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Our Renovations - Before, during & After....

Before we knew that my job would end at the bakery where I had been employed for many years, we began to renovate the house to create the home we intended to retire in.

Because we expected to be there for a considerable time, we planned and were prepared to put a great deal of effort, blood sweat and tears to make it just right.

The kitchen was first!

The main focal point of our renovations is the kitchen. The existing kitchen, installed probably during the 1980's, was probably considered very modern and fashionable for the time. It didn't come close to providing an environment where we could both cook, and still have room to chat with friends visiting.

The old kitchen, as it was, had very little bench or cupboard space.

If anyone came into the kitchen whilst someone was trying to cook, it became very cramped.

There was space in the kitchen, but very little usable space. The fridges are shown, are the new ones we had ordered but had to get delivered early because as the old one "died" a couple of weeks before the start of the renovations.

The old kitchen sink with, strangely very little bench space. The existing window is where the sliding door is to be installed.

Another view of the old kitchen showing how little bench or cupboard space it had.

On the day renovations were to start, Wayne, the contractor and his crew turned up about 8:00 am, and got to work ripping out the old kitchen.

Although it looks messy in these pictures, the crew worked quickly and by around 4:00 pm they had the old kitchen out, the new doorway cut, the new door installed, and the mess cleaned up. I guess they had done it before.

Our kitchen on a truck, a tight fit coming through the gate.

Cupboard sections under the carport awaiting installation.

Installation of the new kitchen has started.

We didn't take up the old floor covering, it's under the new stuff so I suppose it could be got out if anyone really wants it.

The new kitchen starting to come together. The basic room was not square and the floor wasn't level and this provided "challenges" for the guys installing it.

These guys, like the other crew who ripped out the old kitchen, knew their stuff and were very quick and professional.

The kitchen is really starting to take shape.

Cupboards installed, most appliances installed, painting, down lights and the new flooring still to be done.

The electrician installing the down lights in the ceiling. Another electrician installed another down light over the sink where Conda tried to tell them it would be needed..

Tiles on the wall to help give a stylish clean look.

The kitchen, enter the end stage was really starting to come together with only painting to go.

Just about there, only the trim to be painted.

The side gates and fence were next....

Just as important to us as the inside of the house was the outside. To augment the new kitchen we had planned for a large deck to be built. Before the deck could be built the fence on that side of the house had to be replaced.

With a contractor arranged to take care of the fence, I decided to use some time off I had to work on the gates and wing fences on the driveway side of the house.

After breaking through the concrete, and getting around the storm water pipe on the other side, I managed to get the fence posts and rails in place. I pity the poor person who has to get the posts out, after I concreted them in with lots of concrete.

Fence palings on, but no assistant to clean up.. Bugger!!

Forrest, our dog was there during the process, but when I asked him about cleaning up, all he did was roll over for a tummy rub!

Gate frames welded and mounted, so far so good.

Pickets and keyed alike locks on the gates, I love it when a plan comes together.. For about two days work, not too bad.

The back fence had been replaced, but the side fence where the deck was to go had definitely seen better days and needed replacement.

The trees and vegetation also needed cutting back, but gardening has never been my thing!

When the fencing contractor hadn't turned up at 9:30 am, on the Saturday, two days before the deck was to be started, I was a little concerned and "disappointed" in him. It may have been better that his mother answered the phone to say he couldn't come. If I had know he wasn't coming, I would have been working on the fence, instead of the gates above.

Sunday morning, with Ken's help, I set about pulling down the old fence and replacing it so the deck could be built the next day.

Front part of the fence pulled down and removed!

The section of the fence where the deck is to go, has been removed, with Ken still wrestling with the ivy put in by someone who knew they wouldn't have to get it out.

Like the railway line, new fence coming through.

The wide paling in place, and now only the narrow over lapping palings to go.

The deck, the focus of outside!

As part of the kitchen renovation we had a double sliding door installed to give access to a deck we intended to build. The area where the deck was to go was largely unusable and dreary.


The area outside the back door before we started, was damp, unusable and uninviting.

When these pictures were taken, the sliding door was still to be installed.


Cutting the hole for the new doorway was noisy and dusty but didn't take that long really.


I had an uncomfortable feeling until the window unit was installed..

I with a dog running around the yard, I feared an almighty crash, but we were lucky and it didn't happen.

After the new door way was cut through the wall, they had to prepare the opening to take the new window unit. This process was done as part of ripping out the old kitchen.

It seemed to take very little time at all, but before long the new sliding door was in place and they continued on with finishing the installation.


A short time after the door was installed, Wayne and his crew came back to build our deck.


Originally when we inquired about having the deck built, Wayne and his crew were booked through the summer, but the pushed two jobs apart to fit us in before the start of our summer.


Once they started, it didn't take long for the deck to start coming together.


Before I watched the building of the deck, I didn't have the confidence to attempt this type of project myself. Now, I'd be willing to have a go at it.

The main reason for having a deck built, was to provide space for outdoor living and BBQs.

Here, after the deck had been completed, and with the assistance from Forrest, we check out our new BBQ. It's a tough job, but someone had to do it!

To complement the new deck and BBQ, we also got new outdoor furniture.

Anybody can do it the easy way, and have it delivered, but not me, I'm a truck driver.

With the raised level of the deck, it was necessary to construct some screens for the top of the fence to help provide some privacy.


These pictures show the deck basically finished with the railing and screens in place.


The dead bushes, visible in the right hand picture, had to be left for a while, as there was a birds nest with young in it. After they left the nest, the dead bushes were removed.

If Tim Allen's solution in the TV show "Home Improvement" was always "more power", mine with BBQs is "More Burners"

Six burners and an additional side burners, just enough to cook a meal for the two of us, sorry three of us! Forrest was always a willing participant at BBQ time!

The finished deck area, showing the BBQ, screens and seats. A big difference to what we started out with.

It wasn't an easy decision to leave it all behind for the unknown of moving to Oregon!