Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Build - Wk 8

Things really seemed to happen this week. On Wednesday, Ray came on site with his crane and the three larger celery top pine posts were placed on the concrete plinths.  This really gave the build some height!  Towards the end of the week the bearers went down, so now we can start to see height of the floor.  Now we just await the remainder of the timber order to arrive and things will start to really take shape next week.  Just need to get back to de-barking the remainder of the posts…

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Build - Wk 7

This week seemed to drag with tedious jobs to do….more concrete was needed to be mixed by hand to fill in some of the stump holes that needed a little more fill.  Then the stumps were fitted and the holes backed filled with dirt, then the fill needed to be tamped down.  So, lots of shovelling, digging, tamping.  Also three plinths were formed up out of concrete to hold the three major posts supporting the roof along with the section that will hold the rock fireplace wall.

Then there was the de-barking of the celery top pines.  Been so freshly cut, this has proven to be another laborious job, undertaken with a chisel and mallot.  There are a couple of older logs there (ie: cut a little while ago) and the bark just peels off by hand or a shovel – oh joy!  Three done, fourty odd to go! The poles did not go up this week, but now they have been stripped, hopefully next week...

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Build - Wk 6

We were blessed with great weather this week and everything went according to plan.  The excavator was on site for four days digging out the 100+ holes and did an awesome job. 

The concrete pump arrived at 7am Saturday morning and a succession of concrete trucks followed them up the hill to fill in all the stump holes to 600mm below the surface. Also the carport site now has a slab. With the cut and fill done in previous weeks, some of the holes were over 2 metres deep, so the building site was a no-go zone for the two kids this week….just in case we lost them down a hole! 

The beautiful celery top pine poles arrived on site, cut fresh from the forest the day before. They are some of the best our builder has ever seen.  Normally the forestry department either burns or buries such wood as it does not suit their requirements for wood-chipping. A scandalous waste! Everyone is looking forward to getting out of the ground the week after next, once the stumps and poles are in place and do some proper building!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Build - Wk5

Well if this week is the most dramatic week we have, then we will be fine…We knew we were in for thunderstorms on Monday afternoon, but we underestimated what that means up here in the mountains. Phil, Toby and Graeme spent the morning clearing the trenches dug for the carport slab and laid plastic for the impending rain. Later that afternoon… the storm hit; lots of rain and terrific winds.  The front awning that Graeme had built just a few weeks earlier was most affected with laserlite being ripped of one end and flapping around in the winds, before flying over the shack roof and into the garden. 

Once the storm passed, we got out there and took down the laserlite that was still flapping around and secured the rest of it with extra bolts.  The storm seemed to have passed, so after dinner I went into town to a dance class. When I got out of dance, I had a message from Graeme saying, don’t come home yet, it’s too wild up here. OK, so off to a servo for a lousy cuppa and a KitKat…about an hour later, I got the OK that things were still bad, but had calmed down a little.  As I made my way up the hill, it was starting to look a little like the Wild West…broken branches, leaves everywhere, swirling wind. About half a kilometre from home I was thwarted. A huge gum tree and powerline were blocking my path, so plan B. It was after 11pm and with only $50 in my pocket, I rang the only friends I have in Hobart, but I couldn’t raise them.  So next idea was to call a couple I had met a handful of times at dancing and whose party I had been to on the weekend.  They were so lovely and welcomed me with open arms.  By this time, more of laserlite had blown off the other end of the awning and I was worried about the boys.

The morning arrived and calm, but a very soggy building site with very full stump holes!  By the end of the week, after hiring a water pump and getting the concrete mixer going, the stump holes were empty and the carport slab trenches had a layer of concrete. 

The other exciting event for the week was the arrival of our house bricks...yep, you guessed it, 330 straw bales arrived on a 40ft semitrailer.  So after donning overalls, gloves, masks and glasses, Graeme and I moved the straw bales into the shed where they will stay nice and dry until we need them.

Next week we have the excavator booked to dig out the rest of the stump holes so by the end of the week, the concrete will be poured in all the stump holes and the week after, we can start building!