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

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dad's plans for work with Dave

Dad is getting organised for the work that he and Dave will do in August. Here are his plans:

I want to build the veranda portion that is the same as the north face of the house, leaving off the mitred end that returns on the east face for now as I have scaffold there for painting. I am building baseboard doors to open for access and close and lock for security along this north face portion of the veranda. There will be 8 bays for storage and two shelves permitting material of short and long length. I will be doing this work when Dave is on-site, and hopefully store the lining boards away, sorted into the various types.

I do not wish to put on the veranda posts yet as I plan to use the old iron to cover this area while work goes on elsewhere over the long-term. The posts will be in the way for now. I will use the 3m lengths of roofing from the Toora house for my temporary storage.

I want to spend some time finding a source for the flooring. It will be a large cost item, and many options present. That will be discussed later.

I also want to leave the steps from the north face for later discussion as I believe they merit a proper detailed consideration and construction in keeping with the rest of the veranda. Alan has figured a simple open plank structure which is really not sufficient unless you are happy with this design. I do not want to sacrifice one or two bays of storage area to build the steps now rather than at the end of the project.

I have aimed at having sufficient work for Dave and I, without being overly stocked with materials that must be stored safely. Later, I will address the repairs of the east face weatherboards and windows and door entrance as my next project, and completing the painting. But doing the north face now as well as giving storage area will give access to place the window and doors along this face at a comfortable level.

The tractor will have the posthole attachment on it while Dave is there so if you have holes that need to be made for trees we will put these in and place topsoil into the holes.

I hope Dave will have time to do some tractor work excavating the house site and establishing the spoil fill-in of the sewage effluence field while he is here. However, that will not be a priority. Doing holes for trees will be, but only if you have considered well where these are to be placed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

we need a verandah tank

In advance of Dave's return trip in August, Dad got organised in planning out what we should do. He decided to focus primarily on the veranda and foundations.

One of the questions that came up related to where the water caught by the verandah roof should be funnelled. We have to capture every last drop of rainwater and store it, so can't just let it run off...

After some discussion we decided the best solution would be to have a tank that fits underneath the verandah itself, from which we can pump water up to the main storage tank.

For instance, depending on how much space there is, we could get a bladder tank made to fit, like the kinds that Flexitank and WetEarth offer.

Initially Dad wasn't keen as he had been planning to use the area for storage, but then he came up with a workaround:

I am going to plan to leave an area of veranda subfloor at the east end (the front) in the corner where the mitre is made between the two sides of the veranda, for the bladder tank should you decide to have it under the veranda. It is quite easy at this end to permit an open area as I can span the area with subfloor beams and still have access to install later. This spot was not intended for the storage so no loss is suffered there.
I will see what it costs for a tank apx 2mtrs wide x 3 mtrs long x 1mtr high if made to order - have emailed Flexitank to ask for a quote.

Monday, July 20, 2009

mistakes in old house plans, arrgghh

After all the euphoria over the building permit being granted for the old house, Dad has now discovered there are some mistakes with the plans.

He had got a 'friend' of his to do the drafting work on them which was far cheaper than going through an architect like Eric... but wow, talk about a hassle. I would not ever use that draftsman again. Not only did he take far too long (months and months of promising and never delivering), it now turns out that there were mistakes!!

Fortunately Dad spotted them before we proceeded too far, and the guys at the Shire have said it is fine to alter, phew. But still... one hassle Dad didn't need.

Here's Dad's update on the problems:

Alan states the veranda posts are 125x125 cypress pine. I plainly told him they were to be 100x100 cypress pine but he forgot to alter this. I have called the shire to enquire if I can alter this detail.

Alan also states selected treated pine baseboards around the outside of the veranda. I may wish to use hardwood due to the longer lasting nature of hardwood due to being more stable in the sun in larger sections. Treated pine tends to curl a lot and look awful after a few years. I will ask the surveyor if I can change this also.

Alan also states the 1 metre high column encasing the three posts is to be made of weatherboards, but I believe it will look better with lining boards. Same material, but no need for total weather tightness on these and a very much superior finished look. I will also ask the surveyor if I can use the lining boards.

Alan also was not told or forgot that this will be a lined veranda with the ceiling level forming an air space with the roof. I see he has mentioned use of 100x50 HW F8 for the rafters of the utility, where it is more usual to use 100x 38 HW F8. I will ask the surveyor if I can alter this. The use of heavier than required framing members above the ground is pointless and bad building. I plan to use 100x38 HW F8 for the ceiling joists that the lining boards attach to as well.

As there is a large quantity of material involved I need to sort out this anomaly earliest possible before running afoul the inspector after much expense.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the little red caboose trailer

We are the proud owners of a lovely little red trailer that works like a dumptruck. Here at last are some photos:

little red trailer - 1 little red trailer - 2

It started back in early February. Dad was really keen to get a tandem trailer with a dumping facility - ie: so it will tip itself up to empty a load, rather than you having to stand on it with a shovel. He said we'd need it to move around the dirt when we are doing the terracing and foundations.

What we need is a 6x4 with a removable 3'cage to be better used for shifting various kinds of materials. Mostly it will be loaded from the side, as in when you get material loaded in a yard selling bulk sand, screenings, etc. For the heavier,denser materials you need the smaller size as the Jackaroo is limited in how much it can pull. Also tipping a heavier material requires a strong tipping winch.

We were initially against it because of the cost, but after a few months eventually Dad wore us down (and managed to find one at around one third the previous price).

He placed the order in late February. Because it was being custom-made it wasn't due to be ready by end March. In his words:

Have ordered the trailer. Have customized it to suit your needs as much as possible. Will be 600mm deep, 6x4', inverted 2.5mm checkerplate deck inverted to it will not grip load when emptying it. Has a checkerplate tailgate hinged from the top that is removable to use as ramp to drive a ride-on mower onto it when needed. I chose red because of the tractor. There is a spare, which was extra. Wheels are all secondhand, and tyres are secondhand but roadworthy. Cost a lot more to get the commercial truck tyres new fitted now so thought that could be arranged another time if needed. Got the deeper side rather than a cage because it was more useful when tipping so the load doesn't exit over the top of the tailgate rather than through the slip space. Have a chain adjusted slip space for spreading the load as you move forward and the tipper is up to the degree to get the load to slide. May have trouble with clays, but dry soil and lilydale topping, which is the most likely way to benefit from tip-spreading for road making and large terraces.

Unfortunately though, that date slipped and slipped, to the extent that it wasn't ready when we were back visiting. In fact, it ended up not being ready until early June!! Despite the huge delay though, Dad is very happy with it. And I like it because it reminds me of a little red caboose. :-)