Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost Done!

Since returning from our Black Sea getaway, we've been flat out with all the finishing touches on our home renovation.

Afterall, it's only 3 more weeks til we leave Turkey for good ...

Actually, I shouldn't have said "finishing touches" because it has been a lot more than that!  We knocked down one concrete wall, fixed another concrete wall, installed a door into a third concrete wall, painted all said walls, varnished every outside door and window frame in the house, laid some bricks, planted a heap more plants, and after two unsuccessful previous attempts, planted grass seed for the third time (we finally got it right this time).

Now I'm just dying to show you how it's all looking!

This was the garden shed before the door.

We didn't imagine fitting a door into a door space could be such a challenge!  We spent more than an hour manipulating the door frame inside the opening while trying to get the door to close properly ... But no matter how much we adjusted the frame against the wall, we just couldn't get it to happen.  Finally, we realised the wall of the house was not straight!  It was angled out at the top and in at the bottom by what ended up being more than 20 cm!

How can the builders have gotten it SO wrong?  Anyway, with a lot of cement filler we managed to get the door installed.

This is how the shed is looking now.

All that's left to do is the paint touch ups.  That water box next to the store room also needs a door.  We're just looking for the right piece of wood to do the job.

Knocking down the wall inside the sunroom was fun.  It only took Murat a couple of hours to get the thing done and the windows safely removed.  What wasn't so much fun was picking up all the bits of broken cement!  Rendering all the broken edges wasn't so bad either.  Actually, this is always my responsibility because I like it.  Smoothing on layer upon layer of cement to create a nice finish feels like sculpting.  For me, it's kind of therapeutic.

One of the walls we'd just built for the sunroom was badly damaged by the workers installing the glass and doors into the frame.  I have no idea why they felt it was necessary to break down the wall the way they did, but they did.  Anyway, that wall was a pain in the bum to fix.  But we eventually got it looking almost like new and this is what the completed sunroom looks like now.

The next job caused a big fight between me and Murat...  Staining the outside doors and window frames.  I'm a perfectionist and Murat is ... let's just say, he's not a perfectionist.  It took me more than an hour to prepare and stain the front door thoroughly.   After I'd finished I went to find Murat to show off my work but when I found him my smile of pride quickly turned to a grimace of disbelief.   In the time it took me to very carefully stain a single door, Murat had stained five window frames.  It looked as though Kaya had done the work.  I couldn't believe how carelessly he'd painted and I got so mad.  Couldn't he see what a mess he'd made?  Didn't he care?  And that wasn't the end of it.  Later that day while I was putting Ky to sleep, he painted another window and door in exactly the same manner.  Grrrrrr.  Have you ever tried to remove dark coloured paint drips from light coloured, textured concrete walls?  Impossible!

Anyway, we eventually got the whole house done (and if you squint at the windows Murat was responsible for), the freshening up makes the house look so much better.

Front door before the stain.  Look how weather beaten it was!
The last thing we finished was the landscaping, my favourite part of the renovations.

Bottom/back of house before any work!
Over the course of several weeks we collected a huge pile of bricks which we found partially buried under a pile of dirt and broken concrete on a vacant block down the road from us.  We used some of these bricks to border our vege garden and the rest of them we used to make a garden in front of the sunroom.  In this garden we planted some lavender, oregano and chamomile plants along with a few other plants I can't name.  Then we prepared the rest of the ground and laid grass seeds.  This time we did it more cleverly so the ants were not able to steal all the seeds.

Front of sunroom before any landscaping.
I'm so happy to be seeing the new grass coming through!!

With all this work we've done, it's going to be really hard to leave ...


Kelly K said... [Reply]

Wow! The sunroom looks amazing! I would have no problem spending hours hanging out there, nicely done! Sooo...where are you going?

Colette said... [Reply]

Yeah, we love it too. Not much time left to enjoy it before we head off to Australia. Very exciting!