Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The renovation time line - part two

I have already written about the time involved with some of our renovations, including the kitchen from planning to installation, painting, and polishing the floorboards.  You can read about those processes here.  While some of this did occur at the same time (for example, we continued to paint rooms while the kitchen was being installed, and even afterwards) we did have to complete it in some order so that each trade could do their job consecutively.  

Other jobs could be done whenever suited us, and did not rely so much on other trades.  It still may be useful though for people to have an idea of what is involved, as a couple of these tripped me up a little!

1.  New skirting boards - these we bought from Bunnings (I usually would prefer to support local businesses but this was just easy and they had plenty of the profile we wanted).  I didn't realise there were so many types you can buy - different widths, profiles (the slope of the wood at the top) and probably other variables as well.  We bought pre-primed boards, and my dad has a mitre saw so was able to cut them so that we could join neatly in the corners and on the long strips.  Youtube was quite helpful in showing me how to do this!

2.  Fixing the sash windows - when we moved in our original double hung sash windows had broken panes of glass, and the sash cords were broken so they did not even open.  One of my husbands friends is a glazier - helpful to call in your mates!  He arrived on a Saturday morning to fix them for us - replacing all necessary panes of glass (I think three panes altogether) and fixing the sash cords, plus sanding them so they ran well and now open beautifully cost us about $300.  This may have been mates rates though.  
One crack can be seen in the glass panel here

The second glass window also had a crack although this is difficult to see here
One thing I did not realise with the windows is that the putty that is used to put in new panes of glass needs a few weeks to really set.  We were told to wait a month before sanding and painting.  That has now extended to almost a year!  We will get there eventually.....

3.  Hiring a skip - even this can have issues.  When you live on a narrow street like ours you do need to be conscious of taking up room in the street!  Some large skips also require council approval.  I hired one which was on a trailer, and so could be parked on the street - but it still required pre booking and trying to arrange for parking out the front of the house.  I got a lockable skip as I had heard plenty of stories about neighbours filling up skips after dark - however in the end that doesn't seem to be an issue here, as our next door neighbour has an almost permanent skip outside which he happily lets everyone use!  (haven't paid for my own skip since.....)
4.  Carpet installation - carpet is more expensive than I expected.  I had previously had carpet installed in our apartment when there was water damage, and although the insurance company had covered most of this the entire apartment had been carpeted for approximately $1800.  So when I only needed to carpet one room (although one large room, with unusual lay out) I expected it would not even cost this much.  Obviously my previous carpet had not been very good quality!  There are many different materials, basically divided into synthetic material or natural materials such as wool.  But even within each class of materials there are a large number of variables.  Carpet can range in price hugely, with a fairly cheap price being around $20-30 per square metre, but I assume it can range up to many hundreds of dollars per square metre.  You also need to be careful - often carpet is sold by the lineal metre, so be aware of your measurements and the differences in prices.

Can't really see the old carpet so well but trust me it was horrible!
The other thing I did not realise was that when you look at carpet in a showroom - that does not necessarily mean they have enough in stock to install within a short time period.  As I wanted to have the carpet installed prior to us moving in I had quite limited time available for measure and quote and then installation.  The first company I spoke to did not even bother to turn up at the arranged time for the quote.  Luckily I had already decided they were too expensive, and had been to Webber's Carpets to see what they could do for me.  Because I needed it installed the following week there were limited carpets I could choose from, however they did have a number of rolls with enough stock so that I could choose and pay a deposit on Friday and then have it installed on Wednesday.  This is not usual - generally I would say give yourself a few weeks at least to allow for quote, ordering and installation!

Lovely new carpet installed
The carpet I chose is pure wool with a cut and loop design, so that movement of furniture and vacuuming will have limited impact on the pattern.  I went for a grey colour as it is fairly neutral and will hopefully not date.  The upstairs bed room is an unusual shape, and includes the cupboards.  When calculating a price for the carpet you also have to take into account the underlay and installation cost.  In the end, our total price was around $2400 fully installed for the one room.

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