Monday, 22 February 2010

A bit more water blasting..

Sunday was just as warm as Saturday, so Matt got back into the water-blasting.

This is our back courtyard a few weeks back:

..and Matt yesterday, being oh so manly:

And our fresh new clean courtyard today:

That thing is amazing.

The rest of the cork tiles..

Over the past two weeks I have been slowly replacing the cork tiles in the laundry and toilet downstairs, and the upstairs toilet. Although it's not something I have previously aspired to be, I am now a total pro at cork tiling.

Obviously, this is the floor before we moved in.

Unlike the bathroom, the laundry tiles were laid onto concrete slab, which proved a bit more time consuming to prepare...and more disgusting.

Many of the tiles simply lifted off, and there was dirt and dust underneath. Some tiles were almost unrecognisable as cork:

Once removed, I had to scrub the floor with a wire brush. Twice. Then sand down the concrete. Twice. Then wash it all with sugar soap. Three times. Then it was just smooth and clean enough to lay the tiles.

I know it's not obvious, but the photo below shows the floor after this process...

Because we were a bit silly, we didn't embark on this before moving, which meant I had to work around the fridge and washing machine. I ended up doing one half of the laundry first, then moving everything over on to the completed half, then doing the rest.

The photo below shows me half way through the second half.

A few coats (three actually) of polyurethane later (no, I didn't do that bit - not good for growing babies apparently), and we have a new (improved) laundry floor:

It's not perfect, but it's a MASSIVE improvement.

And finally, the upstairs toilet - just a quick before and after photo to sum that up:

Voila! We can walk comfortably around the house without feeling sick! And Maatt has almost finished the quarry tiles downstairs too.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Water action..

Unlike the rest of the summer, this weekend we managed to have some fairly fine weather. So my lovely Uncle took the opportunity to bring his waterblaster up and start having a go at clearing the ivy residue off the exterior walls, in preparation for painting.

It was a pretty powerful piece of machinery..

Once Donn had left, Matt took over, and managed to find a whole new garden path underneath the one that was there prior.

My "before and after" shots, don't really show what a remarkable difference it made.

Here's a photo from last weekend:

And the photo from today:

Yeah, it doesn't really look that different here, but trust me, it is a whole different colour. It looks like freshly poured concrete, and is lovely and rough again so we can say goodbye to the prospect of heavily pregnant ladies slipping on their bottoms during descents in rainy weather - hoorah!

The spare room cupboards: Part 2

While Matt was getting stuck in to the undercoat for the cupboard doors, I took off all the handles and got to work with some Brasso.

They were pretty black and grimy beforehand..but a bit of elbow grease got things moving:

And now we have four shiny handles to put back on when the doors are painted.

The spare room cupboards: Part 1

This weekend we started on the lemon yellow spare room cupboards. The first job was to remove the sticky labels that some silly person put on the drawers..

With patience, some warm water, and careful use of a blunt scraper, Matt managed to get them all off..

We have started painting - a layer of undercoat has gone on, hopefully the job will be finished in the next few days.

ps. We have chosen Resene's Beryl Green by Karen Walker for the doors...if it works well we might use it in the other spare room too.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Pot inspects today's outdoor work

...she thinks there's still at least another couple of tonnes to go...

Outdoor excavation has begun

This past week, I have met with the drainlayer, a spouting guy, a glazier, a scaffolding guy and a painter. I am yet to meet the joiner, and another painter. Then we sit down with our builder and formulate a plan.

As mentioned in the past post, the drainlayer did not have good news. All of the clay piping needs replacement as it is cracked and leaking. And to make matters worse, half of the drains lie underneath 40 years of garden growth - from the blue marker in the photo below onwards:

Hmm....he reckoned we could save heaps of money by clearing the way ourselves, and even digging the trench for the new today Dad and Matt got to it:

It was really hard, hot work....with a howling 'Norwester blowing while they were at it. But they have cleared the bulk of the garden required (220kg of green waste today alone), and so digging can almost begin.

...but the digging may actually be the really hard part, as there seems to be roots (particularly ivy) growing deep all along the pipe line (hence, the reason it is all cracked and stuffed). So it may be a case of dig, dig, saw roots...

For the observant among you, you may notice a grey smudge in the photo above - a little grey cat came and had a nap in the sunny, dusty patch left after the afternoon's work...cheeky puss.

Dad has kept a record of the amount of green waste we have carted off and it's getting close to 2 tonnes!! Oh man, that is a lot of garden rubbish.

Mum got on board today too, weeding and clearing around the front door:

Meanwhile, we finished the final coat of polyurethane in the laundry, and I have lifted all the old tiles in the upstairs toilet...but more of that in another post.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Our little slice of paradise

DIY work is currently on hold - I've tiled half of the laundry, but need to wait for the polyurethane to dry before I can start the second half.

Matt is still scraping the quarry tiles....and will be for some time...

We are waiting to meet with a builder to get things started on the exterior, and I have a guy from the drain company coming to see me in a few hours to discuss the very depressing subject of our completely stuffed drainage system - as was the usual thing at the time the house was built, the drains are made from clay piping. With time, tree roots crack and destroy the piping and eventually it all needs replacing with a more robust material. It was probably due to be done about 10 years ago, but unsurprisingly, it has been neglected so that now it is fairly urgent (water runs down off our section and across our driveway with alarming regularity).

A more positive development is that we got given the following wee pressie last week - a model of our little house, constructed from the plans:

It is even sloped, to show the contours of the section.

It is neato. Thanks Justin.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

New bathroom tiles!

After we moved in, I quickly realised that the cork tiles in the bathroom and laundry were too disgusting to live with. Just putting a bathmat down made me feel icky, and walking in bare feet was just gross. So while Matt was on hands and knees scraping gunge off the quarry tiles, I did some research at Bunnings and got prepared to lay new cork down.

First, I had to pull up all the old skanky tiles - some just fell off, others were trickier..


Then Matt sanded the poor old wooden floor, and I sorted all the tiles..

Stuck them down..

And finally, applied three coats of polyurethane..


New floor!

As you can tell from the photos, the rest of the bathroom (cabinets and bath wall) are also in dire need of fixing up, but unfortunately it will have to wait until we have more $$$...