Hi there, i guess you’re wondering about how our renovation is going, now that we are 8 weeks in. I have heard and seen many stories about renovations gone bad and would like to let you know that ours is not one of them.

The Builder that we have selected is going great, and doing a really good job. Now, I dont want to jinx it or anything, but I would like to re-iterate the importance of good documentation, ie a well defined scope of works and information about how the building is going to be put together. This is the key to getting a good job with the minimal of disruptions. Too many times you have people who haven’t quite made up their mind about what they want when the Builder has started, and want to make changes mid-way through the project, and then wonder why the building is taking so long to finish and why the original budget is exceeded.

Obviously, there are minor changes that require clarification during the construction, and in a renovation ie. renovating an existing house, especially and old one like ours, there are always unforeseen things that are not factored in prior to commencing works, I dont care how long you have been in the industry or how much experience you’ve had you can never foresee every minute detail, unless of course you have a crystal ball.
So, with things going really well, the renovation status is as follows:

  • Demolition complete – the chimney, the old internal walls, external walls, floor coverings, the old bathroom, laundry and toilet and a stack of other stuff…
  • Base Stage – the frame that the walls sit on, ie. stumps, bearers and joists
  • Frame Stage – the timber walls and timber roof, this does not include the internal walls within the existing house, but these have been done too.
  • Lock up – this is nearly complete and should be by the end of this week. This will mean that the extension part of the renovation will be able to be locked up, this means that the wall cladding will be done, the roof will be on and the doors and windows will be installed.

Just to keep things in perspective and to not get too excited, there is still a while to go, but we are very happy with the progress to date.

Reno photos1.JPG
This is the the western view after 6 weeks

Reno photo2.JPG
Just to let you know, the lemon tree protection authority (Lisa) had written into the specification for the house – protect the lemon tree at all cost!

reno photo3.JPG
More photos and updates to follow! Enjoy.

My first stud wall

Posted by: Owen in The Shed 1 Comment »

Carpentry is one of those trades that I think secretly all men want to have as a back up skill. Its one that we all think, if I had my time again I would be a Carpenter… And some of us go through life looking at timber walls and frames with awe, wondering how do they do it, how does it look so straight etc etc.

Well in an effort to put all my pre-conceived ideas behind me, about how it is done, and how I should go about it, Mick (our Builder), during the week gave me the opportunity to do just that. He called me on Thursday and said “Owen, you’re gonna have to take the shed back a few more feet”. This is because where I had previously demolished the shed to, was flush up against the new house deck area, therefore to be able to externally clad the deck area I had to move the shed back a bit more. So after work on Saturday, it was ‘off to half the shed’ again to do a measure up and find out exactly what I needed. This time the list to take to Bunnings included:

  • 2 lengths of 90x45mm MGP10 Pine 2900mm long (top & bottom plate)
  • 2 lengths of 90x35mm MGP10 Pine 3100mm long (to support the ridge beam)
  • 6 lengths of 90x45mm MGP10 Pine 2400mm long (studs)
  • Box of 65mm bullet head nails
  • Strap
  • Some fancy nail plates
  • 5 sheets of 4.5mm 2400mm x 600mm cement sheet

After my trip to Bunnings and avoiding the temptation of 3 sausages at the sausage sizzle, I got home unloaded the timber and then scratched my… head, well I have to act like a builder don’t I!?

Firstly, I wanted to again support the ridge beam which is the horizontal piece of timber that is at the top of the gable, the highest piece of timber on the house. To do this I laminated (joined side by side) the two lengths of 90×35 lengths and cut it to size and then fixed it in place under the ridge beam.

I then put the base plate down on the existing floor in the shed (this is the horizontal piece of timber that supports the studs). I fixed the base plate into the existing base plates on either side, made sure it was level and packed it up a bit. Then I put in place the top plate, this is at the top of the studs. I made sure it was level and then fixed it into place.

Then I measured the lengths of each stud that I required (these are the vertical pieces that form the wall) I nailed them in place, one at a time ensuring that they were level in both directions. This was the finish of the stud wall frame.
That was enough for Saturday and so it was back there again first thing Sunday morning to finish. Now all I had to do was fix the cement sheet to the wall, this was done by measuring up the wall and ensuring that I had the right widths of cement sheeting and then using the right sort of nails (clouts) fixing them into position.

Once that was complete I was able to commence the easy part, the demolition! Thanks to a trusty chainsaw (supplied by Charles next door) and a mash hammer.

When all the existing frame was removed, Amazingly the shed is still standing. So now im down to exactly half the shed I started with.
My half shed 2.JPG

My dwindling shed

A few shots of whats left of my shed, not glamourous I know but…

Another cigar anyone?

Posted by: Owen in Post 30 1,281 Comments »

Recently L&I caught up with Coolio, Crumpy & Jo, when they came down from Queensland for another jet setting holiday. Its funny how we seem to catch up with these guys more than some of our Melbourne friends, but hey i’m not complaining!
Just to be a bit different and given their short stay (and the need for Coolio to mourn/celebrate another premature finals defeat of Collingwood), we decided to catch up with them at Alexanders the cigar murchants in Toorak, where Crumpy moved up in the world of cigar smoking and bought himself his first humidifier, and a beautiful piece of timber workmanship I must say!

I dont know if you’ve ever been to a cigar shop, but Alexanders on Toorak road is a store full of amazing tobacco products (remember smoking is a hazard) and down at the back of the shop is a humidifier. A humidifier, according to Wikipedia is a household appliance that increases humidity (moisture) in a single room. Well in Alexanders the whole back room is a humidifier, which carefully preserves the cigars available for sale.

We took a while in there carefully choosing one to have with a nice coffee out the front on Toorak road, it wasnt really a nice spot to enjoy one and it was quite different smoking one during the day, but sometimes you have to be flexible. I think it was the first time having one without a glass of scotch or port in hand.

For the record, I chose a small cuban cigar called the petit punch, and unfortunately I cant remember what Coolio and Crumpy had, but I’m sure they’ll let me know soon.