We bought a 100+ year old stone cottage!

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kingfish254

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Your stone cottage looks great.
We just moved into our own new place here in the Philippines. The extras that are still needed will be constructed by the local craftsmen. I'm supporting the economy here so they can do all of it. Since bikes and parts are hard to come by now, that's what I'm doing, just watching as work progresses. This shows the dirty kitchen being built out back, then in a week or two, the front gate and wall begins.
View attachment 132499
Oh, please keep us updated! I miss the tropics, but I don't miss the humidity!

Any updates from down under?
(Didn't roam this site for quite a while...)
You goin alright luke?

Anyone else heard from luke lately?
I logged on for the same reason.
Haven't heard from him.
I see I'm not the first to feel a little concerned. I know Luke's got his hands full with home improvements, but it's been close to a year since he's chimed-in here. Sure hope he's okay.
:bigsmile: OK, I feel bad for not dropping in earlier now!

He said he's doing fine, just been really busy.
Falstaff has it right, we are doing fine here, just so much work involved in getting this house done! My health is a severe limiter, and by the time I finish a job I'm just wanting to sleep, so updating the posts just sort of slipped out of the priority list...

As for how we are going, well we wanted to be in by the time my Folks arrived in early January, it is now September, and we are still living with them. Sure Covid has held up building supplies and the like, but the reality is, there is just so much work needed doing, 110 years of people doing things the easiest and cheapest way, or just not doing them at all, has taken some unravelling.

We could have been in well before now, but I wouldn't have been happy, if I see a problem, I feel compelled to fix it, and fix it right so I never have to think about it again...

Progress posts coming soon!
 
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Trying to work out where we were up to...

Some of these pics will be a bit out of order, due to multiple projects happening at once.

I needed to fix the rotted front facia board and guttering pretty fast to help stop water entry and start preparing for the power:

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OK, so we got the power on to the board, I built a new pole to link to, reinforced by the new steel bracing in the front veranda.

IMG_20200804_145841467_HDR.jpg


So, we have 2x 240v 10A outlets and a single 240v 15A outlet for the welder in the board, no power is running into the house yet.
All the old power cable and fittings in the house is being stripped out and replaced, but we are not running anything through the ceiling cavities, or attempting to hide it at all, more on that later... :grin:

First thing I had to fix was water soaking through the front wall and doorway due to the concrete on the veranda draining to the wall rather than away from it. The solution I can up with was to notch in concrete garden edging.

IMG_20200810_151035360.jpg


New threshold poured in out of concrete, than a test fit:

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Then when my Brothers in Law visited we mortared them all in:

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That stopped the water from running through, which was the cause of all the rot in the front floor.

Also replaced the rotted timber doorframe around the same time, replaced it with steel... (Come on you wouldn't expect any less from me would you?)

Old 100+ year old timber out. (Don't worry, saving what we can for other areas of the house.)

IMG_20201022_203037_176.jpg


New steel in:

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The steel in anchored by 16 bolts epoxied into the brick quoins.

IMG_20201026_170316235_HDR.jpg


Finished and painted up:

IMG_20201106_191422_091.jpg
 
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We decided that due to the house only being 2 bedrooms, storage and room would be an issue, we came up with a couple of ideas to help with that, one of which is underfloor storage in the dining room, so out came the shovels and crowbars:

IMG_20200821_110852458.jpg


Then lay in the form and reinforcing mesh:

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Pull the mesh back out and add starter bars for the blocks:

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Pour in some concrete:

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A trip in the little Hilux for blocks, concrete, mortar etc:

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Mortar the blocks in:

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Build inserts out of plywood:

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Cut into the blockwork a channel for a reinforcing ring out of deformed rod, then paint and glue the inserts in place:

IMG_20210216_154531036.jpg


We then boxed the whole thing in formwork and poured concrete to the level of the bottom of the bearers, but I don't seem to have a picture of that, you will see it later when the bearers are going in.
 
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The other way we decided to make space was to build in a double bunk bed in the second (visitors) bedroom, with enough room under it for my Wife's craft area.

