Workshop
Start a discussion

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Another California Bungalow!

Highlighted
Junior Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Hi Liz

 

No, the house isn't in Coolamon.  I bought the house as a challenge and to give me something to do!  I am in my late 70s but have no intentions of vegetating so why not?   And it is certainly giving me challenges!  When I moved up here from Sydney, I found the differences huge!  I had some family up here, though, and so it wasn't a complete leap in the dark.  However, all the things that one takes for granted were just not here.  Anybody contemplating a move to the country/bush should rent for six months in their chosen town to make sure they're doing the right thing.  Anyway, all that is water under the bridge.  I'm here and I do like renovating so I'm having a go!

 

The bindis or catheads as the locals call them are a menace!  I have a large back garden and it's full of them.  They were dormant when I moved in (winter) but as soon as summer came, out they flooded.  The neighbour told me I had to spray them before they bloomed but had so many things to do I wasn't able to.  Come our hot summer this year, out they came and doubled and tripled all over the garden.  I was having to carry my dog to little bare patches every morning, haha!  Anyway, at some stage, the next door neighbour came running over to the fence and said I'd better start spraying and that I had a small window of two weeks to do it.  I bought three sprayers from the hardware store but none of them would spray.  I do think the people who make these sprayers should do a 'female' one because I certainly couldn't get the hang of it.  Moved every screw up and down that I could find but nothing produced a spray.  They are stupid things.  Which meant that I didn't spray in time and all summer I've had a new crop of catheads pop out.  Anyway, I will be ready for the next season.  I have taken my three sprayers back to the hardware store and they have given me lessons in how to get the spray to work.  They thought it was very amusing.  I was just grateful.

 

My main problem with renovating in this area is getting tradies to come and do the jobs.  Three times I thought I'd found somebody to renovate my bathroom but they either gave me a quote that was far too high or they didn't turn up.  So I'm still persevering with my search but it's a hard slog.  I now have a great painter who has painted two rooms for me so far.  I have another painter who I have chosen to do the external painting but he says he's behind with his work because of the hot summer and so I'm just waiting for him.  I have found a multitude of things to repair or replace when I've had other things done.  For instance, when I got Foxtel in to put my connection in two different rooms, they found that the chimney they were going to attach the dish to is falling down so I had to have repairs done to that.  Then I had to have an old air conditioner removed out of the wall which left a big hole so I've had to get a carpenter to replace two large sheets of gyprock  at the back of the house.  I think the waiting for tradies and the fact that the house was very poorly built in the 40's has been the main problems of slowing my reno down.  Every electric point in the house has to be changed, no earthing.  Every electric fan in the ceiling, ditto.  The front screen door had to be pulled off and realigned for it to close properly.  Windows had to be repaired.  I am so used to city life and being able to call somebody and they are there the next day so that has been my main problem up to now, never mind the renovating!  This was an el cheapo house and so I have to be careful not to over-renovate.  It would just not be worth putting too much money into it.  

 

The unlevel floor is still there.  A carpenter had the bright idea of screwing two cupboards to the walls in order to make them stand up straight and I did need those cupboards when I first moved in so I said okay.  They will have to be taken off, though, when I put new flooring in that little room.  I won't bother to try and straighten up the floor.  I'll live with it and let the next owner deal with that one.  It is an old verandah floor underneath.  Re decorating the rooms, I have those dreaded batterns on the walls so what I've done is have the top half painted a lovely soft matt white and then white glossed the middle battern and then chosen some scruptious matt pastel 28 Feb 19 living room finished 018.JPGcolours for the bottom half.  A lot of old houses in the 20's to 40's had picture rails and then they'd wallpaper the bottom half and so I thought I'd do a similar thing but with paint only.  I still can't hang any pictures up, though, which I am really disappointed about.  My pictures are quite heavy and to hang them on the wood batterns would mean they were too low down - so still waiting for a solution to this.

 

Having said all that, each thing that is done is exciting and I am making slow progress.  And it does also give me a chance to change my mind which I've done about a zillion times so far.  Thanks for the interest, Liz.  Are you renovating a house, too?

 

Cheers Di

 

 

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Many thanks for joining in the discussion and sharing your knowledge @LizzieCro. Great to see you make your first post and get a prompt reply from @Di1.

 

A very warm welcome to the Workshop community. We trust you will receive loads of great advice, information and inspiration for your projects around the house and garden from our ever-helpful and creative members. Please feel free to post anytime you need help or have a project to share. We're looking forward to seeing what you can achieve. 

