House Reno Part 3/3 - Shabby finishing touches

Nearing the end of the reno, my drive and excitement had started to wane and everything started to go a bit sloooower. The end product makes it all worth it and it was quite an achievement by everyone involved. It's hard to believe it only finished 4 months ago - feels like I have accomplished something for 2015! 

My paint finishing had deteriorated drastically by the end. The first rooms are spotless and retouched until perfection, it got worse and worse with every room to the point where just last month the current tenant, was a house painter, has asked if I have any paint left so that he can touch some bits up!! Oops!!

Trade me find!

Trade me find!

The simple but FINISHED bathroom.

Especially in the way of an investment property - USE TRADE ME, local buy sell papers or Facebook pages. When you have other people going to live in your house, you never can be quite too sure how they will treat the place and you can only do so much to help this. DON'T spend money if you don't have to. This pedestal basin shown about was found locally on trade me and was $20 in near perfect condition. (tiny chip on basin edge) It had originally come from the old Timaru Nursing Home!

The tap wear surprised me price wise. I had a era/look I was trying to stick to so although the basin was $20, the taps were closer to $120 for the pair.

FYI - Silicone STINKS and STICKS! Wear gloves or use an ice block stick!

FYI - Silicone STINKS and STICKS! Wear gloves or use an ice block stick!


Needless to say I learnt ALOT over this project and my dream one day is to live in a large villa on a large farm that we gut and entirely rebuild the inside while maintaining it's traditional features but with hefty insulation and interior modern decor.


Having done almost everything ourselves certainly helped save a lot of money. Tradies we couldn't avoid were our great plumber - Tristan from Wilson and Robinson, Timaru and Electrician, Paul Clemmens.

Ways we saved money with our tradies:

- Dig the outside trenches and rip up floors and walls to make everything quickly and easily accessible.

- Offer to be the Electricians Apprentice! OK, so this may not work with big firms but I ended up threading cables through holes and being useful to save that extra person - as well as a chance to learn a bit about the old wiring. All valuable experience!


2 Months. 

4-7 days a week. 

30 litres of Paint. 

New carpet.

Entirely rewired. 

New Vinyl. 

New lighting. 

Only one person fell through the floor. 

No major injuries. 

A few kiddie tears. 

A lot of Mary Poppins and Peppa Pig. 

A gutted, rebuilt, redecorated and re-plumbed bathroom.

$12,000 Spent ($2,000 over budget - Damn you Mitre 10)

DONE! Once this had all be finished I have to admit it was a fair few months before I could say that I would do it again. We're not at that stage where it is happily rented out and we are starting to look around at others we can do similar to. 

Next step is to paint the roof as it's looking quite tired and old (funnily enough for a 105 year old house) and get it valued!


I'm going to give you a quick and vague price break down as I found any estimations really had to track down and it's not that secretive really is it?

Paint - Entire house of walls, ceilings, 10" skirting, architraves etc  $350

Bathroom wood-like vinyl - 2.1x2.3m - $120

Carpet - 2 Large bedrooms (2 off cuts from out back of shop) - $500

Carpet Layer - $300 cash job

Plumber - and all his gear for EVERYTHING incl new pipes and fittings + time $4200

Electrician - $2500 (total rewire 90sqm house with my 'help') 

Mitre  10 - $4000ish - SO much. Taps, paint brushes, sandpaper, small paints, rollers, plaster, gib board, flooring, silicone, screws, nails.

Power - while in the house in the middle of winter with kids - $180 for 2 months


I may have forgotten something but this was the general idea - all using budget brands, elbow grease, cash jobs and family help.


Please don't hesitate to comment or flick me a message if you want to know any more!