Next stop: renovation station

Just days before it all begins

This is me, Ali Webb and this is my husband, Reggie Webb. 

This is our dog, Cheef Webb.

This is our soon-to-be baby, Cobb Webb (working title).

This is our house, the House of Webb.

We are about to go through our very first major renovation. In the heart of summer. In a cul-de-sac. Halfway through our first pregnancy.
We’re pumped and really stupid.

Our renos kick off on Monday, which is when we will come home from our little day jobs to find a port-a-loo and port-a-shower in the front yard. It will be like being at a music festival for three months.

Yep. Three months. Well, that is how long our legendary builder Dougie from DM Urban Projects reckons it will take his crew to do.

To give you an overview, we purchased a sweet Edwardian two bedroom house in Yarraville a couple of years ago. We bought the house basically because it had pressed metal throughout and it ‘felt right’. Oh, and it didn’t have that weird fake brick cladding that is so popular in the inner west. Who ever thought that those bricks looked real?

We always planned to renovate, just not at the same time as having a bub. But here we are. Suckers.

We are demolishing the back half of the house and turning this into an awesome open plan living space. We are knocking down the old 1970s bathroom annex at the back, destroying (and never looking back) at the teeny tiny kitchen and punching out the walls that are weirdly placed in the centre of the lounge and kitchen. Walls that are always in the way after a few beers.

We worked with architectural designer, Angus McDonald who is Dougie from DM’s brother. These boys are kiwis and are really tall, perhaps even giants. Angus has tatts and Dougie rubs his hands a lot when he gets excited. Reg and I recently had a lengthy discussion about who would win if the two brothers were in a fight. My money’s on Angus. But we’ll see. Apparently there is a stack of other brothers, so they pretty much have a McDonald gang. Which we think is pretty cool. Hopefully after the renovations we can join their cool gang.

Reg and I are stoked to be working with these gents. We chose them because we REALLY like using secondhand materials and the boys seem fine with us sourcing our own stuff, oh and Angus gave us a Hawkwind CD which put us over the line. I’m a sucker for garage sales, bric-a-brac, op shops and skips. I think the boys think we are a bit loopy, but they seem to embrace our ideas and enhance these with their own. Angus has done some pretty creative stuff  to help re-use our pressed metal.

We have a super tight (and apparently quite a small) budget for our job. At the end of three months we will have a new bathroom, kitchen, living, dining space. As our budget is tight, there are quite a few things that we need to do ourselves such as painting, sourcing tapware, appliances, tiles etc.

Next week we will finally start to see it all happen after almost a year of planning. Therefore this blog is a bit of a subtle callout to friends and family: while I think I’m pretty awesome at sourcing bargains, secondhand goodies and the like, I would love it if you could share with me the following:

  • any rad secondhand stores that you know of
  • any garage sales that are coming up
  • any Victorian country towns that are holding those ‘town garage sales’ such as Maldon and Chiltern
  • any awesome Western suburbs food that is cheap (we are currently eating without a kitchen)
  • any 1950s / 60s furniture, kitchenalia etc that you want to get rid of
  • any garden objects, including plants, that are weird and wonderful
  • any advice on establishing a tiny inner city garden
  • any info on crafty or homemade baby products
  • and more.

I’ll be posting up pics (including those of any calendar-worthy tradies) over the next few months plus updates on the renos.

Would love to hear from you for any strategies on how to cope with renovating whilst pregnant. Oh and how to clean a port-a-loo.

Love Ali

2 thoughts on “Next stop: renovation station

  1. Ali, love your IWBSS posts. We feel comfort in the fact we are not the only one choosing to renovate at the same time as making bundles of joy. Good luck.

    Karl and Fiona


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