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Quick Renovations

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by TryHard, 16th Oct, 2006.

  1. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    863
    Maybe someone else will have some horror stories to make me feel less alone ... :eek:

    Since we moved in to our latest place we committed to make some quick reno's to the cottage that sits on the same block which included :

    - create a balcony where the front room used to be
    - make a new rear deck and patio
    - renovate (mildly) the bathroom
    - replace the kitchen bench
    - move the laundry

    The tenant was planning to be away for a month. It was all well planned many months ago ... then ...

    1. Our chippy decided to go fishing on Fraser Island and start 2 weeks later than planned (and who can blame him, the weather is beautiful)

    2. The tenant reduced their trip to 2.5 weeks.

    3. The photos in the gallery :

    http://www.invested.com.au/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=105&cat=503

    are what it looks like today (Monday 16 October).

    Status Report :

    - The house has no rear deck
    - dirt where the slab should be (need 25 m2 slab and another 4 m2 for laundry)
    - no front wall (that first step is a doozy) and
    - no kitchen.
    - needs a new ceiling in the front deck area
    - rear lean to section needs to be re-roofed
    - bathroom walls need sheeting

    The kitchen people just told me they misinterpreted my constant faxes and phone calls for the last 2 weeks and thought the job was 'not urgent' - so should be able to put a kitchen in by November 'sometime'.

    4. The tenant arrives back next Tuesday, one week from now.

    5. Who thinks I'll make it ? (I won't start a poll, 'cos even including just my vote it'll be 100% "fat chance" :p)

    I should point out though, that as of Tuesday last week, the house still had a front wall, and old rear deck and its old kitchen cabinet. Which really means we've achieved something, even if it is going backwards :)

    Thought this might prompt other's sharing of not-quite-as-planned projects.

    I'll re-post in a week to tell you where this one is at anyway - and I hope in a better state than it is now !

    PROJECT NOTES (in case they help others)

    1. Asbestos is a nasty substance to remove, but once you lose your temper and/or get drunk, doesn't seem quite as scary

    2. Putting up 6 metre scaffolds and standing on a rickety plank at roof level is a job for brave people. I am not a brave person and its time for a new undie shop (apologies for the mental picture). Fortunately the chippy and painter don't suffer the same issues ...

    3. Hosing powerpoints is not a good way to remove dust from them - but the safety switch works

    4. I now understand (and support) why tradespeople I have known and trusted for years charge a 20 % premium when dealing with me

    Gee, no wonder people say renovators are a special bunch, and I'm only making the phone calls (and maybe holding the odd power tool to look like I'm part of the team :D )

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  2. TakeStock

    TakeStock Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    Carl, I personally think you should consider writing full time. Your posts are always very entertaining and descriptive.
     
  3. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    Very kind TS, and unjustified praise :eek: Geez, I can't even manage to do what I do full time, let alone consider another thing I can't do real well :p

    I must admit to being a frustrated blogger, but I just can't concentrate on one thing long enough. I won't post my past attempts at blogging as the language is a little, um, colloquial (or however you spell that :) )
     
  4. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    I almost fell off my chair when i read that one! :eek:

    Great thread idea.
     
  5. k-girl

    k-girl Active Member

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    Brisbane
    Last edited by a moderator: 17th Oct, 2006
  6. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
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    Sydney
    Carl,

    Your posts crack me up- literally- and I'm blaming you for the dozens of new laughter crows feet and wrinkles now on my face!!

    Seriously, though :) renovating is an art and one that requires patience (bucketloads), flexibility (to go with the flow) more money (it's always more than what you budget for) and a definite sense of humour. Without the latter, you won't make it, though I have found that a few glasses of a good wine at the right moment does make things easier for all involved- and that's not just the bottles you bribe the tradies with :D

    The way I look at it is to ask yourself: What's the very worst that can happen? If the answer is likely to be that you're behind schedule and your tenant may get a reduction for the inconvenience of a month or so of rubble etc (OK maybe without a kitchen you could offer the place rent free?!) then things can't be so bad!

    To make you feel better, an IP I purchased a few yrs ago interstate needed renovating before being available for rent. I was meticulous in my preparations (I do like to be organised) and had the tradesmen lined up ready to go the day after flying up post-settlement. Plumber, kitchen installer, sparky, builder, floor polisher, window installer, handyman, father-in-law (general slave alongside myself) all ready to go and booked.
    A week later, after a settlement that fell over some six times :eek: , my patience was severely tested, not to mention the ire of the tradies!!! I was on a tight timeframe with this reno and ended up still getting it done due to an overwhelming amount of energy on my part (most nights spent until 11pm painting and pulling nails out of floorboards- all fun stuff) and the begging required to the lovely, caring, understanding tradies :D

    In the end, all was good and so renovations do have a happy ending.

    There, does that make you feel a little less lonely?
     
  7. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    I should point out it wasn't intentional. I'm stupid, but not THAT stupid :p (actually 45 mins ago I stuck my hand in the back of the dishwasher before disconnecting the power and got a fairly good zap ... I probably AM that stupid.)

