Saturday, September 21, 2013

Install in Haste, Re-Paint at Leisure

One of the things I like most about this renovation is how little waste there has been. The last place we renovated was a 1970s house in Brisbane and, the more you tried to repair it, the more you realised it basically had to be rebuilt from scratch. 

Fibre cement sheets removed from the walls had to go to landfill and be replaced with new ones. The rotten chipboard kitchen and cabinets were the same. The framing holding the place up was cheap and flimsy and needed serious work - most of it also had to be thrown away and replaced.

It's a cliche, but houses of the era of this one were built to last. That means almost everything can be re-used, which means much less waste and expense for us. 

In fact, we've had to buy some new timber flooring and the windows but there's been very little other expense in re-building this entire area. 

The old VJs are now being put back onto the walls, ready to be sanded and painted. 

The French doors, one set pulled out from the wall that was removed and one picked up at a salvage yard, have been re-installed in their new homes. 

And here-in lies a slight issue. When Dan bought the new set from the salvage yard, he thought they were the same size as the other French doors in the house. 

Only, they're not. They're smaller. And it was only after they had been installed and I came up for an inspection that it was noticed. 

And my exhausted husband, who's usually a perfectionist about such things, indicated to me that there was just no way on Earth they were being taken out again and I would have to learn to live with it.

You can see them in the middle here, looking a little... small. They're more intended to be used as windows than doors and will have curtains hung over them, so it probably won't be too noticeable. 

I hope. 

Dan now plans to finish lining the walls and work up to the next major job - sandblasting the pressed metal ceiling to remove the old lead paint in preparation for painting.


  1. Just for me to THINK about the amount of work you've achieved in such a short time is exhausting! Your restoration really is coming up roses and I continue to enjoy following the progress.
    I can't see any problem with the size of the French doors - am I missing something?

    1. I'm glad you say that! They are definitely smaller than the other doors though...

    2. I reckon that once that area is finished, those doors will look fine - so long as they are not alongside the larger ones you will have no problem. But I'm wondering why you are not sanding the VJs while you have them off the walls - would have to be easier I would think! Keep up the good work (but I don't envy Dan the job of sandblasting those ceilings!!!!)

    3. Thanks Shazr! Because we're only replacing VJs here and there and we had a fairly highly skilled builder friend of Dan's staying, they got stuck into the carpenter-type stuff. We've actually got a plan for sanding anyway...

  2. its an old house, and nothing is ever going to be perfect, and so as I would say they will be mostly open I would forget about it and move on. Hey you have DOORS and a LOVELY big light filled room! How much difference does that make already!!!

  3. I honestly think if you don't tell anyone, 99% of people will not even notice! So don't tell anyone! You guys have done an incredible amount! Well done! x

  4. I think the difference in the doors must be small as you can't pick it from the photos at all and I am a details girl too. If it really bothers you, you could use a slightly larger architrave around them to make them appear the same height/size as the others. Believe me, it will become one of those tiny things that a few months down the track that you will forget about. Totally not envying you dealing with those ceilings, my ornate horsehair plaster ones are bad enough! mel x

  5. I think the smaller doors just form part of the story of your house - which I just LOVE.

  6. There are bound to be things that are not 'perfect' when you are renovating an old girl such as yours. We have a wall in our house where the VJs are not perfectly vertical (I guess they have somehow moved over the years). I notice it, but I'm wondering if anyone else will. You have to expect there will be quirks but they are there to tell a story. xx

  7. Your house will be beautiful. Such great features to work with! Looking forward to watching your progress.