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Documenting our Reno

We have finally finished renovating the first room of our house - the master bedroom. And we did a bloody good job - if I do say so myself. We absolutely couldn't have done it with a lot of help from Dad and our friends Jonno and Tim, but with their help we created a wonderful calming blackout bedroom (and amazing walk in wardrobe) which are easily the nicest rooms in the house, not that there is much competition at the moment.

Through all the stripping and sanding and painting I made sure to get as much footage as I could. I wanted to document our first ever room makeover so that we could look back in a decade or two and remember how much work it was. We still have every other room in the house to get to, but this was the first room in our first house, and it really seemed like a monumental achievement that needed thoroughly documented - even if my camera is clogged up with gib dust.

The Demo

The demo is the first step. Before you can put new walls up, you gotta get rid of the old ones. I wasn't allowed to be part of this, due to being allergic to the old walls and carpet so Book, Dad and Tim did it. Ripped the walls off, the carpet up, the skirting and architraves pulled off, as well as pulling out an entire fireplace. Once the demo starts there is no going back. It's official. Book found half a wall that was full of birds nests (perhaps contributing to our toxic mold problem) and a few wasps nests! As well as a bunch of mystery bumble bees that kept dying on our floor while we weren't there. By ripping the walls off we could guarantee that the mold and tobacco damage was gone.

The Pocketing

We knew that with the interior walls down, we had to take the opportunity to insulate. We decided to just focus on the exterior walls (not the walls connected to other rooms) but we soon found out that this now requires consent from the city council. The consent is free, thank god, as the council do want to encourage people to insulate their homes but jeeez what a process. It was probably a good easy introduction to all the consent requiring work we want to do in the future. We had to create a little pocket out of builders paper that fit between every stud and dwang. Each section was a slightly different size, there for every pocket was a slightly different size but after a couple of weekends we got them cut and stapled. The important thing is that they don't touch the exterior wall, in our case brick, as this can lead to condensation and mold. That's the last thing we want after all this hard work. It took 21 working days for our consent proposal to be accepted. Literally just a floor plan of our house with pick highlighter indicating which walls were being pocketed and insulated. Big ooof. Luckily there was plenty to do while we waited such as...

The Sanding

My god, the sanding. So much sanding. The ceiling needed sanded, the scotia needed sanded, the door, the window frame, the architraves and skirting all needed to be sanded. Also the floor but the floor requires it's own section. We have two pretty large windows in the bedroom plus another one in the wardrobe. I tried using an electric sander, but it only took 10 minutes for me to crack a window pane so the windows were all hand sanded from then on. Due to the tobacco damage, we needed to seal the wood and ceiling with a primer/stain blocker to try and prevent the tobacco staining from leeching through the new paint because apparently it does that and yet people continue to inhale the stuff?? Mind boggling. Also a lot of wood filling as part of the sanding steps. I estimate 90% of the wood in our room as actually just wood filler.

The Gib

Once everything was sanded and insulated we could move onto the gib! A very exciting part of the process where the room starts to actually look like a room. Book helped Tim put the gib up and we hired a gibstopper. Things went pretty fast from here.

The Painting

One of the most satisfying/scary parts of the process. You finally get to see the colours you picked in more than just a swatch. Unsure about what you've picked haha too late my friend. Paint is expensive so you just have to roll with it. Luckily the colours I picked look amazing (if I do say so myself) and though I thought of the master bedroom as the one room where I could go bold without too much stress, I think it has inspired me to go bold through the house! Although we still have to sell it eventually so maybe not too bold. Book did much of the grunt work of the painting, doing the walls and ceiling and I did the more intricate windows and cutting in.

The Floor

The goddamn rimu floor. Oh what beautiful hardwood floors they'll be. But also what a pain in the ass to sand. Luckily Dad did most of the sanding of the floors (this time, I don't know if we'll be able to rope him in for the rest of the house). The problem with the beautiful hardwood floors was that they were covered in a varnish, A varnish, it seems that was made to be on there for life. Every time we changed the sanding paper roll, the varnish would heat up from the friction, stick to the sandpaper, burn then transfer back onto the floor in a burnt sticky mess. Yes the sanding of the floor took a while. We also have a lot of borer in our floor which is fine, but we experimented with some rimu coloured wood filler, luckily in a spot that would be hidden under the bed because man oh man, it didn't look good. Dad helped us out with some sealant and the floors were done!

Final Touches

Dad put the architrave and skirting back up, we did some final touch painting, put up curtains and blinds, brought the furniture back in, added some plants and now it looks like a whole new room.

I'm so proud of us and my god, my walk in wardrobe is the stuff of dreams. We can't wait to get started on the next room... and the fence... and the driveway.... we'll get there eventually but first up we need to get a puppy settled in!! (Blog post all about that next week!!)



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