Renovate Australia

Home improvement blog about renovating our Queenslander house in Townsville, Australia, and our home in Adelaide, SA

3-Steps to Prevent DIY Injuries

March 13th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · No Comments


Injuries suffered during DIY renovations and repairs is becoming increasingly common, especially in connection with sedentary life styles. There are a few things that we can do however to lower the chance of injury.

After spending a week on crutches after I pulled my iliopsoas / hip flexor I started thinking about how common DIY injuries are and what I could do to prevent them in the future …

In hospital with a Pulled Iliopsoas inner hip flexor

Below are three simple things that you can do to help prevent injuries during DIY projects:

  1. Stretch before starting your work
  2. Get help when needed
  3. Don’t work beyond your ability

Links from the podcast:

The Finished Workbench

How to stretch the Iliopsoas

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Photos of our Old Backyard

February 2nd, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · 1 Comment

It’s a bit strange to find one of our old houses on-line and up for rent, but my wife found our old Queenslander in Townsville up for rent. It was up for rent for $650 per week, which is quite a bit really!

The inside of the house looks pretty much the same. They actually used some of the photos from when we sold our house for the online advertisement for renting our house this time. That was kind of weird …

Here are some photos of the backyard and the rear deck. They put a lot of work into the backyard including:

  • New pool
  • Back Deck
  • Storage Shed (under deck)
  • Removed all the trees
  • Paved path

The main deck looks very similar to the one that we had originally planned except that they didn’t build the stairs and waterproofed it so they could have a shed and patio under it.

Back Deck on the Old House

I love the back deck, it’s what I always wanted on the back of that house.

Old House Tiled Back Deck

It’s a great size with a nice roof and space for a large table and of course the BBQ.

Old House Back Yard Pool

We aren’t really pool people, so we had never planned to put in a pool. Actually the pool is over top of the main sewer line so I didn’t even know it could be done.

Kind of neat to see what they did with the yard…

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Should You Tile Under Bathroom Vanities or Kitchen Cabinets?

February 1st, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · 1 Comment


Cracked and Damaged Grout Against VanityLike many issues that we have come up with during our home improvements there seems to be no clear cut “correct” way to do this. A lot of it comes down to personal preference.

When the kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities were installed in our house they were installed first, and then the flooring was installed. While this is a common way to do it, there are some disadvantages that are inherent to this type of cabinet and tile installation.

Exposed Concrete Under Cabinet Beside TileIn our kitchen the dishwasher was installed in a cabinet space that used to be a cupboard. Because it was not tiled under the cabinet you can see the concrete sub-floor under the dishwasher. The concrete floor was also about 1.5cm lower than the tile, so I had to raise up the dishwasher so that the bottom of it would match up with the tile.

Water Damaged Bathroom Vanity Grouted Into TileThe vanity in our ensuite has unfortunately sustained some water damage. Because the vanity is grouted into the tile we don’t really have the option to replace the vanity. Instead we will need to attempt to repair the existing vanity, hopefully without damaging the existing tile or causing more damage to the already compromised vanity.

Some other thoughts about tiling under kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities can be found here:

Music is “Do What You Can” by Lee Rosevere

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Should I Install my Floor Tile or my Baseboard Trim First?

January 25th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · 1 Comment


Which is right, and which do you prefer? We discuss this in the latest Renovate Australia podcast …

Builders prefer to do the baseboards first and then bring the tile right up to the tile.

Home-owners generally prefer the look of doing the tile first and then installing the baseboard trim.

If it is installed with the tile up to the baseboard trim then you should leave about a 1/8″ gap that you should fill will caulking. Our gap was unfortunately filled with grout, which is now cracking because of movement of the walls and floors.

Cracking in the Grout between the tile and baseboard trim

Problems I have found with doing the baseboard trim and then the tile:

  • cut edge is exposed, so any imperfections in the trim is visible
  • border of the room is a visible joint
  • if you don’t want the visible trim you need to install some 1/4 round over the joint
  • Very difficult to replace the baseboard trim with new without damaging or replacing the tile

Selleys Mortar WorksWith the cracking that we have in the gap between our flooring and baseboard trim I picked up a product called Selleys Mortar Works. From what I was told it should be the correct product to fill the gap left by the cracked grout, so we will see how it performs…

It’s probably pretty obvious after listening to my podcast that my preference is for the baseboard trim to go over top of the flooring. But how do you prefer your floors and baseboard trims to be finished?

Caulking between the floor time and baseboard trim Selleys Mortar WorksCracking in the Grout between the tile and wall

Other sources of information:

Music is “Do What You Can” by Lee Rosevere

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