Building, External, Structural

Day 18 Bricks to lock-up…Complete!

The brick laying has been such an arduous task to say the least! It was a big call to make the decision to do it ourselves, but looking back we can’t help but feel proud of our achievements. I guess this is why some take on challenges like this – self bragging rights maybe? Haha.

There were a remaining measley 6 bricks to go and just like that they were set in place. Although I wish I could say we won’t be seeing bricks and mortar again, we still have to finish the gaping hole in the small bedroom and also the front fence, which when we eventually get to, will also be rendered brick. But to at least get to this point and officially say that our house is “locked up” is worth popping open a bottle of champers!

The final 6 bricks to lock up!

The last batch of mortar

Aidan holds the final brick, we are all a little bit excited!!

Filling up the hole

The other task for today does involve more bricks, but what’s another 270 right? Because we had to remove an old window in one of the smaller bedrooms, it of course left a large hole that needed to be bricked up. We had cleaned up all the dust left from the removal and installation of the new window, only to put down some more plastic sheets over the floor so that we could use the old bricks to build up the patch.

A great tip that Kurt from Lifestyle Building & Maintenance told us was that we had to soak the old bricks in water. Being quite porous, the older style bricks act like a sponge, which was interesting when you see the bricks bubbling away in the water. So this little bit of advice has probably saved us a lot of hassle.

Once dry, we will have to render the wall and repaint.

I think our son will appreciate getting back into his room since the couch is getting a little uncomfortable to sleep on.

Hole cleaned up, bricks moved across…lets do more bricklaying…

Almost there!!


Windows installed and the attack of the dust

Today and yesterday the guys from Lifestyle Building & Maintenance arrived on time and moved quickly to get our two new windows installed. On the Sunday prior we did all we could to prep the rooms, knowing that there would be a lot of dust being created when cutting into bricks. We had black plastic on our kitchen bench and cabinetry, over door frames and on the floor. We boxed up a lot of our kitchenware too. My son has also had to play camping out in the lounge room, with his bedroom out of bounds. Having somewhat dealt with internal demolitions before, we were quite wary of the dust created. However, unless you move everything completely out, you are always going to find dust in the places you least expect.

The guys first worked on the kitchen window. Removed 2 corner wall cabinets and cut bricks to make way for the new window. The old window was measured in metric, whilst the new window imperial, so there was a bit of fiddling around to make things fit. They placed a temporary steel lintel, removed a course of bricks and then slid in a concrete lintel. It was not a method Anthony had known of, so it was a good lesson for him. Kurt our subby was excellent, giving Anthony a lot of valuable pointers along the way as well as some advice for other areas around the house.
Kitchen window:

Although our kitchen window was working fine, we wanted to match them with the rest of the house. Brown window frames are just not a good fit.

Bedroom window:

The first time in a long time that this room has seen that much light.

After 2 full cleans of the kitchen, we have it back to working order. But as I mentioned before, expect to still have that dust lurking around if you haven’t completely cleared out the room. Unfortunately for our son, he will be on the couch for a few nights yet while we sort out his bedroom. Anthony will be bricking up the internal wall where the old window once was, not to mention cleaning out the dust. 

Because Anthony provided some assistance to the sub contractors, brick laying has been put on hold till the weekend. It was a good move however, as it made the whole process of installing the windows a lot quicker, not to mention that it saved us a bit of $$$. I don’t know how many people help out their sub-contractors, but if the sub-contractor you are hiring is fair, they might even shave off some $$$ off your final invoice.

All in all, despite the dust storm that was created, we are really happy with the result. Today we are getting the old airconditioner in our current bedroom decommissioned – hoping there aren’t too many cold nights left. Then once this is done we can get someone in to render the whole house. There aren’t too many courses left to go, but am hoping we can time all of this right.