William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Aus.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Well the time has come. After 23 years the house is starting to look weary. The deck needs renovating, the blinds need replacing, the garage and laundry need attention and the whole place needs painting. $$$$$$$$$. There goes how many vacations. I'm pulled two ways. I love travelling but I love to have a nice house. At seventy, how many more years will we live here???? Is it worth spending on renovations? Soon we'll be too old to travel. Shouldn't we go now? That is my dilemma. Somehow, I succumbed to start on renovations.
 Every few years the deck needs oiling. The last time we did it ourselves and managed to botch the job. In no time the surface bubbled and flaked off  but did we care ? No, off we went on vacations around Australia and overseas. Tut tut. So the deck became so badly damaged  that we had to get professionals in to try to bring it back to life.
Leo had to painstakingly knock all the nail heads down so that the sanding and finishing will be successful.

 Syd sands the deck and carts away bags of sawdust but leaves a fine deposit on all the windows and   walls for me to clean off later.

It is quite a big deck when one has to clean it, paint it, or fix it but it has served well for many parties and BBQ's as well as all meals out here in summer. We had to move all the outside furniture and pot plants into the house. That cramped our style for a few days. Our huge, heavy, timber table and 8 chairs were lowered over the side of the deck to the concrete downstairs. Poor little Syd nearly went flying over the edge with it. Besides this dining area the deck sweeps around ........

 to the front of the house. When I turn around 180* ........

 you can see the deck continues around the other.......

 side of the house. But wait.....that is not all.....

 At the back entrance we have a bridge type deck. The decks were starting to look good after they were sanded twice. 

 Then 3 coats of decking finish was applied.

So now it is finished and I don't want the huge, heavy, timber, table back up here so I gave it to the neighbours and I hope to buy a smaller, light weight one.

We have a street at the back as well as at the front. Yes, we have two addresses if we want but one lot of bills is enough so we only use the front address. Only being silly here. So Leo put the final strokes on and then retreated to his van holding in his pocket some of our vacation money.


  1. Diane,
    Isn't that just the truth. The older we get the harder it is to decide whether or not something is worth the time and trouble - not to mention the money. :)

    But your deck looks wonderful. A real beauty. Good for you.

  2. Nice job of the decking. Sometimes professionals are worth the extra. I am sure you don't don't things at the speed you did thirty years ago when you are travelling and you may well travel for many more years yet, but just a bit slower and a bit easier.

  3. We are in the same case as you (same age too) so we had the whole walls and ceilings painted last year, but in the house ! What a mess ! This year our terrace too needed badly new joints between the tiles because the grass started to grow and I didn't want to mow the terrace too besides the grass ! This was quiet a big job too, as the terrace goes also half around the house and then there is a long tiled entrance ! I also had the garden completely remodelled now it's easy to entertain for old people ! Next year I will buy a lawnmower robot, which will do the job alone, while I can watch TV ! Mr. G. can't do it anymore and I am at my limits ! Your new deck looks very nice, they did an excellent job !

  4. Oh good heavens, what on earth will the "B & D" team do next?
    I think it now looks lovely and fresh, but really do guests go to visit with magnifying glasses to check spots or bumps on decks???
    The whole Bohlen establishment looked in excellent condition the last time I was there. And I don't recall walking around with white gloves on checking for dust or inspecting on hands and knees your floors, inside or on the deck!
    Now just settle down, no more of this business. Enjoy your travels whilst you can.
    I wish I could find my Swiss Bank accounts in the vaults under Zurich.
    What's that song - "Onward Christian Soldiers etc. - doesn't it then go on marching off to war.
    Damn the war business, just have fun whilst we can.

  5. Diane, your deck looks beautiful. I would love to have a deck wrapped around the house. I am with you about whats more important travel or fixing up the house? I love to travel and I believe when we are older we will not be able to take of this house and yard. Great pic's, thanks for sharing.

  6. Cor blimey! You have got more deck space than the QE2. You should get Leo some knee pads and a bigger hammer.
    Nice job of the decking, I bet you don't let anyone tread on it now.

