Floorboards, Fenestration and the Miller House Tractor Shed
Everybody has a builder story… especially in South Auckland with the present building explosion we are enduring.
As soon as you mention “old house” 95% of tradesmen are never heard from again and the others start discussing estimate figures that a real estate agent might quote for the house purchase; this is followed by a “rough commencement date” further off than my telegram from the Queen. (For those not familiar with this, it is customary for New Zealanders reaching 100 years of age to receive a telegram …. email ???? … from the Queen)
However, I discovered Evan…I shall call him Evan to disguise his real identity the same way truffle hunters do not disclose their favorite hunting grounds.
He arrived first to fix the floors…borer had dined out extensively under the fake pebble vinyl and large areas had to be re boarded, He started by stripping out the devoured sections and then prepared the site like an artist preparing a canvas. Boards sorted and stacked by colour and length, and the ground beneath swept clean enough for raking as a sand garden.
The next stage was a visual delight as the kauri was matched and clamped into place. At one stage I did think I had lost Evan, arriving at the hub of that days efforts my greeting was answered by a muffled “umder eare” …only the boots were visible in the 30 cm gap under the half finished floor. That roll of insulation was going to be dragged right under there come hell or high water!
Now we are resurrecting the tractor shed…well two and a half walls of it, (this needs to have photos by way of explanation but I fear it is not at a suitable stage to reveal the transformation). Again Evan has cleared the site so even the tractor does not recognize it, and has talked me into more windows. My original brief was “but no windows Evan…perhaps those clear roof panels?”. This was the same plea I made when he would not re install a louvre window in the en suite bathroom. “It is the only ugly window in the house” he said, “you can’t put it back”. So now there is a beautiful old four pane window, and I love it.
…And the tractor shed….two different but beautiful six pane windows…old, needing work! …but what else did the woman who already had 34 windows need for Christmas anyway? I will love it.