Dec 17, 2009

Project Caveman Shelter - A 2 year update

So its been about 2 years exactly since I moved back into the house, to be confronted with the negelect of tenants (was I this bad when I rented?) (or did I just not notice), and I embarked on a quest to learn how to do some renos spent a truckload of cash, and proved I have *some* capability in the process.

Its been a challenge, involving many late nights of renovations when I should be out drinking and socialising, but its also been very rewarding, empowering, and fun as well! So here is a rundownof everything thats been done in the past 2 years, in excruciating detail.....

So the first 3 photos on the left were taken about Jan 2008, after I first moved back in. The first is on the day I moved back in and saw all the neglect of 3 lots of tenants, the second is after I started to expand a bit.

This is a Google Street View shot taken in January 08, with Aunty Bron's car out the front, and the backdoor neighbour's care permanently parked on the nature strip, along with their washing machine, general rubbish and 3 foot high grass.

This is a similar shot of the place today. Hopefully it looks a bit better!

Knocked down the old fence, chopped down and dug out the trees in front of the fence, dug out the fence posts (they were deep and heavy and a mission to actually lift into the skip), and commandeered some land in miltary style in the process.

Painted all of the bottom story of the house - after much experimentation of a million shades of slightly off white (they all looked pretty much the same), we settled on "Peplum". It was a bight of a Tyler Durdon moment yes. I'm only now finishing this off  by painting the window frames.

    Construction of a new fence around the expanded land to prevent beagle escape - involved digging out the holes, cementing them in, building the fence and nailgunning in the pailings, then many late nights of painting the fucking thing - thanks to Sara, Cat, Mark, Geoff, Mum for their help! Construction of the doors was an interesting challenge, and there was some "door fail" involved.

      Planted a "mock orange fence" near the footpath, moved the garden bed blocks out to in front of the trees (to stop the neighbourhood kids running over them with bikes, and in the process ruining their fun).

      Dug out all of the dirt around the aforementioned palm trees, removed the paving near it, dug it all out, put fresh dirt on top of it and turfed it to expand the grassy area and make a little bbq area out the back big enough for a gazebo.

        The front corner of this land needed raising and a bit of manual landscaping, this involved digging out the dirt, piling it, putting blocks in front and filling in behind it.

          Chopped down a paw-paw tree, chopped down and dug out 3 palm trees, 2 bouganvillea, 1 random tree down the side of the garden.

          Sanded back and re-oiled the front and back decks.

          De-palettified the front stairs by putting some boards in front of it - measuring, cutting, painting, nailing, puttying, sanding, re-painting.
          De-rustified and repained the front stairs and the railing, and convinced a vine to run up it.
          Planted some decent plants in the front garden to solve the problem of that being a perpetual desert. Put in some mondo grass, yucka trees, and mock oranges. Along the way also tried to put in some flowers (dead) and sweet potatio (still alive) and potato plants (eaten by dogs).
          Dug out all the old turf, got rid of all the weeds that were everywhere, and re-turfed the entire lawn with some Walter Raleigh.
          On the inside, I painted all of the dodgy and scuffed trimming in every room. I  watched 3 test matches this way, back when Andrew Symonds was playing (well).
          Painted the wardrobe in the bedroom, which was purple for some reason.

              Completely re-did the downstairs lounge-room and bedroom, involved many weeks of rendering, painting, repainting, putting in ceilings, lights, cornicing the corners, creating gyprock boxes around pipes and on different ceiling heights, putting doors on the inbuilt cupboard, gyprocking the back of the cupboard, installing railings and doors, installing blinds. This whole thing has taken about 18 months of the 2 years by itself.
              Rebuilt the fence out the back oft he house after the retarded neighbours (now left) repeatedly smashed into it with their "car".
              Cleaned out the back shed after the tenants had filled it with all manner of spider-laden blocks, old desks and wood.
              Removed the crap "water feature" on the side of the house that had always pissed me off. It was a moment of "this is my place, I can do whatever the hell I want!".
              Painted the laundry.
              Turned the back door into a barn door (badly).
              Re-sealed the bathroom after it decided to leak.
              After the storms in November 08, I had to seal with concrete, all of the seams in the downstairs jail toilet after the downstairs of the house flooded, this was a whole day of concreting after the storms and the day before going overseas on holidays. In these storms, the back deck also fell off and I had to hack into some ceiling to prevent it all from getting waterlogged. This has finally been fixed as well (insurance job) (shame).
                Um, thats about it.  Gladly, its all coming to an end over the next few weeks!