  7. Oh the deck does look beautiful and you will enjoy it heaps. I was myself thinking about house repairs today ... in particular painting. Our neighbour is repainting his house because it was peeling. I was wondering how long ours will last. I am hoping on at least 10 years because it cost us many many "trips" to get done and is way to high for us to do ourselves.

  8. What an incredible deck! I love it. That's something in all of my houses that I've live, I've never had. One of these days. It's beautiful!

  9. waw, that is amazing you can this. Looks very professional.


  10. What a job! What a worker! Your very own Tradie! (No Tradies "smile" from King Gee shorts????)

    Cross that job off the list! I hate renovating but the results are always worth it in the end.

  11. OMW What a beautiful deck you have and how lovely it looks after renovations! These are always issues about how much to spend on houses at our age (we're only 9 years behind you!) We are busy revamping our house in Marquard, SA at the moment which is easy (not cheaper though) because we're not there! So far we've only done outdoors, fencing, lighting and driveway plus a re-roofing and ceiling for our indoor entertainment area. Now we need to pull up the 65 yo carpets (ewgh) sand and seal the floors and then tackle the ceiling. THEN we'll repaint. Sigh, it never ends, does it? Anyway, you enjoy your new light-weight table when you get it and the outdoor entertaining. Greetings from Jo

  12. We're facing the same dilemma as you are, but we're still traveling. We replaced our deck earlier this year -- fortunately it isn't as large as your deck. By the way, your deck is beautiful. We, too, wonder how much longer we'll be able to travel.

  13. Oh, I know the dilemmas. We have the same problem, had our whole house painted outside by a professional. We have done that ourselves when we were younger, but we both don't want to stand on a ladder anymore. We had our heating boiler replaced, the extraction etc., etc. The house is 33 years old and many things have to be replaced. Wish you the best...

  14. Wow Diane! I love this glimpse into where you live. Your deck is a wonderful space and the guys did a great job refinishing it. It is beautiful! I think a lighter table will be lovely in the space.
    When we retired we bought a home that was only a few years old so we probably won't see any major work in our time. We do the maintenance to keep it up as things need attention. Hopefully that will see us through.
    It's always hard having to weigh the options.

  15. Oh My----I know exactly how you feel... We also struggle spending some of our 'travel' money on renovations to the house. BUT--like you, we gave in and have done some this year. We got a new deck (love it) --and will get the house painted sometime --whenever they can get to it.

    We are still traveling some --but not to far from home and not for long periods of time... SO---I guess we compromised....

    Your deck is gorgeous.


  16. I know the feeling Diane ... every time I spend money on upkeep I think I could have been half-way to Paris. with that.
    Your deck looks lovely and I'm sure you will while-away many a summer evening sitting enjoying the cool breezes .... eating and pondering and wondering where to take that next vacation.

  17. I know your dilemma, Diane! When we purchased our new home in CO we bought a larger, more expensive one, instead of downsizing. It may mean vacations will be minimal for awhile but for once in our lives we wanted space and everything else we've dreamed of having.

    Your deck looks wonderful now and such an assest to have in your mild climate!

  18. Your deck looks lovely Diane. We're in the same position as our house is needs a lot of work. We made a start with the new roof several months ago. We haven't done much traveling this year so far. Hopefully September time we'll be able to take a trip out west BUT our list of need-to-do's on the house is getting pretty long ;)

  19. Darn house repairs and I so can relate to your dilema - especially this summer!

  20. It is interesting in how many of you have the same problem. I am heartened by that. We are all in the same boat.

  21. wow! your deck looks fabulous. you guys could be in business!!!

  22. Life is full of choices. I used to think that wouldn't be true when I got 'old' (ha). Your house and deck are gorgeous -- I think you made the right one~ Sometimes I miss our "big" house and yard, but most of the time I think we did it right (for us).

  23. Wow Diane
    What a beautiful deck and a great spot.


  24. Diane, I know exactly what you mean. We are also 23 years here in our home. We had to do all the floors, that was a few years back. the kitchen, bathrooms, outside sitting areas needed new pavers. The front garden needs a new fence which is ordered. Peter asked me what is next!
    Luckily he does not want to travel. It is only I who travels! I say, your deck looks fantastic now. It goes for all of us our home is our castle.