-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Work begins on the "boathouse"

Really it's just a glorified shed, but boathouse is a nicer name. :-)

Originally this was planned to be on the edge of the dam, but when we got there and saw how much of the central ridge was exposed, we decided to take the opportunity to build it in the middle of the dam instead.

Building the boatshed from Lynette on Vimeo.

Dad was the ringleader and did all the planning and calculations. Dave and Pete assisted at various stages, but this was basically Dad's project. He even sourced a lot of the materials from his stocks of scavenged wood, so with the exception of the pier supports, it will basically be all from recycled material.

By the end of the few days he had managed to get the base in and floors nailed down, and the frame and windows for the walls on one side. It wasn't quite as far as he'd hoped, but hey... I think it was an amazing effort all things considered.

Building it on the ridge made it a bit more complicated than it would have otherwise been - we needed to secure the stumps deep enough as if for a pier, and we eventually will need to have a ramp walkway. But it will be worth it in the end, just imagine being able to sit on the edge and look out over the water. :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stripping paint

While Dave was busy on the tractor, I spent most of my time during our visit stripping off paint from the old window and door frames at the front of the house.

The old paint was loose enough that with the help of scrapers and elbow grease we managed to get it all off without resorting to using a heat gun or chemicals.

Here's a few before and after photos:

stripping paint from windowframe - 1 stripping paint from windowframe - 2

stripping paint from windowframe - 4 stripping paint from windowframe - 5

I can't take credit for doing all of it though, I had huge help from Pete and Jen (my brother & sister), and also of course Dad who had arranged for the scaffolding to be set up...

scraping off old paint - 04
scraping off old paint - 12 scraping off old paint - 11
lyn working on house (from suz)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The big day arrives: installing the Ozzikleen tank

Woohoo! The Ozzikleen tank is in!

Ozzikleen tank gets installed from Lynette on Vimeo.

It arrived on my birthday, which I guess makes it a birthday present of sorts... :-)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dave digs a big hole

The big test for the tractor came when we needed to do a fairly major excavation, to fit the wastewater treatment tank.

It took Dave nearly 2 days, but he did it. :-)

Dave digs a big hole from Lynette on Vimeo.

... and for a taster of the full noisy experience, here's a short clip:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Planting trees

As has now become tradition, every visit we plant some more trees.

This trip we put in the special trees that Dave's Mum had been nurturing for us, as well as some replacement lemon gums to fill in the few odd gaps along the driveway.

Planting trees from Lynette on Vimeo.

Nelson, Dave's 11 year old nephew dug all the holes with the tractor - he was the best at using it, I guess due to all the practice playing with the machines at the Science Museum and the like. :-)

Once each hole got dug, Dave and his Dad and brother installed irrigating pipes and added better soil before planting the trees. The finishing touches were some rocks to help act as a sort of mini dam in catching water which Anne and Dave's Mum helped with, as well as strong fencing and shadecloth to protect from the sheep, kangaroos and wind.

wrapping up the trees

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Prue helps us lay out the garden

After marking out the new house, the next day it was time to think about the garden.

Prue Metcalfe came up to help us, as we had some big decisions to make that I didn't want to risk screwing up. Added bonus was she brought along her husband and little girl the night before, so we had a great catchup dinner. :-)

Armed with piping and spraypaint as markers, we worked out where the main garden beds would be, especially the long border to run alongside both houses. Then we worked out the shape for the terraced area that we will eventually be excavating, including the haha.

(We later used the tractor to dig a trench along the paint to get a marker more long lasting...)

By the end of it we had solved some of the major questions we'd been worried about - like where to plant the pines and where to dig the giant hole for the wastewater tank. It's amazing what a difference being onsite makes.

Here's some photos and clips, including one with Prue talking through the overall layout.

marking out the garden - 13 marking out the garden - 07

marking out the garden - 03

Friday, April 03, 2009

marking out the new house

On our first day, we were met at the block by Sam and John. Fuelled with celebratory champagne they brought along, we proceeded to spraypaint out the layout of the new house. (Not that we planned to do any excavation work this trip, but so that we had it as reference for working out the location of other things)

Needless to say, it was an entertaining job. :-)

Lyn and Sam - 1