Floor, and a Bathroom

Ahh, the joys of being able to shower again. The vanities, and all of the fixtures went in on Saturday. We also got most of the flooring down, except for the section where the boards need to be a little longer after we remove part of the wall. Dsc00017-1 Dsc00018 Dsc00014 Man, the nail gun was cool. It actually uses an explosion to force the punch forward, which pushes the nail to the desired depth. The size of the nails is small - you almost don’t notice them.


The first gun we got from Bunnings was broken - it didn’t reset the punch far enough back, so the next nail couldn’t be primed, ready to fire. After a few hours, we got a replacement, and a $20 voucher. And our money back, so we basically got paid to use the nail gun.

Front Porch

Jaq spent a bit of time this weekend (while I was at the Greenhill Road Touch Fields) emptying out the planter boxes on the front porch, sealing the post that supports the roof, and then we filled the gaps with concrete. Then, we planted some plants! A heap of Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata)__, and a couple of Agave (Agave attenuata). They were all plants we had from the old house, and they look great.

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Another Day, Another House Picture.

I had to work today, which meant I didn’t get to start working on the house until about 5pm. Jaq was around town doing stuff, so she didn’t do anything before then either. Today I ripped up most of the skirting boards, and kept pulling nails and staples from the floor. Jaq continued with wallpaper stripping, until the machine exploded. Luckily, she wasn’t holding it at the time, and was not injured. One of the walls we were going to remove turns out to be a solid wall. We still should be able to do something, but it will change our plan of attack a bit. You can see in the first photo below that there are bessa blocks under the wood panelling.

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Also, I’ve drawn up the House Plans, in AutoDesk Inventor. This is only the floor plan, and doesn’t show the different heights, but I’ll work on those when I get the time.

Floor Plans-2

One Month Since Renovations Began

Wow. A month since I first posted about our new house. And the bathroom isn’t yet done. Hopefully we’ll finish the shower tonight, and then I’ll actually be able to have my morning shower tomorrow. I cannot cope without it. This weekend we’re planning to lay floorboards in the kitchen/study. At the moment it is bare joists, with dirt underneath. The boards are being delivered tomorrow morning.

Wiring A House

I’m renovating my house at the moment, and I’m going to run some cable to various places. Unfortunately, I can’t do as much as possible, as the box gutter in the middle of the house precludes access to the northern roof space. Still, I will run cable to as much as possible - since I need to replace some floorboards, a fair chunk of it will be under the floor, including some floor mounted power points, cat5, and maybe some a/v cables.

Unpacking stuff

Well, after living in our new house for more than two years, we have finally unpacked all of the crockery and glassware into the kitchen. I mean, there was a rationale: we were renovating. Initially, we had thought it would take us a couple of months to get the house to a liveable state. We were at least an order of magnitude wrong. We have put enough of the kitchen in (including the microwave and dishwasher, but not the benchtops, stove and sink) to allow us to use it effectively. In particular, the dishwasher was the main reason we were able to even consider moving more than just two each of plates, cups, spoons, etc. Actually, living with just two of everything was very liberating. Granted, you have to wash everything before you cook every meal (or after, I suppose, but that’s not really my style). But never having more than a couple of dishes means that washing up isn’t such a chore. Entertaining wasn’t really an option. Other than that big party we had for our 30th birthdays, but that didn’t really require much crockery. So now, we have stuff again. We got rid of a heap of stuff we aren’t going to use. I’m still hanging on to some of the stubby holders and Star Trek mugs from my younger days, but we have really consolidated what we have. After all, if we didn’t use stuff for the last two or so years, we can’t need it too badly, can we?

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Google Sketchup 6

I have used a number of Computer Aided Design and CAD packages. Today, I used Google Sketchup for the first time.

It has some differences, and could be an excellent program, but it just does lots of things (IMHO) wrong.

For instance, it allows you to place a dimension on a line, and then change it. But it doesn’t actually change the length of the line. If it did this one thing, giving it parametrically controllable dimensions, then it would do most of what I want. Instead, I need to create a line or box, (change tools to) place a dimension, (change tools again to) resize it until it is close enough to the size I want.

To make it a bit better to use coming from Inventor, I set up ‘D’ as a shortcut key for Dimension, and F5/6 for Previous View/Iso View. Much better for my muscle memory!

It uses a different paradigm than Inventor, rather than using a series of parts, it really is just a sketch. Having said that, here is an accurate representation of my house. Accurate in some ways, not all.

And the best thing over Inventor? It runs native on OS X.


