Friday, 15 November 2013

Reno - Week 23

This week the remaining timber floors were installed in the extension. For the corridors we chose a narrower board, partly because they sit in the newer contemporary section of the house but also to differentiate the passageway from the rooms.

60mm wide Blackbutt floorboards in the corridors

Where the corridor turns a corner we decided to join the boards together in a herringbone pattern:

We could have joined the boards on a 45 degree angle or even used a butt joint, but as the two corridors are different widths we decided that this was the neatest way of joining the boards at this intersection. The boards have been secret nailed giving them a clean, modern finish however the wider 130mm boards in the scullery, living room and kids' bedrooms required top fixing to reduce the chance of them cupping. I wasn't particularly keen to have visible nail holes but I wanted the wider boards so they would reference back to the wide hoop pine floors in the cottage.

The skirting boards and a few other small jobs can now be done prior to painting the interior which is all being painted in Dulux 'whisper white'. All the joinery is being fabricated as we speak so we should have the kitchen, laundry and other cabinetry installed very soon - I'm feeling rather anxious - so much can go horribly wrong at this point.

So while the floors were getting done inside, the builder got to work reinstating the handrail and balustrade on the front verandah which was pulled down due to wood rot. First the handrails and bottom plate (made from Kwila) were fixed into position:

Then the cross-brace balustrade was fitted - I am so happy we kept it authentic. This type of handrail and balustrade is actually non-compliant according to the building code as technically someone could fall between the 'balusters'. Our renovation allowed us to replace any damaged or decayed timber to match the existing. Current BCA balustrade requirements are that the top rail be at least 1 metre from the floor (ours are less than this) and that a balustrade cannot have any openings greater than 125mm to prevent people from falling through them. Considering most people furnish their decks and balconies, there is nothing to stop a child from climbing onto a chair and having a fall. I guess the best advice is to supervise youngsters while they are on the verandah.

Cross-brace balustrade
 The old asbestos ceiling on the verandah has been replaced:

And when the old roof sheeting was removed, it provided an opportunity to insulate the verandah ceiling cavity which should keep heat penetration from the roof down to a minimum.

I'm hoping that painting will recommence next week - we still only have one coat of 'black' on the exterior weatherboards which don't look so great :

But I'm sure after another coat or two, they will look stunning.

The bricklayers are due to complete the rest of the terrace, brick stairs and garden walls next week - somehow they ran out of bricks last week (actually two of the five in the blend), but hopefully the rain has stopped for now and they can continue full steam ahead.

I'm still deciding on what tree to plant in this spot:

As we plan to use our courtyard often, particularly when we're entertaining, several lighting options have been incorporated into the design. The area next to this masonry semi-circle is the perfect spot for a specimen tree and to add a bit of night time drama to the space we are going to illuminate a tree's foliage from underneath using a ground-mounted fixture. I've just recently selected another LED spot light (and fortuitously it was cheaper than the original one in the specs) that will do the job perfectly.

At the beginning of the renovation we were hopeful that we would be in by Christmas, but it's unlikely that the house will be 100% completed by then. There is however the option of moving in and having the remaining jobs finalised after the holidays - we're still tossing up that idea. 


  1. It is all looking so, so, so good.
    Fingers crossed that everything continues to go smoothly.
    And I think so many of the building codes are such rubbish..especially the ones that interfere with what we want to do at our house!

  2. Fingers crossed it's almost ready for Christmas! It looks amazing-can't wait to see the end result! xx

  3. Just love those floorboards and their 90 degree angle, the house is looking amazing, keep going! Katie x

  4. I do like how you decided to join the boards, it looks amazing.
    I hope the rest of the reno goes well. x

  5. Herringbone pattern is lovely. 5 weeks and counting til xmas! I cannot wait to be out of our rental, so I reckon moving in with things still to do be done sounds great, but could be chaotic!

  6. Love the traditional balustrade and the herringbone floorboards. It's the little details like that that will make it so special at the end. You must be so excited!

  7. I love the herringbone junction so much! I am also loving all the innovative brick action you have going on. I admire it a lot. The simple cross brace looks gorgeous as well.

  8. Just catching up a bit Caroline! Love the brickwork in your semi-circle and the herringbone join, it's all coming together quickly now.