Well this has been one very exciting and very busy fortnight! January 15th finally came round – the date the guys from TJP Carpentry were scheduled to start on our Scyon Walls mixed material makeover, and they’ve almost finished! We’ve still got to finish the painting, tidying up and a little replanting of the gardens for our big before and after reveal post (and let’s not get into hardscaping and new carport which will be done later!) but today I thought I’d write a quick progress post so you can see how it’s all been panning out. Thank you for all your encouraging comments and messages on Instagram and Facebook… it’s so much more fun renovating feeling like you have other people along for the ride. And in our case, we’ve literally had other people along for the ride!
Two days after the work started, we had house guests arrive. We invited my sister-in-law Olivia and her two girls who live over east to come stay with us in the last week of school holidays. It was pretty last-minute and spontaneous and kudos to them for being happy to holiday in a noisy renovation project. Ok, it was probably more like a working holiday for Olivia! She is an interior stylist in her home town over east and while the cladding was going up, she helped Mr Nerd and I pick our paint colours for the new look. So the drama over choosing precise paint colours (I expected it be a much harder and more drawn-out process than it actually was) was pretty easy, in the end – and she even helped us start painting. Thank you Liv.
You can check out my post with our ‘before’ photos here if you haven’t seen them already. Mr Nerd and I are absolutely stoked with the Scyon Walls cladding. As soon as it started going up I was like, This is going to make the exterior of the house look so much cleaner and more pulled-together. I don’t know if that sounds like a strange way to describe it – especially because right now some of the cladding is dirty and still unpainted as it poured solidly the first three days the boys were working and the cladding got a little muddy.
But in terms of the feel of the place (now I’m thinking about The Castle) the cladding makes it look so much neater, sleeker and just nicer all-round, and more contemporary, and we haven’t even finished painting and landscaping. (You can check out my post with our ‘before’ photos here if you haven’t seen them already). They say the devil is in the detail and it’s the little details of the job that also blow me away – the metal capping on the corners, the trims, the frames around the windows – all so neat! They all make our once-Crap Shack (it definitely needs a new name now!) look more expensive. We love it. I wouldn’t hesitate to do cladding again if I was building or renovating another place. Look how much better this looks already!
Now I totally sound like I’m blowing my own horn here but I am also really happy with the types of cladding I picked.
Scyon Walls have a few different kinds and there are some that suit particular looks better than others; i.e. Linea™ tends to be a better pick for traditional Hamptons or Queenslander-style homes; Axon™ is more modern. I chose the cladding types we used based on what I’d seen on other Scyon-clad houses I liked in neighbouring suburbs, and made my final selections from the brochure Scyon have outlining their different materials which was very helpful. You can download the free Scyon Walls Look Book here for more cladding inspiration.
We went with Axon on the charcoal bits and as a main feature wall to the front façade, then horizontally placed Stria™ to the side at the front, the new garage wall and the bit at the back by the paved alfresco area; which are going to be painted white. They look really good together – the vertical lines of the Axon somehow make our house look a little taller while the white Stria is more unassuming but looks fresh and bright. To the left side of the house is a small feature wall of cedar which you can see in the pic above – which was SO expensive! But we loved how just a bit of it looks with the charcoal cladding and it gives a nice mixed materials look.
I was a little nervous as that big Scyon Axon feature wall started going up at the front, to be honest. “Oh my god, that’s going to be a lot of black, this big expanse,” I thought nervously. “Will it be too much black?”
Obviously having never done a complete house external makeover before (our dodgy yellow DIY render doesn’t count, haha) – I was worried that what we had designed on paper wouldn’t translate well to real life. I mean, it’s not like we had some slick 3D renderings, and not putting myself or my ace colouring-in skills down, but my Faber Castell pencil drawings were kind of crude.
But as soon as we started popping that charcoal paint up onto the Scyon Axon, my fears dissolved. It looked awesome and I could start to see how good it would all look once finished.
We chose Dulux Monument and Dulux Natural White for the elevation. I, too, am surprised we already managed to choose paint colours! I’ll go into paint and how we chose the colours in more detail in our reveal post… for now, here is our trusty renovation crew!
From left to right TJP Carpentry owner Tim Phillips, Richy and James. These guys are lovely and Mr Nerd and I were absolutely stoked with the job they did cladding our house. Everything is spot on millimetre perfect, these guys are pros.
I came into contact with Tim a couple of years ago after a recommendation from a lovely House Nerd reader. She kindly emailed me to tell me if I ever needed a great carpenter, she had a fantastic tradie to recommend. (I love people who do stuff like this, haha. It’s funny to me because when you are a journo like me you find there are definitely particular journalists who protectively guard their contacts, sources and public relations people etc. But I think when you find a good egg – in any circumstance, whether it be media contacts, renovations, whatever, it’s nicer to share the love. It’s good karma and it all comes back to you!) Anyway, enough hippie ranting, by chance, I was looking for a carpenter that very week to install a new door in our laundry and to finish some skirtings in our house, and contacted Tim.
Tim came round to quote and when I gave him my email address he said his wife had been talking about a blog called House Nerd. Turned out I had already met his now-wife Caity at an event a while back, but hadn’t put the two and two together. Now we buds! That’s Perth-small-world for you. (Also Tim and Caity have renovated their old house – an old weatherboard cottage in Hilton and it is an AWESOME before and after. They’ve since sold it to buy another fixer-upper, but I’ll be sharing their home tour a little bit later this summer. It’s really cool, very inspiring and you guys will love it).
We didn’t hesitate to ask Tim to quote us for the cladding makeover. Firstly I knew he’d worked widely with Scyon products before, secondly we liked him. I think it’s really important when you choose tradies to pick people you feel comfortable with, who you feel like you can talk to if there are any things that need to be resolved (not that there have been in this case).
All up it has taken two weeks to put up the cladding, which was a great turnaround. There weren’t any major challenges or setbacks with our house. Before the start date Mr Nerd prepped the house as best as he could for the boys and he scheduled the plumber to come out the day the boys were to begin, to cap taps on the utilities wall and move the hot water system off the wall. Then the boys wrapped the house and put up the timber battens and framed the windows before affixing all the cladding and ending with the cedar feature wall and the final touches. And now we are painting.
So that’s about it for today but soon I’ll show you all the final before and after photos – I think it’s going to look like a different house! Maya x
You can see more transformations and renovations at scyon.com.au.