    Hey thanks K-Girl - damn I wished I had my useless PDA thing with me and checked the posts here while I was in Bunnings today. Taking a lead from RJ I found some FlatPax stuff and piled it in the ute. The tenant's new kitchen is now on our balcony in bits. They confused all the pieces I bought and the price ended up quite, um, attractive ;-) But Second Chance is a definite hunting ground next time. (or when I throw the FlatPax out the back door in furstration) !

    Oh that's just GREAT ... TWO women now blaming me for their wrinkles :D Don't worry Jacque, I'd still rather look like you with or without wrinkles than look like me ... well I mean if I wanted to be a girl. And I'm not saying I do. But it might be kind of cool :D Mind you, I'd probably just go bra shopping all day.

    It does ! I'm positively surrounded by good vibes now Jax. Actually not long after I posted in my usual 'woe is me, but not quite' way on this thread, I read Redwing's post on SS about The Secret. Which really reminded me not to entertain negative thoughts even in jest, a habit I really need to get out of. As soon as this entertaining week allows me 2 hours, I'm gonna watch the whole Secret thing. So I'm surrounded by good vibes because your story turned out well, whereas I originally set out to find people more miserable than me to make me feel less miserable :D

    Funny, I started off on that tangent as I joke, but it kind of just struck home how important it is. Anyway thank you InvestedEd'ers. No one else gives me the motivation to tap on the keyboard after midnight, not even my constant unanswered Pen Pal offers to Angelina Jolie.

    As poor old Dave Allen would say, may your God be with you (and God I think I'll have another red - its Wednesday after all :cool: )

    PS k-girl - pumpkin scones are ok as long as you have 3 absynthes with each one. After 6 scones, I promise, everything will be just fine ;-)
     
  8. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit I started this post last week so I could proudly post some incredible achievements in the space of a week, having previously 'humbly' said I wouldn't make it.

    Well ... I didn't make it :p

    The poor tenant arrived back this morning (a day late thank goodness) and things have changed a bit, but boy was it a long week :( The whole thinking positive along the Redwing's Secret plan I mentioned didn't bloody work ! )

    STATUS UPDATE

    - The house now has a slab that replaced the old deck
    - we managed to fit balustrade to the front balcony and it also has a new ceiling over the top of the old plaster
    - the flat pax kitchen is in
    - bathroom walls sheeted
    - vanity fitted and dunny relocated
    - laundry moved / recreated
    - all plumbing done for kit/bath/lndy
    - new rear deck added

    The things we DON'T have :
    - handrail on the rear deck and stairs (its only a metre fall, but it could hurt)
    - flooring on the front deck - its half done, in that stupidly heavy hardie stuff that is like slabs of concrete - what a weird product ! (I'll post photos soon)
    - rear roof still needs replacing
    - a lot of things still need paint

    And my usual unjustified detailed rant ...

    1.The FlatPax kitchen went together ok and thank god the chippy took pity on me and did the whole get-it-level-screw-it-to-the-wall thing (but I did an awesome job almost screwing the cabinets together properly :rolleyes: )

    2. The balustrade made especially for the front room was welded by some genius who left a 150mm gap at the base (25mm over the regulations and 50mm more than my FAXED F....... INSTRUCTIONS and a small kid could squeeze thru for a 5M plummet downwards). Furthermore the genius installing it (me) didn't notice, until the chippy pointed it out after I proudly showed off my 'you'll never move that' installation. Removed, rejigged, swore, now all good ...

    3. The rear deck turned out great and replaced some really dodgy add-on bits of old - but at the moment it has no handrail so the first step with a few beers on board will undoubtedly hurt

    4. Got absolutely slaughtered on the price of the concrete slab to replace the deck, as only one local concretor could do it in time - was nearly $85 per square metre - I paid $55 per sq m last time. My hereditary reluctance to part with money makes my teeth ache every time I think of writing that cheque :(

    5. Successfully moved the laundry downstairs on another small piece of concrete that I assume was laid interlaced with spun gold ... but it worked out well and freed up some space in the house upstairs

    6. Some old bag from across the road came to abuse the painter on the weekend for playing 612 4QR ABC radio too loud, then jumped in his car and turned off the radio (she lives like 500 metres away). Luckily for her he's a gentle giant, whereas I told her that she should be radio-friendly considering it was probably invented about the same time she was born, and told her to hop back on her broomstick and sweep the drive while she was on the way out. According to her, we are the only unbearable neighbours in the street ... and I'm loving it. I bet she loved the hammer drill going all day today !

    ANYWAY ...

    I'm told it'll be finished by the end of this week. I have no comment :) ... but I took a bottle of champers over to the tenant, who thankfully is a lovely lady and happy with everything the way it is.

    So things WILL only get better ... positive, Law of Attraction et al...

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  9. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Location:
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    You have the right attitude, Carl, for a positive outcome :)