Basic frame anchored to the wall:

IMG_20201130_143134776.jpg


Started building a staircase:

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1/2" plywood with many coats of polyurethane for the floor and steel safety rails:

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Plenty of room underneath for a workbench and lots of storage

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My Wife will be stripping and repainting the staircase with something called Unicorn Spit in the coming months, so that will add a splash of colour to the room too.
Very happy with the way it turned out, basically gave us an extra half room, but still with enough room for visitors.
 
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While all that was happening, I was casting footings for the dining room floor.

Started with a mesh rectangle with nut inserts welded to it:

IMG_20200924_154247102.jpg


These were then bolted into some cheap plastic containers:

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Fill with concrete and allow to cure:

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And here is the first batch out of the moulds:

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3 lots later and here are the 12 footings required:

IMG_20201015_123055111.jpg


Ignore the vehicle in the background for the moment, I will come back to it, I promise!

I bought lots of 1/2" threaded rod to screw into the footings, and made up these for the tops to hold the bearers:

IMG_20200924_154325628_HDR.jpg


Here they are roughly assembled before fitting and adjusting the heights:

IMG_20210315_155038 (1).jpg
 
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We also decided to shore up the foundations and make shelves for the bearers to sit on. I really dislike floors that move and squeak, so we went a bit overboard on all this!

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Then came time to lay in the doubled up pressure treated bearers, adjust the footings to the right height and mortar the bases in for even better stability:

IMG_20210322_214622.jpg


Lock down all the adjustment bolts and start fitting noggins all of the bearers and noggins were glued to the footing plates too, you can see in this picture the concrete that was cast around the boxes too:

IMG_20210402_144822285.jpg


Fast forwarding a lot here, but then came time to glue and screw down the floor sheets, just standard termite proof subflooring here so far, we will be going an overlay flooring later on.

IMG_20210422_111345537.jpg
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While all that was happening I also replaced the timber doorway to the kitchen with a steel frame to match the front door, and cast in a new step, framed in some concrete pavers for the surface, that might seem like an odd choice, but it will make sense later on.

IMG_20210209_141903202.jpg
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Now that we had solid flooring we were a lot closer to moving in, but of course power and hot water are still required.

The cottage is so old that it never had power originally, and being as most of the walls were solid masonry, we would have to run conduits down them anyway, we figured we might make a feature out of the electrics, really highlight that they were an add on to the original structure, so the decision was made to run exposed cable trays through the house rather than through the ceiling.

Some searching around on the internet found us some pics that looked appealing, and showed that it can look good, so we decided to run with it.
Another advantage it gives us, is that we can run the wiring and the electrician can easily check our work without pulling roof sheets or too much fuss.

Some of the pics we found:

trunking-7.jpg
Unique-Ceiling-in-Coffee-Shop-Design.jpg
trunking-2.jpg


Of course these are very contemporary styles, so we had to figure our own style for this, specially in the dining room, which is very traditional, but I think what we came up with looks good.

Started by spraying paint on the ceiling as it would be harder to do later:

IMG_20210427_130043026_HDR.jpg


Then built a steel frame to bridge to two sides of the room:

IMG_20210428_124347741.jpg


This frame will have the cable trays run across it, taking power from the front wall through to the kitchen, while also providing a support structure for lighting.

Speaking of lighting, some fence post caps, some mesh, some bent tube and old preserving jars made these:

IMG_20210428_162550752_HDR_2.jpg


Welded them on and painted the whole frame (lights are just temporarily wired to a power board to give us light, they will run to the cable trays later):

IMG_20210501_134923987.jpg


A little close up of the centre detail, cut out of and old bed frame:

IMG_20210503_200323_716.jpg
 
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I just noticed how bad all the walls look in those last posts, a lot of plastering has been going on, I will try get some newer pics at some point.

The kitchen was never going to be as traditional as the front dining room, sure old wood fired ovens are nice, but practicality suggests modern appliances and finishes, so we went a little bit crazy here... :crazy2:

It is still in progress, but I can show what has happened so far.

Started by painting the ceiling again:

IMG_20210526_165041405.jpg


Then two rails across the room to carry the power and lights:

IMG_20210605_142720507.jpg


Add braces between them:

IMG_20210705_180159483_2.jpg


We looked at custom cabinetry, but we simply don't have the budget for it, so out came the steel and the welder!

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Or course we need to get power to these cabinets:

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There is another curvy bit that joins it to the opposite wall but I don't seem to have a picture of that yet...

