It’s been a while since I’ve updated sorry but there hasn’t been much to say! I’ve had a few trademe dramas but I’ll address those in my next post – in the mean time enjoy this visual feast x
Seriously quality brick work on the garage. A few weeks ago this was being held up by a tree and a wooden brace, midly concerning that the garage may cave in before we take possession
Pretty much a free trampoline on the back porch weee
To be honest until last weekend we weren’t even aware that this room existed. It’s a tiny sunroom/porch thing off the kitchen… BONUS
Time is really flying by and it’s only two weeks now until we get official possession…….. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas xxx
One of the first things I noticed when wandering through our house was the beautiful heritage Villa switches were still all there. I knew from friends that you couldn’t reuse them but I still had hopes you could somehow restore them, apparently NOT Seems like such a waste but everyone I talked to almost laughed in my face, I can’t wait to see the insides of some of the old ones!
We’ve locked down an electrician so are all good to go on one of the most expensive one off items – the rewire. I’ve spent the last 5 nights browsing period switches online – there’s basically one company Clipsal that makes heritage style switches and lots of people sell them under different names. As usual New Zealand shops are ripping people off left right and centre – with only a few places selling these switches you would be mad to buy them at over $40 per switch from Bungalow & Villa or over $30-35 a switch from Recollections.
Our house is basically a small transitional villa with basic lighting needs and at those prices we would be looking at close to a thousand dollars in switches alone – possibly more – I stopped adding it up I got so depressed!
I love online shopping and stumbled across the magnificent Restoration Online website and the switches are only $19ish each – Australian – which right now works out to be just a smidge over $20 NZD. The mounting blocks and accessories are well under half the price of any stockist in NZ too and their international shipping is reasonable. Even better if you know someone who can bring it back for you in their luggage and claim back the GST at the airport! I should also mention Pales In Style who will ship your beautiful Villa or Bungalow switches to NZ GST free and are happy to call and guide you through the process.
Basic light switches in New Zealand are also frightfully expensive, The 4 electricians that came and quoted our house gave prices from $12 – 20 a switch which is INSANE – I’ve seen them as low as $3 on Australian websites selling direct to the public… we figure the extra $6 per restoration villa switch is a worthy investment.
Anyway I really need to get better at decision making – these switches alone consumed my life for the past week or so trying to decide on colour and style! xx
Hey! I need a door between my bedrooms!
I could definitely do with some fluorescent lighting
in my bedroom hanging off the outside of my wardrobe!!!
So my 3 year old Reuben had his first independent drop off at playcentre this morning – I cried my eyes out walking out to the car but distracted myself for the 3 hours by sanding
all most of the cupboard doors for the kitchen.
I’m having a little bit of a challenge trying to figure out the kitchen scenario… I didn’t realise that the windows in the room are all so LOW! Like well below the level of a kitchen bench. SIGH. I was really hoping to have the kitchen on the side of the room with the windows but I think it will just not be possible because of the window layout.. Oh well! In the fullness of time when we extend it’s not going to matter anyway! I’m also trying to figure out how to make a kitchen island without spending non-existent money on bits and pieces.
Anyway, feeling much more confident about this renovation after my first power tool experience – I’m pretty much a pro sander – this is going to be fine. xx
We had our first real taste of action on the house today – we picked up the fridge and the kitchen for our new house. You can see what the kitchen used to look like on my other post here but here is what it looks like now….
Yeah. My husband is mourning the loss of our garage and I think I am going to miss it too! Internal garaging sure is a beautiful thing!
Apart from the fact we were horrendously unprepared for how heavy the fridge would be (I actually had to enlist the help of a poor neighbour who happened to be standing outside at the time) and a few domestics it all went relatively well. The kitchen has a few positives… the doors are wood like I suspected so my painting plan can go ahead. The oven looks good as does the rangehood… the smaller benches are real wood! The only real downside is the main bench is a hideous hideous shade of fake wood laminate and the gas hob looks extremely old hahaha but that’s pretty much what I was expecting and for $66 it’s a definite win.
Now to borrow some power tools….
We haven’t even got possession of our house yet but I’ve already purchased a new kitchen. And by new, I mean very old and cheap hah! This is our $66 temporary* kitchen upgrade. Anyone who knows me is probably about to be a bit perplexed by my choice but rest assured that green is going I’m all about the neutrals and this kitchen is due for a respray.
Legally in NZ when you sell a house you must include an oven. Random rule but our sellers asked us if we were okay with crossing off the oven from the list of chattels, we were keen to go unconditional so we agreed. So I’ve been browsing online for a new oven when I discovered you could purchase old kitchens INCLUDING ovens… and meet my new kitchen + oven + hob plus range hood… for a grand $66!
I pretty much hate the benchtop but that’s okay – anything at all is an improvement over this … sixties kitchen? It’s hard to see but the kitchen in the house currently apart from being extremely attractive (I forget sarcasm doesn’t translate well online. . . ……….) is in a weird diagonal ‘room’ slash sixties kitchenette which needs to come out ASAP so hopefully it’s easy to smash walls down – did I mention that we know NOTHING about DIY?! – and install our existing kitchen.
