Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back Construction Now in Progress

gorgeous glazed old doors at the salvage
building supply yard
I have been slow to post on this blog, have been cloistered in working during the winter.  In the past two weeks, we have gotten construction started on our back extension and fit out project.  Ian is busy with this every weekday.  We have begun to source some of the building materials we need for our project.

First, a peruse for some old doors.  Ian has had to restore several of our old doors, they were in shocking condition, you could see throughout the cracks in their timbers and one let rain into the house when rain blew a certain direction.  They had rotted timbers that had to be replaced to restore them.  And also get wood putty, and glue.  It is a fussy and time-consuming job that is also rather boring.  But we wanted to use the old doors where we could, as they have fab old door hardware, including ancient old locks with big skeleton keys.  Ian has made them all sound again, and even restored the locks so I can turn the keys more easily.

We picked this yellow painted set.  Had the
best door furniture, hardware, and in best
condition.  No warping.  Awesome 10 lights,
fitted with thick beveled edges on each light.
At an Adelaide business selling salvage building materials we found a range of great old ten light glazed doors with beautiful beveled glass and door furniture.  All in wonderful condition.  This appealed to Ian a lot after all the doors we had here that were in such poor repair.  This set of glazed doors seems to have come from the same building we think.  A careful look through them helped us pick the ones we thought were a best fit.  Happens to be painted yellow, so will definitely get new paint work in time.   This set of doors will be the entrance to our studio, coming in from the old red brick paving and path we have put in.

The door I spied and WANT !  Still have to talk
Director Engineering into this.  Need to
work out if it suits one of our door requirements.
Fab big door with half glazed facade inscribed.
This week we will go back, after three more doors.  Plus maybe one additional to replace an interior door that is a sad cheap door (probably replacement for the original one ?).  We want a door that matches the character of the other interior doors in the house, but sized to fit the door frame set in the stone wall, and it is not a very big doorway, so we need to find something to fit or that can be cut to fit without ruining its character.  The other three are for the extension under construction and will include a door for the new laundry, I hope to find one half glazed (top half).  One for the storeroom next to it.  And one for the steps out of the studio  at the steps that go up to the clothes line, also half glazed if we can.  I found one for either the laundry or to the clothes line steps, with old inscription Operations Branch.  I love it and would love it in one of those areas.  But considerations include the side of the glazing the inscription is on, and the side of the door already organised for the hinges and knob.  also its size.  This turns out to be a rather large door.  Might not fit the laundry space (which has a lower ceiling height).  And not sure if the hinge and knob placement plus inscription work for the one to the steps up to clothes line.  This to be worked out this week.  And then a trip with the trailer to the salvage yard.  See if it is there still if suitable. If not, find something else and bring it home to design doorways around.

Steel framing for the laundry.  Washer and Dryer will go on
the far wall, stacked in left corner.  Need to find a cabinet for
 sink for middle of that wall.  

Meantime, work is underway for the wall framing for the laundry and also for the storeroom to its right.  Ian has chosen steel framing.  As you can see in the pic, the framing for wall boards is all up and he has also put up framing beams for the ceiling boards.  He now needs doors to work out placement of door framing to hang them in place (which will be done later).  Because we want old salvaged doors, we need the doors and he can build framing for their size (or whatever cut down size we decide for them).

The far wall you see there is a stone retaining wall.  This property is built on a slope, we have heaps of stone retaining walls.  Other side of it is a water tank and pump, we catch rain water from roof into gutters and drain into the tank.  The pump sends the water to one of our large tanks up on the hill behind our house.  One of the tanks is plumbed to provide water to the toiler.  The others are storage reservoirs.

We don't want to use the retaining wall for our interior walls.  It is thick enough, but it is rather rough in finish and a neater fit out will be had with framing just in side it.  So both laundry and store room to its side will be fit out this way.

The  roofing materials above the laundry and storeroom will be renovated with some transparent polycarbonate roofing.  This will allow us to create some "skylights" in each room's ceilings, for a bit of filtered light.  See how that looks in material of same sort in pergola roof as shown at centre top of last photo below.

This last photo shows the framing for the side of laundry.  Plumbing in place for a toilet and shower along the right side of that wall.  The other side of the wall will be finished off and clad with something on the studio side.  And tall bookcases will go in front of it.  Reference materials for art and design studio.

Outlook shown below is to the someday-studio area, which will be almost completely enclosed.  Do please ignore all the stuff stacked up !  Much of it will go into the store room when it is fit out, we will do it up into a small office with tidy built in storage later on.  But initially, it will be a clean and dry storage space while we get laundry and then studio done.  Large windows planned over looking garden retaining walls.  We are not yet sure whether to get them as salvaged pieces or buy some.  More posts on that as this develops.

Framing of side of laundry space, where a shower will go in right
corner and toilet next to it.  Was the best way to get a second
bathroom in and make good use of efficiencies in plumbing
(one wet room, not two).  Other side of the framing will be studio. 

Exciting, construction happening.  Each day has lots of construction site sounds while I work on my IT things, or on plans for a small local business we want to launch next year.  I asked Ian when the work on the laundry, storeroom and studio enclosure might be finished.  He thinks it could be in December.  Stay tuned and see how we go.  More progress posts to come !


  1. It is necessary to harvest rain water in every house in Adelaide. Thanks for sharing.
    Rain Water Tanks Adelaide

  2. I agree, we are very committed to this. Thanks for sharing your encouragement too :) My husband (aka Director Engineering) says rain is money falling from the sky !

  3. I love those twin glass doors and YOU HAVE TO HAVE that half glazed door with the inscribed has sooo much character and would be the perfect addition to your laundry...lets face is where a lot of the day-to- day 'operations' of running a household take place!