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House update: it's raining

I’ve taken a week’s leave to finish my woodshed and build a retaining wall that the deck will eventually butt up to. So Mother Nature has chosen this week to tease us with an end to the drought we’ve been in since October. Of course it’s not proper rain, oh no, that would be actually useful. Instead we’re getting days on end of stupid drizzle. And who wants to be setting piles in a sea of wet clay? The builders are also off site for a couple of days due to a screwup with scaffolding delivery. So it’s pretty slow round here and I’m cruising oppo. Have some status photos.

Woodshed frame. It needs painting before the cladding goes on because some of it will be visible from the outside since I’m cladding it with wide-spaced slats for ventilation. But no painting when it’s wet.
Woodshed frame. It needs painting before the cladding goes on because some of it will be visible from the outside since I’m cladding it with wide-spaced slats for ventilation. But no painting when it’s wet.
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Woodshed cladding slats and door frames ready for pre-paint. Not even any point in doing that, since the humidity’s near 100% and the paint will never dry. Plus some other crap. Yes, the toilet works - that’s our only toilet while the house is gutted - which is no fun when you need to go during the night and it’s raining!
Woodshed cladding slats and door frames ready for pre-paint. Not even any point in doing that, since the humidity’s near 100% and the paint will never dry. Plus some other crap. Yes, the toilet works - that’s our only toilet while the house is gutted - which is no fun when you need to go during the night and it’s raining!
Retaining wall WIP. The pile holes are drilled and one corner pile is set. The steel framing lying around will be a chimney - the house was relocated onto this site about 30 years ago and the original brick chimney didn’t get reinstated - we’re putting a fireplace back in.
Retaining wall WIP. The pile holes are drilled and one corner pile is set. The steel framing lying around will be a chimney - the house was relocated onto this site about 30 years ago and the original brick chimney didn’t get reinstated - we’re putting a fireplace back in.
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That big octagonal space is where an ugly-ass conservatory came off. Which means new french doors and cladding. New door and windows for the kitchen too (grey section of wall on the right). Shingle cladding is really uncommon in New Zealand nowadays so the builder’s having to learn how to install them as he goes.
That big octagonal space is where an ugly-ass conservatory came off. Which means new french doors and cladding. New door and windows for the kitchen too (grey section of wall on the right). Shingle cladding is really uncommon in New Zealand nowadays so the builder’s having to learn how to install them as he goes.
Kitchen. The stairs at left and pantry at right are new - there used to be some really narrow steep stairs and a breakfast bar area that was too small to actually use.
Kitchen. The stairs at left and pantry at right are new - there used to be some really narrow steep stairs and a breakfast bar area that was too small to actually use.
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Lounge. The new beams are the only major structural nightmare we’ve found. The original ones were undersized to current code, which is fine except that when thy opened up the wall they fund one them was too short and was only sitting on its support post by about 1". Not great in an earthquake zone. Solution - cut off the bottom 2/3 of the original beam’s depth and sit a steel one underneath to carry the actual weight, then clad the steel to the same dimensions as the original beam. Once finished it’ll be pretty much indistinguishable from the original except about 4" deeper. Nice solution to avoid having to rebuild the entire upstairs floor structure.
Lounge. The new beams are the only major structural nightmare we’ve found. The original ones were undersized to current code, which is fine except that when thy opened up the wall they fund one them was too short and was only sitting on its support post by about 1". Not great in an earthquake zone. Solution - cut off the bottom 2/3 of the original beam’s depth and sit a steel one underneath to carry the actual weight, then clad the steel to the same dimensions as the original beam. Once finished it’ll be pretty much indistinguishable from the original except about 4" deeper. Nice solution to avoid having to rebuild the entire upstairs floor structure.
Dining room. We’re re-instating a fireplace here too. the original fireplace void is still there but there’s nothing in it. Dining room’s getting a gas fire, lounge a wood fire.
Dining room. We’re re-instating a fireplace here too. the original fireplace void is still there but there’s nothing in it. Dining room’s getting a gas fire, lounge a wood fire.
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Fire boxes waiting to go in
Fire boxes waiting to go in
New guest room with ensuite and walkin wardrobe. This space was a huge 1970s-style rumpus room with built-in bench seats and speaker system,.
New guest room with ensuite and walkin wardrobe. This space was a huge 1970s-style rumpus room with built-in bench seats and speaker system,.
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Other end of the guest room. Those steel-framed French doors needed refurbishing too, along with a nother 4 sets elsewhere in the house. the subcontractor screwed up his quote massively on that (in our favour) - it’s taken weeks of manual stripping and sanding. They look good now though (or will once they’ve finished the glazing).
Other end of the guest room. Those steel-framed French doors needed refurbishing too, along with a nother 4 sets elsewhere in the house. the subcontractor screwed up his quote massively on that (in our favour) - it’s taken weeks of manual stripping and sanding. They look good now though (or will once they’ve finished the glazing).
We’ve divided a chunk off the garage fr a laundry, so now it’s only short-car long on one side and generous on the other. The personnel door’s also new. Due to the low stud height and lintel depth it’s only about 6'2" high - I’m going to need to duck every time I go through.
We’ve divided a chunk off the garage fr a laundry, so now it’s only short-car long on one side and generous on the other. The personnel door’s also new. Due to the low stud height and lintel depth it’s only about 6'2" high - I’m going to need to duck every time I go through.
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Master bedroom gets a walkin wardrobe and the ensuite is getting redone. Plus the window on the right’s getting replaced as all the opening frames are warped.
Master bedroom gets a walkin wardrobe and the ensuite is getting redone. Plus the window on the right’s getting replaced as all the opening frames are warped.
Den has had the ceiling lowered as there was no insulation above it and no space for any. We’ll line it with bookshelves and it’ll make a really nice winter snug. I think it was a nursery originally.
Den has had the ceiling lowered as there was no insulation above it and no space for any. We’ll line it with bookshelves and it’ll make a really nice winter snug. I think it was a nursery originally.
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Main bathroom has been gutted. Actually, pretty much everything has been gutted - only the hall and two of the bedrooms have stayed intact.
Main bathroom has been gutted. Actually, pretty much everything has been gutted - only the hall and two of the bedrooms have stayed intact.
The cats, of course, think this is the greatest playground ever.
The cats, of course, think this is the greatest playground ever.

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