House renovation update and another neighbour.

Some of you are eager to know how the work on our ‘abandoned house’ is progressing. Hubby has been there almost every day, with his flask of coffee and cool box containing bottled spring water. I do allow him to pop home for lunch, and also to take time off to go to the gym. He’s really been working hard, and informs me that he’s lost 7 lbs since he started, which is not a bad thing.

Two huge dumpsters have been filled with all sorts of delightful stuff such as mouldy dry wall, floor tiles and rotten kitchen and bathroom units……oh yes, and a dead rat. (Sorry but I didn’t get a photo.) You may remember that most of the walls looked like this. The bees are now gone from inside the roof, which is a relief.


The ceilings needed a bit of work too.


Sixty seven sheets of dry wall were delivered last week, and they’re going up quite quickly.


How he manages to put up ceiling board on his own, is beyond me, but it can be done, and here’s the proof.


The walls are gradually getting closed up again.


Do you remember the old treadmill which had to be disposed of?


We put it out on the sidewalk for the heavy trash guys to take away, but before they came, it had disappeared. The next day, hubby was out in the garden and saw it hidden in the bushes on the next door property. The people were away on holiday at the time. Luckily it had gone before they came back.

This week, we put out an old iron bath.


Only two minutes later it had vanished into thin air, so hubby decided to put out the kitchen sink too, which also magically dematerialised in no time flat. The heavy trash guys hadn’t been, so we didn’t know who had taken them, until the next door neighbour appeared at the front door, wanting to know how this awful old bath and sink had got into his front yard. Apparently his gardener had seized the opportunity to grab our stuff, and had dumped it in the garden until his transport arrived. Luckily the neighbour has a good sense of humour.

We’ve been out looking at hardwood flooring and also tiles for the bathrooms, and have just received some really nice samples of flooring through the mail. Deciding which one to go for, is the most difficult part, as there are so many to choose from, but we’re almost there. This is going to be a long project, so don’t hold your breath to see the finished house. I’ll do some updates when there’s anything interesting to show you, but for now, it’s all pretty mundane stuff. We’ve ordered all new windows and sliding glass doors, which should be going in by January. Of course they all have to be double-glazed and hurricane proof, which makes them quite expensive, but “In for a penny, in for a pound” as the old saying goes, or maybe that should be “In for a cent, in for a dollar.”

Here’s another of our neighbours. We’ve been told that by December, there is usually a whole family of pelicans living in the tall trees just at the side of the lake. Oh bliss!


106 comments on “House renovation update and another neighbour.

  1. I don’t know how your hubby gets the drywall on the ceiling WITH help. Those things weigh a ton. My hubby always wants me to help, and I develop dropsy! I think my arms would drop off if I had to hold them on the ceiling. πŸ™‚

    • He never ceases to amaze me, Marsha. I remember many years ago, standing for what seemed like an age, holding up ceiling board in one of our houses in South Africa, whilst he nailed into the whatever it is one nails it into. You really made me laugh with “dropsy. ” πŸ™‚ Anyway, he’s ordered a contraption which will hoist up the really big, heavy pieces. It is due to arrive on Thursday, and he’s so excited.

  2. I love reading news of your renovations Sylvia. Just think how incredible it will be to see all those before and after shots. Thank goodness all those bees and are gone…not to mention the rat. And all those pelicans to come! What an adventure, your hubby is doing an amazing job πŸ™‚ xx

  3. That looks apocalyptic, Syl. πŸ˜€ I wish I could work for you on your house, but sorry I’m already taken. πŸ˜€
    Keep us updated, Syl. I would love to see the progress esp. the finishing.

    • Yes, ‘apocalyptic’ is a good choice of word, Rommel. I’m so sorry that you are otherwise engaged. I’m sure your help would be invaluable, and just think how you’d benefit from the experience! πŸ˜€

  4. Amazing work your hubby is doing and you’re going to be in seventh heaven when it’s done. I love the sidewalk recycle. We had some old shelving I wanted to get rid of. My friend claimed it wouldn’t get taken, but I looked out the window about five minutes after putting it out with a “FREE” sign on it and a guy was piling into his pickup truck. It sure beats hauling stuff to the dump and doesn’t cost a thing! πŸ˜€

  5. I need to be working for your hubby and maybe I can lose 7 pounds. Now for the sheet rock and the remodeling.Somehow that goes slower than the demolition part, but oh so rewarding, especially when you have an incredible view of bird life.Humorous story of the neighbor’s gardener hoarding your discards. πŸ™‚

    • I’m sure he could use another pair of hands, Lynne. He’s managing really well on his won though, and has just ordered a hoist for the really heavy ceiling boards. It’s amazing what one can find on the internet. πŸ™‚

  6. I really don’t know where he finds the energy! And gym? πŸ™‚
    I hate all the ugliness, Ad, and I would struggle bigtime with a project like this, but you’re coming to the fun bit- the choosing and creating your own space. For neighbours like that, I guess you have to have a little hardship. πŸ™‚

    • I also can’t stand ugliness, but fortunately he has enough vision for us both. πŸ™‚ The neighbours do make it all worthwhile. If it hadn’t had the view, we wouldn’t have even considered buying the house.