*By temporary – there are just so many different approaches to improving one’s home, and everyone has a different set of priorities in how money fits into that. Our home is a bit more unique in that EVERYTHING needs doing but it doesn’t change the face that we have no spare cash floating by. I mean we are so broke from um, buying the actual house that we literally have no money at all – so this kitchen will do until we…. aren’t so broke any more.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite photos from our place so far…
These make me so excited!!! I’ve begun a new (well, revived) addiction with trademe looking for bits and pieces to fix it up on the cheap. Do you love it as much as I do?! Haha x
The thing about our house is that we have to make some expensive decisions before we even move in! The house is simply unsafe for a crawling, licking baby and a runaway toddler! The outside is covered in old, flaking lead paint, the inside is covered with grease and dirt from car parts and the backyard quite literally has broken car parts buried half in the dirt. SOOOOOO… there is obviously a lot to do unless I wish to confine by children to a playpen for a few months haha.
It’s actually really hard to figure out what needs to be done first and how far we can stretch our limited budget.
So far we have
*Interior rewire – we can’t get insurance until this is done nor is it likely to be particularly safe so obviously this is our number one.
*Lead based paint removal – this is my major concern from a safety point of view, I had no idea lead poisoning was such a real risk and so serious. It’s quite a pain because it means we won’t be able to do this while the kids are around at all and as Charlotte is still so little I don’t like to leave her for long so it’s a bit frustrating!! But I know we will be able to make it work and will be pulling on as much help as we can beg/pay for. SO the outside of the house needs to be stripped back as most of the paint has almost flaked to the bare wood anyway.
*Stripping down the interior walls – strip back the scrim – insulate exterior walls and gib. Whether we pay someone to gib or get crazy and DIY is another decision to make….
After that’s done we will be safe to move in… I need to send off a soil sample for lead testing as that is making me nervous too. I’ll have to make Charlotte a special organic dirt trough to eat in the mean time haha!!
I’m having such a bad time deciding on exterior colours… I thought I was strictly a grey girl but I haven’t seen a single grey house I love since I’ve started looking so that is just bizzare xx
Most people have a nice little period of downtime in between
signing away their life and money signing their house agreement and settlement day but our house is crying out for some serious work which means we need to do some serious planning.
As we have 2 young babies, before we can even move in we need to make it safe. Most houses this would not be a problem….. did I mention that the whole house has been used to store car parts?! As such the entire house is FILTHY – not just your average haven’t been cleaned in 10 years kind of dirt – this is more like, haven’t been cleaned since the 60s when I became car parts storage and am now covered in petroleum based dirt! We can’t even get insurance until the house has been rewired as it is a serious fire hazard.
So we need to line up a lot of contractors and get some major items done quickly so we can move in! The roof and rewire are the two big ticket items that need to be done ASAP. Then we can get in for a big clean and move in! I still can’t quite believe that we get to live in Mt Eden – we have been renting just a street away from here and we love it – but house prices at the moment in this area – in fact most of Auckland are BEYOND crazy – talking about original 1940s houses selling for close to 1.1m – and anything remotely nice selling for significantly more. We had ruled it out and it still feels like a dream that we get to stay in our neighbourhood!
Bad side of today – discovering lots of borer. And the guy had made his own door between two bedrooms that we hadn’t really noticed before!
Plus side of today – discovering endless amounts of junk whilst we helped the owners out in their clear out - we discovered a vintage wedding dress, probably Victorian, claimed a TON of gorgeous vintage furniture as our own including a sofa and some chairs I can’t WAIT to recover, a brand new toaster in box (from the 20s LOL) and tons of other junk including vintage playboys! Can’t wait to see what other treasures we will discover in our house!
And what a house!!! We have been on the hunt for a house in Auckland for many months now – so very many open homes, auctions and nights spent browsing trademe and realestate.co.nz for houses. Every weekend we have dragged our two children from home to home and often my very supportive parents to view all manner of houses. We’ve slowly refined our criteria and had a list of dream suburbs that we were getting edged out of due to the crazy property market!
Ultimately we secured this house through an amazing real estate agent – actually a pair of real estate agents who let us know about it before it even came on the market. It is in a very desirable street and is without question the ‘worst house on the street’! It has unbelievably been used for vintage car parts storage and the entire house is an absolute mess with broken bits and pieces piled from the floor to the ceiling. Every surface is filthy and not seen the slightest hint of a cleaning cloth in at least 20 years. Many of the windows are broken. The curtains are missing or rotted away and in many rooms paper is covering the glass.
The bath is filled with dirt, there are dishes in the kitchen which I think have been there for at least 20 years! Oh yes. The kitchen. I don’t even know what it is like yet because the path to it was completely blocked with car parts so we have only viewed from a distance! The toilet is almost outdoors (on the back porch) with light streaming in from gaps in the walls – hello privacy!
On the plus side, it is very original. All ceilings and doors/windows appear to be original along with the lovely stained glass window. It’s a transitional villa and almost exactly what we wanted to buy, as close to our dream house as we could ever have hoped for!
We are so very excited. There is even a strange room upstairs which I’m planning on making into a little sewing studio until we can figure out what to do with it! The entire house needs so much work. We stretched our budget to the absolute max to get this place and so the renovations are going to be quite a long drawn out process! We hope to do most of it ourselves with as much help as we can beg and borrow from our lovely families hahaha!