Australia: Renovating during COVID-19, Part 3

Part 3 of this short Australian series, takes you through the major renovation of a new patio and its enclosure, during COVID-19.

A little background

You may like to read Part 1 (the reason for so much renovating) and Part 2 (internal and external house painting) of this renovating series, before continuing.

Initially, we set the deadline of 6 weeks starting from mid-February 2020 to complete all of the renovating, in time for our flight to the UK, in early April.


The patio and enclosure

Of all the renovations at the house, the patio and its enclosure is the biggest part of the project. Not for us, we think, and the most expensive.

Patio background

Last year, an online search for Kit patios in the hope of finding a cheaper alternative, proved fruitless. As we don’t have the time or tools to do this part of the renovating, I contact loads of builders, on landing in Brisbane.

It’s difficult to get anyone out to quote and this is only mid-February, before the height of COVID-19 in Australia. Also, this project needs to be fully completed by the 25th of March. It seems as though builders don’t appreciate my deadline, though I stick to this date, regardless.

Finally, with 3 quotes plus a Kit quote (for good measure), several design suggestions from builders, I came up with a design.

Making a decision

Phil from Vergola is the most professional to deal with and provides 3 very detailed options for the roof and enclosure, so I signed his contract.


Renovating the patio and enclosure

Now it’s time for the major part of this 6-week renovating project and hope that everything runs smoothly and on time.

Before

I’m not sure of the age of the existing patio and enclosure, although 14 years’ ago, it didn’t look this sorry.

The roller blinds have never – or rarely – been cleaned during the tenancy. Not salvageable, these are thrown out. The ceiling’s timber cladding contains a lot of rot and is sagging. The flat-roof design leaked and is the cause of the sagging.

Aside from the mould and dirt, the lattice is in good condition – although dated and needs a lot of continual maintenance.

Everything is torn down and thrown out. Only the wrought iron deadlocked security gate that never opened is salvaged, which I later sell on Gumtree.

Dismantling day

After a couple of delay days, I’m so excited to see the builders finally arrive on the re-scheduled day and time.

  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

Surprisingly, it takes 2 builders only half a day to dismantle everything and neatly stack old materials in piles, for the tip run.

While this is happening, we continue with the internal renovations of filling, sanding, and painting – joy!

Discovering more repairs

For decades, the current patio roof lived attached to the house. Of course, on dismantling everything, the builders find an issue that needs repairing. This is not in the contract and a variation. So, we need to fix this or this will set the builders back a day or two and cost more money.

The old gooey tar flashing sticks to everything it touches. And, needs scraping off, cleaning, sealing, sanding, and painting. A little rot in a corner of the timber beam also needs digging out and repairing.

Everything needs to be completed after the builders’ finish at 4pm today but before they arrive tomorrow morning at 7am. Otherwise, the build is delayed – we get to work.

Scraping of this tar muck with a scraper and Mineral Turps takes several hours. By the time it’s finished, the tar is splatted and melting into the patio tiles – another awful cleaning job for later.

Luckily, the new roof is gabled. We can continue to paint the fascia and repair the timber beam each afternoon, after the builders’ finish for the day. It’s all about co-ordinating project phases.

The build

With Progress Payments in Vergola’s bank account, the building materials arrive on time and so, the build begins. I’m ecstatic!

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  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

The A-Team is prompt, professional, and reliable. A hard mix to find these days, but also to beat. I’m thrilled with the progress and it looks as though Vergola is going to make the deadline.

Phil drives from the south coast – a couple of hours away – many times during the 2 weeks to check everything, deliver materials, and do tip runs. Everything flows smoothly. I’m surprised because as you know, during a build, issues always arise. Each afternoon, the A-Team clean up the area and pack everything away, before leaving.

  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

While we still renovate and repair inside, the tiler fixes broken and any removed patio tiles. The electrician installs the stainless steel ceiling fan and connects the modern down-lights. The last tip run departs and all is going well with the build.

After

The final result is fantastic!

I’m extremely happy with this build. The new patio looks modern while creating more light in this area and also in the internal living area of the house.

The patio and enclosure will be easier to maintain in the future as it’s built from powder-coated aluminium.

  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
  • roof replacement, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

Three of the wonderful A-Team builders! Another three builders that alternate days during the build, are missing on this day.

enclosure install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
The A-Team

Wrap-up

I would definitely recommend Vergola if you’re thinking of building a new or replacing an old patio in the Brisbane area. Vergola does also travel further afield.

Everyone on the build is professional and the communication throughout the project is excellent, which is always important.

By the way, I don’t get any sort of kickback from this Vergola plug. I believe that word of mouth is a powerful tool and better than paid advertising. If something is good, I’ll tell you. If something is bad, I’ll also tell you.

patio renovating, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

Part 3 renovating wrap-up

After reading Part 1, Part 2, and also Part 3 of the renovating series, you may be thinking that there’s not much more to renovate?

