Restoration 101 – 10 – Tiles out, new kitchen in.

Progress 2Now the kitchen has been removed the old tiles had to be lifted. They were cracked  and we will replace all the floor coverings thoughout the house anyway. Guess who was given the job of lifting the tiles? Yep, yours truly! What a horrible job!!  Armed with spade, crow bar, ear muffs and some sort of jackhammer I was on to it!  Dust, noise, tiles flying everywhere (out the window as I tossed them on to the trailer)…

Lifting tiles.
Lifting tiles.

And when I had had enough of the noise and dust there was still gib to be removed from small spaces, more to be fitted on the ceiling, a couple of windows to be inserted and the space created from the removal of the old kitchen to be filled.

And yet another tool for me!
And yet another tool for me!

Eventually we were ready for the new kitchen…a bit of a mission getting it up one floor but the wide windows proved very beneficial!

Kitchen windows going in.
Kitchen windows going in.

It was all installed in one day ready for the electrical and plumbing the following. Then it was a matter of unpacking and arranging my cupboards and pantry.  It was like Christmas being able to remove things from boxes that have been stored for a year or more. So many cupboards… so much space!

New kitchen.
New kitchen.
New kitchen.
New kitchen.
New kitchen.
New kitchen.

And the placing of weatherboards outside on the new wall was completed… we’re ready for a break!

New weatherboards.
New weatherboards.
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Restoration 101 – 7 – Block-filling & strengthening

Christchurch is still a “shaky city”. The shakes are fewer and further apart and most of the time we don’t even notice them. When we moved into our home in September 2012, however,  there was definitely still some palpable rocking of the ground below. And all new buildings now must be “earthquake proof” and repaired buildings must also “come up to code”.

Temporary bracing.
Temporary bracing.

An early inspection of our home showed it was well short of said code and the concrete blocks around the first floor were not even filled with concrete – hence the bracing before we even moved in.

Soon hubby Jim and grandson Caleb set about drilling holes in the blocks and filling them with concrete – rather a long, tedious and messy job…

  1. Drill hole in concrete block large enough to insert funnel (of sorts) into hole.
  2. Mix sufficient concrete to fill hole (unknown quantity).
  3. Hit-&-miss operation to actually pour concrete into holes as these were, obviously, at the top of the rows of blocks and very close to the floor above.

    Some blocks were missing entirely.
    Some blocks were missing entirely.

Various funnels were tried and tossed aside, concrete disappeared into holes and somehow the task was done to builder Jim’s satisfaction – not a quick fix as this procedure took place over many weeks.

Next up was strengthening of the internal walls.  Although this may not have been absolutely necessary to gain a “pass” in the code, hubby felt it was necessary for our peace of mind in the current shaky situation.  I mentioned in a previous post that the house came with a couple of quirky “bubble” windows.  Well, I was definitely not a fan of these but we didn’t want to remove them entirely in case future owners are real fans of the architect & his quirks so we elected to cover the lounge “bubble” window from the inside while installing the Batts, ply and gib. Another excuse for doing so was that the frame was substantially damaged and needed to be replaced anyway.

Ply on walls before window disappears from internal view.
Ply on walls before window disappears from internal view.

And now we feel much safer … 🙂

At this stage we are still “camping” … cooking on the barbecue, carting dishes up and down stairs to wash, but we do have a shower in our bathroom, a comfortable bed to sleep in and a wonderful view to behold! Summer is coming and all is ticking along nicely in our peaceful world on the hill…