Building is a tough game. The highs and lows of the journey are amplified because it is a delicate balance between the vision you have for the life you will share with your family in your newly renovated home and the realities of your available budget. For us, as experienced as we are with the journey, it’s been a great reminder of the responsibility we have to deliver on our clients hopes and dreams as we embark on the same for ourselves.
During the various lockdowns we endured the complexities of town planning and obtaining our Building Permit. We used our spare time to undertake some preliminary cleaning of our home which previously housed a series of itinerate squatters. We uncovered some beautiful original features, like the door hardware, marble fireplace hearths and stained glass panels which to us was like finding gold. Our treasures were taken back to the workshop a stripped, polished and buffed back into their original condition. We’ve relocated them into storage until we can call for them at the final fix stage, which seem like it will be sometime early in 2022.
With permits in hand we were able to really get stuck into striping her back to bear bones. This mean over 10 skips of dust and debris (and god knows what else). The ceiling pretty much fell in on itself and bought with it 100 plus years of chimney soot and dust from the nearby brickworks that was trapped in the rafters. The iron roof and rafters were in amazing condition, the hardwood withstanding the test of time being the kind of raw material you couldn’t afford to purchase these days. Asbestos from the 50’s bathroom remodel was removed by our expert demo crew and we were pleased to find this was neither difficult or expensive.
Excavation works commenced in February with our digger crew scrapping the last of the debris and creating the trenches for our new ground plumbing and footings. The first of the known unknowns, what we often find in heritage homes, was revealed. The boundary trap plumbing infrastructure- basically the bit that connects the house to mains services- is cactus. It’s a pretty common problem and one of those expensive things that you really don’t have a choice about doing.
By April we had come to see that the timber weatherboards on the whole cottage needed replacing, together with some of the structural timber. A delicate task ensued to gently remove the old and replace them in exactly the same way they had first been assembled.
And so continues the labour of love… and no doubt more known unknowns to come