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The House from Hell 4: The Reno

Let's jump straight in for this one as I'm sure you're eager to find out what happened.

First up:

Patching up holes

Often with these old weatherboard homes, the boards have a tendency to warp and paint cracks, especially in areas which get full sun exposure during the day, this can make the place look really unpleasant and no-one wants to be the family living in the haunted house.

Warped and cracked weatherboard

This is an one of the many examples this house had to offer.

To get these walls looking brand new we bought a ton of Gap filler and went to work.

Make sure you clean the area well so that the filler will stick. There are plenty of ways to apply the filler, and everyone has their own way, my method is to use the caulking gun to inject it into the gap, allowing the filler to protrude out slightly, then with a wet finger (Good lick) run your finger over the top lightly in one continuous motion.

It's a time intensive exercise, and to my knowledge, there isn't an easier way to do it, but it's worth it when the job is done and the walls look brand new, you'll thank yourself for the effort.

Next Task was filling in that ugly open space under the house, it looked like it was designed for a North QLD flood plain in the middle of the Brisbane Suburbs, so that clearly had to go.

We tossed up between a few different methods to conceal, in the end however, simple wooden planks to obscure view was what won.

It's a super simple method to hide away any clutter or private items from easy view from outside, this allows for privacy whilst maintaining airflow and light.

Again, it's a physically demanding process, but pays off in the end, and without much skill or effort, it looks great.

We had a few small issues here, mainly with attaching supports to the stumps, we used timber which was secured with screws, the biggest problem was screwing in to steel this thick was not easy if you're using a small gauge screw, and therefore we went through a lot of drill bits.

The Mud Pit

Next we had to be able to get up there, so stairs were in order. Prior to this, in order for me to get up and down, I had to trek through the mud (as of course it was a wet month before I got the stairs in) and climb a ladder. which was slowly sinking into the mud.

But a quick carpenter visit, and we were on our way to having a real house.

I should mention at this point, I still had not managed to get power connected, there was issues with the connection due to the wiring and meter being older, which the distributor was not willing to connect to, this required us rewiring many parts of the house with new wiring which was compliant to the newer standards.

When the issues were rectified as per the distributors instructions, they came back after about 3 weeks, they refused to connect again as they now wished for the meter box to be moved to a place which was more accessible, on top of that, we had a tree on the council strip at the front of the house which was now grown slightly too close to the wire which required cutting.

NOTE: Cutting of trees on council land can be a difficult issue, in this particular case, I was speaking to the distributor, the council, and the tree cutting contractor, the council said it was a distributor problem which had to be actioned by them, while the distributor told me it was a council issue, as it was on council land. so after 3 days of back and forth just trying to get someone to take action so I could get the tree cut, I got a date and time for the work.

Don't try and cut the tree yourself, firstly it's illegal as it is not your property, secondly, your neighbours may not appreciate you cutting a council tree, and thirdly, if you fall and hurt yourself whilst doing it, you'll have a hard time convincing any insurance to cover you as it's not on your land.

So after another 3 weeks without power, the tree was cut, the meter was moved, and the date was set for 2 weeks to connect power.

The infamous drain

During this time, we need a driveway.

since we unfortunately was a very large storm water drain directly in-front and in the middle of the block which would need council permission and a complete redesign if we were to touch it.

So how to make this work without affecting this drain, we swing it around the drain like a tear drop.

we decided to do the concrete ourselves to keep costs low, we got a digger in for the day to cut out, had the rebar delivered, as well as saddle. then laid it out ourselves and had the concrete truck in the next day

Up next easy landscaping.


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