Friday, 7 August 2015

My House Has Cancer

My house has cancer...brick cancer that is and unfortunately it's terminal.

I've been avoiding reporting about how our downstairs renovation is going because I'm feeling far from the poster girl for "how to do it" at the moment (not that I ever consider myself one any way). I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, no matter how much experience we've had before, I'm pretty sure we haven't got any better at it! That said, every house is different and throws different challenges at you (so I should probably give myself some slack).

So where are we at, well, the latest stress is that one side of my house has "brick cancer". Test have been taken and I'm hoping to hear a result next week as to whether it can be dealt with with a coat of render. If not, it's going to be a very expensive alternative.

On top of that, well, it's still a mess, there's still no back door, the upstairs windows are still leaking downstairs every time it rains, we've had trouble with our concrete slab and it's still a million miles away from being finished! On the upside, I think we've hit rock bottom and it can only get better from here!

The sad state of the back of my house. "Cancer ridden bricks", rotten windows, leaks and no back door. 
Roge and I have spent the last few weekends getting our veggie patch sorted. A bit of it got damaged when the new deck was built and we've added some new garden beds. Overall, I'm pretty excited about this space. We're going to have a fairly thriving garden in the years to come which is going to be great for our health and hip pocket.

The deck is as complete as it can be until the plumbing inspector gives us the tick to say it's all good to cover over the external works. The inspection can't happen yet tho because we've had a hold up inside the new laundry-bathroom. That was last weeks drama.

Roge had the task of jackhammering the slab where the new tiles shower base is to go. It all went to shit to be quite frank when he hit dirt and everyone realised that the slab was about a third to a half of the thickness that it should be. The tiler had a panic attack and declared that the whole slab (laundry and rumpus room) should be pulled up and started again. The builder agreed with him. Alex (me) went into deer in the headlights mode, full lizard brain and had a minor break down. After everyone settled down and thought about it a little harder, it was decided that only a small section of the laundry-bathroom where the shower is going needed to be re concreted. Crisis over.

So, it's a good thing I love this house and want to live here forever because otherwise I might have chucked in the towel by now! I think we've pretty done every "not to do" so far. We didn't get a building inspection when we purchased, have over capitalised on the renovation costs (some of it out of our control), didn't get three quotes for every job and tried to project manage instead of handing it over to a professional, etc etc. But as I keep reminding myself, no renovation is smooth sailing and we will reap the rewards once it's finished.

A little voice is calling for me so I better wrap this up. Wish me luck for next week in the hope that I can have the bricks rendered. I don't want to think about the alternative...


  1. That all sounds so stressful and infuriating. Hoping that you get good news about the brick "cancer" this week (have never heard of that before!).

  2. Neither had I until the renderer said it!

  3. I've never heard of brick cancer either. You're sure having a rough reno patch. I hope it sorts out soon and without breaking the bank. Remember, if it's easy, it's not worth doing. One day you'll look back and laugh at these challenges. It'll be worth it all to live in the home you love. Sending positive vibes your way. xx

    1. Oh I know Sheryl. I feel like such a winger lately but it's true when they say building/renovating is one of the most stressful things one can do. It makes me a crazy person, up and down with emotion constantly ("yay how exciting, i love my new tiles" to "holy truck, the windows are leaking again!") We are truly on the home stretch tho, in the upcoming weeks there are big things happening and that will make a huge difference to this patch we're in.

      I hope all is well with you guys. I can't wait to see the do-over of the "red room".


    2. * whinger. I cannot seem to find a way to edit my spelling mistake but you get what I mean!

  4. You have so many tasks to accomplish for in your house, Alex. I hope you can get it all fixed as soon as possible, especially the leaking windows. I'm sure there's much progress with it already. I hope you can share photos of it when it's finished. Good luck!

    Darryl Smith @ Franklin Window and Door