A little flourish still to be added to ends of the long rails:

IMG_20210708_193053536.jpg


All the cabinets will have timber panels and doors eventually, but the steel frames allowed us to square everything up nicely, because no wall of surface in the whole house was plumb...
 
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While all of this is happening, most of the plumbing has been replaced, a toilet and shower is going in where the old outside laundry was, some landscaping has happened and lots more, but of course they don't make for pretty pictures, but it does explain why all this has taken so long...

My latest project is the kitchen countertops...

Cut up old steel signs and welded them in:

IMG_20210830_124837607_2.jpg
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Then added reinforcing mesh:

IMG_20210830_154222297_2.jpg
IMG_20210830_154234038_2.jpg


Made up some moulds out of scotia and left over plywood:

IMG_20210903_151339875.jpg
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Cut and fitted:

IMG_20210906_175702437.jpg
IMG_20210906_175725365.jpg


Then out came the concrete mixer, and we whipped up a special mix with black cement, white stone and jade glass.

Into the moulds it went:

IMG_20210907_121143802.jpg
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Left that for a week and then removed the moulds:

IMG_20210922_162320758.jpg
IMG_20210922_162325365.jpg


Left that for another week and out came the concrete grinder for the initial grind to expose the aggregate:

IMG_20210924_174910178.jpg
IMG_20210924_174931019.jpg


Wet it down with water to get an idea of what it will look like once polished out and sealed:

IMG_20210924_175000701_2.jpg


I have a polishing set here that starts at 50 grit and ends at 3000, so really looking forward to that in the coming days.
It will all be finished off with a food safe water based high gloss polyurethane sealer.

We worked out the total cost for the tools and consumables compared to custom solid surface benchtops, and we came in at 11% of the total cost, huge savings and a lot of fun!

We are almost up to date now, aside from the huge amount of cement we are putting in to reinforce the walls and provide walkways at the back of the house, here is a pic to give some idea:

IMG_20210911_165049363_HDR.jpg


There is still a lot to come, I have picked up some cool stuff to incorporate in the house too, here is some of it:

A Detroit Diesel grill that will become a liquor cabinet in the dining room:

IMG_20210421_174136074.jpg
IMG_20210421_174142869.jpg


A heavy cast iron gear that my wife wants as a mirror frame in the main toilet (hand for size reference):

IMG_20210421_174205979.jpg


A chain for something, I have not decided yet. (hand for size reference again):

IMG_20210421_174214367.jpg


More updates soon!
 

kingfish254

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Your place is coming along great!
Not to steal your thread, but here's the update you asked for. This is why we don't have a car yet, and everything is paid for cash, no bills to worry about. Interest is sky high here, but everything else is cheap. We didn't have to do the labor, just get the materials and watch the workers closely. We also kept them fed well and made sure they didn't cut too many corners. A big pot of ramen for lunch everyday. We managed to get it all finished in under a year and barely beat the start of rainy season. We decided to go with good windows which lets one AC cool the whole house inside. We added a dirty kitchen and extra bathroom downstairs, using every inch of lot space. There's no room for a blade of grass but the wife took up gardening and has a thousand pots all over.
From originally 800 sf to about 1400 sf now:
81615014_2821997941154992_8417881955923656704_o - Copy.jpg

Pan 27 sep 21.jpg



pan patio 27 sep 21.jpg


Garage, used for parties until we get a car.
pan garage 27 sep 21.jpg


My bike bunker/workshop under the garage.
pan bunker 27 sep 21.jpg
 
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Your place is coming along great!
Not to steal your thread, but here's the update you asked for. This is why we don't have a car yet, and everything is paid for cash, no bills to worry about. Interest is sky high here, but everything else is cheap. We didn't have to do the labor, just get the materials and watch the workers closely. We also kept them fed well and made sure they didn't cut too many corners. A big pot of ramen for lunch everyday. We managed to get it all finished in under a year and barely beat the start of rainy season. We decided to go with good windows which lets one AC cool the whole house inside. We added a dirty kitchen and extra bathroom downstairs, using every inch of lot space. There's no room for a blade of grass but the wife took up gardening and has a thousand pots all over.
From originally 800 sf to about 1400 sf now:
View attachment 174223
View attachment 174226


View attachment 174222

Garage, used for parties until we get a car.
View attachment 174224

My bike bunker/workshop under the garage.
View attachment 174225
That has come up amazing! Very cool.
 

kingfish254

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110 years of people doing things the easiest and cheapest way, or just not doing them at all, has taken some unravelling.

