Retro Kickwheel Revamp

Super happy with my find at the Raglan Resource Recovery Centre today! I couldn’t believe my luck. I had just popped up to the rubbish dump to drop off some old pallets and a sack of recyclables and saw this beauty. To any other person it just looked like a hunk of rusty metal, but to me a dream come true! It was coming home with me!

I gave it a brush down with a wire brush and applied Rust Converter to stop the rust and protect it from further damage as it forms a primer.

The next step was to give it a spray with an enamel paint. It looks amazing! I cant wait to attempt my first bowl! I may even produce a mug for my husband, who has been very patient while I get all my sculptures out of my system.

I’m gonna be all about texture. Nature inspired texture.

I’ve seen a couple of Instagram posts of bark pottery using sodium silicate.

I think that’s next on Lulu’s Lists.


Cheap Bathroom Reno

Isn’t it amazing how you can fall in love with a property online, and then when you go to the open home you wonder if you are in the right place! With the use of filters and the right lens the real estate agent can portray even the most dark and dingy of properties as sleek and stylish. In the advertised photo the bathroom appears a very bright white, when in actual fact it was a grubby pale yellow.

Replacing the vinyl would have been such a mission, as the Hardie Glaze wall lining sheets would have had to of be removed, and replaced, which was way out of our budget.

I removed the ugly cabinet, which intruded into the toilets personal space, and the broken heated towel rail. It was time to call a tradee.

Replacing the toilet and installing a pedestal basin were not in my list of skills, and so a plumber was required.

The plumber found numerous open pipes, which should have been capped by a previous plumber. These open pipes are unhygienic and can attract rats into the home, as we found out, uncovering the remains of a rather large rat nest. It was not pretty.


My crappy plumber knew that I was going to patch up the holes left in the gib, and yet he left pipes protruding out of the wall. My DIY skills are limited, and the tools I had available did not include anything that I could use to cut a brass pipe, and so I had to get the apprentice plumber’s supervisor to come back to cut back the pipes and to cap them. Weird I thought to of left them uncapped as we had uncovered others in that state that he had fixed up.

The toilet had a cistern within the wall cavity, so I opened the wall from outside, and removed it, repairing the external wall in the process.

With a coat of paint on the walls and ceiling the bathroom was complete. A functional clean and tidy family bathroom.

Recycling the deck

The entrance to our do up property was a bit of a mess.

The deck had been made to accommodate wheel chair access, but the ramp was now not only an eye sore but unsafe. The wood had rotten and warped. A fibreglass pond full of stagnant water offered a continuous supply of moisture and mosquitoes.

The weed matting was poorly laid, and prevented the existing plants from gaining any nutrients from the natural mulch.

The first thing to do was to take to it with a sledge hammer.

We found that at some stage, a second layer of wood had been placed over the top of the worn and weathered decking timber. We managed to salvage enough wood to create a new, smaller deck. We removed the nails, flipped it, and cut it to size, after replacing a few of the buggered joists.

With a coat of black decking timber paint, it didn’t look as good as new, but was a huge improvement to what was once there. The aim was to make the house a nice place to live, while on a very tight budget. The next owner will be able to add their own touch.

To create a private courtyard, we built a fence and a rather large gate. I wanted the entrance to be rather inconspicuous, adding to the secret garden feel.

The pergola got a lick of paint, and the plants got a prune.

A massive overhaul of the landscaping had us making many trips to the rubbish dump!

En-suite revamp

home house flip reno diy diym

An en-suite to be ashamed of!

I’m not really a big fan of en-suites in general. I’d much rather have a toilet attached to the garage! When I’m doing my business I like some privacy. I’m not really into my hubby being within ear shot, or worse, being waken by my trickling.

Even the door was uninviting. It swung into the bathroom, making it difficult to navigate my way to the bowl. And when the two of us wanted to brush our teeth we ended out doing the tango. So the door was the first to go. I eventually replaced it with a V Groove panel, hung on the most basic of hardware. But I tell you, it looks a hell of a  lot better than the other door!

Next, the crappy plastic vanity and the MDF shelving had to go! Don’t forget the plastic shampoo and conditioner dispenser glued to the shower wall!

