Sunday, 31 August 2014

I'm exhausted

Firstly, I'd like to say a big welcome to Spring. About time you showed up. This winter felt so cold and long and I am so glad to see the end of it. I must say though, the last two days of Winter were delightful here in old Melbourne town.

Secondly, I need a week of sleep ins. I am so tired. I did a big 9.5km run (I know what your thinking, why stop there?) on Saturday morning then spent the day cleaning out the rubbish and pruning the mop top tree. I think because I have been slightly under the weather that it just took it out of me. I did do over 20,000 steps that day.

But the site is looking much better now. The massive pile of rubbish in the backyard has gone and the weeds are a bit better. Still lots of garden work to do but it isn't urgent because the garden isn't very accessible at the moment anyhow.

I came to work today for a rest. I couldn't even run this morning. Just did a walk instead.

Oh and the plumber didn't turn up. Disappointing.

Our sales rep (Dennis) from ColdFlow called back on Friday to see if we got the quote for the solar panels. I said we did and we decided that it wasn't beneficial to us, but we would be using him for the rest of the work. He seemed happy about that.

We still have some old weatherboards to get rid of too.

Yesterday I spent trying to get the house in a state that didn't look like WWIII had hit. Not much success. It is near impossible to work part time, renovate, blog and look after 3 kids and a husband all while keeping a pint sized and crowded house looking clean and tidy. Especially when extra issues of head lice (think washing all the bedding) and worms (more washing all the bedding) and bathroom floods hit. Yep the washing machine flooded the bathroom yesterday from overloading the machine with bedding. Fun!

Some days it just feels like somethings gotta give. Sadly none of it can.
Anyway, I need a holiday. Or at least a week of sleep ins.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

A messy weekend ahead

And not one of the messy weekend of my younger years sadly. It is time to do some spring cleaning. Let's face it, Spring does actually start on Monday (woo hoo!) so it seems very timely.

We have big pile of rubbish in the backyard to take to the tip. Might need two or three trips sadly. We also have go get rid of the left over roofing material which we will take to the recyclers tomorrow after work.
Dave strapping it to his ute.

Hopefully we can get some cash for it.

Also on Saturday I want to:
- Trim back the mop top tree
- clear a path for the large windows to get around the back
-  move and try to sell the cement weatherboards that we didn't use
- weed the backyard ad front yard
- general tidy up the back area and upstairs

The plumber is meant to come back on Saturday to do some more work on the roof and pipes.

Meanwhile I keep painting and have been getting quotes for heating and cooling and solar panels.


Monday, 25 August 2014

Heating and cooling

Today we had ColdFlow come out to look at our options for heating and cooling. We previously had The Heat shop come out but after taking 2 weeks to get the quote back and only because I had to prompt them, I am kind of put off them now. The Heat Shop quoted $7366 for 2 x 2.5Kw Daiken split systems (one in each bedroom upstairs) + 1 x 7.1kw Daiken for downstairs.

The ColdFlow guy Dennis, gave a written quote on the spot. He also suggested split systems would be the way to go because of the lack of room to run ducts. He suggested a muti-head Daiken split system with 4 outlets. 3 upstairs and one large down stairs. They quoted $8,750.

On Wednesday I have a guy from DaleAir coming to quote so will see what he says and what price he can do.

No other work done on the house today; and the coming weekend we are having a "clean up the site" weekend. We will do some tip runs, dispose of excess roof iron and other things clogging up the work area. Should be good.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

The first window

Today was a momentous day. No not really. But we were looking forward to it all week. I know, we are pathetic and living in a teeny house has made us a wee bit cray cray it seems. Instead of looking forward to sleeping in on the weekends, we'd rather get up early and install windows. What the??

The great thing now is that it is getting light a lot earlier. I got up at 6:30am to do my 10km run and it was pretty much already fully light. I am so sick of running in the pitch black. This also means we can fit more work into the daylight hours. If only we got paid for this work we would be laughing.

So here is the window.

It is almost impossible to get a good photo of this side of the house sorry. Here it is from the inside.
We thought it would be hard to get the thing upstairs but we managed that pretty easily with just the two of us.
Just brought her up to her new room
 Then Dave had some work to do, like packing out the opening and putting on the flashings and checking out the hanging out bits at the ends.
Ready to go in
I must say, there was a bit of swearing getting the thing into place and making it all level. But finally we got it to a point where we had to say, close enough is good enough. Or my mother in law's favourite "a blindman would be happy to see it!"

After we had it in place, we then put the wind out windows back in and the flyscreens.

