TooooolllllsssssI’m doing a few renovations, well, actually it’s a bit more than that, I’ve removed a wall, ripped out a kitchen and am putting an entire new one in along with a new external wall and a load bearing beam to give us a bit more space. To be honest this is a bit more than an average DIY project, but I like a challenge and enjoy making things so I thought I would give it a go.

Here’s some suggestions if you ever feel the need to give up your weekends building instead of something else, like, say, surfing.

Firstly, if you are going to remove any walls, strip walls of wall paper, or you have a house that is old and you want better sound proofing and insulation, start by going to http://www.gib.co.nz and also take a look at Pink Batts web site http://www.pinkbatts.co.nz/. You may well find it is cheaper and faster to simply re gib the walls (gib stopping isn’t as hard as it looks with the right tools), you can also put in sound proofing and better insulation (NZ houses build any more than about 15 years ago seem to have crap insulation). We’re going for a combination of sound proof gib and batts. Both sites have detailed information that might save you a lot of money and time. You’ll also find out why joists are 600 cm apart, before you do any construction – gib sheets are 1200cm wide and in my wisdom I did some of my joists 500cm wide because it looked and seemed neater… guess that’s why it takes three years to train to become a builder!

Other suggestions?

Get a reciprocating saw, with a decent hacksaw blade. If you are removing walls and taking out windows and doors this tool is invaluable, in fact, I’m not sure how you could do the job with out it. I got a Ryobi, I have a few Ryobi ‘power’ tools and they have always been reliable. Mitre 10 Mega seem to have the best prices for these, although I am a bit of  fan of Bunnings, helpful staff, wide range and very good prices – plus I like the idea that some staff are shareholders which might account for the helpful staff.

Whatever you do, don’t buy those cheap ‘house brand’ power tools – ‘G-Force’ etc… they are rubbish. Poorly made they are often inaccurate and bits break off, often because they are made of unsuitable materials. I bought a circular saw and within a month the rob for tightening the angle snapped off, it was plastic and shouldn’t have been. For another $40 I could have got a Ryobi. Dumb decision. Spend a bit more and get something that will last a few years.

So, check out gib and batts, get decent tools, and what ever amount of time you think it will take, double it!

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