eleven years

Last month marked eleven years since we moved to our little piece of paradise. This led to some reflection, over a glass of wine or two, of renovations completed and projects accomplished. The property we have now is quite different from the one we purchased in 2009. The first thing to go was the lino on the floor, I don’t understand why anyone would lay that over polished timber.

The pink walls and light fittings soon followed along with the curtains.

With so many outdoor areas, we decided the large deck at the eastern end of the house was better put to use as an office. We included a second bathroom in the extension to serve as an ensuite to the third bedroom for guests.

The main bathroom was next for a makeover, I don’t have a ‘before’ photo of the bathroom, it was so terrible, but you’ll get the general idea. Demolishing the tiny bath and shower cubicle was very satisfying, the transformation is amazing.

The laundry was done at the same time.

The red brick walls in the lounge were rendered and painted, the carpet and tiles replaced with polished timber, new curtains and lounge suite completed the package.

The bedrooms didn’t need too much work, floor coverings were removed, timbers polished and new curtains.

The kitchen was a major project, I had forgotten how ugly it was until I dug out these photos.

At the same time things were changing inside, we were working on some big projects outside. Apart from some delicious strawberries and a few spuds, there wasn’t much growing in the veggie patch. A few months of hard toil changed that.

We then set about building a potting shed from reclaimed materials and somewhere to wash the produce.

The chook shed had seen a number of incarnations before we gave up and bought one that only required assembling.

36.chook house

The driveway needed some attention before it descended into the paddock, we sourced old car tyres to create a substantial retaining wall and then replaced the fence along the entire length.

It was doubtful how long the timbers on the bridge down in the forest would hold the weight of the tractor so we replaced them with new hardwood and brought the old ones up for future use.

The biggest reno to date was the back verandah, motivated when a pair of swallows insisted on building their nest in the eaves. Many months later, we could sit back and enjoy our efforts (the timbers used for the dining and coffee table are some of the old ones from the bridge).

At the end of the back room, we left an area for a BBQ kitchen. The decking was an exhausting enterprise, the fine tuning of the ‘kitchen’ is yet to evolve.

Our most ambitious (and final?) renovation is a work in progress. Hopefully, I will be able share that with you in the not too distant future. There is one thing that will stay the same.

46.cannonhill 569

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….

renovation ruminations: part 6

Our latest renovation project has been a few years in the making. When we moved in, the back verandah was partly enclosed and there were café blinds further along (the first storm took care of those). Apart from being immensely unattractive, condensation would drip from the ridges of the corrugated ceiling, creating puddles on the floor.

1.before

We solved that problem with a new ceiling in 2011, adding skylights to allow light into the house.

2.new ceiling Dec 2011

We had often talked about how nice it would be to enclose the room but other things got in the way. Forward to spring 2016 when a pair of welcome swallows moved in. Each time they started to build a new nest, we would remove it. They were so persistent, we attached plastic to the cedar cladding and cardboard ‘lids’ to the coach lights. They finally got the message – and so did we. In March this year, we started by removing the existing window and sliding door in readiness for a concrete slab.

A few days later, the builders started on the formwork, under the guidance of Poppy.

The driver manoeuvred the truck past the pond

8.concrete truck

and the lads got to work.

A few turns with the whirly-gig

14.whirly-gig

and next morning we had the beginnings of our new room.

15.slab

The old sliding door was repositioned at the entrance and a smaller window installed next to it.

16.new window, old sliding door

Three large stacker doors and a slider at the other end followed. The small stacker windows at the far end will sit above the bar and will open into the BBQ area. Poppy has a new doggy door which she thinks is great fun.

We left a channel open along the old exterior wall to allow access to pipes. The plan was to build timber frames so we could cover them with the flooring but remove if we have plumbing problems. Michael’s mammoth trench-digging effort unearthed the pipes but they weren’t where we thought, they were more central in the room.

19.trench for plumber

The old coach lights were removed and down lights installed, with power points to follow. We sanded the existing window frames so they would match the new ones.

20.sanding

We carefully extricated the cladding from the old exterior wall

and after attaching the moisture proof membrane,

23.waterproofing

re-used it on the new exterior.

Insulation came next

27.insulation

and then the plumber removed the old exterior pipes, re-directed them outside and installed fixtures for a bar sink. Now that we didn’t need the channel to access the pipes, we had another concrete delivery to fill it in

and laid a slab for the BBQ and pizza oven at the same time.

30.BBQ slab

Plastering and painting made it all seem a reality.

31.almost there

We decided on a small wood heater for those cold winter evenings,

32.wood heater

and vinyl planks for the floor. The excitement of laying the first plank

33.first plank

had quelled somewhat after the second day.

34.halfway

With skirtings fitted and varnished, we are very happy with the result.

35.finished

Poppy has a new bed (she refused to smile for the camera) made from reclaimed timber.

36.Poppy's bed

We couldn’t make up our minds on furnishings so decided to refurbish the items we already had.

We bought an old pew for our dining area, it revived beautifully with some TLC.

45.pew

The dining table and coffee table – well, that’s another story. Now we just have to build the bar, a couple of cupboards, the decking, the BBQ………

renovation ruminations: part 5

I have never had an impressive kitchen so wasn’t too disappointed with the existing one.

1.old kitchen2.old kitchen

The lino was evicted the day after we moved in, revealing Tasmanian oak floorboards. The cupboard space was adequate and with the island we brought with us, the kitchen was functional.

3.old kitchen14.old kitchen25.old kitchen

I then saw the cooker of my dreams in a catalogue, an offer too good to refuse. And so, it began. We had to relocate the electric water heater from the corner and solved that problem with solar hot water.

6.during

The huge cabinet only just fit through the door but determination won out.

7.during

We tried not to let the demolition get in the way of cocktail hour.

8.cocktail time9.tiles off

We removed the old door and window next to it to create a wall and fitted a new door

10.door11.door13.door14.door15.door16.door17.door

then returned to the task of demolition.

18.rustic

Next, we were ready for the professionals, who very quickly created a masterpiece.

19.rebuild

The Belling Range takes pride of place.

19a.new cooker

Our kitchen, and home, is now complete.

20.after north view21.after east view22.after south view23.after west view24.after front door25.outside door

 

renovation ruminations: part 4

The bedrooms didn’t need too much work. The previous owners installed bay windows in the two main bedrooms, adding a bit more space and enhancing the gorgeous views. They tiled the floor area in the window section to blend in with the cream carpet.

the pink walls, pelmets and curtains were first to go.

5. new curtains

We pulled up the carpet and removed the tiles

then filled in the gaping hole with Tasmanian oak flooring. The hideous solid wardrobe doors were replaced with Tassie oak framed mirrored ones

and the floorboards were sanded and polished.

17.K's after16.M's after15.M's after

After much searching, I found some antique bedside cabinets. They are mismatched and after some restoration they completed the picture perfectly.

18.K's bedsides19.M's bedsides

The third bedroom was designated for guests

18.bed 3 before

but the sofa bed was soon re-homed once I discovered how uncomfortable it was. The carpet had to go and a huge built in cupboard was deconstructed and resurrected in the shed. With some rearranging, the room has become a cosy guest suite for one as well as my playroom.