Sunday, December 19, 2010

Construction Zone Tour

Front of the house, just a tad of gardening done
 Hi Again !  We have been so busy with work and the renovations on the house, that posting to the blog has taken a bit of a second seat...but a lot of emails are coming in saying you have checked the blog and want to see some current renovation shots.  So here you go, a short tour of the construction zone.

The front yard has been mowed, just to keep things under control really.  And we have done some weeding in the front garden beds too.  And removed some dead shrubs that were hiding under a lot of weeds.  But due to summer, we will not be planting under the double front windows until autumn.

Back Foyer door, touring entrance to renovation zone
We aren't using the front verandah entrance just yet, so come around to the left and around the will see the Back Foyer entrance, come on through there and into the back of the house.  please watch your step when you come in, things are very much a working area, as you will see.  (Yes, we will be painting over that spearmint green !)

I have done a tidy up today before you got here, so much of the dust and rubble is removed, and things are about as tidy as they can be given the real serious construction and fit out work underway.
Kitchen looking from back foyer across to Dining Room

So come around here and you will see the kitchen and then beyond it, the Dining Room area.

Now you are standing in the kitchen, the sink will be under the window.  In the pic below left, you can see the old fireplace has had its top "ceiling" raised up so it is a more usable height (especially for Ian, who is quite tall) and also suitable for an extractor fan to be installed in it.  You can see that the walls have been plastered and smoothed over.  The upper cabinets will cover up that old pink painted area.  The floors in the kitchen are already tiled, but to protect them from construction mess, we had to cover them with heavy cardboard and so you can't see the nice tiled finish (it does look very nice, lovely mid grey-beige rectified porcelain tiles from Italy--Bella !).
Kitchen, view 1

Dining Room, currently used as a storage and staging area
Leadlight detail

Beyond you can see a pic of the Dining Room, with the leadlight windows in the far corner.  Because there is little construction required in this room (it was a later addition to the house), it is being used as a storage and staging area.    Left is a close up of the leadlight detail.  

And around through to the left is the Lounge (Living) Room.  There was a wall on the right side, and that has been removed.  It makes the room a nicer proportion.  The part that was a hallway is the pink colored part.  We have come to realise that at one point, the ENTIRE house was painted in this pink color--oh my !!  We will be changing that when we get to the painting work (February).  The smaller pic of that room shows the view of it to the front and the dark door you see is the one to the front verandah.  The ceiling in the hallway was higher than what was in the lounge room and the beams cannot support two sets of ceiling material, so the old ceiling material is taken off and this week gyprock ceiling will be put up and matched to the rest of the ceiling pattern in that room.

The Lounge Room fireplace will have a combustion firebox, which we have already purchased.  It will be fitted and installed early next year.   The firebox will have a matte black metal faschia surround and a charcoal-coloured slate hearth on the floor in front of it, these have already been ordered and will be fitted when the firebox is installed.  We won't be using the mantel you see (which is not original, but has likely been used as a decorative piece recently).  This one is not wide enough for the firebox we have selected.  So we will have a new one made to fit, probably mid next year sometime. 

Lounge (Living) Room, with hallway wall removed

Front of Lounge Room

Below left is a photo of the Office/Library.  This first year will see us using the gas heater inside the fireplace.  But in 2012 we will be replacing that with a gas fireplace, whcih will make for a lovely cozy place for my late work calls  or a quiet nightcap.

MBR:  now with dressing area and beyond, a door to 2-way bath

Below to the left is a photo of the Master Bedroom, now it is comprised of two adjacent rooms, which really were very small, especially the one you see in the step up.  A huge amount of work has been done here, the thickness of the small stub of wall you see between these two spaces was the thick slab of wall that previously separated them.  Ian removed 2.2 metres of wall and now it is gorgeous and smoothed and plastered very nicely.  But it was a big mess, with jagged rocks jutting out of it, and all the packing around them was mud that over decades turned to never ending piles of dust !

This piece of work required some real engineering too.  The wall removed bears some weight of the roof.  A large beam has been placed across the stubs of wall left (to either side of the opening) and to reinforce it, there is a steel beam on each side, holding it up firmly, and on floor between the steel beams is a steel beam support welded to each side.  So a frame to add support.  This has been verified to be over spec by an we are good with this and I have photographed the "guts" of what is underneath the tidy plaster job.

