Ticking boxes

Finally, after months of waiting and hard work I’ve arrived here, house finally on the market and three days out from my first open home. My todo list started pretty broad, and as any fellow procrastinator could guess, this wasn’t leading to successful completion. Following some helpful advice, this list was fleshed out into smaller tasks and I dragged myself away from the Dark Playground. Painting turned into components to sand, which quickly turned into organising some paid help. Gardening turned into, “Call Joel.” Which turned into organising a working bee with the family. Is anyone else seeing a pattern here? I guess my job has taught me the importance of delegation when you need to get something done quickly.

The painting was eventually completed, and the gardening was smashed out by my skilled family members over the course of a drizzly day. “Build a nice pathway,” Joel says. An hour later my handy brothers have composed a masterpiece, adding an entrance way into my now beautiful home.


Rich hard at work.



The first week in the house I pulled up the carpet in the hallway, and ever since then I have been imagining how those Rimu floorboards would look sanded and polished. “But what about 60s cork board in the kitchen, and the lino in the bathroom?” I was constantly being asked. So up comes the lino and I get the floor man in for a quote. He advises to have it tested for asbestos, sure enough, he’s right. To my extreme fortune, my flatmate, Mike, is a professional asbestos remover, so he borrowed the gears and we set out to decontaminate the bathroom floor. For some reason we decided to do this after garden day at 8pm. At midnight we emerge, tired and sore, but victorious. The floor man had assured me there would be no asbestos under the cork in the kitchen, so the next weekend I got to prying up the board. Whoops, guess he was wrong.


Old kitchen floor




Asbestos removal is actually quite straight forward. You take a bunch of plastic sheets and tape up doorways and cupboards to make the room airtight. You then donne masks and full body overalls and remove the asbestos into sealed bags. After the deed is done, an expensive multi-filter vacuum is used to clean up the dust, and then a solution of PVA (yep, just like the glue at school) is sprayed around the room like a mist to bind the fibres together. The PVA dries clear. After the bathroom experience, I had estimated about 30 hours to complete the kitchen. This time though, on the advice from the nice old man at Bunnings we bought a few tubs of Acetone (nail polish remover). Saturday morning my friends Liam and Gary pitched in, and together with Mike and I, managed to complete the Kitchen and toilet by Sunday night.

Mike and his gear

Mike and his gear

Fast forward through floor sanding, three coats of polyurethane, furniture moving, and a whole lot of cleaning, and I was finally taking a real estate agent through. She added a couple more things to my list, such as curtains in the spare room, to make the house ready for photos and open homes. The house listed on Monday and there’s already been four people through, the first open home is this weekend. Offers are being held off until September 3rd, at which point I guess I’ll find out whether my house is something that people want.

I’ve decided from this experience that I wouldn’t want to do it again. Not that I regret it, it’s been an interesting three year experiment. It’s more that I don’t actually enjoy DIY, or gardening, I don’t care about the same sorts of things that other people seem to, like curtains and light fittings. While I have an appreciation for these things, and can recognise good from bad, at the end of the day I feel like a house is something that you live in, and I can take or leave the rest. Home ownership is another topic entirely, perhaps I’ll write a post about that someday.

I’ll close with some before and after pictures of the house. Sad that I have no photos of the pink bathroom.










2 thoughts on “Ticking boxes

  1. Just reread your first blog so love your before and after pictures. It is also interesting to follow the progress of the preparation of the house and to see pictures of family recreating the garden area! It’s neat that you had friends to help with the floors!

  2. Pingback: Lollipop moments | One foot forward

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