Saturday, 8 March 2014

Reno - Week 34

The remainder of the masonry elements were completed this week, including grouting the terrace and stairs that lead down onto the garden:

A short edge stretcher bond pattern was chosen for the floors - here's a close-up:

And this is how the terrace looks today:

The bricks still require a sealer to be applied (hence the lack of furniture, plants, etc) so I'm looking forward to transforming this space into a cozy outdoor room.

As all the tiling in the bathrooms were now completed, it was time to add the fixtures and fittings, including this blackbutt timber seat in the kids' shower:

It comes with an integrated post/timber peg for hanging your towel on - and I can sit down comfortably and supervise the younger ones whilst they shower.

The old lattice screens which sat on either side of the verandah were removed during demolition. Rather than replace the lattice, which didn't really provide much privacy from the neighbouring properties, we decided to install solid casement windows which can be adjusted to block out the harsh sun and also catch the breezes. We also replaced all the old metal window hoods (with the same profile as the originals.) Just recently we stumbled upon a local company (Thurlow Blinds) which make and restore those old colonial chain venetians - ours were cactus and were subsequently removed but we are getting identical ones manufactured which should be fitted in the next two weeks. They will be a welcome addition as we currently have no window coverings other than some old cot sheets hanging on our bedroom windows.


Week 34 was also supposed to be the week we were to move into the house, but as it turned out it wasn't quite ready for handover. Unfortunately we had to vacate our rental at this time, so we had no other option than to move into a hotel - not an ideal situation to be in but at least we had a good view of the city.


  1. Wow Caroline, it's amazing to see how much things have progressed. I love that photo of the terrace, not to mention the before and after shot of the house - wow again!

    Cheers, Col

    1. Hi again, yes I often find myself going through old photos too see just how far we've come in a relatively short time. It's hard to believe we are now in. xx

  2. The before and after shots show such an amazing transformation. That's wonderful news that you can get the outdoor venetians made still.

    1. Hi Z, love a good 'before and after' too. The outdoor chain blinds are being installed next week, so we are very looking forward to taking down the sheets and getting a little privacy. xx

  3. I love all the little details.
    All that thought has paid off big time!
    The after shot of the whole house is amazing…what a transformation!

    1. The original cottage has remained largely untouched - pretty amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. Very happy with the outcome. xx

  4. Replies
    1. Another reason for using masonry as opposed to timber is the maintenance factor. The stairs are nice and wide so they are perfect to sit on or place a few potted plants/herbs. xx

  5. Your house is taking shaping well. It’s just disappointing that you can’t move in yet. I hope everything will progress smoothly so that you and your family can move in immediately and enjoy the fruit of your long wait. How is it now?

    Arthur @

  6. I'd have to say, that's quite an intricate work on those bricks! Very nicely done! I'm also impressed with the before and after comparison of the house. It looks a lot better now, and more modern. It's too bad you still have to iron some kinks out. I'm hope you're able to resolve all of them soon, so you can move in right away.

    Sean Harrington @ D&S Masonry