House update: Draining the lake, Moreland Department of Delays and way too many paragraphs dedicated to paint colours.

photo (4) Good lord, that title is longer than I had planned.

Considering that this blog is called Worst House Best Street, you would think that I would cover our renovation a bit more. But apparently not. Apparently I mostly write about food and quilts and babies.

We have been chipping away at the Brunswick house  every Saturday for last few months and have managed to accomplish quite a bit, but there are still several thousand billion other things to do. The enormous carport/shed in the backyard is nearly done. We don't have any scaffolding and the ladder is only just high enough, so we used the fig tree to get up to nail on the roof sheets. It is so high that I can see into the yards of the people four doors down, which was slightly awkward. I had to avoid eye contact as there was only so much tense looking-away that I could do after several hours of trying not to watch people hang out their washing and water their veggie gardens.

We have also more or lessed fixed the indoor lake situation. As I have previously mentioned, there was no drainage and so the whole house was sitting in a foot-deep puddle. Water was running down the walls, the paint was peeling, the plaster was cracking and the front window is only just sitting on it's lintel (the lintel is the big chunk of timber or stone that the window hangs off in the wall). We dug out all the old stormwater pipes and replaced and reconnected them so the water ends up in the drain instead of under the living room floor.

I smashed down the front fence and then rebuilt it using recycled posts that Lee had sitting around the workshop. We made new pickets from some old merbau decking and I'll nail the pickets on next weekend, but most excitedly, we CHOSE COLOURS.  I kind of pride myself on my awesome paint colour-picking abilities and get pretty excited by colour forecasts and swatches and fandecks, so choosing heritage-accurate colours which still look modern and appeal to really rich people who want to spend a million dollars on a cute 1880s cottage in Brunswick made for a fun project.

Anyway, I wanted to use a Colourbond hue for the trims so that the fascia (the front edge of the veranda and roof) and the gutters would all match, as I can order pre-painted gutterings and fascia in Colourbond colours. The roof needs to be Colourbond for the same reason.

I planned on using Porter's Paint in Moon Shadow for the rendered brick, but have heard questionable things about the durability and colour accuracy of their exterior paint so went with good old Dulux.


The inside is a whooooooole other kettle of fish. I want something quite stark, chalky and clean that can be used throughout the entire house. It has to work in the high-ceilinged but slightly dingy, timber-floored front rooms,  the pokey hallway, the huge bluestone-tiled living and kitchen area, and the entire upstairs. Challenging much? Something grey-white, rather than pink or cream-white, but still warm enough to not look cold against the bluestone. Ok enough of me banging on about colours, I think four paragraphs is about three too many. SORRY.

Also, on the planning process: we have finally received the list of everything we need to submit to the Moreland Department of Planning (AKA the Moreland Department of Delays and Unnecessary Paperwork)  They want us to submit the plans, colour charts, neighbourhood character sketches, our tax returns, my first born and a urine sample (I kid, I kid). Such ball breakers.

ALSO. Our lovely neighbours renovated their place a few years ago and it took EIGHT MONTHS for their plans to be approved. Eight freaking months. Good lord. If our plans look like they will take that long, I  will be turning up at the council offices daily with homemade cookies and wine for everyone, and doing lots of nodding and winking and offering handshakes with cash-filled palms.

There is only so much living with the parents I can handle, and we want to reproduce again (hold me) soon. Moreland Council is basically deciding on when we can have our next baby. THANKS GUYS.