Archive of ‘Exterior’ category

It’s the front! Update

We have been on such a mission to finish off the house! Baby number three is rapidly approaching (and I mean rapidly, it’s even measuring weeks ahead of schedule) and the pressure is on. I have said all along that I don’t want to be painting when I’m massively pregnant again but once again here I am!

We don’t actually have any great photos yet – I’ll try my best to take some soon and update this post when I do – but who has the time to take pictures when you are working so hard anyway?!


Jonno hard at work trialing the finial. This was the final missing piece and actually one of the very few things we have actually had to buy a reproduction one of! We having missed a few on trademe, but turns out we actually needed an unusually large one anyway so off we went to the first time to Bungalow & Villa and picked up this beauty!

housebeforefrontSo the beautiful before shot… keep i mind that all of this we have stripped, fixed, cleaned and painted ourselves. If you’re wondering where the window from the porch is – we’ve still got it, put aside for a very, very rainy day!



Another view, check out those layers of lead paint. I will tell you, painting those concrete stairs was one of the most satisfying things ever!

housefrontWe’ve even had time to do some – landscaping of sorts, check out our three beautiful bay trees, and hard to see as they are still babies but their is a very neat little topiary hedge growing around them.

It’s a pretty great feeling patting ourselves on the back at the moment for all our hard work!
Poor Jonno had the job of painting the top peak shingles and roof boards etc and I managed to smash out the rest in two days (I’d done the window frames previously). We finally took down our scaffolding tower of doom from the front of our house!

Next up… this side of the house… (no we didn’t get to keep the car!)…




One year on – back of the house

We have just celebrated our one year house anniversary – and it’s time for a well overdue blog update.

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Here’s the back view of the house, taken this morning (I painted the deck last night). As you can see, there have been quite a few changes. It’s fixed! Painted! All sorts of work has taken place, right at the beginning my Dad did a whole heap of re-piling as some of the foundations were gone, replaced the rotten deck with some plywood, Jonno painted the roof and the turret, we smashed and repaired some windows, including when I gave myself a crash course in glazing to repair a smashed bathroom window on a public holiday… Jonno covered up the rotting access to under the house with our improvised plywood panels, much of the paint has come off and of course it’s all been repainted by us – the back I did with high build Resene contractor paint that we acquired, and has worked out well because the back is in such poor condition it’s hidden a lot of imperfections.

We’ve also leveled out the lawn/extracted all of the car parts from the garden, planted a few trees and had my first attempt/learning experience with a vege garden which is tucked away behind the garage.


Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we have achieved a lot but considering we have done all the work ourselves on top of our normal jobs/mum life I think we are doing pretty well! The inside of the house is fairly close to being done, the upstairs room and laundry are still to be done but the rest we love and have done all ourselves on such a super low low budget.


Week TEN oh my

I can’t believe so much time has passed since I posted the last “weekly” update – basically the past 5 weeks been a blur of coffee, stress, guilt, extreme tiredness and wearing the same four outfits! So I only packed for a few weeks when we moved out of our unit… clothing FAIL!wpid-ABM_1393121156.jpg

What’s been happening….

The good….

* Gas is hooked up finally!
* The skirting boards and door architraves are finally getting put back up!
* The earthworks and driveway are well under way! The topsoil has been scraped off to remove the thousands of lead paint flakes, broken glass and car part remnants and awaiting the concrete pour for the driveway and the fresh topsoil!
* We have both increased our carpentry skills a hundred times over, I made a pair of brand new window frames and Jonno has been sticking up packers and door architraves. It’s been such a steep learning curve, none of the walls or doors or windows are remotely straight so mitring corners has been one hell of an experience.


The bad….

* Communications with companies and tradesman has just been all round bad or at best average. You leave for a day and stuff gets crazy! I’ve learnt that checking round every day at the minimum is so important. And special note to Vector who promised a phone call before the gas was connected and then just did it with no warning haha.
* Realising that we made some decisions that have set us back significantly. Had we left the children’s bedroom ceiling scotia on that room would be practically done by now – instead we are faced with the nightmare of constructing our own from 2 pieces of moulding and sticking it up ourselves. Same with all the door architraves in the hall – bit of a fail.
*Wrinkles and pimples have increased 300% and my birthday request of Botox was denied… sigh hubby…
*The outside appearance of the house has stalled except the driveway. Inside is the priority so we can move in and we can do the outside after.
* We have had some epic fights. Last night someone may have said that the other should walk out the door and not come back and the other may have said they hoped the other crashed……………………..

One thing is for sure – when this is over I am going to sleep for such a long time every single day. Oh wait… forgot I had children.

