Toowoon Bay Renovation Episode 8 – Downstairs We Go!

I’m a big believer in the idea that when you have an organised home – your life feels less chaotic. Having finished rooms has definitely made a difference to our quality of life, and although we’ve still got a lot of work to do, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You suddenly remember again why you love renovating!


Downstairs floorplan with studio out the back…


So downstairs we go… and demolition is first on the cards. When we bought the home, there was a secondary dwelling ‘kitchenette’ set-up – ie no oven or cooktop. This was then half stripped out by the previous tenants before we bought the house – so half the demolition on this was done! The previous tenant had also built a wall across the existing sliding doors which led to the backyard. The electrical work was also not to code, so this all had to be redone.

There is another bathroom downstairs. Originally a separate toilet, laundry and bathroom, we’ve reworked the layout to create a larger bathroom, and a large European style laundry. Being a slab on ground, the boys have had to cut in all the drainage to the slab which was messy and NOISY business! It’s work that always feels like you’re taking steps backwards! All windows are being replaced with new Wideline windows and a large sliding door will be installed leading out to the backyard.


Downstairs demolition in full swing


Progress is also ticking along on the studio. In the external walls, we’ve used Bradford Gold Wall Batts which can help reduce energy used for heating and cooling by up to 20%. Internally, we’ve used Bradford SoundScreen Accoustic Insulation which not only provides thermal insulation, but also reduces noise transfer between rooms and through external walls. All walls have been lined with Gyprock Sensitive – which has a number of benefits that were important for us:

  • The Gypsum core is treated with an antifungal agent.
  • The plasterboard is not subject to moisture movement.
  • Gyprock Sensitive is part of the ‘Sensitive choice program’ and is an ideal selection for use throughout the homes of asthma and allergy sufferers.


External walls are lined with Bradford Gold Batts and walls are lined with Gyprock Sensitive


We’ve lined the raked ceilings in the studio with Easycraft EasyVJ cladding. Before laying the flooring, our painters sprayed all walls with a coat of Taubmans ‘3-in-1 primer, sealer, undercoat’and the ceilings with Taubmans Endure ‘One Coat Ceiling.’ In keeping with the main house, we’ve chosen Godfrey Hirst Regal Oak flooring, however in the studio we’ve gone with the ‘Astor’ colour, which is a little darker than the ‘Doulton.’ We love this flooring as it’s a quality product and is super easy to install – no sanding or polishing required!


Godfrey Hirst Regal Oak ‘Astor’


Moving outside, it’s all happening! We’ve been so so lucky with the weather, but having a dirt mound as a driveway means that no matter how hard you try – dirt gets dragged inside! So this is a milestone! We’ve chosen a pebblecrete driveway which is quite light in colour and consists of a basalt and limestone aggregate – this now needs to be sealed. A couple of months ago we designed a ‘barn style’ garage door which has now finally been installed – more storage – hooray!


Concrete pour

Concrete aggregate


We’ve kept the existing brickwall at the front of the property, and very early on we sprayed this with Taubmans Endure ‘Mojo.’ To ensure privacy for the front yard, we’ve decided to put pickets on top of this, and separate with some sandstone capping. We’ve chosen the sandstone from Gosford Quarries.


It’s nice to go out to the quarry and see all the natural variation in sandstone that is available


Call us crazy, but we’re definitely going to be renovating again. Although we haven’t quite finished this renovation, we’re keen to know where we stand. With the renovation due to be completed within the next month, we’re doing some forward planning to begin establishing our options. Like this house, if a renovation gem pops onto the market – you have to act quick! We’ve made a phonecall to Greg our local RAMS contact, who has suggested that once the renovation is complete we get the valuer straight out. In the mean time, an opinion from a local real estate agent will also be helpful. Yes – we are crazy but this whole renovating thing is addictive!  Can’t wait to share our studio kitchen and bathroom plans over the coming weeks – stay tuned!