Renovating a Queenslander (Part 3)

Can you believe we’re already in September? How time flies when you are juggling a massive home renovation, work and family! Phew! I don’t know about you, but some mornings I feel like we are only a month away from Christmas and New Year! Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but my favourite white-y pal, F, shares my longing for the year-end break.

Here, work stops for roughly a month over Christmas and New Year, but that’s fine by us as we’ll hopefully be in our revamped Queenslander by then.

Friends have pointed out that what I’m doing – while technically a renovation – is actually a new build; in that, I’ve put the equivalent of a 4-bedroom house behind a 3-bedroom cottage (Queenslander) and joined the two via an internal walkway to form a single dwelling.

People have asked me why I need such a huge dwelling and all I can say is I have a high need for personal space. Well, I do spend a lot of time indoors. I even work from home, so each to their own, yeah?

John Hardy, my trusty builder, has been true to his word – “no shortcuts.” I like that about Aussies; you get exactly what you pay for. I told him this house has to last me until I have grandchildren, until I go into the ground and become worm-feed, so every decision he’s guided me to make for the build has been based on longevity. Function before form. Durability and ease of maintenance above all else.

We’re now at the end of phase 2, which is the internal fit out of the new build. The bathrooms are plumbed and tiled and have been fitted out. All that is missing are shower screens. Pics to follow when that’s in and John has given the rooms a clean.

The kitchen is going in mid-September, the benchtops a week or two after that; the cupboards will be 2-pac in Vivid White, satin finish, hand-less, mostly drawers, the benchtops Caesarstone in Bianco Drift. I’ll show you pics in my next post so keep a look out for that!

Since my last post, all the windows have (obviously) gone in. Mine were custom-made by the good people at Energy Efficient Windows. They are double -glazed and tinted to reduce glare, which translates into lower heating and cooling bills, less outside noise, and significantly reduced glare, especially in the afternoons when the sun is at its strongest.

My lust-worthy Big Ass fans go in soon. I’m salivating just thinking about that. They do add that special touch to an otherwise plain, white, ceiling. Did I mention they come with a lifetime warranty and they cost only $10 a year to run? The fitted LED lights supposedly last 20 years!

Last week John started on my car park, phase 3 of my renovation project. First he was digging to China and scooping out buckets of water (we had an uncharacteristic late-winter downpour), then putting in the form work for the concrete pour. Now I have a mountain of reactive soil to be trucked out before 60 tonnes of appropriate soil is brought in.

Meanwhile, John is adding architraves to the windows and skirts to the floating floor. I went with 14mm, natural-coloured, strand-woven bamboo, low VOC, on a noise-dampening underlay, because it looks good and is tough enough to stand up to the rigours of day-to-day family living.

Okay, why don’t I stop yapping and just show you the pictures I’ve take so far. Do enjoy!

HRH inspecting the view from our new kitchen/dining.

HRH inspecting the view from our new kitchen/dining.

Internal walkway linking cottage with house.

Internal walkway linking cottage with house.

A day at Bunnings Warehouse

A day at Bunnings Warehouse

Big Ass fan mid-installation

Big Ass fan mid-installation

Laying of the floor in the family room.

Laying of the floor in the family room.

The stairwell with one framed window.

The stairwell with one framed window.

Earthworks for car parking.

Earthworks for car parking.

Pumping concrete into the formwork. Blockwork to follow.

Pumping concrete into the formwork. Blockwork to follow.

Concrete pad for blockwork to follow. Window looks out onto my future Japanese garden.

Concrete pad for blockwork to follow. Window looks out onto my future Japanese garden.