Brian's blog

Renovation Fatigue

Now that we're at the tail end of the project, we're feeling quite emotionally and physically (not to mention financially) drained by the whole experience. Don't get me wrong, for the most part we're quite happy with everything, but it's just all the cumulative effects of constant research, decision making, site visits, meetings with the builder, communicating with subcontractors, shopping around for miscellaneous bits and pieces and dealing with issues etc that are taking their toll.

Telco Wars II: Attack of the Phones

The saga continues ...

OK, this is getting ridiculous now. After many months we've still had no resolution or explanation from iiNet or their wholesaler Telstra regarding the phantom calls we were being billed for on a phone line that was no longer physically connected.

Community Garden Given Go Ahead

Brisbane City Council recently approved a community garden at Graceville! Congratulations to Kaja and all the other dedicated contributors to The Graceville-Sherwood Community Garden Planning Group. It's been a long and at times frustrating campaign, with minor but vocal local opposition and obstruction from our local councillor, but the wishes of the community have prevailed and the BCC have approved this and a number of other community gardens throughout Brisbane as part of their very sensible Food in the City goal.

The Big Air Con

Now I must admit to liking my air conditioning. I prefer to be as confortable as I can. We've had a small air conditioning unit in the past just to cool our home office but this was due to it being unbearable to work in throughout summer.

Mid-March Progress Report

Well it looks like the worst of the rain is over and everything's mostly dried out again. The weather has delayed installation of the skillion roof panels over the rear deck but they should finally be going on next week. The electrical rewiring and plumbing are mostly done and now just awaiting the tilers and painters before final fit out.

Telco Wars I: The Phantom Call Menace

The saga so far ...

In case you hadn't twigged to the fact, we're renovating a house ... and we've moved out because it's an extensive renovation. Apparently this has escaped the notice of our phone provider (iiNet), despite being told repeatedly. Back in October we disconnected all power and phone lines from the house as it was about to be raised and restumped.

Kitchen Conundrum

We had always assumed we'd never be able to afford a hand-crafted solid wood kitchen, so we were resigned to the fact that we'd have to buy a factory-made MDF kitchen with Laminex veneer or 2-pack finish. I hate these "plastic" kitchens with a passion so wasn't at all looking forward to this compromise. I know they're easier to clean, but they just seem so unnatural and potentially hazardous to health.

February Progress Report

The place is now starting to look like a real home again. Despite the recent heavy rain the builders have been working hard between downpours to get the roof and weatherboard cladding on. The exterior of the house is almost complete, barring the varandah balustrades, garage door, skillion roof over the rear deck and front stairs. All the windows and doors are in and look fantastic. The new plumbing has gone in and the house completely rewired.

Murphy's Law Weather

Queensland, and much of Australia, have been in severe drought for the better part of a decade, but of course our renovation happened to coincide with the breaking of that drought. Australia, the "land of droughts and flooding rains" - there rarely seems to be a happy medium here. We've had the wettest summer in years and many parts of South-East Queensland have been flooded. Thankfully we escaped the worst of the deluge but the rain still hampered our build at critical times.

Character Suburbs - Death by 1000 Cuts

We live in a Brisbane City Council so-called "Demolition Control Precinct" (DCP) which aims to:

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