I opted for a wall hung basin, hoping it would look clean and sleek. Unfortunately the nice clean cut guy in the flash plumbing truck, who came to give me the quote, wasn’t the guy I got! They sent me some young, not yet qualified kid, with a crappy bongo van as a work truck. What should have been a days work took three. After having to complain to the boss, and having had numerous visits from supposedly mentoring qualified plumbers, the job was finally complete.

I got the trainee who probably should have still be under supervision!

I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

The kid installed the white plastic piece. Of course being visible, I would have wanted the stainless steel one! Its not rocket science.

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Check out this handy work! The wood behind the gibb hadn’t been cut back enough, so the pipes didn’t sit flush within the wall. How was I suppose to plaster over that!?!

And those white plastic rings, needed to be changed to silver. He has also used two different hose attachments. I ain’t a plumber, but logic says they should both be L  bends.

Any how, after completing the plastering, painting the room, and the addition of a Mitre 10 mirror, towel rack and shelf, the en-suite was complete!

Oh, don’t forget that Senso self adhesive vinyl planking I love so much!

And so it begins….

We bought this unloved dismal 6 bedroom home in the Hamilton suburb of Pukete. The street is gorgeously lined with trees, and an entrance to the endless paved river walkways is just across the road. Its an awesome location for families. Zoned for Pukete Primary, and so close to the Te Rapa Shopping complex.

We were all moved in. Now we faced the impending do up….
Lets start at the bottom…

Downstairs is a large open space with a concrete floor, and two dodgy dark and dingy rooms with filthy carpet.

One room was a deep blue and the other a kinky vixen red. Something that could have come out of 50 Shades of Grey. The first thing to do was to rip out that nasty carpet and the prima the walls!

After freshening up the rooms with a nice neural tone, called Quarter Cloudy and painting all the trim white, I installed imitation wood self adhesive vinyl planks.

The rooms looked amazing! Even worthy of guest accommodation!

I am in love with Senso self adhesive vinyl floor planks, purchased from Bunnings. I used Rustic Walnut and I think it looks amazing! Its so much more realistic than some of the vinyl products out there, especially the ones at my end of the price bracket. It was so easy to lay, using metal rulers and a Stanley knife.

reno do up floor vinyl self adhesive senso bunnings

The new purchase/project

So with only a few weeks to purchase our new home, every waking moment was spent googling and trademe for potential properties. We knew nothing about the suburbs in Hamilton, or the deciles of schools. Every weekend we would truck the kids down to Hamilton for day trips, driving around the addresses of houses we had printed out. For most of them we took just the one look and kept driving.  After a day of screwing up print outs we would head home deflated.

Then came our 10 year wedding anniversary. My mother shouted us a night out and offered babysitting. We headed off optimistically, to spend our romantic evening in Hamilton, searching for a property.

Thankfully the search soon came to and end, after exhausting all our options, and we put in a crazy offer on a piece of crap in Pukete.

After a short negotiation, the humble abode was ours! It was final, we were moving to Hamilton!



A lot of wall paper stripping later…

It was a fun couple of years in our 70’s house on the hill. And now it’s time for it to have many more years with another fortunate family.

Our move to Hamilton was such a mess. I thought I had it all worked out. I had packed snacks and filled the tank. Mum had already been and packed a trailer with ‘specials’.

My husband had already moved and had started the new job. He had been staying at a camping ground for the past 2 weeks until we took possession of our new project. The kids all went off the school and kindy while I waited for the truck to arrive. I started to move furniture outside in anticipation of the trucks arrival, but it never turned up! With the threat of an impending rain cloud, I called the delivery service, who informed me of a mix up. The truck had only just left Hamilton, after being delayed at an earlier job!

The car was chocker with fragiles, the cats, the dog and the fish, and I was yet to pick up the kids! I left instructions for the truck, picked up the kids and left lil ol Tairua.

I thought it would all be smooth sailing from here, but alas, it wasn’t. The truck finally arrived in Hamilton, but as the guys had gone over their ‘drive time’ they weren’t able to deliver our belongings until the next day! And for some bad luck, all the motels in Hamilton were booked out, due to shows that weekend. In the trailer my mother had delivered were our sleeping bags, but nothing else we could utilise. We packed the kids into the car and headed to The Warehouse for some pillows and picked up pizza.

Not only was our new home the worst house in a nice street, but we had no choice but to sleep our first night on inflatable mattresses and towels!

And so our new journey begun……