Tag Archives: demolition

Renovation Stage 2 is in full force!

While I’ve been gone (literally… I was away in Sydney for 10 days, more on that later) my house has undergone something of a transformation – thankfully most of it was with my approval!

We are in full swing with stage 2 of the renovation process which, as mentioned in the last post, involves a new bedroom, laundry and office. Unfortunately no happy snaps were taken of the demolition process because when boys get together historical records aren’t first and foremost. However, I am still most grateful to husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law for their efforts in my absence despite no evidence it was them who got the job done!

Here is a quick pic as a bit more wall was sliced out to make way for laundry doors:

And on my return home, said laundry doors, and a linen cupboard door to the right:

These doors are super tall (2400??) in order to maximise access to storage space. I would have preferred normal height doors, with additional/separate cupboard doors above, but that would mean more time and money – compromise people… it’s all about compromise!

From the bathroom, it looks like this:

The first door you see is a standard height door, and leads into the third bedroom. So really what was an entirely blank wall has now become a wall of doors, pretty it’s not, but I’m thinking paint will help with the blending in of doors and frames and it won’t be so bad in the end!

And now from the other side of the doors, here’s looking to one side of the bedroom from within the laundry cupboard. What you’re looking at here is the old laundry space.

Ripping out the lining here uncovered a little surprise in the way of rotten framing… a previous craftsman had even written a helpful warning “If you get this far, don’t go any further!”. So more work to be done in this corner before we move on…

Now if you stand yourself in the above image and spin around, you look to the other corner of the bedroom which is framed on the left by the laundry cupboard, and to the right by the office nook. You’ll just have to trust me on this one… it looks like a maze but it’s not! On the “back” wall you can see a bit of the “artwork” from here used a second time to cover up what was the old kitchen doorway. Once again, we’re doing our best to minimise the transfer of dust and small children to places they don’t belong.

One last picture from the hallway into the laundry, this time with the doors open!

Last night we worked out all the electrical requirements, today I’ve been browsing Pinterest for inspiration on shelving and storage options for laundries and office nooks, and Saturday will no doubt involve a trip to Bunnings and another whip around with the vacuum cleaner (I just may get withdrawal symptoms once all the dust clears and I no longer need my vacuum cleaner twice a day…).

How to make an old kitchen into a bedroom, laundry and office… in a week?

Over the next week or so “we’ll” be busy as busy making over the old kitchen.

Allow the scrawled plan images (apologies for the poor images but I was working to the toddler clock…) below to show you how it will become a bedroom, laundry and office.

Originally we have this, which shows the kitchen, and laundry to the right:

And in a week we hope to have this:

Clear as mud I know but the little one woke too soon and has been out of sorts all evening so it’s as good as you’ll get until there are photos of the real thing.

A little (or large) explanation might help, but feel free to skip it if you get it already… We will build two little closet/nooks into the old kitchen space – one opening to the lounge at left, for an office, and the other opens to the bottom which is the hallway, and will be a laundry cupboard, with a linen cupboard alongside. Next to this is a new doorway, again from the hallway, into the new bedroom. The wall between the old kitchen and laundry will be removed, as will the door to the back steps (there’s another off the new kitchen) which we’ll replace with one of the sidelights from the original french doors from the lounge to the sunroom (the doors and one sidelight can be seen in their new home in the last picture here, and they’re all together in their original position in one of the images here). The hot water cylinder will remain in place due to costs and consents involved in shifting it, and we’ll decide on how we build a wardrobe/storage around it once the bones of the room are in place.

Here are the very beginnings of Renovation Stage Two, which means more demolition (so satisfying!):

I’m too houseproud to show you how the lounge currently looks while this is happening, but let me just say the couch has had to move to make way for around 3sqm of linen, laundry stuff, camping things and craft bits. And the pile of ironing I used to hide in the laundry cupboard…? Well, that’s sitting mockingly on the sofa, with the ironing board leaning tauntingly against the wall, and if I happen to walk past too close I can even see the iron in a box behind the couch… oooh, must be bedtime!

Coming ready or not!

Finally what we’ve all been waiting for…

New kitchen photos – whoop whoop!

But just because there’s a little bit of power-crazy nastiness in me a call for suspense here, I’ll give you this first.

6 months ago we had a kitchen in the middle of the house (well we still do…), with an internal window looking through the sunroom, and a laundry off to the side with another window looking at our fence. All in all, a little gloomy and average, with perfectly adequate but tired cabinetry and an also perfectly adequate but not my style wooden benchtop. According to the master plan (another post perhaps??) it has to go to make way for another bedroom.

But first, a new kitchen… in a space that just housed our desk but was begging to be transformed into my happy place (and why not the kitchen seeing as I do actually spend a fair bit of time in there for one reason or another?!).

