First Renovation Project

One of my requirements for buying a house was no (outside) stairs.    Of course in Bergen, where every dwelling is on the face of a mountain this is a rather difficult requirement to meet indeed.

Access to our new house was via some stairs.  Nothing too serious.  But enough to make getting in and out with a stroller rather difficult without tipping out the baby.

Entrance as is.  Difficult access with stroller.  Note (translucent) retaining wall in front.

Entrance as is. Difficult access with stroller.

 

Before...

Before…

Before...

Before…

The stairs had to go.

The stairs had to go

And so, we embarked on our first renovation project, acutely aware of the looming deadline.

It wouldn’t be easy.

We didn’t have access to Kumeu hardware supplies and building advice, didn’t own any power tools, and didn’t have a car (our drivers licenses are invalid here – something to do with driving on the wrong side of the road, and NZ not being part of the EU).

The first step was to do a quick sketch of what we wanted.

Stairs replaced with a wooden ramp

Stairs replaced with a wooden ramp

So far, so good.

Next came the measurements, and more detailed architectural drawings.  We would need to design everything up front, work out exactly what timber we required, and then find a building supplier to cut it to the necessary lengths.

Brian handed me the shopping list, and after he went to work, I waddled down to the nearest building supply company, to put in the order.

Shopping list.  Total timber, but to our specified lenghts, cost just under 3000 NOK all up (around $600NZD)

Shopping list and invoice.  Total timber, cut to our specified lengths  cost just under 3000 NOK all up (around $600NZD)

A colleague picked up and delivered the pre-cut timber, and Brian wasted no time getting into action.  Being relegated to no bending or lifting, I took on the role of documenter.

 

Timber delivered, Brian makes a start in our car-park.

Timber delivered, Brian makes a start in our car-park.

Putting together frame for ramp.

Putting together frame for ramp.

Dragging frame into place.  Apparently very pregnant girls aren't allowed to lift, so Brian was on his own here.

Dragging frame into place. Apparently very pregnant girls aren’t allowed to lift, so Brian was on his own here.

Laying down the deck

Laying down the deck

Ramp completed, now to just replace the stairs

Ramp completed, now to just replace the stairs

Stairs are gone.  New framework in place

Stairs are gone. New framework in place

Getting dark.  Framework to replace stairs

Getting dark. Framework to replace stairs

Putting into place the last decking timber.  Note, we were one short.

Putting into place the last decking timber. Note, we were one piece short.

Done!

Done!

 

Over two evenings after work, Brian finished the ramp.  We ended up with only one piece of decking timber short, which I picked up the following day (much to the ongoing bemusement of the timber supply company).

Action shot:

DSC_4713
DSC_4716
DSC_4712

Our next project will now be to utilize the timber we have left over (due to over-engineering), and build some planter boxes for our deck in anticipation of summer.

 

 

 

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One Response to First Renovation Project

  1. Roland says:

    Love it! Compulsory kiwi-fication of the artic dwelling …
    A house MUST HAVE a DECK!!

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