  7. Love looking at the house updates, thanks for that! Hubby is a very brave and energetic man doing all of this himself but I am sure he is enjoying every minute and the satisfaction of seeing the improvements is very rewarding. Well done to hubby!

    Take care and regards

  8. Your new neighbours look very friendly! I’m sure they think your house is a cosy place where they can built a nest somewhere πŸ˜€ Your husband sounds like a superman-handyman. Impressive he can fix a whole new ceiling like that by himself. He must be quite tall – with the help of a ladder too.

  9. thx for the update – and a whole family of pelicans – bliss fo sho – and funny story about the stuff disappearing – but hey – curbside recoiling at its best! πŸ™‚ ❀

  10. How your husband manages to do all of these by himself is beyond me… thumbs up to your husband!

    I like pelicans and like to see them dive into the water to catch fish. I used to watch their actions over Indian river in Fl.

  11. I’ve done some renovating here and there. It can be fun and challenging, and sometimes maddening. LOL. Good luck with the finished product. I hope you don’t run into any surprises. It does look like your work is cut out for you. πŸ™‚

  12. wow…sounds very similar to what we did with the house we live in right now…we sold our home of 20 years and purchased this house…as it turned out we completely tore the insides out back to the studs and redid the whole thing…even dug out the basement a few feet to give it an eight foot ceiling…so I do have an understanding of what you are doing!!! πŸ˜‰ it is fun to watch Pelicans…a whole family could be interesting…

  13. What amazing progress that husband of yours is making… always amazes me to see the mess and tangle of wires hidden behind smooth fresh walls!
    Love the pelican shot…..what a treat to have them as neighbours

    • Thanks, Seonaid. He’s doing a fantastic job. Yes, I was shocked to see what it looked like when the damp/dry wall was removed. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. πŸ™‚ I’m dying to see more pelican.

  14. It’s amazing how long the entire process takes even though you work at it every day (believe me, I know!). It’s coming along very nicely and I had a bit of a giggle at the neighbour! πŸ˜€

    • Yes, I know how long you were busy for, and the end never seems to be in sight. We’re looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. πŸ™‚ The neighbour was amused, and after all, it was his gardener, not ours who did the dirty deed. πŸ™‚

  15. Thank you for sharing the progress. I love Real Estate. We’ve been looking for our own project to embark on but have been having way too much fun in our travels and thus haven’t found anything of interest. Although hubby and I like to do some of the work ourselves, dry-walling is a task that ALWAYS gets hired out. Jose does a better job than we could ever do and is quicker. Kudos to your hubby for all his hard work. I look forward to your updates. Oh, and pretty awesome neighbor. What town in FL is this?

  16. Hubby is working very hard! Your disappearing items remind me of a bike we wanted to get rid of. Rather than put it in the car and take it to the council waste recycling plant, we put it out at the front of the house with a sign on it offering it free to anyone who could make use of it, and it had gone in about 10 minutes! πŸ™‚

  17. I had such a laugh at the disappearance of the unwanted items. That sounded at bit like South Africa’s Sipho was working next door. Dry-walling is the way to go when one wants a change in lay-out. YS made a walk-in dressing area in the main bedroom in his house using dry wall.
    How’s your Mom doing? I often think of her.

    • Thanks Pussycat. Yes, dry-walling is amazing stuff. We’re going to divide up the huge living room space to create a few different spaces, like a study, TV room and place for my piano. I think the gardener was more probably Diego the Mexican. πŸ™‚ Mom is doing okay, but isn’t really ‘with it’ most of the time. She sleeps a lot on bad days, and on good days sits with her fellow residents. My sister keeps me updated. I do miss seeing her.

  18. Bliss indeed! Looks like a wonderful project. I would so enjoy it. Fabulous entry and good luck and best wishes to Hubby and his toils. The tale about the discarded items is too funny. Same happens here, every time. Anything I put out instantly vanishes πŸ˜‰ I cannot imagine what the old iron bath must have looked like…was it the classic kind with claw-foot legs?

    Smiling cheers,

    Autumn Jade

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