God is in the detail – Carpentry

Now this renovation is no van der Rohe. I’m also certainly not a huge fan of modernist architecture, although I still appreciate it. I do however love the idea of ‘less is more’ and ‘God [being] in the detail’. I think if you get your details right you’ll find that’s where the heart of your design comes together, where it sticks and finds its identity. Ideals and theory’s aside, here are the details thus far:

We’ve replaced all the doors with some solid wood doors. The doors were original but there was nothing special about them. They were hollow core doors and the top wood had warped over all the internal framing. They were split at the bottom and falling apart, not to mention hovering 10cm above the ground and no sound barrier what so ever. Sound proofing is very important in a small house with napping children!

new solid wood doors

I got at a great price from my window and door carpenter on some rejected custom made solid wood doors. If you go to the manufacturer of windows and doors or at the very least the guy who does their installing you’re likely to be able to pick up a great ‘mistake’. I got these custom made doors at a 1/3rd of the price. The customer the doors were originally made for thought they didn’t match the original doors in their house well enough. Seeing I only needed a few and I wasn’t trying to match anything I had the joy of flexibility.

We’ve repaired and replaced the damaged and missing windows. There were literally windows just boarded up.

boarded up windows

We fitted out the kitchen with the cheapest cabinets we could find which happened to be Ikea Applad. Yes plain plain white. That’s it. No frills. I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Now its not my dream kitchen but its neat and simple, and that’s ok with me. It will certainly be more than ok for the next couple of years.

Building the kitchen, and some repaired windows in the background

I’m currently choosing bench top colours. I’ve been talked out of all white, so I’m just choosing which grey I should go with

Cast Concrete


Bliss Cinder

I’m leaning towards Cast Concrete because I was advised that the Cinder might show up scratches more easily. I’m also planning on incorporating some yellow details so I think they will go better with the Cast Concrete.

The floors which were treated with some sort of odd brown paint/stain now shine in all their jarrah glory after having a good sand and polish. I now have jarrah coloured dust everywhere. The boards were so old and unloved they were very dry which causes more dust than the sanding of newer wood. Eventually I’ll get rid of it all.

polished and unpolished jarrah boards

One of the final carpentry based things we’ve done is fit an access ladder to the attic. The attic is unconverted at this point but we find attics in old houses make great storage. The tradies have appreciated the easy access to the roof space too, so it was wise to fit in the beginning of the build process and not at the end. At some point we’ll put in some flooring nothing fancy, just a place to rest our boxes and baby paraphernalia!

access ladder all folded away

Yes that is a new ceiling and new paint, once the ladder is painted in it will hardly be noticed!

Access Ladder and matched in skirting boards

Aren’t the floors coming up beautifully?! Isn’t it amazing what paint can do, whilst there is still more to do, this hall already looks a world away from when we bought it. You can see some of the skirting is not painted in the back there, that’s a new section of wall, (the back of the bedroom wardrobe). Luckily when it came to replacing skirting we pretty much needed just as much as we ripped out! So by being careful in the demolition we could reuse all the original skirting that was either on walls we took down or stashed under the house. We just got the carpenter who installed the beading on the floors to put them back on for us. He was happy to do it as part of the job and it only took him about 10 extra minutes to do 4 small sections.

It’s really coming along at a great rate now.


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