Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hallway and a few random photos

Hello Everyone! Well another school holidays has past and I soooooo miss the three term three week break. I have calculated that with the two week breaks between the terms I lose about a week and a half of building. But who are teachers to complain about holidays : ) 

Well these holidays I planned to build my hallway. Sounds kinda simple but do to that I had to design all the rooms that connect to the hallway so I got the walls and doors in the right places. But as usual i had to demolish all the old structure before adding the new. Lots of hard work and fiddle around posts, collar ties, beams, etc... but I feel the high roof, as always, will be worth the effort. 

Great to have wonderful friends the Tai's and Bergers visit. Felt the house coped terrific with 12 kids and 4 adults... but don't tell Heather! She might get some funny ideas about more children! 
Brigham and Griffin
Angus and Abigail
As promised some photos of the house with the almost finished deck.

What a wonderful room to spend a cold winters day in.  When the Tai's visited I thought I would crank it up so they were comfortable... well I got a little carried away, it was 32 degrees in the house and we were sweating! 
Ok back to work... Just pulled down the old wall, I love an empty canvas...  so much potential and choices. 
Hired a big jack hammer for this job.... the end result... one heck of a mess. 
New wall up. I got excited about arches again. Put in two. The struts in the roof were all wonky and different heights so I had to cut out the top plate in my new wall in a few places and then put little extensions to the top of the wall between the struts. Lots of ladder work and fiddle.   
Cannot thank Ian enough for again putting in a day to help me sheet up. 
Finally sheeted up. Was a bit tricky with the height, struts and extra wide boards that were damp and a bit bent after spending a couple of weeks outside (no thanks to mitre 10).  
Back side of the wall. I am looking forward to the challenge of stopping, which means  plastering the joins.  I have three butt joins, 2 arches, and with the lighting I am planning on having they need to be perfect. No small task for an amateur.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Hello!!! Well things are still chugging along.... slowly. During the last school holidays Blake helped me start to knock down the last section of the house which was lots of fun. Then we started on the deck. I had 3 weeks holiday to get it all done and just failed. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated. So I have been spending most weekends finishing it off. I still have the last row to do and some trimming but it will have to wait as the knees and back have had enough. A big thanks to Connor for lending his muscles! I couldn't have done it without him.

The kids love it. Don't have a photo of that but will try and get one this week. The deck is spotted gum. It is really tough stuff, kids have taken hammers to it and no dents in sight. The deck is 15.8m x 3.66m. I secured it with galvanised ring shanked nails... thousands of them! Would have used screws but with the spotted gum being so hard it actually complicated things. We are really happy with it. Looking forward to finishing the front of the house with shingles, lights and guttering. But that will have to wait. The hallway takes precedence as it is very drafty at the back which is making the kids bedrooms really cold.... so I think I'd better get onto it.

Scary moments when the digger was so close to my glass doors. 

All my posts in place and some cut. Next time I probably would use metal stirrups instead. 
My jig for cutting the posts neatly. Worked really well. 
Weed matting
drainage rock 
Bearers and joists.
Was sad to have to cut the joists.

All the kids took turns helping me. They were a terrific help and sped up the job.  Gee I was sick of  hammering by the end. 

I used Organ oil on the deck. It was ok but after reading much material on mill glaze I probably should have gone the Cutek. A lot less fuss. Pity it took over a month for Mitre 10 to get me the sample pots! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Ok three in one day is bordering on harassment! But I cannot procrastinate any longer. One of Heathers must haves over the past few years has been a book shelf. She loves her books and had a hoard of them throughout the house packed away in boxes. Finally I have it done! It is a nice sturdy structure. I liked how I used steel rod in the studs to give it a bit of a floating effect. Some of these rods I drilled a hole in and epoxied the other end into the stud. After putting the shelf into place I put a screw through the shelf and the hole in the rod to secure it into place. It means it is secured but you cannot really see it. It also makes removing the shelf possible.... but I don't know why anyone would do that! I originally had grand plans... stone backings, apple creates, feature boxes... etc... but in the end I went for getting it done with as little mess as possible. Boring but practical, we can dress it up with what every we put in it. It really made the room feel like home and finished!

Barn Door

I have been looking forward to this one since the beginning. I have reinstalled one of the original barn doors in its original location. Took a bit of work to clean up. I finished it with some of my home made beeswax polish. I had no problems installing it as it miraculously fit into the space perfectly! A very rare treat. It use to be covered with a whole bunch of articles and packing charts, I still have these and hope to frame them someday. Some are pretty funny with their not so subtle sexual references. I find it a nice addition as it added a more homely feel to the room. 

Babies, clothes lines, island bench, clock and chook run.

Ok, Ok.... well it has only been... ummm... errrr... 4 months. I wish I had a lot to report but not really. There has been a lot of finishings going on. I didn't even bother taking photos of most of it as who wants to see skirting and architrave going up! Though they are the old barn weatherboards and look great. I will post a few posts in the next week (hopefully) covering some of the more major stuff I have done, but to be honest I have just chilled mainly. 5 years of working basically every evening, lunch time and weekend has taken its toll and I really want to relax more and spend more time with the family. This blog covers a few of the minor jobs I have undertaken since November. Next on the agenda will be the deck out the front and to start clearing out the back rooms ready for demolishing. Stage 4, the final stage of the house, is the hallway, pantry, 2 bathrooms and a laundry.

Incase anyone didn't know... this one is due well.... any day now.
What is a house without one of these icons!
Legs and bar stools for the island bench. Used reclaimed studs again. they look good.
I had planned on doing something creative underneath the island bench.... however I couldn't be bothered. So I went for quick and easy. Not particularly attractive themselves however highlights the timber nicely.  

My giant clock! It is 1m in diameter. I really really wanted it above the breakfast bar between the two windows under the bulk head but Heather threatened to be 'really upset' if I removed the family photo that already had taken pride of place. Not willing to mess with a pregnant woman I made plan... and will bide my time : ) ...... 

Heather has made only a few requests over the years while I was building.  Fireplace, bath, chicken run, and oven. Pretty well sums it up. I have now finally accomplished 3 of the 4. The chicken run has an enclosed area of 3x7m. I am planning to add an additional 20x10m roughly unenclosed for free ranging.... but it can wait. Angus, Erin and Brigham all helped me during the build.