Saturday, 24 December 2011

Day Twenty-One: Tiling

I write this post with gluey hands after a whole day spent tiling the bathroom. It didn’t take quite the whole day, but by the time we’d worked out the best method, paused to carefully cut tap holes out of the tiles (only broke three in the process, not a bad effort), and shortened all the tiles on the bottom row, it was early afternoon.

Meanwhile, our friends James and Chris ripped down the fence and neatly stacked the wood in the garden to await collection by the rubbish removalists. Alice stopped by long enough to model the new toilet, and say à bientôt to #45 for Christmas.

Posted by Lucy 


Friday, 23 December 2011

Day Twenty: Everything Including the Kitchen Sink!

Today's great feat was the kitchen! While it may not be functional as yet, as the plumber has gone on holidays, the house seems almost finished with it installed. The carpenters arrived at the crack of dawn and within two hours the kitchen had been assembled. When dad arrived later in the afternoon we put the glass in the window, now the kitchen is practically complete!

Whilst the carpenters were at work, I painted the woodwork in the living room and then mum and I applied the final coat of paint to the walls. Dad and I set up the tiling in the bathroom, and then finished attaching the villaboard to the frame of the bath. Tomorrow's plan is to clear the yard (the rubbish removalist is coming) and to tile the bathroom.

Posted by Lucy


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Day Nineteen: SugarSoap? More Like MiracleSoap!

This morning it was my great pleasure to screw the toilet seat on to our new throne. After that I did a little plastering and painting in the kitchen in preparation for the scheduled installation of units tomorrow. I was looking for an ‘easy’ job before mum arrived, and decided I’d have another go at the brick wall in the bathroom. Alice had assured me it was a hopeless case, she’d apparently tried SugarSoap, paint stripper and sanding...all to no avail. Alas I generously poured a nice coating of SugarSoap over the thickest of the green paint, gave it a light scrub and left it for a little while to work its’ magic. Ten minutes later, I caught a few glimpses of red brick through the green paint and proceeded to scrub and scrub. About two hours later half the wall had been (practically) restored to its’ former glory, however now I do feel as though the bathroom wall looks like it’s coated in a light layer of moss. Hmm... For the time being we shall leave it as is I think - at least it matches the bath!

Mum arrived bringing home-cooked sausage rolls for lunch which were much appreciated! Then we both armed ourselves with a paint roller and together we painted the’s so nice to be greeted by bright white walls! I carefully painted the lions as well which was a rather enjoyable task. While we’re almost out of paint, we still need to give the living room a second coat to bury the last of the tobacco stains.

After mum left I returned to my scrubbing and completed the rest of the bathroom wall. A final spot of plastering and painting before I returned home for a festive feast!

Posted by Lucy

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Day Eighteen: Old Proverbs Stand True

At eight o’clock this morning (on a Saturday, let me remind you!) some family friends arrived to help us put up the ceiling in the bathroom after having kindly offered their assistance. I swiftly put all the insulation into the roof space, slapped on the plasterboard adhesive, as the two rather tall men held the ceiling into position, dad fixed it into place, and the first piece was up in a jiffy! The saying ‘many hands make light work' is certainly true when it comes to putting up plaster board ceilings, precisely six (or twelve) hands made it very light work indeed. The other two pieces followed suite, and within about 2hrs the ceiling was securely fixed (or so we hope) in place.

Now moving on to attempt #2 at the walls... as the men had well and truly taken over by this stage (competing with their ideas of how best to approach the task at hand)...I went to check on Alice as she slathered paint stripper all over the front door. Together we managed to take off all the brass fittings to give them a well deserved scrub; now the door is pretty much ready for a sand, and then a nice, fresh coat of paint! Yet to decide on colour but it will be either red or green I think.

Our assistants left a little before lunch, so dad and I finished the final two sheets of villaboard (the difficult ones with tap holes) and happily put the grinder and nails away for another day. All is complete except for a little piece above the window. After dad left, I recruited Alice to assist me with putting up a plasterboard wall in the bathroom. Then she successfully chipped off the last of the plaster off the brick wall in the kitchen, and gave it a coat of Boncrete to seal in the dust. Meanwhile, I donned an industrial face mask and set about sweeping up a whole garbage bags worth of dust and grunge that had covered the house following the grinding.

The final job for the day was to paint one half of the hall, I’m a little too ambitious sometimes and it wasn’t until we’d finished the can and were still about half a metre from finishing that I agreed to return home. This coming week, the house will hopefully become a little more ‘homely’ due to the installation of the toilet and bath, and...the kitchen!! Here’s hoping I’ll be able to cook a pre-christmas dinner. Overly ambitious once again? Perhaps not, we’ll have to wait and see!

