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The patio is wired

Home related work has really slowed down now as we are on the finishing end of our renovation. One of the final jobs for us to do was to complete our patio by adding the balustrades and handrails.

After a few trips to Bunnings, we bought a collection of suages, wire, turnbuckles, eyelets, lag screws, post anchors and of course the timber posts and timber handrail. We were able to borrow some tools from our good builder friend, who also gave us tips on how to best work with the wire. Because our patio is over 1 metre tall, building code requires us to meet certain balustrading regulations, so the wire needs to be a certain thickness, posts need to be spaced at a maximum and gaps between wires also have a maximum. Online research allowed us to determine what all these numbers are and once we knew that we went ahead with putting the posts in place.

The following day, Anthony measured and marked all the points for where the wire would go. This was a bit of a tedious process, but a necessary one, otherwise it would be really obvious if not done correctly.

We could then begin stringing in the wire, screwing in the eyelets and creating the tension needed between posts. As Anthony has been sailing for as long as he can remember, he was knowledgeable in working with wire cables and suaging and this was all natural to him. We finished things off by painting the timber in Colorbond’s surfmist, a contrasting off white to all that grey. The end result looks great and I was eager to dress up the patio with hanging planter boxes of herbs and yellow pansies, even our cat Heston got himself a new bed. It’s been lovely sitting out there on the patio with a hot cup of tea admiring it all.

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Not a brick in sight, the front fence rendered

For mid April, the weather is quite warm, not complaining as it’s perfect for the renderer to mix up the cement and cover our brick fence.

We hired the same bod that rendered our house, and with the difficulty of hiring a tradie you can trust, it was a no brainer to re-hire him for the job.

It took a little over half a day for him to complete it. The renderer turned up early, stuck the edging on and then 2 days later was back to apply the cement. The finish is smooth and looks great. We just need to wait a week or 2 until we can paint it. A fence specialist will be over tomorrow to measure and quote for aluminum slats. It’s actually hard to believe we are almost complete with the front of the house. That we might have a driveway gate and an entry door in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow will actually be my 36th birthday and although we haven’t completed the house entirely, it is in a place where we can really enjoy it. Live in it as if this is how it’s always meant to be. Birthday aside we’ll be shopping for some balustrading materials which we will install to the patio on the extra long weekend we have taken.

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Exterior finish/ed

Having half the house painted, I was concerned that the grey colour we chose was not the right fit. This Sunday we completed painting the front of the house, from the floor to the apex. All the security bars were painted in Colorbond’s surf mist and the lines on the face of the house in the same. Now that it’s done, we’re really happy with our colour choice. I was worrying that the grey was too dark, but having the contrasting white has helped to break up all that grey and frame the windows and door nicely.

We just have to get our front fence rendered, painted and the slats in to really finish off that street appeal. I’m currently searching for quotes of painting the roof tiles of the existing roof, which will once more tie in the old and the new.

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Part new paint, part old

The final day of our Easter break we got the top coat of “Timeless” grey on the external part of the house. We managed to get through most of it but had to leave the front of the house’s apex as the height is unreachable on the ladders we have, not to mention there is a wasp nest hanging from the top. We also need to scrape off the old paint and prepare the surface, so we have decided to leave this work for the following weekend. For now the house is still partly painted. I am not a hundred percent sure about the colour I have chosen, mainly as it feels darker than I wanted it to be, but we will be adding whites on the trims and lines to help break up all that grey. I think some greenery and hanging plants will also decorate the front of the house really nicely and when the front fence is completed it should all work together – I hope!

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Shed storage built, external painting begins

This long weekend we’ve decided to make use of the holidays and continue through our list of things to do for our house. We received our order of timber on the Thursday and yesterday Anthony spent the time cutting the timber to the lengths he wanted for the giant 6 shelf storage, that would house 3 kayaks amongst all the other accumulated tools and bits and pieces he has. Throughout the build of our extension, the shed has always been so packed that we couldn’t walk through it, so to finally be able to is great! We managed to knock up the shelving in a day, but it was hard work and a lot of heavy lifting as we had 3.6m length yellow tongue boards to try to maneuver into the structure.

Today I spent my day painting on the base coat to the left side and the front of the house. Only painting the areas that I could reach as I’m pretty hopeless at heights and left the cutting in at the top of the house for Anthony. The weather has been pretty good this long weekend and we figured it was the best time to start. So while Anthony continued sorting his shed out, I painted the house.

The rest of the walls will be painted in “timeless grey”, the decorative features – or what I call “lines” and the security bars will be in “surf mist”, an off white. Our plan for tomorrow, after an at home Easter egg hunt with the kids, is to add the top coat and for Anthony to climb up and scrape off old paint and repaint the front panel.

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Patio tiles done, now we move onto the shed

We spent another weekend finishing off tiling the patio floor, part of the patio walls and the stairs. Grouting the whole area finished off the area nicely and we had just enough grout to do the lot. With the patio flooring done we were even able to have our bbq back on the floor. We still need to put in balustrades and handrails, which is planned for next week.

There was still a lot of mess by the side of the house and as we have plans to clean up our shed, we ordered a skip and quickly cleaned up. It was a great feeling to see all the rubbish moved out, but as we have to deal with the shed, we have had to take things out of it and create another mess. With the Easter long weekend coming up we’ll be spending part of it building shelving for the shed so that Anthony can have a proper workspace again. I plan to continue to paint the rest of the house so will look forward to seeing that transformation as well.

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Small steps

We’ve now grouted the floor of our patio but have been stuck on tiling 5 steps. It has been a slow process just to get a couple of tiles on the stairs. I didn’t realize it would be that much of a challenge seeing that we had tiled our bathrooms, laundry and kitchen, but tiling 5 steps has somehow taken us 3 days and we still haven’t completed it. We also have to tile the perimeter of the patio but noticed we were out of tiles, thankfully there’s plenty of the discontinued tile we have in stock so we were able to pick up some more.

The bricklayer has also finished his job and we have the structure up ready for the render and slats. Again, it was a job that was taking longer than it should have, but at least it is done now. We have to wait till the renderer returns from his Perth holiday in April, which is timed ok as we need to give the mortar and bricks time to dry and settle before any render is applied. The front yard and driveway is still a mess as we haven’t had a chance to mow the lawns or throw out construction garbage, but over the next few weeks we’re hoping that the exterior will come together.

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