renovation ruminations: part 8

After ten years lamenting the eyesore across the garden, the time had come to do something about it. It was so horrible, this is the only photo I could find.

A few bits of timber and tin had been thrown together to resemble sheds by the previous owners, handy storage but not pretty.

Demolition began in November 2018, a very satisfying exercise.

The initial plan to ‘use & re-use’ as much as possible with timber framed windows and doors from the salvage yard. I set to with a scraper, sander and heat gun, hoping to have them prepared before the builders needed them.

The new slab was poured in February (Poppy made her mark) as well as a smaller
3m x 3m and we possum-proofed them for a few days.

When we demolished the 6m x 3m tin shed we resurrected the best panels and turned it into a 3m x 3m shed, hence the smaller slab.

We finally pinned down the builder to do the frame in April, a hasty job that was left largely unfinished.

We completed the structural work with advice from a building surveyor and got on with the cedar cladding in the hope of being weatherproof before winter. The builders had put the colorbond on the roof but hadn’t finished the edges so we temporarily fixed some old flashings until we could find a roofer willing to finish the job. We had since realised the windows were a step too far, it would take far too long to restore them and the end result wouldn’t be as we pictured. We ordered new windows to match those on the house, another six week wait and we halted cladding until they arrived.

There was plenty more to keep us occupied. We finished wrapping the carport area and, with a few acrobatics involved, applied the colorbond to the outside.

A bit more cladding,

fitting the back door

and the new windows arrived two weeks early. We replaced the old ones and finished the cladding

but the season had changed and it was too cold to apply protection until summer.

Many years ago, Michael found an old door at the salvage yard that was too nice to leave there. It has rested in the garage for eight years and now has pride of place as the front door. With the warmer weather, I could finally attempt to restore it to its former glory.

More delays ensued waiting for the electrician and we were now into May 2020. Once his cabling was in, we fitted the insulation batts

and the plasterers were able to work their magic.

We had decided on epoxy resin with vinyl flakes for the floor and the next few weeks were a juggling act between the plumbers and the flooring contractor. With the heat pump installed we could paint through the cold months and apply architraves and skirtings.

A kitchenette is next and some comfy couches and we have a lovely music studio to relax in as well as a more pleasing vision across the garden.

quirky cupboard

Following the success of the bespoke bureau,

1.bureau

we used the same recipe for our next cupboard. Selecting a Huon slab from our stash,

2.Huon slab

Michael went to work with the reclaimed timbers for the frame.

We continued the theme with the rusted steel panels for the side

and created the shelves from old fence palings.

7.shelving

After much discussion and mind-changing, we decided on fence palings for the doors.

Why would you make two doors alike when they can be different?

10.doors

A few coats of Cabothane brought out the grains and colouring in the timbers.

The Huon top was precision designed to fit snugly in position, the beautiful markings enhanced by the varnish.

13.top14.top

Another successful trip to the salvage yard rewarded us with the perfect hinges and a pair of door handles that, in a previous life, were used to hang fire extinguishers from. The brand new shiny bolts were given the rusting treatment.

Unfortunately, Dulux have seen fit to discontinue the Duramax 2-pack we used on the steel of the bureau and the alternative product we found dulled the colours a little.

18.rusted steel panel

Nevertheless, we are very happy with the result

19.finished

and the cupboard has pride of place by the door.

20.perfect fit

On with the next project….

bespoke bureau

Having finished the back room renovation, our thoughts turned to furnishings. We searched for a suitable sideboard but couldn’t find anything that was just right, though we did get a few ideas. The answer was to create our own. We had some old timbers lying around and supplemented our supply with a visit to the salvage yard where we also found four wooden crates (there were two A.B. Tonic ones).

I cleaned up the crates while Michael slaved over the frame using various reclaimed hardwood timbers

and some old fence palings. I found a recipe for rusting nails and it worked a treat.

6.shelves

A few coats of Cabothane brought out the natural hues as well as the perfect defects.

We kept changing our minds about what to use for the centre front and side panels so Michael experimented with rust effects on steel. The polyurethane coating has preserved the colours well.

9.rusted steel panels

Precision placed finger holes and felt lining completed the crates.

Over the years, we have accumulated some beautiful timber slabs and we selected a Huon pine for this project. Trimmed and prepared,

it was fixed to the frame

15.finished

and the steel took its place in the front and sides.

Some more Cabothane on the top highlighted the grain.

We are very happy with the result.

23.finished

renovation ruminations: part 7

Once we finished the renovation of the back room, we moved straight on to the decking of the outdoor space. We removed the old pavers

1.removing pavers2.pavers gone

and, under the watchful eye of the foreman,

3.the foreman

built the frame while working around existing obstacles as best we could.

4.framework

After much research, we decided to use Ekodeck, a composite material that (this is the best bit) requires no oiling, painting or maintenance.

5.Ekodeck

It didn’t take long to cut and lay the planks, we used the CAMO hidden screw system so there are no screws visible on top of the boards.

6.decking7.decking

We laid a metre wide strip to connect the doors with the garden

8.framework11.decking

and then added the edges.

12.deck13.decking done

For completeness, we laid a border of white pebbles

14.deck finished

and planted six dwarf camellias at the barbecue end.

15.deck finished16.deck finished

Next is the outdoor kitchen area….

fencing fun

Last weekend we completed a project that has been on the list for years. The fencing along the driveway was atrocious but we had to build the retaining wall (see “wonder wall” post) before we could fix it.

1.before

We started by putting in extra posts.

2.posts13.posts2

Some of the old ones came out easier than expected

others needed a bit of encouragement.

7.post4

Our old drill had finally retired after 15 years, no more swearing with the new one.

8.drill

After running two lines of straight wire, we rolled out the wallaby.

9.wire110.wire2

It comes in 100 metre rolls so we had to do it in two sections. We held it loosely upright on the posts

11.wire up

and secured one end

12.fixing

then strained it tightly and fixed it to the posts.

13.hanging

Then to the other end. We strained the bottom

14.straining bottom

then the top

15.straining top

until it was nice and tight. Fixed to the posts, three more lines of straight and clipped the wallaby to the straight lines.

16.strained

We then tackled the fenceline at the entrance to the property. Barbed wire is dreadful stuff, it should be illegal.

17.before

We dug in some new posts

18.hole digging

took the old wire down and soon had the new one up.

19.wire up

We are very pleased with our new fence but a little sad because it is probably the last fencing we will ever do.

20.new fence