Friday, December 10, 2010

You can't make an omelet...without breaking some eggs
So the saying goes, and we broke lots of eggs. The poor house had quite the face lift.
The builders started with a bang, firstly by excavating under the house and removing 37 trucks of dirt!
A retaining wall and steel posts were then added. Whenever the words 'retaining wall' are used by a builder, brace yourself, there are going to be significant costs involved. It's a necessary cost, but it's hard to get excited by it.

Apart from building in the lower level, we changed the outside of the house very little. We added on this wraparound verandah, but it seems like a natural progression because the sleepout, a later addition, protruded from the side of the house. The verandah just neatened it all up.

The rooms at the front of the house (the back is shown above) stayed pretty much the same, but we changed things around at the back of the house. We moved the kitchen, turned the third upstairs bedroom into a bathroom and stairwell, and split the long sleepout into an ensuite, pantry and the 'void'.
This photo below is looking through the soon-to-be kitchen, into the pantry.
Whenever the builders removed a vj wall they recycled the timber and used it again in new walls, which we were happy about.

If you're about to renovate prepare yourself for dust and mess.....lots of both.

Originally, we intended to just excavate downstairs, pour the concrete slab and put in the steel, then batton it. However, the builder was able to build it in for a very reasonable cost. It was much cheaper to have him do it while they were here and set up, then to have them come back again at a later date. Fitting it out will happen sometime in the future, so for the moment it remains like this.

This is the kitchen going in.

Below is the infamous hole in the bench which was in the wrong place. The bench ended up having to be replaced!

We found this (below) in a metal box in the house. It is pages of hand written instructions on how to build our house.

Briefly, on a different matter. You know my lack of skill never prevents me attempting yet another 'crafting' task. Below is my tissue paper pom pom. I got the instructions off the Martha Stewart website, and thought it sounded so easy even I could make them....turns out I was wrong. Mine is all wilted and just doesn't look quite right.

This is my latest find. I found this old cane chair in a second hand shop. It was a hefty $80 but I had a good feeling about it. I have since taken it into And Woven Cane. Mr Twaddle told me it is from the Victorian era, probably made between 1850 and 1890. He said if he was selling it in his store it would be at least $600 in its current state.
It is ridiculously well made and still solid as a rock. Apparently traditional colours for it would have been pastel shades, black or royal blue!

I have two solid days of prep before our special guests arrive on Sunday.


  1. I'm so glad you found my chair - it's gone to the perfect home! You're exactly the kind of owner I wanted for her!! My sister in Gladstone told me about your blog and said that there was a dead ringer for Norma's chair on here. I didn't have the heart to tell her that on Tuesday I'd donated her to the Salvo's at Red Hill as I didn't have a place for her. I've been waking up at night thinking Oh my God what have I done, as my children were so angry at me about giving her away, but I feel absolutely fine about it now. It has actually been repaired by And Woven Cane about 15 years ago, and yes, we did pay $600 there to get it done! It's been sitting in my Garage for the last ten years waiting for us to get a bigger place, but as that is now never going to happen, I'm overjoyed you found her. She is from my Grandfather's cousin who lived in Yeppoon, but I think had at some stage lived out West. I'll have to ask my Mum, when next I see her. I hadn't seen your blog before, but I too, have those metal chairs from the CWA, not in those lovely colours, but as they were picked up from the side of the road, still lovely. I'll now have to read the rest of your blog - enjoy the chair!!!

  2. That is absolutely amazing. I can't believe it. You know of course, now your sister will know you gave it away! She's sitting comfortably in our dining room corner (the chair, not your sister). I've yet to decide whether to leave as is or paint? My grandmother and mother both grew up in Tanby, just outside Yeppoon. How funny if your grandfather's cousin is a very distant relative, and obviously you too.
    Thank you again. She's beautiful.

  3. The journey of your house has been wonderful and it now looks fabulous. I love the story about the little cane chair. ;-)