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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rain rain rain

So work continues but oh so slowly.  In winter there's less daylight, it's cold and it's pot luck whether the weather is nice or not.  For an area that's meant to be dry, it does seem to rain a lot at the wrong times.  Still I will never begrudge the rain there, even though it does slow things down.  

Dad's report from last week's trip:

I had dreadful weather this visit.  On Sunday and Monday it was very cold but not raining, just overcast.  But the clouds bucketed down on Tues and a bit on Weds.  I was able to complete the enclosure of the octagon room by working until 9pm on Sun, using light and generator, and again working from 0430 to 9pm on Mon.  Little did I know that the heavy rain was to come on Tues, but needless to say I was relieved I had made the octagon room serviceable. 

(The 'Octagon room' is a small enclosure Dad has built near his campsite surrounding the fire, so there is somewhere warm to be when it's cold)

I moved a tankful of water to the 5000 gal tank so we could continue to collect water this winter.  When I go back I will move more water. I moved materials stored in the Lakehouse out to the embankment.  I had put the decking into the Lakehouse the previous visit because the rains had filled the dam and where the decking was lying was underwater.  But now all is tidy in the Lakehouse and materials stored properly under covers on the embankment ready to resume the building of the pier.  I moved the planks to cover as well since they were left on the outriggers at the side of the Lakehouse and were exposed to serious weather.  I am gradually removing all the building waste material from the embankment as well.  I have taken three pots of firewood to the octagon room and sorted these according to type of wood for either kindling, small wood, or large wood pieces.  I did these jobs when it was raining because I could not use the generator.  

Some good news though:  

When I got home I found the permit for the amendment to plans for the old house waiting.  I can now seriously begin work on the extension. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Revised plans for the old house

Late last year we decided to hedge our bets.  Making the old house bigger shouldn't cost a lot extra, but brings a lot more flexibility for staying in it long-term, should the 'dream house' build get postponed.

We finally got the revised plans back from the draftsman and I'm really happy with them.   Here's the floorplan now: 


The key changes are:
  • Addition of walk-in wardrobe and small corridor (with storage) between the master bedroom and the bathroom.  
  • Extra room for the kitchen, with the addition of a jutting out "L" section.  This means we no longer have to stress about squeezing the dining table into the kitchen.  
  • Repositioning of the stained glass bay window.
It's mostly straightforward, except the bathroom.  I wanted a luxurious bathroom with lots of space, so Dad suggested adding a loft area for the bath, accessed via a spiral staircase.  He also came up with the idea of having a glass roof for part of it, so it has the feel of a conservatory.  Having the light coming in should mean we can grow tropical plants that it would otherwise be too dark for.  I also like how there's a big high ceiling above the shower... I think I am going to experiment with having the shower head up high so it feels like a rainshower...  
bathroom plan

Finally, here's what it looks like from each angle.  Although it's not on the same scale as the 'dream house', it does have a very different look from each side, which I really like: 

South elevation: 

This shows the original front door side.  The master bedroom is on the left, and I'm hoping we can keep a section of the verandah without a balcony, so you can sit on the edge and dangle your feet over.  :-)  We'll likely also have a canopy shade over the big bedroom window too -- but that's a finishing touch we can add later.

East elevation:

This shows the side that faces down to the dam.  There's the long verandah with the double doors that leads into the dining area, and the kitchen window on the right.

North elevation:

This shows the technical 'back' of the house.  The laundry is on the right and deliberately is accessed via the covered porch, so it can also function as a kind of mudroom.

West elevation: 
Finally, this shows most private side of the house -- the one that faces uphill.  There's a small door from the master bedroom to step outside, and there's a small balcony that adjoins the upstairs bathroom area.  I don't expect we'll use the balcony area a lot for sitting in since I don't know if it's going to have a nice view -- unless we get lucky and can see over the hilltop.  But it should work out OK as a place for plants, or (if I flyscreened it in) as an occasional sleeping area for hot summer nights.  Or perhaps even a place for the telescope?  This side will look more symmetrical in reality than the sketch shows, because the drawing had to get squished on the far left to fit on the page.