Reno #3: two days of heavy lifting

Hello, muscles I’d forgotten I owned.

We’ve had two rather strenuous days. Yesterday we took all the building waste we’ve torn out of the new house and the rubble from demolishing the old porch on the current house to the dump. We’ve saved as much as possible for future use, but you can’t reuse gyprock (drywall), cement sheeting, broken bricks, non-safety glass or rotten timber. It’s the double handling that does it (or triple if you count the actual tearing down): onto the trailer, back off the trailer. We woke this morning feeling most of our muscles and every year of our joint ages. I’m being careful with my back, and the Husband is taking most of the strain, but I’m hitting the hot showers and Panadols hard :-/ However, the progress that’s being made is very encouraging, a visible change from day to day. Click on any of the photos to enlarge. Here’s yesterday:

And here’s lunchtime today:


Those dark brown cabinets on the kitchen side will be painted white to match the rest of the kitchen, and the handles will be updated also. They were originally at the top of the wall on the living room side, and have been repurposed for the kitchen. I will keep baskets and tubs, etc, in the spaces underneath.

Today we collected the new kitchen. Much of it is in flat pack, but there’s also the dishwasher, oven, gas cooktop, etc, and none of it is light. Except maybe the handles… Sadly the range hood wasn’t available; out of stock till next week. We also went to the joinery and collected our breakfast bar benchtop, a 2200 x 900mm (86 x 35 inch) butcher block slab of acacia wood which they had joined together edge to edge from two pieces with glue and ‘biscuits’.

In case you were wondering, biscuits are little flat disks of wood which fit into shaped corresponding slots on either side of the join and are glued in place. They’re a slimmer alternative to the dowel pegs known and loved by all assemblers of IKEA furniture. The slab needs oiling with tung oil to bring it back to the original colour you can see in the shot with my scruffy work boots!

Tomorrow’s treat, aching muscles permitting, is painting bedrooms, hopefully finishing one and perhaps starting the second. Actually, I’m rather looking forward to it. I like painting (except for the low bits), and it brings us one step closer to having two rooms ready to move stuff into. First the paint, then the carpets, then the furniture and curtains.

We’ve been hampered by torrential bursts of rain yesterday and today. One thing the rain has shown is how good the drainage is in the new house. Not a drop approached the house or the garage or the shed. Huge gutters and downpipes poured it down off the roof without any overflowing, and into gullies that carried it all away down the slope of the back yard. Nothing came into the property from the road. I think we’re safe from flooding at last.

Meanwhile, back in the sewing room there is forward progress too, but I’ll show you that another day.


57 thoughts on “Reno #3: two days of heavy lifting

  1. Amazing Amazing Amazing stuff … thereโ€™s SOOOOO much done !!!!! Every screaming muscle will be singing with joy once it all comes together…. itโ€™s looking absolutely awesome… Super work my lovely friend ๐Ÿฅฐ

    • katechiconi says:

      Bill the Chippy is the real star here, the Husband and I just did the heavy lifting ๐Ÿ™‚ But it is looking really good, and tomorrow I can start with the paintbrush and roller, aches permitting.

  2. knettycraft says:

    OMG…. how get you all this done ๐Ÿ™ˆ… I remember our appartement renovation as we moved five years ago…. and can’t iimagine I would be able to get this done again…

    • katechiconi says:

      We’re not doing it all ourselves, we have workmen who come in and out. We have the plan and know what we want and where, and we are lucky to have people who understand what we want. We are saving money by doing a lot of heavy work ourselves and by having a very simple kitchen design.

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    Great project Kate. I have just ordered our own kitchen upgrade. Hopefully, others will do most of the heavy lifting.

  4. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Looks like real hard work but I’m sure it is going to be lovely when finished. And all that new decoration afterwards, that’s the fun bit I think.

  5. claire93 says:

    please be ever so careful with your back!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m listening to it very carefully, and when it starts squawking at me, I stop and rest it. The Husband carries the big stuff and I carry lots of small stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. anne54 says:

    I had to enlarge the photos, just to have a good sticky beak โ˜บ๏ธ It is looking good, so open. But I am with Claire….be careful with your back!

    • katechiconi says:

      Believe me, I am. The kitchen is looking a million times better than before, and so indeed is the living room, as you can now see all through to the kitchen wall beyond.

  7. tialys says:

    Sounds like you need a nice long soak in a bath with Epsom Salts with a touch of something bubbly and fragrant too by which I meant bath bubbles but a glass of something sparkly whilst soaking could work too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      Wish I had a bath to soak in. It’s all showers around here… Perhaps I can install an open air job on the verandah, water to be solar heated. What do you think?

  8. KerryCan says:

    Oh, my. My muscles are aching in sympathy! You are a wonder–just don’t hurt yourself!!

    • katechiconi says:

      Thankfully, I’ve learned to listen to my body when it says it’s had enough. There’s always another day. But sometimes you just want to finish a job of clearing up! And of course, the whole renovation process is so satisfying ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Emmely says:

    It is so nice when you are working hard and it’s also clearly visible that you’ve already achieved a lot!

