31.3.2021

Updated:

9.7.2021

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It’s not every day you get to show off your crayons — at least that’s how three-year-old Quinn felt shortly after meeting the tradespeople plastering her living room.

Quinn’s mother, Kate, tells me the crayons were just the start, and that Wayne and Ronan from Claddagh Plastering coped incredibly well with her daughter’s constant line of questioning while working.

“She would walk up beside them and say ‘look at my carrots’, ‘I’ve got cucumber’, and ask them ‘do you want to be my friend?’,” Kate laughs.

“Wayne was really good with her, he’d take time to say ‘oh wow, yes, wow look at that’ — I think he’s got young ones at home, so he was used to it.

“She’d stand there and watch them work, mesmerised by the plaster being put on, it was very cute.”

As Kate and I relish Quinn’s adorable toddler bravado, Kate lets me in on how they got to this point of renovating their home, and let’s just say, anyone with EQC experience will be able to relate.

“She would walk up beside them and say ‘look at my carrots’, ‘I’ve got cucumber’, and ask them ‘do you want to be my friend?’,” Kate laughs.

“We Could Start to See Ripples in The Walls”

In 2009, Kate strategically bought her first home in Christchurch before heading over to England to revel in a two year working-holiday visa.

However, the location of her property would later be deemed ‘in the Red Zone’.

Fast forward from the Canterbury earthquakes to now, Kate has submitted and settled insurance claims – and since purchasing her latest 1940’s home – she’s had to reopen one, too.

“It’s a pretty old house, and it needs a little bit of attention; we could start to see ripples in the walls,” Kate says.

As part of fixing defective workmanship from the previous claim, Kate and her husband Kyle have renovated the bathroom, and now they’re tackling the living room which entails cosmetically fixing up the walls and reinventing the space.

“It’s a pretty old house, and it needs a little bit of attention; we could start to see ripples in the walls,” Kate says.

Making the Space Feel Bigger Without Structural Renos

As a growing family, Kate tells me their house is starting to feel quite small. And without any major structural renovations on the cards, they sought an interior designer to make the most of their living and dining area.

“They told us how to layout the room, what colours to go for, and where to put everything – it was really awesome,” Kate says.

“We went for Resene’s ‘Coriander’,” Kate jokes, mimicking the designer’s flair.

“It’s a shade of green designed for indoor-outdoor flow, and bringing in that nature,” Kate says in a way that humbly reserves no credit for herself.

As a growing family, Kate tells me their house is starting to feel quite small.

A Little Help(er) Goes a Long Way

For some time, little did Kate know that Quinn had already gotten a sneaky head start on the prep work – except for one minor detail.

“We discovered a patch of wallpaper that she’d secretly been pulling off in her bedroom,” Kate laughs.

In preparation for the plastering, Kate and Kyle stripped the wallpaper in their living room, so I ask Kate how Quinn reacted to the tables being turned.

“I guess we started doing it, and you know, she’d had ‘previous experience’, so she joined in and was like – ‘coool’,” Kate replies, “it was really easy and quite fun.”

Quinn has had some previous experience with this DIY part of the project.

Renovating with Kids at Home Full-Time

Renovating your living and dining room is no small feat seeing as it’s the hub for a lot of families.

And with Kate home full-time with the kids, it added a level of complexity that every parent can understand.

“But luckily it was really nice weather and we could play outside, so it worked out all right,” Kate says.

The Tradie

It’s true – Wayne from Claddagh Plastering does have young ones – three under five to be exact.

After Wayne tells me a bit about his family, I ask what it was like having little ones on-site.

“She was curiously interested in what we were doing,” Wayne explains.

“The walls definitely needed it as the EQC work had been done once before, but not done to good standard.

“The biggest challenge was ensuring we kept the house clean and tidy for them, dust-free everyday,” Wayne says, “Because they were living there, and kids were in the house.”

Wayne went the extra mile and left the protective plastic down for the family to pick up where he left off – time to paint.

Job Done

Wayne and his team completed the job over five consecutive days to ensure a quality finish.

“If you do too much in one day, sometimes you can get shrinkage, so it’s better if you can do one coat a day,” Wayne says.

“On a hot day you might get two coats on, but it’s got to be the right combination of air flow and heat to keep the room warm.

“The walls were lath and plaster so we didn’t really want to go over that; instead we got big rolls of fiber fuse mesh and applied it on the whole wall, and we did a complete skim,” Wayne says.

The Details

  • Prep: Tape off area, put down protective plastic on carpet and furniture

  • Day 1: Oil-based pigment seal
  • Day 2: Fibre fuse mesh (first coat)
  • Day 3: Second coat
  • Day 4: Top coat
  • Day 5: Sand and clean
  • Job cost: $1,230

Thoughts on BC

Kate’s posted nine jobs since joining Builderscrack in 2009, and she explains that just by looking at the reviews, you can get a gauge on who would be the right fit for the job.

“You can tell if the other homeowners genuinely want people to know ‘this is a decent person’” Kate says.

“Wayne and Ronan did a fantastic job,” Kate says, “They were fast, clean and friendly.”

With Wayne and Ronan returning every day for five days, Quinn had quickly become their number one spectator

Quinn’s Take on Having Tradies in the Home

With Wayne and Ronan returning every day for five days, Quinn had quickly become their number one spectator, and their presence was a welcome amusement throughout the day.

“If one of the tradies were alone, she’d quickly say ‘where’s the other one?!’,” Kate laughs, and I can just picture the look of concern on Quinn’s face until they were reunited.

“Right now, she’s really into watching me write letters on paper, so she got me to write out their names,” Kate says.

And perhaps the cutest of all: “The whole time, she’d be referring to them as ‘her friends’.”

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