Turning a house into a home

Turning a house into a home

by Community Manager Jason March 2016

ProjectPete1.png

Workshop’s most prolific contributor describes himself modestly. “I’m a fairly handy kind of guy,” says ProjectPete. “I will try to tackle basically any job.”

 

Pete says he was fortunate to have a great mentor. “I learned most things from my old man while I was growing up because he can literally do anything, whether it’s wood or metalwork, paving or tiling, fixing cars or fixing planes,” Pete says.

 

“Once you get the foundation, it’s pretty easy to build on as long as you’re confident. Although I do look back and wish I’d spent more time with him learning more things.

 

“Now I’m a dad myself to nearly three year-old twin girls who certainly keep me on my toes. My wife Leah is very creative so is always designing and creating new things, whereas I’m the one that does the building, fixing, making.”

 

PeteTape.jpgPete loves the challenge and the satisfaction of D.I.Y. “It feels so good to be able to look at my new paving or a painted house or furniture I’ve built knowing I did it rather than paying someone else to. For me it makes a home feel even more like a home, something I’ve helped build.”

 

Pete, who works in the digital team of an Australian bank, believes his most successful project to date was making garden beds from recycled pallets. “The people I made them for truly loved them, and I made a few dollars from it too.”

 

More recently, he has had success installing artificial grass. “Installing fake grass is a recent favourite because it’s the first time I’ve done it and I absolutely nailed it, even with some tricky things to work round.”

 

Other work Pete has shared on Workshop includes a floating planter box, a gorgeous kids room renovation, a striking vertical plant display, a pallet esky and a rustic garden bed using railway sleepers.  

 

His latest project is sure to be a hit with Pete and Leah’s young twins. “I’m about to finish building a huge floating blackboard for my kids play area out the back. Knowing how much they love drawing and playing, then add to it the fact I built them something you can’t even buy, makes me feel bloody good.”

 

Upcoming plans include building a day bed from recycled materials for a new pool area and building a “feature fence” using recycled timber. He also plans to install concrete benchtops in his kitchen and replace the kitchen splashback with subway tiles.

 

In the longer term, Pete hopes to establish a home workshop. “At the moment it’s adhoc,” he says. “I moved into my place a year ago and while I’ve managed to get lots done, it’s been a case of clearing space in the garage for that particular project or working on the outdoor tables. I aim to have it more established in the next six months.”

 

wallplanter.jpgPete is obviously a high achiever. He has competed at state level in soccer, beach volleyball and athletics, and once saved a kid’s life while SCUBA diving. His commitment to D.I.Y. even extends to making his own beard oils and balms, beef jerky, cold drip coffee and coffee liqueur.

 

While he’s naturally accomplished on the tools, Pete struggles to think of the best piece of D.I.Y. advice he’s ever received. “Honestly, I’m not sure,” he admits. “But something like ‘measure twice, cut once’ stands out because something so simple saves a lot of material, money, time and frustration.”

 

If he ever hits a snag, Pete says he usually calls his father. “Otherwise YouTube can be really handy, and now obviously Workshop community.”

 

Pete says his favourite tools include his drop saw, jigsaw and a good quality hammer. He loves spending time in the tool shop in Bunnings, but lately has been often seen in the paint section and the timber aisle.

 

Pete was immediately excited by the concept of the Workshop community and keen to be a community founder. “I love digital, social media, online community, talking, learning, D.I.Y. and Bunnings so it seems like the best place for all of that.”  

Comments
by Darren
March 2016

Looking forward to seeing your next project @ProjectPete - the floating blackboard sounds like a great project, hope you share it!

by Isobel
March 2016

Loved the floating planter box you shared this week @ProjectPete. Great to have in this community. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with in future. 

by Kellie
March 2016

Sounds like you'll have to get Leah into Workshop as well @ProjectPete. Is she the one that tends to come up with most of your ideas?

by ProjectPete
March 2016

Thanks very much @Darren @Isobel and @Kellie. Will definitely keep sharing. Got new floors and laundry benchtop to do this long wknd and will most likely finish the kid's blackboard too so plenty to share over the next week or so

by ProjectPete
March 2016

@Kellie We tend to ideate together but she definitely had the creative edge

by Kermit
April 2016

I enjoy your posts @ProjectPete. Many thanks for sharing your story. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects soon. 

by flash
May 2016

Like Pete I make 'things' out of other 'things. I am a Fitter/welder by trade and refuse to discard steel of any kind. That little piece of off-cut just may make the bracket required for that next job. Similarly with timber I will use off-cuts for a miriad of things when renovating or building. I have found Bunnings to be a very useful source of information, inspiration and tremendous resource for anything DIY. They are NOT allways the cheapest as their adverts would have you believe but they do have a huge range of options which is why you will generally find me in one of their stores several times per week. I do also appreciate their backing of this forum.

by Andy_Mann
May 2016

You're a champion ProjectPete, I haven't been here long, but you caught my eye early on in the piece as a real doer. Great to hear that Leah is so creative, & that you inspire/motivate each other.

I'm also a "have a crack at it" kinda guy, but my wife is the time management officer, who regularly keeps me updated on what's/she's broken since our last To-Do list discussion. : P

Battle on getting your home workshop going, it will make a huuuge difference, you're doing it tough.

All my early home fittings were done using a tenon saw, a single speed drill (non-impact so masonary work was a challenge), & a screwdriver, while the wood was supported over my thigh with my forearm, or I knelt & lent on it at the back step.

All the very best to you mate, Leah, your darling twinnies, & a big shout out to your Dad too, mine wasn't all that handy, but he was my hero just the same.

by ProjectPete
May 2016

@Andy_Mann Wow what a post to read first thing today - thanks mate! Havign a mentor growing up (dad) and someone to inspire me today (wifey and kids) makes it all a lot easier, more fun and interesting, and certainly very much worth it. Looking forward to seeing you work/posts. Cheers

by Community Manager Jason
September 2016

Hey @ProjectPete, thanks again for sharing your story. Seeing as you've been very busy with new projects since this interview was published, what would you say is your biggest achievement now? Has it changed?

 

Jason

by ProjectPete
September 2016

Absolutely @Jason

 

Most successful/favourite project now is my laundry reno. Was challenging and fun. I got to use existing skills and try some new stuff along the way (and get a nice new tool ).

 

Got a lot more coming up so will definitely keep everyone posted!

by Community Manager Jason
September 2016

Great, looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. Thanks again for sharing. 

by Esther48
3 weeks ago

Pete, Your story is really impressive. Do you do jobs for others who may need work done, like gardening, paving etc.  I would be interested in getting some help with a native verge garden that i would like to plant.

Many thanks

Esther48

by ProjectPete
3 weeks ago

Thanks @Esther48. I'm always open to picking up a job or two here an there. It really just depends on what's required and when by. What are you thinking for your native verge garden? Have you planned it out much yet?