External renovations: tidying up the back area. Part four. Finishing.

December 2018 update: Have had final sign off from the local Council. All is finished, tenants are happy.

Have just had the final inspection by the building surveyor. Excellent news, only two very minor things need doing. Neither of which will stop the completion certificate being issued.

Now only the plumbing certificate to be dealt with!!!

It has been a long renovation, nearly two years but finally got there.

Below is a slide show of the carport being built and some of the shed on the right hand side.  We used Advantage builders to build the frame and Launceston Plumbing and Gas to do the box gutter, and storm water. A 15amp outlet has been fitted under carport to facilitate future EV charging.


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Now to some of the sustainable detail.

  • Carport roof. Recycled the long lengths of zincalume that came from the dining room roof.
  • Recycled tin from old shed roof in used as detail of underside of box gutter
  • Old hardwood studs from shed used as screen uprights
  • Coloured coversheets of colorbond used as screen insert

Laundry finally finished – yeahhhhh!!

Well it has been a year ish since I last posted. Finally the laundry conversion is finished… well.. the laundry bit is. Still have to finish off carport and shed area but not far to go.

Pictures tell a thousand words so a slide show will show everything. First though a few highlights.

  • Finding a 100 square meters of Italian porcelain tiles on Gumtree really cheap, and then doing three trips to pick them up. Need tile glue removing off a lot of them but being 450mm x 900mm they are huge. We tiled the laundry with 450 x 600mm offcuts !!
  • Reusing the handcut weatherboards we took off the old dilapidated  shed on the inside of the laundry
  • Taking an old wooden garage door given by a friend and turning it into the benches
  • recycling an old laundry sink left in the garden into the laundry tub
  • Seeing our stockpile of reusable building materials being repurposed
  • The tin taken off the roof of the house turned inside out and repurposed on the exterior and interior walls.

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The sustainable aspect of the laundry is quite extensive:

  • Keeping the original shed instead of knocking it down
  • Insulation in ceiling and walls
  • Re use of recycled hardwood joists
  • Recycled tiles on floor and walls
  • Low flow taps
  • Stripping and repainting original weatherboards off the laundry shed
  • Recycled door
  • Benches from repurposed hardwood
  • Wall linings corrugated tin from roof of demolished sheds and the original handcut weatherboards
  • Window from local tip shop
  • LED skylight instead of cutting holes in roof where leak may occur
  • LED lighting
  • Reused weathertex masonite weatherboards given by neighbour

Reuse of recycled materials takes time and dedication. Many hours were spent stripping paint and repainting, cleaning tile cement off tiles, cutting tiles to size, and more. I think the result was worth the effort.

External renovations: tidying up the back area. Part three. Re-building.

Once all the unbuilding was finished it was time to start the rebuild. We called in Dean from Advantage builders again to realign the back lobby and pergola roof. Meanwhile we started to reclad the laundry. The wall closest to the house faces south and gets no sunlight and can be a bit damp so we used “Dune” colorbond matching the roof colour. The rear wall gave us the opportunity to use galvanised iron taken off the dining room roof. Lastly we rebuilt the north wall where the other shed had met and basically there was no wall. The studs were Tassie oak originally taken out of a friends house. This was clad in weatherboards that had been taken off the south side originally and stripped.

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External renovations: tidying up the back area. Part two, destruction.

The easiest way to describe the “Unbuilding” process is to show it in pictures. Basically we took the buildings down piece by piece, denailed the timber and kept the majority of it.

rear house mar 2015

The back door area before we started work. A wee bit tired.


Firstly we decided to replace the roof of the laundry to be. We had access from the carport on one side which made it easier. Once the roof was done we could commence with the removal of the carport, then the pergola roof, and finally the old shed.

Removal of carport

Removal of pergola was easy.

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Taking down of shed just took a little time to de-nail and sort the timbers.

External renovations: tidying up the back area. Part one, plans.

rear house mar 2015

The back of the house is a mess of mismatched sheds, carport and pergola. The concrete slab  uneven and water pools everywhere when it rains.  After spending the time renovating the inside and stripping and repainting the outside of the house it seemed worth spending some time and money on bringing everything together.

The shed closest to the house (only 400mm away) we have decided to keep and renovate as it is of interesting proportions and will make a good laundry. The washing machine at the moment is in the back lobby.

After consulting with Gayle Plunkett, a local architect, some plans were drawn up and submitted to council. The idea is to raise the roof line of the back lobby and pergola to match the height and slope of the dining room/kitchen extension, totally renovate the shed closest to the house, create a new carport with a roofline matching the present dining/kitchen roof line and have them both falling into a box gutter. Lastly a new store room be built to the north of the carport with a steep skillion roofline matching the slope of the laundry roof.

135 King St Westbury CD04 New Plan Issue A-page-001

135 King St Westbury CD05 New Elevs Issue A-page-001

Whilst waiting for Council approvals we started to renovate the laundry shed. Stripping out all the 3mm plywood lining and cover strips, saving them for later re-use.

As in the the internal renovations we rescues, de-nail and clean up anything that can be salvaged and re-used. Whilst stripping out the laundry the tenants came up with the idea of having the look of industrial salvage. So the outside walls will be a mix of new colorbond, salvaged corro from the house re-roof and weatherboard. Inside corro placed vertically up to about 1.2m and then hand split weatherboards that came off another shed.

Backdoor replacement.

The back door when we bought the house was an aluminium sliding door that had seen better days. It did not  lock properly and could be lifted out of its runners. Air whistled through the gaps and the aluminium and thin glass let heat out and cold in.

The idea is to slowly clean up and renovate the outside area under the pergola. It is very sad with mismatching weatherboards and the outbuildings are in poor order.

Replacing the back door would be a good start. Fortunately a pair of good French doors came up on Gumtree not too far away.  They would fit with a bit of work and would be alot more secure and windproof.

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Update on a sustainable rental

Well the tenants moved in at the end of July 2015. It is now end of December 2016. The tenants have been very pleased with the results of our endeavours.  Time has flown and I have been very remiss keeping the blog up to date.

A quick round up of work done.

  • New roof tin and thermal blanket
  • R4 earthwool batts in ceiling
  • Heat transfer kit fitted
  • Wood heater repaired and new flue
  • Two Upvc double glazed units fitted to South side bedrooms
  • New bathroom from joists upwards
  • New secondhand kitchen bought from Gumtree
  • All tin ceilings sealed to prevent rust
  • All walls sealed with Resene latex based sealer then painted
  • All trim work sanded and painted gloss white
  • Rear aluminium door taken out and replaced with french doors
  • Pergola roof replaced with polycarbonate sheeting
  • Outdoor area clad in colorbond
  • Hot water service given new anode and insulated in a box
  • Heavy full length curtains and pelmets  fitted
  • Driveway resurfaced and new trailer parking area created
  • Exterior of house stripped and repainted