Friday, December 23, 2011

Can of worms

Noone wants to hear their builder utter the phrase "can of worms" in relation to their renovation. Especially not at 8:30 in the morning with a three year old dolled up in her tutu (since 6am) in eager anticipation of seeing Angelina Ballerina at the Opera House and completely unable to comprehend how a trip to the new house to talk to the builder will fit into the morning schedule. By 'completely unable to comprehend' I mean 'sent into total meltdown mode at the very thought'.

So when we finally turned up at the house I was apprehensive to say the least. Our builder revealed the problem - a hole in the floor. Hmm. There was more. The hole essentially extended underneath the entire slab in the downstairs living area. Sigh.

Don't get me wrong, it's ultimately a good thing they found it under the layers of tiles they were lifting up, but a new slab won't be cheap and will delay things. Given we're being kicked out of our rental in a frighteningly short amount of time, delays are less welcome than ever.

On the upside, it's going to be cheaper to polish the new slab as the downstairs floor than it will be to have wooden floors, so I'm definitely going to get my polished concrete floors downstairs!

We do have our footings finished now so at least we're still moving forward. Let's hope that the house has no more floating slab-like surprises for us. I'm all for quirky and imperfect, but dangerous and expensive quirks aren't the type I like.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Work plods on

I said last week that after all the demolition the work our builders have been doing this week would be slightly less visually impressive and I was right. These rather unimposing trenches are the result of more blood, sweat and tears (well, probably not tears) than the rest of the demolition combined, but look a tad like the kind of trenches little boys dig in the backyard in an afternoon playing war games.

I'm reliably informed though that jackhammering through slab after slab after slab was enough to send the team ever so slightly bonkers. Especially in the rain. Still, it's done and nearly ready for the footings.

The ensuite doorway was about the last bit of demolition left to be done after my last post and here it is - the view from our bedroom into the ensuite and main bathroom beyond.

The other thing that has been done this week is the electrics. Again, it doesn't look like much but the whole house is wired up now. And I am in a lather of panic that I chose the right spots for switches.

One thing that has impressed me enormously is how neat the building team is. Even when I sneak over for a peek as opposed to a scheduled visit their equipment is always very neatly stored. I'm considering asking if anyone of them want a job tidying a mad house when they're finished the build.

This is just a gratuitous shot of the exterior. We're not touching anything outside - with the exception of replacing that dodgy metal lacework and bamboo screen upstairs. The outside is very definitely phase two.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Demolition, demolition, demolition

Hmm. There was a wall here last week. And that metal grid was a bridge to the upstairs terrace. After last week I have to confess I didn't think there was really too much more demolition to be done. I was wrong!

This existing downstairs hallway wall has gone - completely opening up the space that will be the two bathrooms. It was always a hard space to picture as it was split by the wall and an old toilet room but now it's much easier to imagine two bathrooms fitting in here. On the far right hand wall you can see where the ensuite doorway will be knocked through to the bedroom.

I *think* that once this wall and the ensuite doorway wall have been knocked through there are no more walls to come down. This will be the new hallway entrance from the downstairs living area.

This shot gives a little bit of an idea about the 'wall of glass' effect we're hoping will allow light to flood into our downstairs spaces. Upstairs will be louvres and downstairs will be bifold doors onto the courtyard.

This looks back from the terrace, through the kitchen and into the open plan dining and lounge room. Yikes we're missing a lot of walls!!