesmen to make the build process run smoothly. We have gone back over the plans of the new build and asked the architect to make a number of small changes that should assist in containing costs. Did you know a stacker door costs around $1800 while the same size bifold door can cost around $5000? The changes we’ve made should improve the liveability of the house.

 

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