The room you are standing in will be the sleeping area, and then you will step up into the dressing area.  We will be installing built in closets next year, probably a month after we move in (this fell off the prior-to-move-in cut off...just cannot fit it in prior, but it is one of the first things coming up on the list after we've moved...requirements design spec to be done in February).  The dressing room had a door from a small hallway just to left of the red gyprock sheet holder you see in the photo, and it has been bricked up and finished nicely.  From hallway you would never know there had been a door.  IN fact, the whole wall has been improved (this wall was a poorly constructed one, and needed some restoration work).

The doorway from the dressing area is into the bathroom, which will be a two-way bathroom, with one doorway from our room and another from the back foyer.  Creating this doorway was a smaller scale repeat of the wall removal described above, as the wall this new doorway is in was also stone, with wickedly big stones jutting through right where we wanted the new doorway.   Ian cut through them them with a grinder, which was a real piece of work to do !  It was also thick, so the doorway frame had to be quite deep (an expensive doorway and more engineering).

Bathroom, now with concrete subfloor
The bathroom now has a concrete subfloor and the plumbing work is part way done, pending plumber to fit the rest of the job in to move ahead.  Then it will be tiled, a glass shower enclosure will be fitted.  We have everything except that, and it can't be ordered until the tiling work is done, to make sure we have a perfect fit.  We have a lovely white vanity, and a free standing tub too.

Below right you can see the tiles we will use.  The greyed beige on left (upper left corner) is the floor tile.  The white will be wall tiles, for wall in shower and then for a half wall all around vanity and bath areas.  Above that will be the decorative frieze you see below, topped with a pretty cap of chunky white tile border called "Candy Stripe" for its pattern.

In the other rooms you may not have noticed the work to "chase" the walls and embed the conduits for the electricals.  We have been very careful to work out where we needed powerpoints (outlets) and light switches.  Nearly all of them in the house were in exposed conduits and chunky boxes sitting on walls or on the architraves.  Only in the Dining Room are these already installed and concealed neatly (that room had space under the floor boards and is newer construction than the original parts of the house).   In the bathroom pic above you can see one channel cut in the left hand wall,  it is for a light switch and outlet.  It has been done in all the other rooms too, but has already been neatly plastered over.  It is a messy job to do, Ian has been painstakingly chiseling into the stone walls to create channels for the conduits.  Then he installed, plastered over.  I am sure I am simplifying this, it was a big piece of work.  Also, we had to consult safety codes, especially in the bathroom, and then ensure the master electrician we have working with us agreed (he did, guess we did our homework on AS/NZ Wiring Rules well !)

Through the back foyer, and out the door, you see the back area where the guys keep their tools and things.  Including an old antique bed found in the old shed.  We might use that in the spare room, or may not keep it it all, who knows...just not working that part of the plan quite yet.  The back area you see will become the Phase 2 work, which will be designed after we move in in March.  Then work to begin mid next year.  The far corner you see on right will be a secnd bathroom, and next to it will be a permanent laundry (temporary laundry will be in back foyer).  Then  to the left will be a sunroom area.  Including space to paint, relax and opening to a patio and undercover entertaining space.

Work Staging Area in Back

Well, hope you enjoyed the tour.  We are pleased to report to now be a bit more than mid way through the project.  Started mid October, a week late due to settlement delays beyond our control on the house purchase.   We are really exhausted from all the work, especially Ian, who has worked so hard on all of it, there 7 days a week most weeks (minus a very few rare breaks, maybe only 3 days in this time).  I have begun to go in and do weekend construction clean ups...and it makes a difference, so will be continuing that each weekend.   We have been at it 2 months now.  I am the Procurement and Finance Officer, Ian is Engineer Plus a Lot more on this job !!  We have a full agenda for January and February and most things are on track or a bit ahead.  We have some dependencies on the plumbing work (plumber time is very hard to pin down and secure), so we will be looking at what we can do to reduce the schedule risks there.  We also await Ian's shed, which has slipped to January, though perhaps December was overly optimistic (we have had to wait for local council approvals).  The kitchen design is done and is on track to be fitted in February, in time to have the benches (counter tops) done prior to move in.

So, more to do !  Ian is full time on this endeavor.  I will take 3 weeks leave in Feb and March to do painting, other fit out work, and organise/oversee our move out of Campsite and into House on or about the first of March !
 Happy Holiday Cheers from Kim & Ian

Meantime, hope you are ready to enjoy a lovely holiday.  I will post again while on holiday, will actually have more time !  I hope to get in a bit of painting too :)

Happy Holidays to all !

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