People often bag Ikea, and, especially in terms of their kitchens, think the build quality is poor, and the kitchens somehow substandard. I think it has to do with the cost, as well as a somewhat elitist attitude, but people who think themselves above the mass-market appeal that Ikea offers. I’ve actually always quite liked Ikea. Most of their stuff is well designed, and in some cases, well made. The first stuff we bought (before Ikea opened in Adelaide) was some crappy CD racks, and wasn’t that good, but it was only a few dollars a rack. Most of the things we have bought, especially recently, has been very good. So, having set the scene, we have bought about $7500 worth of cabinetry and doors for our kitchen. I’ve put together a few of the cabinets, and the rest of them are in the queue. One of the best things about going the Ikea route was that I haven’t had to deal with anyone, other than the person we gave the list of parts to, and the one who bought out the full trolleys. Because we had meticulously planned the kitchen, and it has some quite tricky stuff going on, it was much easier for us to come up with the design, and do all of the ordering. And from the conversations with the clerks in the store, it is a little unusual. There is a wide range of bits that Ikea do, carcasses of 300mm through to 900mm, as well as a couple of unusual sizes. If we had bought, or planned the kitchen before cutting the hole in the wall, then I wouldn’t have had to cut any carcasses to size, but because the space is a little less than desirable, I have to cut one of the units, and re-drill some of the holes. I need to remove 75mm, which is a bit annoying. Otherwise, it’s all easy, except for the fact that Ikea seem to have decided that side panels (made from the same finish as the doors/drawer fronts) do not extend to the floor, but are in fact just the same height as the cabinets, and we have decided the opposite. So, I have had to buy oversized panels and cut them down. At $90-$120 a pop, you don’t want to fuck up the cut! If you are playing at home, we have gone for the Abstrakt White finish, which apparently is the most expensive, and the new handles, which are called Annars. The benchtop, which we aren’t getting from Ikea, will be custom made a bit later. I really like the soft drawer closers, which allow you to push the drawer shut, and the last 10mm is a soft close, meaning no thump. I kinda think that the drawer runners have been designed to ‘heavy close’, just so you have to buy the soft close extenders. Maybe that’s just Cynical Matt poking his head out again. I’ve probably gone a bit overboard with the wall attachments. I’ve used big (ø12) dynabolts for the large larder, and ø6.5 ones elsewhere. The feet can apparently hold up to 125kg each, and I’ve used four on each base cabinet, but I don’t want to take any chances. All of the wall-fixed cabinets (and there are only three that aren’t, which go under the main table, and are only shallow wall cabinets I’ve modified to sit on the floor) are double dynabolted, and where possible I’ve also put a supporting piece (with dynabolts) underneath, above the skirting. Although this is probably a little overkill. We’d be able to do the whole kitchen, except we need gas connected for the stove, and are also having the gas pipe run through the roof to the heater in the lounge. We have all of the appliances, but we will do the other side of the kitchen first, until we have found a plumber for the gas. Know anyone?

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What a Weekend!

It started on Friday night with Touch training. I coached rather than training, as I was carrying a bit of a hamstring injury, and I wanted to give it a bit more rest. Still, it meant I didn’t get home until around 8. I’m just glad I chose not to ride my bike! Saturday was the annual Colley Reserve 5-a-side Touch Carnival. Normally Touch is played with 6 on the field, but for a more exciting game, and because the fields are a bit smaller, this carnival plays with 5. It’s mixed, so 3 boys and 2 girls are the order of the day. I played in the UniSA team, knowing only two of the players beforehand. The guys, and most of the girls were pretty nice people, and we wound up making the final in the Pool B division. Which we lost, to a team that pretty much plays together all of the time. When I got home, at around 6pm or so, I started doing some editing on my post I’m writing over on OmniNerd. I actually spent a fair bit of time on this, and although I disagreed with the editor’s comments on a couple of things (like placing an embedded clause in commas, something I do) I feel that the feedback made my article better. It’s still not ready to publish, but it’s probably 75% of the way there. The most interesting thing for me is that it’s a different style of writing than a blog post. A blog post, by it’s nature, is very free-flowing, and can at times lack structure. I very rarely edit my posts on this blog, although I sometimes correct errors. If I make them. (Reminds me of the joke: I was wrong once. I thought I was wrong, but I was actually right.) By the time Jaq got home from little Shae’s birthday party (9:30pm), freaking out because there was a big spider on the car, which I had to squish for her, I was about ready for bed, so I dozed almost right off. Jaq had to head into Uni this morning at 11, so I got up just as she left, and started finalizing my Tax documents. I put all of my stuff into a spreadsheet, and it didn’t really take as long as I thought it might. Then, I caught up on all of my RSS feeds, and by the time Jaq got home this time, I had to head off to State League. I played in the Mixed, where we won 8-2 (I only scored one of these, but set up a couple of others, including a great boomer with Karina McL), and then coached the Mens from the box (there is another playing coach, but sometimes it’s handy to have extra eyes off the field).

Hot Weather and Renovations

The last few days has seen extreme weather in Adelaide. 42°C for 4 days in a row. And this at the time we decided to:

  • Chop down the 13 Cypress Pines along the side fence.
  • Remove the old air-conditioner and brick up the cavity.
  • Knock down the old greenhouse.

Mum and Dad were up from Naracoorte to help us - Dad manned the chainsaw and they brought with them a 14” × 6” trailer, which we loaded up with Cypress offcuts. We kept the trunks, as they are pretty straight, and we’ll use them for garden beds. Anyway, we got all of that done - and a lot of it in shorter time than anticipated. The cutting down of the trees only took about 4 hours, which is lucky, as we may not have completed it otherwise. It was so damn hot. I took a heap of pictures. One day I’ll get around to posting some more.