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

Monday, August 31, 2009

tweak needed to veranda ceiling

So... while working on the verandah, Dave and Dad ran into another little hiccup, relating to the ceiling lining.

The problem is that the top of the eave, where the ceiling lining level occurs naturally, is 2300mm and approximately 300mm lower than the top of the old window in the lounge.

So, if we are to make the verandah ceiling flat, where it joined the wall would knock out part of the window.

Dad's recommended solution was to have a sloped lining on the front part of the verandah, so we don't have to change the window there. And then change it for the long part of the verandah to be flat, and just use a shorter window on the side (given there is no window there at the moment). He suggested we use the bay window for this.

I had a play with the layout and think moving the bay window there will be fabulous. So that's changing regardless of the ceiling.

After some deliberation though, we decided to abandon the idea of having a flat ceiling and just go with the easier approach of letting the lining boards follow the verandah rafters on an angle.

Partly this is because I think it will look wrong to have one section of the verandah with a different shaped ceiling to the other. It is a relatively small area and I want the space to feel like it flows from one to the other, which it won't do if the ceiling isn't the same.

Most persuasive of all, after a closer look at the photos, Dave persuaded me that the other house that I really liked that I thought had a flat verandah ceiling - actually didn't! So now I'm happy that we will be able to get the right effect going with them on an angle. With the added bonus that it's less work. Yay!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sketchup model of divider shelving

I spent some time today playing around with SketchUp again. This time, doing a mock-up of the divider shelving between the kitchen and lounge in the old house (see plan here) to make sure that it works.

This is meant to be indicative only - I haven't thought in detail about the precise layout of shelving - but it illustrates how it might work.

The unit in this mock-up is measured at 2.6m by 0.5m, which I think should fit? I'm guessing because of the height and weight of this, we will want to have a support beam somewhere, going to the roof perhaps. We can figure that out later...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

possible doors

Dad spotted these doors a while back being thrown away, so nabbed them thinking they'd come in handy.

possible doors

They're really solid old doors. I'm not a fan of the yellow 70's glass, but that could be easily replaced.

They are apparently normal door width, which should mean that they could possibly be used for the doors from the kitchen to the verandah in the old house.

I haven't decided for certain yet, as I had originally been envisaging something less fancy and simpler (more like these).

But, the curvy bits could work well with the curve of the bay window now it is being moved, and they would lend a slightly more formal touch as befits being framed by the stairs that will lead up to them. So I am almost convinced... just need to think on it some more. :-)

You can see them in context of the house (albeit not quite in the accurate position) here, which gives you an idea of the scale the steps will be.
House with possible doors - 1

tweaking old house plans

Dad came up with the idea to move the bay window that was previously planned to go in the bedroom to the lounge, and build in a little window seat.

In order to see whether this would work, I needed to revisit the old house layout plans. The previous version was out-dated as we had moved the location of the kitchen doors so they lined up better between verandah posts.

The final architectural drawings for the old house are here. Using them, I played around with moving the window and overlaying furniture, and think I have come up with a layout that will work well:

latest layout plan for old house

We'll have to be careful how we position the window, to make sure it is nicely lined up between the verandah posts outside, while still leaving enough space for the divider wall. Also, we will need to plan carefully to get the window seat at a comfortable level without looking out of place relative to the existing front window. But in principle, they're different enough that I think it will work.

Another side-benefit to this is that it gives us more flexibility in the layout of the bedroom. By not putting in the bay window and just leaving it as solid wall (as it is currently), we would save ourselves a job as well as gain more space for furniture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Next door's sheep come to visit

I am a big fan of sheep, so delighted that next door have a flock. I am even happier that they let them come to visit and graze... not only is it cool to have them around, it means that Dave doesn't have an even bigger mowing job!

Here's some footage Dave took of them wandering up the driveway:

Sheep at Amherst - 2

Monday, August 24, 2009

work on the verandah

Dave and Dad made great progress while they were up there on the verandah foundation, pausing only when the ran into a hiccup with the ceiling height.

They got all the stumps in for the verandah on the long side of the house. This was a big job apparently as not only did they have to dig out the holes, it was a pain getting everything lined up perfectly. Even worse - the tractor got a flat tire, so after all the effort to get the augre, they had to do a lot of it by hand!

Here's the beginning...
Verandah work - 01

They dug out each hole ...
Verandah work - 02 Verandah work - 13

Then filled with cement.

Verandah work - 08 Verandah work - 05

Repeat many times and you have a forest of stumps...

Verandah work - 16

A quick tangent to dig out a flat area for the under-verandah tank...

