Monday, 7 April 2014

Low cost home improvements

As is the case with most people who have moved house, funds become severely depleted and the life focus is generally trying to get settled into the new place and bring the finances back on track.

We'll be all about the very low cost jobs around the new house - things which don't require a big financial or time outlay but still make a cumalative impact on how the house looks. 

The built-in cabinetry in the bedrooms are coming back to life with some furniture restorer and a good oil.
Some of the jobs we've been doing since we moved here are just TLC kind of jobs. Re-oiling the timber panelling, doors, cupboards and timber architraves is one such job. We're doing it progressively...but gee it looks good. The timber doesn't look as sun faded and tired and it is definitely a worthwhile endeavour. And no, we will not be painting over the Queensland maple's survived 50 years intact and deserves respect.

Eww...laundry door knob was particularly grimy

Another small job is polishing all the old Schlage (American brand) door knobs throughout the house. Under all the years of grime, the door knobs are a shiny'd never know they were 50 years old in their shiny state. There are 22 knobs to do and we've tackled the worst of them. 

shiny schlage door knob
Jason also whipped out his huge gerni, as one does, and has started high-pressure cleaning the brick work and paths. It's an instant pick-me-up for the house.

Cleaning the blonde bricks on the curved driveway

After shot of the brickwork 

There's nothing like a good old basic clean to make everything look better. Like our poor old ceramic's a little bit beyond redemption, aesthetically, but at least the knobs are white again!

One white knob...
We also ripped up the 1990s style floor vinyl in the kitchen. We've scraped off most of the adhesive from the timber floor boards but the floors will need to be refinished at a later date. Again, just having the vinyl off the floor is a step in the right direction, despite it being far from perfect.

Jason in DIY mode
 Anyway, there is a lot to keep us out of mischief over the next few weeks...


  1. It's so much fun to watch another one of your home restorations...and this time from the very beginning. :) You're right that sometimes the most inexpensive projects can have tremendous impact. I can imagine how much it's changed the looks of things to have the finish on the paneling refreshed, and the difference in those door knobs is amazing. I'm looking forward to your next project.

  2. That wall looks fabulous. And the floors look good, too. Your doorknobs look gorgeous and just imagine how many hands have turned them. The door knobs in our MCM house are timber - hand turned I would imagine - and I couldn't imagine replacing them. They are perfect orbs, smooth from more than 40 years of use. For me it's all about maintaining the integrity of the original where there was integrity of design in the first place. So looking forward to following your restoration.

  3. You have made some great and very cheap - or free! - improvements already!! xx

  4. I do not envy the polishing, I did door knobs and all our chrome window latches. So painful, but a shiny reward at the end.\
    Lovely to see some TLC for the old girl!

  5. Sigh! Your new house looks so beautiful, Anita!! So many people I meet through work don't see the value of original surfaces and details. I just saw someone completely ruin a 1968 house by adding a glossy new kitchen and tearing down too many walls. Such a joy to see how much you cherish the original elements of your home. I'll be thrilled to follow your journey!


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