With two adult and one teenage child at home, our family were desparate for more space for cars and friends and good times. The house we found had been built in a stately european villa style, but had a succession of careless owners and we bought it for a song. Well, we had our fixer upper, the worst home in the best street , with a view of the Indian Ocean to boot. It was time to roll our sleeves up!
The first thing we had to do was clean, clean, clean. And spray for the many insects that had made their home over the years - a little lizard had even taken up residence in one of the bathrooms. Then I proceeded to get quotes for all that needed to be done. First to come was the steel fabricator, who turned our gate from forbidding to elegant (and able to open and close).
Removing the cheap top and bottom panel, continuing the bars and repowdercoating and rehanging the side gate.
When we put the roll on lawn in, all the neighbours stopped to talk to us :). That's the new limestone letterbox under the drop sheet. We've since planted a hedge of Indian Hawthorn which will eventually replace the "pool fence" feature. Blockout blinds keep the sun out - the house faces west.
All the bathrooms needed attention - we went for changing out some fixtures, painting walls and frames and rejuvenating the grout - a messy job that I took on however very effective. Also showing here is the hand rail our fabricator designed for our stairs. There was none before and we had a few heart stopping times of missing the bottom step in the dark.
The painter and I came to know each other quite well - he spent days at our house. The mysterious blue markings in the void were replaced with Dulux Wash and Wear in colour Lexicon. Dulux Vivid White made sure the 33 doors and frames looked fresh and clean.
I designed new balcony doors and had them and the front doors painted in Porters Paint Aqua Satin Enamel in colour Wattle Seed, a soft grey that complemented the Tasmanian Oak timber floors. Handles had to be marine grade Stainless Steel because of the proximity to the coast. The old handles were marked with pits from exposure to salt in the wind.
The fixing carpenter not only replaced smashed (!) doors but retro fitted locks, rehung custom doors to fit the old frames and reinforced sagging shelving in the built in cupboards. His workmanship was superb, though he did admit the house was 'doing his head in'. We replaced all the door handles in the house. After initially trying a budget range, we upgraded to Gainsborough when we found the privacy locks did not work at all. The upgrade hurt our budget but was worth it , giving our home a subtle touch of quality throughout.
We would really like to paint the outside of the house, however we're still trying to decide on colours. At the moment, it's tuscan yellow and limestone as far as the eye can see. We're content to wait though, have the house back to ourselves after spending so much money on trades and fixings and just enjoy having our friends over to appreciate the work we've done so far.
Next time I blog I'll be sharing how I coped with adding layers to a big empty house to make it feel homely, on a budget, so be sure to check in reularly!