  10. Lynda says:

    WOW! Our work crew were sluggards compared to yours! They took literally months to get to the place you are now. This is going to be so beautiful when you are done. Glad to read you are being so careful with your back too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      Aha! My secret is Magic Bill, the perpetual motion machine. He’s a wiry older guy who knows exactly what he’s doing, with no wasted time or movement, no standing around yacking and no endless coffee breaks. He’s also very happy to recycle stuff where possible, which I’m very pleased about ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Phew! Makes me tired just reading the blog. But what wonderful progress you have made.By the time you move in, it will truly be your house.

  12. So glad it’s all going well ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. magpiesue says:

    You’ll have to tell Bill you’ve christened him “Magic Bill.” He totally deserves the title from what we can see! We’ve all heard the horror stories about contractors and such. It’s good to hear there are some honorable workmen out there. Glad to hear you’e also being very careful with your back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Just to give you context for the amazing progress you’ve made in a matter of hours. We have been living in our current house for 21 years. Progress has been made on large issues, but many of the windows and doors STILL do not have molding. Many of the walls have not been painted. The kitchen floor is pulling up in places. Shelves in lower kitchen cabinets have broken down and are sinking to the floor. I look at what you’ve accomplished and am amazed.

    • katechiconi says:

      Every house you fix up yourself has areas like that, I think. The house we’re moving from still has an ugly paint colour on the woodwork in the living room, the bedroom still has a hole in the wall above the fan switch, and I only did up the bathroom a couple of months ago. Sometimes the only way is to go at it hard and hope you’ll still have the energy to finish off once you’re living there!

  15. Your progress is miraculous especially as you have been recycling some stuff and considering less than optimal building weather. The breakfast bar looks lovely.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s coming along well, despite some seriously bad weather! We’ve had to seize our chance to transport stuff in the trailer while the sun was out briefly, crossing our fingers all the way. To be honest, the sun is against us mostly, because when it’s out, the Husband is bolting out to the yard to cut grass (which is once again almost knee high) rather than working at the house!

  16. kathyreeves says:

    That is very fast progress, how wonderful! Painting is so much easier than all that heavy lifting! Reminds me of last summer when we were roofing, and makes me so very grateful that it is done! Wishing you a productive weekend!

  17. nanacathy2 says:

    Oh my Days, you have done so well and so much, but do take care and very very well done.

    • katechiconi says:

      We’re both tottering around like geriatrics each morning, but it loosens up when the activity starts. At some stage, though, I’m going to have to take a day off…. Probably Tuesday, when the car goes into the garage and the Husband is at work so I can’t go anywhere ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I’m delighted to hear about the good drainage, and pleased to see your progress. I know you’ll be careful with your back. There is nothing quite as restorative as a hot soak in the tub. I usually add lavender-scented epson salts for good measure. I can’t wait to see continued progress on your house. I’m impressed.

    • katechiconi says:

      At times like this I wish we had a bathtub… Full sized soaking tubs aren’t much in use in Australia in my experience, especially in this part of the country. For one thing, it’s too hot for baths, but they also use far too much water when our rainfall is so low. I haven’t soaked in a tub for years, but today I could have really enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • What a shame. It’s my number one way to deeply relax my strained back and sore hips, while reading a good book. Of course it makes sense now that you’ve explained your temperatures and lack of water.

  19. Oh how I love to see a good project progress. You are doing good work there and in the end you will be so happy with all the work you’ve put in. Well, maybe after you can lift your arms and legs again. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looking forward to seeing the end result. Thanks for sharing this journey with us. I’m glad to hear the flooding is no longer an issue. I’m excited for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      It was pretty hard crawling out of bed this morning to get back over there. Yesterday we moved the big spare fridge and the small freezer, my 10ft table and 8 chairs, two easy chairs, a 20 gallon tub of frozen food, the lawnmower and the whippersnipper. I also got half of one bedroom painted before everything gave out… That’s some of the biggest stuff moved, but there’s still plenty to go, and nowhere to put it yet.

      • Oh, dear Kate! You have no one to help with the heavy stuff and that makes it so much more exhausting. I understand the stress and strains of moving oneself. Moving my daughter wore me out for weeks after. Still trying to get things settled but so much closer with the rest. Do please take care. Love and hugs. M

  20. rutigt says:

    Itยดs looking so great!!! That was a really good idea to make that open space between the kitchen and the other room!!!!!

  21. katechiconi says:

    At least we don’t have to do it all in one day. I actually hung a pair of curtains today… I hadn’t finished painting the room, but I’d finished that wall. It made me so happy!

  22. Nanette says:

    Catching up with your reno probress after being awzy for a few days. It’s looking good, you won’t know yourself once it’s all done. Is that the back door to the left of the kitchen in the last photo?

    • katechiconi says:

      The last photo is taken from the kitchen towards the living room, and the door you see is the front door. The back door can be seen on the left of the first photo, above.

  23. Nanette says:

    *process* and * away*……duh!

  24. Joanne S says:

    The completed work so far (under Magic Bill’s discerning eye) is really miraculous. Getting to the curtain stage is exciting. ๐Ÿ˜€

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