What was originally the verandah of our house was walled and roofed in some time ago to create a space that got the best sun in the house but made little sense in function or flow.

In the midst of the demolition it looked a little different…

And finally… it looks a little different again!

Above the splashback there you’ll notice some steel pipes sticking out of the wall – they are not towel rails (temporarily they are!) but brackets for open shelving which we’re working on (or I’m constantly reminding about and he’s working on!).

My mother in law gave me some flowers last weekend and they have pride of place in my new kitchen! Oh happy, happy kitchen!


Absolutely floored!

Wow… here is the mammoth post that I promised way back here (I said a week??!) and you’ve had hints of here and here.

As of last night (or this morning really if you want to count the drying time and holding our breath all night that in the morning all would look fabulous) the floor is finished. Complete. Finito. Done.

I’ll try and let the pictures do the talking, otherwise I’ll get sore fingers and you’ll get sore eyes.

So, back to the beginning:

Followed by destruction:

Marking out the new floor level (about where the white paint is on the walls):

Adding polystyrene around the edges for an insulation break:

Formwork at the back door:

Polythene, polystyrene (creating an insulation break from the existing concrete floor) and reinforcing steel laid out ready for the pour:

And planks laid for access during the laying process:

The truck arrives:

The pour begins:


And finishes:

The next evening, a cut made to prevent cracking:

The sheets on the floor are to keep it damp so it doesn’t dry too quickly:

And then the awful, messy, noisy job of grinding… we (much more of the him and very little of me!) hired a grinder for a day and got to it:

As you can see there is a lot of nasty grey sludge created which drained out the back door, across the driveway and kept clogging our drain… yuck!

Grinding the edges with a hand grinder:

And now for the polishing… just a test patch first (under the kitchen cabinets):

A few more test patches were done… and over a week of going back to it and then rethinking, back again, rethinking again… the polishing process was abandoned. The thought of going over the whole floor with a hand grinder at least once for each of these discs…:

… was a little too daunting, particularly when there was mixed success with the test patches.

Plan B involved researching the sealing process (see this post for more) and trying more test patches before finally deciding on the Peter Fell products.

First though, there was the issue of the “little, tiny holes”. These may have come about from air bubbles, or from small stones being pulled out in the grinding process. However, something “had to be done”!

This was what we (yes, I got down on my hands and knees and filled and scraped with my very own putty knife) did one Saturday while the little one was sleeping:

And then just for fun (and to be sure the holes were well filled) we did it again one night the following week.

Of course, that then had to be gently ground off. It’s ok if you’ve lost count of how many times this floor has been ground – we have no idea either.

Finally after cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping and vacuuming we’re ready for sealing:

Two coats of that, then there we left it for while, while more building work went on. Andre decided it would be best to finish it once there would be less mess, scuffing and potential spills during the building process.

I love this image – it pretty well portrays our life these last six months… renovating and living in constant untidiness while juggling the everyday demands of work and a toddler, with little glimpses of the finished renovation to keep the motivation up!

Weeks (months more likely) of just ignoring the floor, then a flurry of activity this last week (and lots of sweeping, vacuuming and sweeping again) brings us to a light sanding, scrubbing of paint spots, another couple of sealer coats, and finally a top coat of something a bit glossy and non-slip.

Or supposedly… this is me on my knees with a rag buffing/washing the first top coat off because it went wrong:

And this is Andre mopping the floor with soapy water because my buffing didn’t quite do it:

Then I was back on my hands and knees with an old towel to dry it off, and finally Andre got down on his hands and knees to apply another top coat, with a wallpaper brush rather than the mop as recommended but which failed the first time.

And now, a finished floor and a very large to do item crossed off the list!

Loving it! But I have to say the motivation to make a concrete benchtop for the new laundry has waned significantly. I think we’ll be looking at laminates!

Time for a floor shout!




Building site to new beginnings

I was working away last night on some demolition (probably the last of the demolition for the space that’s currently under renovation) and thinking that there’s been a subtle shift in the feel of the room and the way we’re working now.

The floor is actually 97% complete (more on that to come…) so there’s a little bit of tip-toeing around as we go about the rest of the work now. What was an anything goes (muddy boots, throw the tools down, oops I spilt my coffee) attitude is now a bit more precious and thoughtful.

I’m not complaining – it’s exciting! It’s the switch from building site to soon to be new kitchen excitement!

The demolition I mentioned involved knocking out a bit more of the plaster on what was the external wall of the house before the verandah was closed in. So it was a messy, dusty job and for the first time we had to lay down some old curtains dropcloths to protect the floor from falling debris.

Here’s the room in it’s almost rawest state:

And as it was last night, the final demo derby with protective drop cloth (yes I did 90% of it and have a blister to prove it):

And as of a couple of days ago, in all it’s tidiness:

Bye bye building site, hello new beginnings!