I can totally relate to this. When we bought our 1873 house 19 years ago, it took us a total of 3 years to complete the restoration.
 
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While all of this is happening, most of the plumbing has been replaced, a toilet and shower is going in where the old outside laundry was, some landscaping has happened and lots more, but of course they don't make for pretty pictures, but it does explain why all this has taken so long...

My latest project is the kitchen countertops...

Cut up old steel signs and welded them in:

View attachment 174194View attachment 174195

Then added reinforcing mesh:

View attachment 174196View attachment 174197

Made up some moulds out of scotia and left over plywood:

View attachment 174198View attachment 174199

Cut and fitted:

View attachment 174200View attachment 174201

Then out came the concrete mixer, and we whipped up a special mix with black cement, white stone and jade glass.

Into the moulds it went:

View attachment 174202View attachment 174203

Left that for a week and then removed the moulds:

View attachment 174204View attachment 174205

Left that for another week and out came the concrete grinder for the initial grind to expose the aggregate:

View attachment 174206View attachment 174207

Wet it down with water to get an idea of what it will look like once polished out and sealed:

View attachment 174208

I have a polishing set here that starts at 50 grit and ends at 3000, so really looking forward to that in the coming days.
It will all be finished off with a food safe water based high gloss polyurethane sealer.

We worked out the total cost for the tools and consumables compared to custom solid surface benchtops, and we came in at 11% of the total cost, huge savings and a lot of fun!

We are almost up to date now, aside from the huge amount of cement we are putting in to reinforce the walls and provide walkways at the back of the house, here is a pic to give some idea:

View attachment 174209

There is still a lot to come, I have picked up some cool stuff to incorporate in the house too, here is some of it:

A Detroit Diesel grill that will become a liquor cabinet in the dining room:

View attachment 174212View attachment 174214

A heavy cast iron gear that my wife wants as a mirror frame in the main toilet (hand for size reference):

View attachment 174215

A chain for something, I have not decided yet. (hand for size reference again):

View attachment 174216

More updates soon!
Good to see that your still at it! Seems to come together pretty nice and in a clear lukethejoker style!
Me thinks the chain would make a nice base for a couch table with a glas top... 😉
 
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I can totally relate to this. When we bought our 1873 house 19 years ago, it took us a total of 3 years to complete the restoration.
Good to hear you are both staying safe and definitely building practical and with that Luke style we appreciate.
Wow, great work. Interesting thread.
Good to see that your still at it! Seems to come together pretty nice and in a clear lukethejoker style!
Me thinks the chain would make a nice base for a couch table with a glas top... 😉
Thanks for dropping in!
Yeah, there are a few ideas floating around with that chain, it may even make its way on to a bike build at some point, there is plenty there!

Grabbed a couple of pics to round out the update.

The curvy chute for the electrical to join in to the kitchen:

IMG_20210927_085349207.jpg


Some of the render work that is a constant happening between big projects:

IMG_20210927_085400001_HDR.jpg


The now internal laundry, with the original concrete tub and legs included:

IMG_20210927_085412138.jpg


Also did the first round of polishing (50 grit) on one of the benchtops:

IMG_20210927_154532803.jpg


Decided to stop there for the moment, as the angle grinder with a reduction box that I cobbled together was just too heavy and unwieldy. I have a variable speed grinder/polisher on the way to complete the job. Figured if I was going to buy one, now would be the time, as I still have the entire kitchen floor to do eventually.

Getting ready to pour more concrete out the back on Friday, we had to build up the foundations a bit, especially after digging out all the bamboo that spread under the floor over the years, so we decided to add a pathway to keep your feet clean at the same time, then we decided to steal some width off the pathway to extend the rear "media" room out to a proper size, rather than the "afterthought" size it currently is.

IMG_20210927_154754474_HDR.jpg
IMG_20210927_154741688_HDR.jpg


That will add a meter (3 foot) to the width of the room, taking it from 8sq/m to 11, much nicer. (86sq/f to 120)
 

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