Timing the Project

Why, oh why, do I do it to myself; take on a major project just before the start of the Christmas close down period, during the hottest, stormiest time of the year and before I take an overseas holiday? Well as I said, this blog is possibly also about ‘how not to do things’!

Storm Season, what was I thinking!

Storm Season, what was I thinking!

Sometimes, things just work against us. Yes, I did procrastinate a little, but in my defence I had a lot of outback work going on and couldn’t concentrate on another project of this size. It was only after the work commitments eased up a bit that I could devote more time to moving the renovation and new build forward. Read more

Stumped, in the nicest possible way

This week has been pretty busy on the work site with everyone wanting to get as much done as possible before the Christmas closedown.

Stone age techniques obviously still work

Stone age techniques obviously still work

The house raisers returned on Monday and worked with the bobcat operator to dig the holes for the stumps – two meters deep. The low tech approach to problems came into play again this week. A plumb bob would obviously get in the way of the drill and would be blown around by the wind. The answer was to have one guy (the youngest) climb up onto the Jenga stacks then position and drop a stone from the centre of the attachment point for the stump. Where ever the stone landed, that was where the hole needed to be drilled. It seemed to work as the house stumps appear to be in the right position and they are all straight. Read more

Banyo, 4014

When I give my address out to people I often get blank looks – where on earth is Banyo? I actually quite like that. Banyo is a hidden gem of a suburb in my opinion.

Banyo 4014

Banyo 4014

Originally named Clapham Junction the suburb was renamed in 1897 by the Commissioner of Railways. In the 1920’s, when our area of Banyo was subdivided there were approximately 400 people living here; now there are more than 5,000 people. Read more

Do not plant a poinciana in a suburban backyard

Yesterday was site clean up day, and I think it was expensive. I haven’t got the bill yet but it looked like a big job.

And the walls came tumbling down.

And the walls came tumbling down.

The backhoe and truck arrived around 6.30am to skies that were threatening rain. The Backhoe operator took one look at the site and ordered a second truck. I watched from my office window throughout the day as they discovered the second slab underneath the first one and old septic pipes. On the bright side, the light rain throughout the day kept the dust down and a building site is meant to be muddy, isn’t it? Read more

In my defence…

Okay, some of you reading this know me quite well and are probably wondering why it has taken me so long to get my act together and make this renovation and development happen. Well, in my defence I have been doing the preparation work for it in my spare time, in between spending most of the past eighteen months on the road for work purposes. Any time something like this becomes an optional extra, as opposed to a full time renovation or development project, it will take a lot longer.

Me in my natural setting

Me in my natural setting

Apart from the workload, we were in no rush to get things done as we were living in the house and, at a basic level, it was meeting our needs. Read more

and the secret is…

Soap!

Did you ever wonder how they slide a house across a block of land? I did. I had visions of them using rollers or airbags or something fairly sophisticated, but no – it came down to a few well placed pieces of steel, some bottle type car jacks, square pieces of timber that looked like large Jenga blocks, a bobcat and a bar of soap.

House starts to be raised, Lower section of stairs are now detached from main part of house

House starts to be raised, Lower section of stairs are now detached from main part of house

It’s been an interesting day watching the team carefully move the house across the block. Read more

The demolition site

Ok, now I officially have a demolition site. A safety fence has been placed across the front of the block and after two days work by the house raising company, and lots of noise, I have a number of holes in the lower walls of the house in preparation for the placement of steel beams for the lift.

The demolition of the lower level has started

The demolition of the lower level has started

We had a slight glitch on day one when the destruction of a dividing wall revealed that one of the old timber bearers had been installed at an angle to match up with the placement of an outside supporting post. Read more

It may not be obvious, but…

It’s been a busy week on the renovation front although this has mainly been behind the scenes work.

Replacing the roof deferred

The builder decided that it was better to wait until after the move to replace the roof as it needs further bracing and tie downs to meet new cyclone standards since the last roof was installed in the 1970’s. After the past couple of weeks of storms, I think this might be a good idea. I have been getting quotes from roofing companies and it looks like it will cost somewhere between $13,000 and $15,000 to remove the old roof, add bracing and tie downs to the timber frame, insulate and replace with Colorbond roofing iron.

The vinyl flooring removed leaving the bare floor as it must have looked many years ago.

The vinyl flooring removed leaving the bare floor as it must have looked many years ago.

While I’ve been working on income generating work and following up various things in whatever spare time I can find, the builder has been busy with preparation work. He has advised me that next week we will have the house lifters on site. Read more