 

Jason

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Budding Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Thanks for the welcome Jason. I didn't know the group existed until a few days ago, and am glad to find it and be a part of it.

Hi again @Di1 

Well you really have got something to get your teeth into! As you say, though, why vegetate when there is still so much to learn! I'd be with you and in there just having a go! All power to you! As you say, though, rural living isn't anything near city life! No such thing as instant gratification in the country! But, then again, you may have been escaping that?? There are other advantages. 

 

So, your weeds aren't Bindiis at all, just as I suspected. In rural areas the coastal common names often get caught up with the rural common names, so Bindiis has ended up where you are. I've seen this name issue happen in the Riverina, so thought it may be the case. So ignore any of our advice about products to use for Bindii! The plant's name you're looking for is Spiny emex, which germinates in Autumn and early Winter, so you need to spray just after that. The agricultural sprayers are quite easy to use once you have the hang of them, but if you can find a product you can just clip onto your hose pipe attachment, you'll find that even easier to use. Once you've got the regime in order you'll probably still have to do an annual spray, as this is a common weed of agriculture and pastures, so may end up reinfesting your lawn. The key to keeping weeds out of lawn is to have a vigorusly growing lawn with no bare patches where seeds can settle. Good luck with that!

 

Your tradey issue will probably always be a problem, I'm afraid. They will quote very highly if they don't really want the job. That way, should you actually accept their outrageous quote, at least they'll feel adequately paid.

 

With your picture rails, and your issue with not getting the right viewing height for art (I completely understand!), could you simply adjust the length of the chain/wire on the back of the art? It sounds the simplest and most cost-effective solution. You can still buy specific picture rail hooks from hardware stores. I own a house with picture rails, and we've always painted it with ceiling white above the rail, and a pale colour below, as you have. Be careful with the sheen level of wall paint though. Low sheen is the usual level recommended as it's easier to clean. The colour you've chosen is lovely! It's almost identical to the colour I have on my walls! I really like the vertical battens; they add character to the house. I may feel differently if I had them, but not sure about that.

 

Yes, I am renovating a house, Di. But the polar opposite to what you're doing, and far less problemsome! My house was built in 2009, but is (WAS!), your usual plasterboard walls, unimpressive architraves and skirting, etc.... you know, just fairly boring. It didn't represent, at all, who I am and the sort of houses I love, which are Californian Bungalows, old cottages, etc. (There are reasons I didn't buy one of those, but too lengthy to go into!). I had the house built to look less contemporary on the outside, but financial restraints meant the interior could've been any new house in Australia, so the interior and exterior were at odds with each other. Eventually I knew things had to change for me to comfortably spend the rest of my life in it. I found blogs! There are all these women out there, writing blogs, doing renovations and woodwork, and so I learnt from their instructions, watched You Tube (repeatedly!), bought the tools (big grunty powerful things) and taught myself how to do things! It's been so much fun! I only have two rooms left to do, and the house is now looking like my kind of home! Essentially I've removed and replaced all the skirting and architraves with wider ones, and also changed how all the walls look (hard to describe), by adding more decorative wood panelling, board and batten, rails, etc. Even the kitchen went from flat, high gloss, to white Shaker style, just by using additional timber attached to the doors. When people come in now, even tradesmen, they assume it was an old home which we extended, which is exactly the impression I wanted to make. Resultantly I feel much happier in the house, but the real positive is just how much I've learned and the skills I've developed. I hope you get the same enjoyment from your home!

 

Good luck Di! I'd love to see more photos if you have them. It sounds like you're making progress and really enjoying the journey!

Cheers, Liz.

 

 


 

 




Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Junior Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Hi again, Liz

Thanks so much for all these tips. I was feverishly writing them down down as I came to each one! So what I've got in what I laughingly call my back lawn is Spiny Emex. Okay, that's good to know. I will get one of those Roundups that fit on your hose pipe. Much easier to use. Yes, these little spikey devils come back over and over again. I turfed them all out of the very small front garden about three weeks ago and I notice this morning they're back again. But I guess eventually you do eliminate them if you can keep going. We have no lawns here anymore. Everyone has got a square of dirt so dry that it blows away in a strong wind. The situation here is dire but everyone here is so stoic. I'm still at the oh, God, what can I do stage, I'm afraid. We are on Stage 3 water restrictions now so can only water by sprinkler hose every other day so that doesn't help, either.