The rest of the day, Dave did some more weatherboarding and I prepped the next highlight window.
Did the weatherboards right at the top
I'll tell you what though. It takes ages to get the windows ready to be painted. First you have to take all the screws out of the hardware (and some needed to be drilled out because the stainless steel screws are so soft that they get threaded when tuning them). Then you remove the black weather seals ( I needed a screwdriver to dig them out). Then I punched the nail holes, used a razor blade to cut off excess silicone and sand off any sap or wood that was flakey.

I managed to paint about 1/4 of an undercoat before it was time for dinner. I guess that is my job for tomorrow now.


Our surprise delivery

On Thursday I came home from work to find a note from the postman that they couldn't deliver a package due to the road works. Curse those horrid things. Been going on way too long now. Anyway, neither Dave nor I could think what this could be. We hadn't ordered anything.

So the next morning I was out for my 6am run and I figured it out (I solve the problems of the world when I am out running). It had a description of the package on the note "blue tube large". It was the window film to make our windows obscured. Hooray!

It is pretty large I guess

The film cut to size

The all important instructions
 Then this happened. Miss Heidi decided that the film would make a great bed and she pretended to have a sleep. As you do.
Add caption
Massive big shout out and thanks to Dave at Mastertint for providing the film. It helps to have people in the know. Cheers Bro!!

So now I need to gather my supplies like a spray bottle and squeegee  etc. Bunnings here we come.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

More boards on the back

So last night after wok, Dave did more work on the back wall. See, more weatherboards.
 Isn't he a good lad!

And I just finished painting the cut edges of a bunch more so he can go ahead and put them on tonight.

Also finished the 5th and final coat of paint on the first highlight window to be install on the weekend.

Not that anyone reading this would care, but I am very happy to see that out road has partially been asphalted today. Not the part outside our house but part none the less. You ripper!

Today I rang up two companies to get quotes for our heating and cooling. DaleAir and ColdFlow. They are coming next week.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Home show and weekend work

Another winter weekend has come and gone. This one was quite productive for a change.

It started on Friday night (when most weekends do hahaha...) when we tripped off to the Herald Sun Home Show at the Exhibition Centre in Melbourne. We scored two free tickets thanks to the Home One forum. Thanks guys!!!

With the kids being looked after by Nan we were free to wander the aisles in peace. The best part is trying the sneak the lollies from the bowls on the stands without them seeing. Dave will distract them with a question about the product and I swoop in for the lollies. No good ones this time, unlike the chocolate bars we swiped last time.

But we did see some good stalls. When we first walked in we saw the Rinnai gals log fires which looked great I must say. Sadly they didn't have any Lopi on show.
Rinnai Gas log fires
 There were some nice engineered wood floors (not that we want that but they looked nice but feel fake to us). We are on the hunt for real hardwood floors.
 Dave dreaming about installing a spa one day.
 Then there is this mod from down in Geelong that does stone walls. We were initially told a few years ago, that they use real stone. The guy there told us, no, it is moulded concrete. So we are not so keen now. We will have to see what our other options are.

 Then a bathroom group had this cool tile on the wall that looks like floorboards. I am very keen for something like that on our ensuite floor. I am not at tile person. I much prefer a natural environment. So a tile that looks like wood could work.

We did get some other work done on the house though. Same old, same old. Weatherboards. We got the east side almost all done, and the north side about 1/3 done.
Dave putting the boards up

Pretty much all done

You can just see the board going on the bottom left

North wall under way
Other than that, I was painting windows. The two smaller south facing windows are done and needed screwing back together (we had to buy new screws because I stuffed some of them trying to get the out).

I started on the highlight windows and aim to get it painted and installed on the weekend. Hooray!
Spent about 1 hour just dismantling the window.
So much work to be done, so little time. I started getting excited thinking about plastering yesterday. That will be a time to celebrate.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

I think I've found my gas log fire

Let me start by saying that I am the worst decision maker ever! It took me many many months to decide to paint our house yellow. But once I saw the house colour I liked, I knew it was perfect.

The same thing may have just happened with my gas log fire decision. I know, because each time I think about the fireplace I like, I get a little bit giddy and want to do a bit of a happy dance. (I may have just done another one!!)

Do you like it?
Image from Lopi 564 HO GS2
 The brand is Lopi (pronounced "low pie" apparently; after a weird look from the sales lady when I said "Lo pee"). Until this week I had never even heard of them. Fellow blogger, Johanne, from House by the water pointed me to her blog about her experience looking for the right fireplace. She was talking about these Lopis and I had to go investigate. They are an American brand with over 30 years behind them.

What I like about them is that the viewing window is much larger. You can choose the way it looks too.

And choose many options for the surround too. Great, more options and more decision.
That said I like the driftwood one with the black background best.

The man that I talked to at Gas Central in Williamstown (who was super helpful by the way) said that quality and performance wise, they are on are on par with the Jetmaster Heat n Glo. However, he said they are about 10% cheaper. Bonus!

One other thing that I really liked about them was that they are the only one that you can use without electricity. So if there is a blackout, we can light the pilot light and still have some heat and light. How cosy does that sound!!

The star rating isn't as good as the Archer but the after sales support is much better (he said Archer are very poor in customer service when things go wrong). He said if we are after the best heating, Archer are best but if that isn't as important as the look then go for Lopi.

Here are some other styles from Pinterest.
Lopi Gas Fireplace

Lopi Gas Fireplace
Lopi Gas Fireplace
I likey!


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bit bored?

Are you all a bit bored of seeing weatherboards going up? Yep, we are too. It was fun and exciting at the start, but now if it getting tedious. We just want to get on with the next job of installing the windows.

Dave cut boards to size for the south wall and I painted the edges that would be too hard to paint once installed.

BEWARE!! You might actually die of boredom if you look at this next picture!
Cut and painted weatherboards
 I warned you!

But here they are looking all pretty installed under the bedroom window.
There's the weird guy again.
We have cut and painted the ones for the other side also, and as long as the weather is ok, they will be installed tonight.

I am having fun looking at fireplaces and I think I have found the one I want. But more on that later!


Behind the scenes

It sure ain't a glamorous life in this renovating game. But we must make some sacrifices in the short term to achieve our long term goal. Right?

Not only are all three kids sharing a bedroom the size of a regular person's study, our living room is also the playroom/dressing room/storage room. Then we have this in our bathroom sink.
With no laundry, we have to wash the paint brushes in the bathroom sink
Oh and the bathroom is like an icebox at the moment because it has holes in the walls and just sheets of plaster between the inside and outside.You have to walk across a temporary floor to get to the bathroom.

On our vanity, instead of having makeup brushes, there are paint brushes drying.

Our kitchen bench is home to various painting jobs.
Painting the cut edges of the upper storey weatherboards so they can be installed.

More weatherboards being painted
Any spare space in the kitchen area is prime locale for painting in this freezing Melbourne weather. Here is the second window being finished. The talent is not in the painting, but in keeping the 3 kids (and stray moths) from touching the wet paint.

Window keeping warm inside
Then there is the bath tub that has to be washed out well before every bath because we have to drain the washing machines dirty water down the baths drain pipe.

I am sure going to appreciate the house when it has finished, but glad I will have this blog to look back and see how we once lived and survived. Well so far!


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Researching gas log fires

As we wait for our quotation for the heating and cooling to come in, I have been looking at designs for gas log fires.

I originally (and maybe still do) wanted one with the real looking logs. But the other options are so handsome too.

Keeping in mind that we want to build the actual fireplace out of stone with a wooden mantle something like this.
Image from Wood Mantels Denver
There is actually a new showroom for gas fires opening up just down the road very soon called Sneddons. Hopefully it opens soon and we don't have to drive across to the other side of town to look at them.

The Heat Shop, who is doing our quote, sell the Archer brand of fires. I don't really like the look of them though. They have too much metal underneath and the viewing screen area is too small.
Too much metal, not enough fire.

Then there is the Illusion brand. They are better I think.

Then this Jetmaster one is also pretty cool but don't know if that would work.
 Or do I be really brave and do something more modern and sleek like this?
This is a Heat n Glo model called Lux

I think I really need to do some window shopping. I don't want to end up with something ugly but I also want it to be heat efficient and reasonably priced.

If anyone out there has any recommendations, or pros and cons, on what they have at home, I would be most pleased to hear your comments.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Upper level - All wrapped up!

We managed to finish straightening and wrapping up the second storey today.

I spy Tom Thumb
This is the before shot (above).

Then it was straightened and packed.

Planing the wall

Stapling on the packers

Wrapped up from the outside

Wrapped up from the inside
So now that side is ready to be weatherboarded whenever we get the opportunity.

I got the second coat of primer on the second window today.

We wont be getting much done tomorrow because we are heading to the in laws place to celebrate my Father in law's 70th Birthday. To mark the occasion we are having a BBQ (of course it is meant to rain). I am bringing my regular trifle....

Trifle in progress
 ..and I am bringing a dirt cake. Now this I have never made before. It is an American idea and have layers of crushed Oeros, crumbled chocolate cake and whipped cream mixed with chocolate pudding and to top it off some lolly worms.
Dirt cake in progress

 My finished dirt cake which I can't wait to taste. Thanks Alyssa for sharing your family recipe with me.
More of a kids dessert but who's counting!
That's all the news for now.

Check ya later,