In the last week of March, before we moved out, our
builder and painters turned up to do the initial preparations, while the
scaffolders erected the scaffolding around our house. As the
painters (from Tommy Dorrian Housepainters) were scrubbing down all the cedar cladding, our builder
(Grant Hamlet) was
dismantling an old rotting canopy outside our main bedroom, and erecting
a new one. The scaffolders took (as expected) a week to erect all the scaffolding.
During that week, our painters worked on each section of the house as
the scaffolding for each section was completed. In this way, by the end
of that week, the painters had scrubbed down all the cedar cladding and
applied the first two coats of cedar oil stain - making a huge
difference to the house already!
Once the house was scrubbed,
the painters got underway
with the first
coat of stain.
Brent's famous boardwalk
was pulled apart to make way
Scaffolding almost complete and
painters still going strong!
The roofers took more than twice as long as
expected to re-roof (the expected 10 days ran to over 3 weeks!) Nothing
happened in the first two days, due to rain, and while it rained
intermittently over the rest of that time, the rest of the delays were
largely due to incompetent project management (grrr...), complications
due to the asbestos content of our old roof, and on one occasion a
fountain that erupted on our roof after the roofers cut off what they
though was a dead pipe! These delays were quite frustrating as we'd
moved out of home for the re-roofing (due to the noise and asbestos) -
it was very lucky for us that we could stay with Brent's parents during
this time, which kept the girls happy (and as their house is about 9
houses away from ours, I could easily pop up from time to time to catch
up with the tradesmen and keep an eye on progress). We got a small bonus with our 20-year-old solar water heaters -
we actually managed to sell them online in a matter of a few days
through the excellent Trademe
Finally the roof (except for the carport) was finished and we were able
to move back home. Our builder came back to make some alterations to the
carport canopy, and to tidy up the cedar in other areas.
Roofer decked out for asbestos
Roof about halfway there -
solar water cylinders still to be
from top roof...
Grant tidies up and straightens
the carport canopy, ready for
final guttering and roofing.
Our painters came back for another week to finish the final coat of oil
on the cedar, and paint all the remaining blue trim (and newly-installed downpipes) etc. Halfway through this week the scaffolders
returned to start dismantling the scaffolding, working around the
other tradesmen. Once the scaffolding was down the roofers came
back to do the carport, after which the plumber and painters had to
return again and finish up the down pipes etc. Overall, the entire job was
pretty complex with all the tradesmen coming and going (and sometimes
not turning up at all!!!) - managing it all kept me pretty occupied over that month,
and I was very glad to see the end of it!
|But boy was it worth it - here's the final result -
another amazing transformation! It's like we have a new house - it
certainly now looks like one now from the outside! We just love it!
|Our big trip to Sydney!
Brent had to go across to
Sydney for a few weeks for work (developing a major business relationship
with one of their clients). We then decided we should make a bit of a
holiday of it by going across as a family. We decided to go for three weeks
(planning for Brent to take a week off at the end) but Brent's work there
grew considerably and we ended up staying for a whole month (with poor Brent
only ending up taking a couple of days and a few weekends off!).
|We stayed at the Medina Executive Apartments in Paddington, located close
to Edgecliffe train station (only one station from Bondi, which had a huge
and very flash new shopping mall opening up, and 2-3 stations from central Sydney, where
Brent was working). Our two-bedroom apartment was nice and roomy and also
had a large enclosed outdoor patio which was great for the kids. We couldn't
believe that, from this patio we overlooked tennis courts directly below
us - just like at home!!! Paddington
wasn't the best area for young kids, but we had a lot of fun venturing out
with the double-stroller to the train station and travelling around nearby
Sydney discovering the better playgrounds and child-friendly malls (Lydia
is shown here in Centennial Park). We got
ourselves into a new routine and the girls settled in well and had a great
time. We did admittedly shower them with toys (a bit too easy to do with the
likes of Kmart, Toys R Us, Target, etc so nearby!). I managed to discover a
toy hire company (rare as hens' teeth in Sydney, for some reason...) called
Toys To You which
did a package deal on 5 toys including delivery (so we hired a climbing gym with
slides, rollercoaster, sounds car, roundabout and a kitchen, all of which
the girls loved, and which meant I didn't have to take them out every
morning and afternoon any more!).
We did a few token touristy jaunts, including the Monorail, Sydney
Aquarium, Darling Harbour and the Chinese Gardens, Queen Victoria
Arcade etc. Lydia and I even managed to get our photo in the Sydney
Telegraph (newspaper) while we were over there, which was a real laugh [We
happened to be in the playground up at Bondi when they asked to take a photo
of us in the foreground with a building containing brothels (unknown to us!)
in the background. The photo was printed alongside an article about it,
headed "Suburbs going to the dogs"! Now there's a claim to fame!].
During our stay we managed to catch up with friends and family (not
all though - hopefully we'll get to catch up with you next time, but at
least we got to talk with some more of you on the phone...). To those we did see (Alan
& Brenda, Nicky & Alan, Frances, Margaret, Richelle and Thomas), it was
so great to catch up with you, we were especially grateful to those who
traveled in to Paddington to see us!
Playing with some of the
hired toys on our patio
Visiting Darling Harbour
Nemo hunting at Sydney
Emily's prepared for
another Sydney adventure!