Archive for December, 2010

Drywall + aluminium batten = false ceiling

Drywall is also commonly known as gypsum board. That’s the brownish stuff in the photo. The aluminium battens are used to form a inner framework, onto which the drywall sheets are screwed.

It’s surprisingly quick and easy to install, and while not common here in SG, is actually something that homeowners can even DIY.

Today’s focus is the false ceiling in the bathroom, and a drywall partition which will form one end of the wardrobe.

Here you see the framework already mounted onto the actual bathroom ceiling and walls, with some portions already covered with drywall.

The old false ceiling which was torn down had a wooden frame, so the use of materials has really changed over the last decade.

The access panel which will allow the electrician or plumber to get to the lights/water heater/pipes should there be any problems.

Ming, the false ceiling expert, and owner of the hands in the last two photos. Here, he’s measuring up and cutting the drywall sheets to size. Tools of the trade? A saw and a pen knife.

Photo of the false ceiling fully installed, but before being plastered.

False ceiling plastered up, with all the seams and screws smoothened out. This can now be painted together with the rest of the ceilings in the house.

“Because he’s holding a thermal detonator!” – C-3PO

Alignment tool used by Ming, almost as cool as a thermal detonator, but this just shoots a laser which allows him to check that his lines are straight.

Next up, the floor to ceiling partition that is the left end of the wardrobe (the right end is bedroom/living room dividing wall).

Partition plastered up. We were worried that this would block out too much of the balcony area, cutting out the natural light coming into the room, but thankfully, it seems to have had minimal effect.

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Main
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Plastering will turn your house white. That’s what the contractor told us. And true enough, it looked like it had snowed today. All the walls and the ceiling have been covered in smooth white plaster. PVC corner beads sharpen the corners and edges, but the trade off is more distinct beams and pillars.

The plaster will have to dry for a day or two, before being prepped for paint. We’ve chosen a light shade of grey, but for now, we get white walls, which really brighten up the place a lot. I can imagine how open the place would look if we did up everything in white.

Another Round Of Spring Cleaning

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Main

All the trash has been hauled out of the house in preparation for plastering, and this is the cleanest it has been in a long while.

Masonry work is all done and the lintel is in.

You can’t really tell from the photos, but the lighting points have been shifted. In the living room, about two feet toward the main door, and in the bedroom, it’s shifted away from the doorway to where the bed will be next time.

Daytime Views

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Bathroom
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Saturday. Dragged ourselves out of bed while there was still light. Documenting the renovation is giving us sleep discipline…

Silly me. I thought they ran out of tiles. Seems this is done so they can check for leaks and stuff.

The area above the water outlets is going to be covered by a full length/width mirror.

Have scrapped plans to put a mirror on the centre column of tiles, as that would break the flow of that entire wall.

The floor tiles are done as well. The round green thing at the top of the photo is the concealed mixer, already embedded in the wall. Below that is the outlet for the hand-held shower.

You can see the shower area is not exactly flat (look at where the floor tiles join the wall tiles). I suppose this is necessary for drainage.

Our ledge. This was a shelf the day before, and cause for some panic in the ranks. After a few frantic phone calls and one hasty sketch done over dinner (visible here, pasted to the wall), we arrived the very next day to see that it had magically morphed into the ledge of our dreams. Two thumbs up for quick rectification.

If anyone is wondering why the ledge is at the back instead of the front, two reasons. Firstly, so that the bath products stay drier, and secondly, so that the initial view into the bathroom is kept clean.

This image just cracks me up. I find it hilarious how white gloves were provided with the shower head. If memory serves me right, this is 300mm in diameter. Stiletto was gutted because we couldn’t get the 350mm head due to water pressure issues, but now that we’ve seen this in the flesh, there’s no way the larger shower head would have worked.

Bathroom Part Deux

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Bathroom
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Dropped by for a quick visit after dinner. There are no lights now, so even though the bathroom wall tiles are all done, we’ll only be posting after we get some better daylight shots during the weekend.

Piping for the rain shower is done.

They’ve smoothened the bathroom floor in preparation for the tiles. If you squint, you can just about make out the drop on the right hand side. A lot cleaner than a kerb, and one less thing for me to trip on. The shower area has also been widened by a couple of inches.

Beginning Of Masonry Work

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Main
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The masonry boys descended like a swarm of bees and made quick work of the gutted house. By the end of the day, the kitchen walls were as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and then some.

PVC corner beads were used to straighten all edges. I’m a sucker for those. In an old house, I think using them helps to make the house look significantly newer.

Hacked doorway being re-constructed to its actual 4.5ft size by means of hollow blocks. In this photo you can see it’s still missing the load bearing lintel that’s supposed to span across the two sides.

Lintel for the doorway being made.

And as an added weekend bonus, we enter the bedroom to find that the tiler has started laying the bathroom tiles.

Only one section complete, but I think it already gives a good indication of how things are going to look. We’re going to use black or grey grouting to highlight the tile lines, so its going to be a slow, laborious process for the tiler, in order to get the lines as straight as possible.

At the other end of the bathroom, the pipes have been buried deep under a layer of concrete. The vertical channel running up the wall is for the rain shower piping.

Pipes, Plumbing And Other Bathroom Stuff

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Bathroom
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Some of the plumbing work in progress here. You can see the pipes buried in the wall.

The storage water heater mounted on the ceiling. We shortlisted Rheem and Joven. Joven has been getting a lot of recommendations on Renotalk and was our original choice, but our contractor has had some previous installation issues with the brand.

She mentioned Ariston and Rheem as possible alternatives. Ironically, we’re using Ariston now, and there are visible rusty water stains at the entry and exit points of the heater. With the heater being mounted above the ceiling, that’s something I want to avoid having to deal with.

That leaves us with Rheem, one of the older brands for water heaters. Tried searching online for Rheem; no raves, but more importantly, no complaints. This is a 40L tank if I remember correctly.

The welding equipment used by the plumbers.