Posted by Lucy

Friday, 16 December 2011

Day Seventeen: It's All Down to the Art of Making Templates

Today, the morning was dedicated to a trip to Bunnings! Certain supplies were needed before we could turn the mere frame of a bathroom into an actual room, three hours later we returned with palings for making the back fence, bathroom tiles, grout, glue, various saws, nails and screws, more paint, a whirlybird for the roof, and two more roses for the front garden. By the time I eventually arrived at Park St, the plumber had dug out the sewer and laid all the pipes for the bath, sink and toilet (which is now in position in the bathroom much to my delight!). 

The plan for the afternoon was to start putting up the villaboard walls, a task which required the guidance of my father. While I was awaiting his arrival, I proceeded to paint the FINAL coat (only number three!) of paint in the it really is white and the tobacco is long gone.

Dad arrived and together we painstakingly proceeded to attach the villaboard to the first wall...the sheets weigh approximately one tonne (villaboard is the technical name for ‘cement sheet’) and are 2.4m long and 1.2m tall. So not only are they very heavy, but they are almost impossible to cut and very difficult to manoeuvre. It took us about 8 goes to successfully position the holes for the toilet, basin and drain pipes, despite the numerous templates dad made for the holes. Templates are apparently the key to making this task simple, or so he said, however no matter how many we cut and marked out, we still couldn’t get the pipes lined up. Perhaps we would have been more successful if Alice, the graphic designer to be, had whizzed something up. Five hours later we trudged home, the first attempt is always the most time consuming so let’s hope the second try tomorrow runs a little smoother!

Posted by Lucy

Day Sixteen: Purifying the Putrid of Park St

Today mother and I nipped over to the house and gave the lounge (tobacco room) a lick of paint. We’ve been using “One Coat” paint, and whilst it looks reasonably white we concluded that given what lies beneath (need I remind you?), it’s going to need another coat...

Posted by Alice

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Day Fifteen: Barney Rubble

Today saw the obliteration of much plaster and brickage at the mercy of my crowbar and sledgehammer. I begun the morning with a complete annihilation of the plaster on one of the kitchen walls to reveal more exposed brick. Lucy sealed the walls of what shall be formerly known as the tobacco room to render them ready for painting.

After lunch we really got down to massacring the hideous old fireplace in the tobacco room, which we levered off before taking to the cement & bricks that filled in the fireplace with the sledgehammer. I found a few items amongst the detritus, pictured below.

Lucy and I teamed up on painting the kitchen walls for a while, then Bella & Anna (bearing novelty glasses for our housewarming... which is ambitious of her) came to lend a hand clearing out all the rubble that lay inside the fireplace. A well-earned visit to the pub for knock-off.
Posted by Alice

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Day Fourteen: Watertight (almost)

Today’s main task was to put up the bathroom roof. Fortunately it proved rather simple due to the guidance of Rob, the plumber, who cut the tin sheets for us so that we merely had to slot them into position and screw them into the joists. As I write this, it is raining rather hard outside so I can rest in peace knowing no water is getting in!

Once the roof was up, I insulated the bathroom walls, painted the kitchen with special sealant to prevent nasty tobacco stains from showing, plastered the fireplace and sanded the mantle. Mum painted the skirting boards in both bedrooms and dad tried out the new grinder on the villaboard for lining the bathroom walls. Works a treat! Hopefully this time next week we will have a ‘real’ bathroom.

Posted by Lucy

Friday, 9 December 2011


Due to employment (that old chestnut) I’ve sadly had to have a couple of days off Park Street. I did however, make it a present: bunting flags. All girly households must have some.
Posted by Alice 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Day Thirteen: Phase One Complete!!

Much to my excitement the carpenters greeted me this morning with the news that they planned to finish work this afternoon! Today’s tasks included fitting the sash window for the kitchen, completing the weatherboards, removing the crumbling floorboards have been removed and putting new boards (along with a few ‘temporary’ patches) in their place. Many more bones were found underneath the floor, alongside much rubble...and a small pile of about ten peach stones. Bizarre.

In order to stay out of their hair, I completed some rather tedious tasks...sanding plastering, windows, doors, the last of the skirting, and I had another go at the front door - still a few more hours work left I say!

The glass for the kitchen and bathroom also arrived, trips were made to both Bunnings and StepToe’s to get the necessary supplies for putting up the new roof/ceiling/walls in the bathroom. With a rather large storm forecasted for Saturday...tomorrow’s plan is for dad to assist the plumber in installing the new roof, but as the tin didn’t arrive as scheduled, we shall have to wait and see what happens.

Posted by Lucy