As purchased in 2003
I officially owned Fairymead Street on 16 January 2003 after completing all the required paperwork and mortgage documents.
I now own a house!
It didn’t take long for the renovations to start. My dad stripped the patio of it’s rotten roof timber and replaced both it and the roof.
The renos begin with paint
I started my foray into renovation by familiarising myself with a paint brush. I had never really painted before so my quality was hit and miss until I had a few rooms under my belt. I gave the lounge, hallway and 3 bedrooms a nice coat of ‘Eggwhip’ (pale yellow).
I also learnt to plaster, and kill vacuum cleaners with plaster dust, by covering the pine feature wall in the lounge room.
Major Kitchen Overhaul
The kitchen was untouched mid-80s spec and was in major need of a refresh. It had a bad smell, which I later found out was a leaking sink outlet pipe.
My mate Lyndon was a cabinet-maker and did the honours while I laboured for him. Once the cabinets were in, I painted, tiled the splashback, hung the blind and installed and painted the cornice.
My dining room was a tiny space between the kitchen and the laundry. It was barely big enough for a table so I needed to be creative to make the space work. I decided on a ‘table’ made in the same material as the benchtop that would be fixed to the wall i.e only three sides would be usable.
It was a pretty good solution and looked the goods as it matched the kitchen benchtops.
Getting rid of the carpet
This was one of the better things I did with this reno. The carpet was foul, stained heavily and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.
I pulled it up and lived on bare concrete floors for the best part of 18 months until I could afford flooring. I went with laminate ‘wood’ flooring that I laid myself over 3 or 4 weekends. I was very sore after being on my haunches for most of the time it took to lay and gave me a new found respect for wicketkeepers…
Making my office workable
My ‘office’ was a repurposed one-car garage that had been bricked in where the roller door used to be.
It was a great space behind the lounge room, with the laundry on the end, but was very dusty due to the exposed bricks. First job was to hang plaster on the walls and cut a hole in the bricks for the air conditioner.
I painted a feature wall the same as the lounge and eventually disposed of the carpet.
The laundry was one third of the ex-garage and had a concrete floor, bare brick wall and very little else. As the house had very little storage the laundry wall was the perfect place for a bank of cupboards. My mate Lyndon built the cupboards the full length of the available brick wall and made them 1m deep – they held heaps of stuff.
The laundry was also one of my first ever tiling jobs.
I learned how to tile by spending every Saturday for over a month at my local Bunnings in their ‘learn how to tile’ class. It taught me how to score, how to cut, what equipment I needed, what adhesive I needed and how to grout.
Lesson learnt, I then went to work on the concrete laundry floor…
Upgrading the bathroom
The same mid-80s Caroma brown adorned the bathroom too. Time for an upgrade…
The carport was also tired and in need of paint.
I decided to make the finished product as maintenance-free as I could, so I stripped off the old vertical wooden palings and replaced them with horizontal steel ‘Smartslats’ in Iron Bark Grey.
As sold in 2009
I advertised my house for sale in May of 2009 after 6-odd years of renovations.
I listed with a Real Estate business who took pictures for www.realestate.com.au and set about listing it for me. As it turns out, old mate up the street saw the sign go into the front lawn and made an offer the next day, after less than 24-hours on the market.
If only I had done a letterbox drop, I might have saved myself $6,000 in commission (which was luckily capped).
Features of 5 Fairymead Street
After six years of hard work, living in renovation mess, countless $,000’s at Bunnings, loss of weekends and no money for anything fun or recreational, I did it!
I had a contract on my house within 24 hours and 30 day settlement.
I learnt a lot of new skills while renovating Fairymead Street with the help of my wonderful wife Angela.