My wall paint is actually low sheen. I call it matt or quite flat but it's really low sheen. I'm pleased with it so far. One of the drawbacks of having a fibro home is how hot the wall itself gets in summer. It really heats up. The outer wall on my bedroom is almost too hot to touch sometimes. If one could afford it, the best thing would be to rip it off and replace with gyprock or whatever it is. The next door neighbour has done this and it is the way to go but where do you draw the line? My little town is never going to see a price rise and I guess you have to think of things like that. It is what it is - my favourite saying to people at the moment. So the trick is to see what one can do on a fairly limited budget to make it nice and liveable.

How interesting that you are taking a modern house back into the 30's/40's period. I love that idea. And working with a modern house means you don't strike all the problems I am having. When you see these Escape to the Country type programs and all their variety of homes from a couple of hundred years old to modern, my choice would be a house built from 1920s to 1940s or '50 at a pinch. They are solidly built and have many features that I love, some that would be termed quirky nowadays but I find them full of interesting nooks and crannies. But .... not out here! These houses were built for the railroad workers who were installing the thousands of miles of track in NSW and I think they were put up in a bit of a rush! I'm giving them a bit of leeway as they do have lovely high, decorated ceilings, large size rooms, a central hall which is a feature of the California Bungalow and it reminds me of England where I come from so, for me, they can be quite charming. Your house sounds lovely, Liz, and I'm sure many here will be interested in what you've accomplished. I'll post a picture of the fireplace in my living room - same room as the other picture. I wanted to open it up and make it a feature - not to use but just to make it more interesting. You know, get some nice wood logs and put them in the hearth, etc etc. However, when Ian, my handyman, opened it up last week, we found a burnt-out wood heater that had melted to such a degree it was hardly recognizable. It had melted into the brick at the back of the fireplace and to remove it all and a mountain of soot along with it that has dropped down over the years, would have been really messy and no knowing what is underneath all that pile so I've closed it up again. Shame, isn't it.


Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Budding Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

@Di1
I'd love to see photos of your house! Shame about the fireplace! If you post a photo I'll put my thinking cap on for an aesthetic solution. I had a bland plasterboard box fireplace and managed to pretty it up, so maybe I could offer some suggestions. (Maybe!).

Just thought I'd mention, for your lawn weeds, don't ask the store assistant for Round Up, unless you want to kill off all your lawn, too. You need a weedicide specific to Spiny emex, that way you retain whatever lawn you have, but just kill the weeds.

My family are English, too!
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Junior Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Jason, thanks for the offer of help if I need it - I'm sure I shall!

 

Hi Liz - Yes, here are a couple of pics of the 'old girl' at time of sale. Hadn't been lived in for three years and was in a bit of a state. The first thing I did was to have a cream colourbond fence built around the house which upset several neighbours who thought I was trying to block them out.  I assured them it was purely for the dog and for decorative purposes!  I will have the house painted in cream to match the fence and because my new colourbond roof is a dark green, I will make the trim on the house dark green and white - new front door, white, and screen door, also white.  Apparently, the green awning had been there for years and years and I felt sad to pull it down as the old lady who had lived there all her life, had her babies there, etc, had been frightened of being in the house on her own in her later years .... but down, it had to come!  One of the pedestals on the front is missing to the right of picture and I thought I'd try and source somebody that could make one for me. Some would say, pull the whole thing down (and they have said that) but it's a bit of local history and sad to see them go.

House at time of saleHouse at time of sale

 

 

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Budding Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

It's lovely Di! Yes I'd have to reinstall the pedestal, too. No question about that.
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Occasional Browser

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Hi Mitchell M is Bunnings the only Australian Outlet for Master Padlocks 

BLE
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: Another California Bungalow!

@Brettos123from a quick google search it appears Master Lock is not a Bunnings exclusive brand.


I am a Bunnings team member. Any opinions or recommendations shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Bunnings. Visit the Bunnings website for assistance from the customer service team.


Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Another California Bungalow!

Thanks for joining in the discussion on Workshop @Brettos123. We are looking forward to reading about your projects and plans. You'll find our helpful members are constantly sharing useful information, advice and inspiration for projects around the house and garden so we are pleased to have you join the community. Feel free to post whenever you need a hand or have something to share. 

 

Jason

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Reply
Loading...

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects