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.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Exterior painting

The inside was finished in July 2015 and the tenants moved in as the end of that month. Tasmania’s colder winter of 2015 passed and spring and summer arrived. Time to start on the outside of the house.

On  our house we used an Australian paint called Rockcote. It has weathered fairly well but I have to go to Hobart to get it or pay freight costs. We found a brilliant product locally from New Zealand called Resene Paints They are totally VOC free and committed to the environment. They make a wide range of products and in New Zealand have a very large market share. We used it internally and found it to be very good so decided to stay with it for the outside.

Below are photos of the transformation. We have not finished yet but it is getting there.

The West wall was stripped of paint twenty years ago and had nothing done to it since. We replaced a number of rotting, split weatherboards; scraped off the remaining paint which had been left on the bull noses of the weatherboards and on the bathroom extension in very poor condition, and then treated the bare timbers with a Resene product called Timberlock . “Resene TimberLock  preserver/conditioner timber treatment – exterior – solventborne
Resene TimberLock is a multi-functional timber treatment designed to increase the water, fungal and U.V. resistance of the wood surface itself, improving the performance of subsequently applied finishes. A penetrating material, it also has the ability to regenerate wood fibres laid bare by U.V. and weather attack and re-build them into a wood-like material”

west wall before

under coat and start of first top coat

under coat and start of first top coat

The front of the house paintwork was in better condition. yes it actually had paint on it. We washed with sugar soap, scraped back what we needed to and sanded with an orbital sander before undercoating. What a major difference.

front house original

front house original

front top undercoated

front top undercoated

front undercoated

front undercoated

front first top coat

front first top coat

Mandy has since gone up the ladder and painted all the timber in “Wallaby” a colorbond colour that matches the gutters and facias.

The East side needs to be stripped right back to timber as it has suffered from the ravages of the weather and the paint is peeling. When we stripped our house we purchased a Swdish Stripper, The I-Strip, which is an infra red heater that runs along a rail. Yo can find all the info at our other blog www.greentasreno.wordpress.com at greentasreno.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/a-swedish-stripper-from-new-zealand/ The only difference now is that i use a german engineered tungsten carbide blade to scrape off the paint. It works very well indeed and makes a horrible job a little easier.

contrast between  old, new and stripped

contrast between old, new and stripped

The back extension has had a first coat of Resene Lumberside “Biscotti” which sounds a bit better than biscuit!