This couldn’t be further from the truth. So, check back next week for Part 4 of the renovating mini-series. Part 4 sees more fun with renovating the kitchen, bathroom, and en-suite.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

44 thoughts on “Australia: Renovating during COVID-19, Part 3

Add yours

    1. Thank you Carol. I’m extremely happy with the result and hope that the next tenants look after the home.
      I have several more renovating posts scheduled and a video of the final look throughout the house in my last post, so stay tuned. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, cool, I’ll do that and check out the link.. That might be true, I sometimes turn the comments off when things get crazy around here, sorry.. And thanks, I’m formatting the book as we speak.. (: Happy week!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Wow, that’s a lot! I complain at 200 per day.
      Yes, I just restored this legitimate comment of yours from my Spam folder. It’s strange how Askimet handles comments.
      I’m not a big fan of formatting. What software are you using, MS Word or other?

      Like

    1. Finished the rental house but now in our house that was rented for 6 years whilst we were on the road. So, the house needs TLC but at least, left clean. No rest for the wicket they say…
      Have another 3 posts coming out on the rest of the renovations, so stay tuned. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    2. What’s TLC?
      So you have two houses? That should be a good income. I hope taxes are reasonable. I’m selling what we have in Paris, taxes eat up 50% of net income after maintenance and all. Not worth it.
      (Will stay tuned)

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Tender Loving Care. πŸ˜‰
      Yes, both were rented and with some savings, this allowed us to travel for the last 6 years. The house that was rented for 6 years is our home.
      Taxes are becoming unmanageable, so not sure how long before I sell the rental property that we’ve just renovated.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Well, it was useful. I’m not surprised that taxes are “unmanageable”. France is outrageous. Which is why I’m “pulling” our real estate out. I will have a chat with my banker in Paris next month to analyze alternatives. Guy is good. So far. His pet question is: If you divide your house value by rent, how many years do you get? Depending on the answer he says “sell” or wait a bit.

      Liked by 2 people

    5. I’ve had that very same account in the same branch for 40 years and change. Since mine is a non-resident account, I have a designated adviser. Since there is rotation, I try to meet the adviser every year in the summer. Most have been pretty good.
      The island now? I wish I had one lined up… Will keep you posted… Buona notte amica mia.

      Liked by 3 people

    6. Wow, that’s fantastic and well done! Is this strategy working?
      I’ve lapsed and only have 3 posts in advance and one is published tomorrow, which is not enough. I like to have at least 5 in advance then at the start of each month, try and write another 4 in the first week, so can schedule another 4.
      Think I mentioned this before, so that when I don’t have internet connection or the sh*t hits the fan, I’m prepared. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    7. Exactly. I normally post once a week on Tuesday at 12. Good time for the US and for Europe, only 6 or 7PM there. And I used to stress a bit writing the post on Tuesday morning. So I copied your idea! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    8. Cool, I don’t mind you copying my strategy – I’m all for helping. πŸ˜‰
      Is that 12pm Mexico time? It’s harder now that I’m back in Australia to know what’s the best time to post. When my post goes like, I like to share it on a few pages, so need to stay up at night to do this…

      Liked by 3 people

    9. It’s 12PM, noon, Mexico. We’re on Central time for the US, 2 hours ahead of California, one hour behind New York. And 7 hours earlier than Paris. Hence the choice of time. My “readers” are mostly American, a few in France, and in Asia.
      You will need to look at your stats. See the most important countries, and pick a compromise posting time. Now I understand you can schedule the post?

      Liked by 2 people

    10. Yes and that’s what I normally do, but like to stay up to ‘socialise’ my post more. So, trying to capture all the time zones and still be s reasonable hour in Oz, is ‘nigh impossible and need to find a compromise.
      Thanks for your help!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It really is rewarding and satisfying to see the change in the house.
      I hope that the next lot of tenants appreciate the work enough to look after the house, but I really have my doubts. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wow, Nilla. It’s a big job you’ve taken on. But the results are, as always with these kinds of project, so worthwhile all the hassle. Looking forward to part 4. Hugs, XxX

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Patty,
      Thank you for the feedback and yes, it was worthwhile when finished.
      It always becomes bigger than you expect when renovating.
      Hope that you and your family are keeping well – hugs to you!
      Cheers,
      Nilla πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they did a very impressive job and fabulous design for the space.
      We painted the Greek colour scheme throughout. The builders didn’t paint or repair anything as it wasn’t in the contract. Their job was to pull down and rebuild the patio and enclosure only…;-)

      Liked by 2 people

    2. No longer living in this house as this has always been a rental property.
      Back in our house now, which has been rented for 6 years and although left clean, it also needs repairs and maintenance, so I’m back renovating! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

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