Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ceilings are killing me

I've been working on painting the ceilings in the piano room (because it has a piano in it), living room and dining room. Chose the paint (Dulux 'Okarito') for the ceilings, skirtings and door and window surrounds. Have done 2 coats in the living room and 1 in the piano room. Dave has been doing some plastering, sanding and framing of the dining room wall. It's looking good. I am narrowing down paint colours for the piano and living room: Lake Ellsemere & Lyall Bay; Adele Island is quite blue and Apple Tree Bay is too grey. Herbetville Beach or Manu Bay? Well....narrower than it was before anyway.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

I worked a full day on New Year's Eve. Arrived before 9am and considered colour choices until Dave arrived. I can't get my head around the different options with ceiling, scotias, walls, skirtings and door surrounds AND doors to think about.

'No More Gaps' to the scotias in the piano room after going to pick up paint with Dave. Painted the ceiling by myself. Eight hours later and every bone in my body hurts. I hobbled to the bus stop like an old lady. It was all I could do to pull myself onto the bus and sink gratefully into a seat. Thank goodness for buses! Don't think I could have walked home for any price. Hot bubble bath, dinner and bed. The ceiling in the piano room has had its first coat. Let's hope that it will only need two! I missed a bit of scotia in the bay window and I'm sure I missed patches on the ceiling too....but I settled on the colour scheme.

Two things I've learned from yesterday - it takes two people to paint a ceiling efficiently and although those detailed scotias look wonderful, they're a bitch to paint!!!

Hope to finish the scotia I missed and 'No More Gaps' the lounge ceiling today....or, alternatively, spend New Year's Day in bed doing absolutely nothing :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fourth day of Christmas

I've been home for 5 days now. Whenever I see little kids, I think of Tommy and Rose. I miss them already.

Manor Place looks great. Dave has done a lot of preparation work and with the undercoat on ceiling, doors, skirtings and scotias, the rooms look light and bright. Dave's progress payment was $2,000, not $1400. He said about 60 hours of his time and 20 for his son, but I think he meant 45 hours of his time and 20 for his son, otherwise it doesn't add up. He mentioned at our meeting yesterday that his son still owes 4 hours of work. Not sure how this will work out but I trust Dave (although I forgot to ask for his itemised account).

David and I had a lunch meeting at Luna (yum) to discuss project before meeting Dave on site. Agreed that we would have a go at 'holiday letting' the property to begin with. If this isn't successful, we'll re-look at other options (renting, B&B/hostel, split into 2 flats, selling). Based on what it has cost so far (approximately $3,000) and extrapolating out, it will cost at least $30,000 to get the rest of the house up to a reasonable standard. Made a list to discuss with Dave: how to deal with the wallpaper/plaster texture disparity downstairs lounge; how many hours to finish downstairs; how/where is the upstairs floor dodgy; do we investigate the missing window; can we work alongside?

We also talked about what I will need to investigate if we are to make this an investment property - rules around tax deductibility. 

Meeting went well and I feel like we're on the same page still (though I didn't cover all my questions). It was really good to have David with me as he brought up things I didn't and clarified some things that he (and so probably me too) wasn't clear on. The result of the meeting was Dave would restart as soon as I have the money in the bank and David and I (or Nick and I) would work along side him, doing full days. David helped clarify that we wanted to do as much of the work as we could do (eg. all the sanding and painting etc.) and have him do the stuff we couldn't, namely the carpentry, plastering and technical expertise.




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Four more sleeps till Christmas

David phoned with an update last night. He spent some hours at Manor Place and he thinks good progress is being made. Dave wants another progress payment on Friday of $2,000 (57 hours @$35/hour, but may have been fewer hours for him and 20? for his son at $20/hour). I need to talk to him about employing his son, whom David believes is being paid $20/hour. Discussed options for making sure the place earns an income, and we agreed to try each (easiest to hardest) until we find something that works - preferably without having to divide house into two and put in a new kitchen. My main concern is that I haven't secured finance to pay for all of this yet, and with Christmas approaching, my limited overdraft/visa funds are rapidly depleting! Must talk to mum as soon as I get to Hamilton about bridging finance.

On the bus to Hamilton at the moment. Have had a lovely week with Josh and Immy. They're such a lovely family. Only time kids become difficult is when they're very tired. I hope to keep to my New Year's resolutions and be a better Nanny Annie.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A fresh start: welcome David Haugh

After much labour from David and the kids, the downstairs bathroom, toilet, kitchen and laundry are finished except for a few little touches here and there. Then came yet another big stall. We're back into it again thanks to Rachel and her friend David Haugh. Rachel came and looked at the house and made many suggestions, including contracting David to finish the downstairs. He came around on Wednesday (14/12/16) with Rachel and I could see immediately he was a kindred spirit. He clearly loved Manor Place as much as I do. He had much expertise and advice to share and agreed to take on my mammoth project. Discussed with my David (how confusing) and we're ready to go.

On Thursday, I flew up to Auckland to visit family, including my lovely grandchildren, Zak, Rose and Tommy (and luckily escaping the hard work that was about to commence). Nick and David cleaned out the downstairs of all furniture (except for the piano which was much too heavy to move) and rubbish, ready for David to start.

Dave (i'm going to refer to him as Dave from now on so I can differentiate between builder and my David) started on Friday - preparing ceiling surfaces for sealant coats then moving on to the piano room wall over the weekend. Big de-mould job to do! David will work along side him tomorrow (Monday) and make a progress payment ($350).

Exciting to know we're making progress, and the house might soon earn an income instead of sitting empty!



Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Plan

1. Do a stock take - what needs to be done
2. Prioritise

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Extension to my extension of original extension to Building Consent Compliance

2015 and I have just applied for yet another extension. The depressing thing is that despite the time, energy and most importantly money begged, borrowed and....well I've drawn the line here, my brand new kitchen totally flooded in the rain that hit Dunedin last night. There's so much water I am no longer certain about where the entry point is and I'm afraid to go in because of possible electrical damage.

Despite what I have said in previous blogs, I need to retract every positive thing I ever said about the building contractor that did the work on my house. Every time I have someone in to work on the house, they point out yet another mistake cowboy Steve did. Oh I so wish I had chosen a master builder!


I am at the point where I literally don't know what to do next. I am so busy working to make enough money for the next 'repair' job that I don't have time to do the repair. It is a never ending cycle with no light at the end of the tunnel to guide me. It seems that now I will have to demolish the entire, brand new,  kitchen extension (thank you so much Steve, you're an arsehole) and begin again. If you are ever going to use this builder, please contact me first - I will happily fill you in on the vast extent of his incompetency. I have now invested so much money in this project that it is over capitalised and I will never recoup my investment. Should I just pack up and walk away?


What to do, what to do?


Apply to put kitchen in upstairs, then remove the extension and start again from scratch? Move the kitchen into the dining room instead? Where is just a tiny little bit of luck when you need it most!


Going to go read books about home renovations. Are there any out there written by middle aged, alternative lifestyle,  free spirited women with no money or building and renovating skills? I would so like to read your story.