I guess this will go under "Construction" if not carpentry.
My neighbour Neil bought his house this year, but has lived there for 18 years, he finally worked out a deal he could live with from his former landlord.
He wants to spruce the place up and has been picking my brain about what to do. I think he should knock the place down to just the sticks of the frame and rebuild the whole house, I mean reform the whole house. If he were to actually level the place and rebuild he would have all sorts of fun with the local government, they would take a fair bit of land from him on one side to make a footpath wider etc etc, all government headache where the home owner gets the short end of the stick, really is it bad, so to avoid that, you knock the house down to the frame is still standing and then your rebuild it, this is not a rebuild, by law, but just a reform.
Well he has to figure all of that out first, but for now he just wants to clean some stuff up and make things look better.
First off we dug out and cleared he back yard, don't laugh, it is a real back yard here in Tokyo, most people don't even have a small balcony they can sit on.
These pics are taken from Neil's back door looking into his back yard.
Along the block wall to the left there was a flower bed that was about 3 feet wide and a foot tall, we tore that out and leveled everything. The wall to the right is the neighbour, she has just had a bunch of renovations done to her house.
Here is looking further to the right, and the corner of the neighbour's house and the small pathway that you use to get to the house.
That was a bit of fun, we had to dig and move some dirt, his three boys enjoyed it and we all got a bit dirty and made a much nicer back yard. Next up there we are going to put down some of that plastic stuff to stop weeds growing then a bunch of bags of crushed gravel, grass would be nice, but a lot of work too, this way he gets a decent space he can use that does not turn into a bog when it rains, and will be fairly low maintenance. If he rebuilds the house, or reforms it, then he wants to build a nice grade level deck.
On to the tiles.
We are going to tile the concrete slabs in front of his front door and on the entrance way of his house,
Here I've cut and laid out all the tiles for in front of the door.
All mortared into place.
cleaned up and ready for the grout, I'll drop by his place tomorrow morning and do that, should not take long.
These tiles took a lot longer than I thought, mainly because out of the 14 tiles I think only four were uncut, the rest were all cut. I use an angle grinder with a diamond cut off wheel, it works well if you go at it from the back side first. My buddy Neil is also a bit of a perfectionist, so he bought lots of extra tiles and if the cut was even the smallest bit off, he'd want to toss that tile and recut it.
I'm glad I'll be doing the grout by myself, as it looks really messy until you are done and I can imagine him fretting about it, as he has never done any tile before.
The inside should be a lot quicker, as the only cuts I'll have to do are along the left hand wall, to make the tile fit, and that is just one straight cut for width. The inside is from the threshold of the door to the wall on the right is almost perfectly square The slab has a hump in the middle that is only about 1/8" over the six feet or so of width, so that is not a problem, I think it would go smoothly.
Is there any one here that knows floor tiles? I've done some, but I'll admit to not being that up on it, wall tiles I've done a LOT more of. I have been using a 1/4" notched trowel, and I've not been buttering the backs of the tiles, they seem to go in and sit very nicely using just the 1/4" notched trowel, any advice on this? I wet the slab before I put the mortar on and the make a good thick layer with the 1/4" notched trowel.
We plan to do the inside next Saturday.