Verandah work - 15

Then it's time for some framing...

Verandah work - 20 Verandah work - 21
Verandah work - 23 Verandah work - 22

They even got the posts up (with temporary supports until Dad gets the roof frame up) and voila, the verandah starts to take shape.

Verandah work - 26 Verandah work - 25

Sunday, August 23, 2009

scavenged finds: doors

Dad found these lovely solid-wood doors being thrown away, and rescued them from the side of the road.

door set

Dad suggested to cut out the wood and install glass at the top, then use them as doors from the kitchen to verandah in the old house.

But I think that seems a shame, and would rather hang onto them as they are. Eg: they'd be great to use as doors from the library to the tower section, if we went back to the idea of having a big centrally open part (which I'm leaning towards doing).

Also, earlier Dad found these other somewhat shabbier door and window set, which I think he wants to use for the external side entrance to the laundry
door for laundry - 1

I'm not in love with them, but they should scrub up OK. They are solid wood, which is the important thing (not plastic).

Friday, August 21, 2009

mowing the orchard

One of the tasks Dave did while back was to mow the grass in the orchard. Clearly the fence was working well to keep the sheep and kangaroos out, as although everything else was nibbled flat, this had just gone crazy.

To help with the task, Dad bought Dave an early Xmas present: a lawnmower!

Here's a short video showing what it looked like before mowing. The trees might look dead from a distance but when you get close up you can see that they've got buds on.

Here's what it looked like midway and after...

Orchard - 2

Orchard - 3

Thursday, August 20, 2009

why are tractors so expensive?

So, in advance of Dave's visit, we decided to buy the posthole digger attachment for the tractor, to help in digging the stump holes.

Then Dad decided to get three differently sized augres for it (8 inch, 12 inch, 18 inch) which he said we need for different jobs.

Then when Dave got there, it turned out the tractor annoyingly was missing the bit that you needed to attach the attachment to! So we had to buy that bit as well.

And when they were in the shop they spotted a Ripper attachment supposedly going cheap, so they got that too.

I swear, this tractor is turning into a money pit. :-(

When they finally got it all connected, they couldn't resist doing some practice digging, so proceeded to dig potholes near the shed. Dave assures me he filled them in again though...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunrise mist

While Dave and Dad were camping out at the block, it was unfortunately pretty cold. Not a surprise given it was the middle of winter, but still not pleasant.

The only positive was that it meant Dave was able to take some lovely misty sunrise photos. This is my favourite:

Sunrise views - 4

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mum's update on Amherst

Dave is back in Australia now. After a few days catching up with his family in Melbourne, Mum drove him up to Amherst to work with Dad. Here's her report of the day:

I got Dave at about 6.15am and we set off to Amherst. It was VERY windy and dark and there was rain on and off – I dropped Dave at your place (Dad was there from Friday afternoon) and went to the Talbot farmers market. I went back out to the block to take stuff out and see them again but Dave was asleep. I had got him so early and I guess he had been so late.

The dam is as full as I have ever seen it, and from the top of the hill by the house it looks like the floor of the landing is only a foot or two above the surface – and it is almost up to the bottom row of reeds.

It was raining so much I had a bit of trouble getting up the hill, slipping and sliding but not daring to stop. I gave the stuff to Dad and let him go over the caravans with his four wheel drive. Everything is green and there were some puddles along the road.

Your two separate fruit / nut trees are in blossom. Did not see anything in the orchard but you have to understand it was raining so I did not go down on foot and when driving I was sliding about and not looking at trees.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

trees doing well

The trees continue to thrive...

The lemongums along the driveway are beautiful. Hard to believe that only a few years ago they were the size of pencils!

trees at Amherst - 6 trees at Amherst - 5

The new trees that we put in last trip survived the transplant shock and have put on some growth. A big relief as it's very different for them to be in the ground vs cosseted in their pots.

trees at Amherst - 2

The dam is full, and the damhouse is perfect

Wow, the dam is fuller than it has ever been. And the dam house (really a glorified shed) looks wonderful, like it's in the middle of a lake when viewed from the front. Just the effect I was hoping for... :-)

Here's what it looks like now:
Dam views - 03

Dam views - 02

Just to put that in context, here's what it looked like when we built it in April. The water would be lapping at your feet if you were to take that photo again today.

working on dam house

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Green green green

Dad took some photos for us on his last visit, showing Amherst as wonderfully lush and green... Oh how I wish it was like this all the time.

Field views at Amherst - 06

Field views at Amherst - 07