Weekly Hacking House Renovation Notes

It has been a while since my last blog entry, as I have been flatted out from hacking making renovation improvements to my new house this week. As of handy man work, I am still qualified as a script kiddie - I need to read lots of manual, apply already-made solution, or simply get someone else to do it. At the end of the week, there are still so many things that await completion before we can start moving things in. Home renovation is really a time/money consuming activity, and as someone who prefers finger exercise in front of a monitor, I did not get much fun from it. It is definitely not something I am looking forward to do regularly.

And here's what has happened this week.


It was the Australian Day holiday so I was prepared to finish all the paint scrapping. Started at 8:00 in the morning, and the progress has been quite slow. For two medium size rooms that I am stripping off the paint, I think I probably have spent AUD$140 on the chemicals and many many hours. At 10am LB came over to give me a hand. LB is fast in demolition work, but is a bit rough on the edge (you can see from the chips on wall). I am not sure whether it is his Shan-Dong root... Arthur joined us at around 12pm, and we worked all the way until 7:30. That was a tiring day.


Early in the morning before going to work, we got some guy in to do wall rendering for a bedroom which has plaster falling off on one of its walls. But the "renderman" reckoned that the plaster is too thin so it is not worth the effect to put the plaster back on, especially when the wall will be behind our new wardrobe. He then suggested us to just paint over the wall to cover the cement.

He is a very typical Aussie trading man - someone would travel all the way, look at some work, give some honest suggestions even if it means that he would not get the job, and then drive off unpaid.

At the same time, that means I have to come and fix this wall myself. I went back there on Tuesday night ripping all the old rendering off that wall and patching up holes with new plaster mixes. Got back home at 1am the next morning and headed bed at 1:30 after the shower. Exhausted.


I was sick on Wednesday probably due to super-cold air-conditioning in the office and the de-rendering work the previous night, so I rested at home in the morning. Later in the afternoon 2 electricians came to relocate two power sockets. Unable to get it through the floor board, the electricians had to drill a tunnel on the wall all the way from ceiling to where the new power point is, which is around 20cm off the ground. That creates a 2.5m hole that I needed to patch up with plaster.

Last on at night I started painting the wall that I removed the rendering from on Tuesday. Because I painted straight onto the rough cement surface, it took much more paint than painting on smooth plaster. By the time I finished cleaning up, it was 12:30am again on Thursday morning. I guess I probably gonna get sick again when I wake up in the morning...


Waking up sick? No, but very tired.

We got a Chinese guy to come to sand the floor for us, and it took them whole day to get it sanded. The part that we patched with pine wood looks quite odd with the rest of floor board which is in Australian cedar, which we can't buy anymore. Pine certainly needs some colouring, but at Bunnings you can only get floor stain at 4 litre can, where we probably only need 500ml. At the end I just got some wood colouring gel and hope the colour would match.


Colour turned out to be wrong. D'oh. So the sanding guy used their own oil to stain the floor (which still look quite different). Never mind...

Dodgy Hungarian bathroom renovation guy still did not turn up today. He started over 1 month ago fixing our bathroom, but it has been delayed again and again. I would not know who to recommend if you need someone to renovate the bathroom, but I certainly know who I definitely won't recommend.