Week five – roofing compromises

So we finally bought roof paint. I’m not going to lie, we had some fights over this, including one in the paint shop (hi Resene Newmarket). Unfortunately, eventually Jonno won/I gave in.

His criteria was as dark as possible, like literally to the point I’m pretty sure he would be stoked if I said we could paint the roof black. Our roof is short run iron – which means it has smallish lengths of iron and looks a bit messy – he was convinced the darkness would hide this. I wanted something grey, but not super dark so I could have the copper look guttering (read: paint your plastic gutters in a magical shade and make your house appear a thousand times more awesome). What we ended up with was Resene Foundry – which is – according to Resene – “a shadowy charcoal full of igneous warmth”.



I suppose at least we have something to go on to choose the exterior colours now – and need to get on with painting/bribing people to paint the roof!!

I’ve laid a vinyl plank floor in the toilet – I know, I know – I hate vinyl so much, far more than the average person hates it which I understand is also quite a lot. However this toilet room is temporary in the long-term-plan if that makes any sense, and the plywood floor wasn’t quite cutting it. It looks pretty fantastic and wasn’t too fiddly to lay – just a couple of hours spread over an evening. Ignore the dust/newspaper scraps all over the floor. As you can see the plumber has been busy installing the sink and repositioning the toilet.





How beautiful is this original villa wallpaper we discovered when my Dad was prying off the door architraves for me!!! Gorgeous!original wallpaper


More painting (just primer) has been done and Dad and I jiggled out the giant window panel with the stained glass windows from the front which has made sanding and painting around there approximately 4 zillion times easier.

full houseCurrently browsing for secondhand Wardrobes, Oven, Paint, Kitchens, storage – new network cabling.
Urgent Priority List: Rip up carpets, lay network cables, insulate bedrooms!
Indecisiveness List: Exterior colours (STILL), Blind fabrics (all rooms!)
Week highs: Again, being so blessed having both families able to help out so much, my Dad being at the house pretty much every single day helping out and Reuben having a ton of fun with Jonnos parents/siblings.
Week low: Definitely running out of money and crossing things off the achievable list

Lastly… I’ve been posting up various snaps onto my facebook page almost every day – so please follow me there to see all the pics xx

Delayed week four round up!

Oooops. Sorry guys. I feel guilty for leaving it so long between posts! I’m writing this the day before the week five round up but I’m allowed because it’s my blog 😉

OK So week four. This was a very trying week for me, as Jonno became very ill from what we now know was lead poisoning. Not words I wanted to hear but after helping Jonno crawl into bed I started to think that this was more than just your average exhaustion from juggling two young children and renovating – got onto doctor Google and discovered he had almost all of the symptoms – extreme fatigue and irritability being the dominant ones. I stayed up late stressing while he tossed and turned and tried to convince him to go to the hospital which he refused of course – and discovered that Vitamin C has had amazing results chelating lead out of the body. A megadose of vitamin C was given (you can’t really have too much you just get an upset stomach). Two days later after no improvement Jonno finally asked to be driven to the hospital and sure enough his blood results had excessive levels – not hospital admission levels however I do wonder how much the vitamin C chelated out the lead over the two days prior to the blood test.

SO YES. I was dealing with an even grumpier (!!), more irritable husband, after a few days recovering he stayed home watching the babies while I went to the house and sanded/painted for hours, and then returned home to put everyone to bed haha. Not the most fun days of our lives but thank goodness he’s back to normal and hopefully hasn’t caused himself any lasting damage which is scarily common with lead poisoning. All of this could maybe well have been avoided if some basic respirator techniques had been employed 😉

I finished painting the bathroom and started on priming the outside weatherboards. My wrist and fingers have never been so sore – you can’t use a roller you have to brush every single inch and it kills. Ignore the weird placement of the bath/shower – that’s a whole new issue to fix SIGH.  Oh and the floor, ha ha ha… so many hours spent scraping/paint stripping/belt sanding and it still looks rubbish – now I understand why people pay professionals to do it! I think I’ll just paint it.



Currently browsing for secondhand Oven, Kitchen, Wardrobes… hey this is the same list as last week!
Urgent Priority List: Bathroom floor
Indecisiveness List: Exterior colours (STILL), Blind fabrics (all rooms!), upholstery fabrics – hey nothing has changed here!!!
Week highs: Our amazing families helping out with our babies so much so Jonno could rest and I could get atuff done!
Week low: Realising that we are running out of money, not finding any new tradesmen to work on the house and the existing ones going sloooow (or maybe I’m just impatient!)