A wild, wet week

Rear elevation of Queenslander, water courtesy of Cyclone Marcia.

Rear elevation of Queenslander, water courtesy of Cyclone Marcia.

Wow, what a wild week it was weather wise. Parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory took a beating with both Cyclone Lam and Cyclone Marcia hitting Australia this week. Thankfully Marcia had downgraded to a tropical low by the time it hit Brisbane. The massive amount of rain we received has well and truly settled the fill under the house and shown us that we need to add more fill, or we will end up with a mosquito breeding ground. The house is nearly closed up, still waiting on those front doors, so there was no issue with the inclement weather affecting the internal fixings of the house.

While the builders were busy with their work this week and the rest of Queensland was in cyclone management mode, I was working, and enjoying the beautiful sunny weather of Cape York, in the Northern Queensland community of Pormpuraaw. There they are still waiting for the wet to really set in. We experienced high tides and stormy seas from the effects of Cyclone Lam, which washed away some of the ocean-side tracks, but that was it. 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

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

What else would you expect…

Second day of demolition and the tradesmen had a beautiful day to complete the job. They told me that the job was not without its excitement, though, when one of them fell through the bathroom floor. This was due to a rotten board giving way, the timber under the concrete that had been laid to level the floor for tiling was a little worse for wear after 90 odd years.

The old decking disappears as the last of the demolition is carried out. The steps were the last to go.

The old decking disappears as the last of the demolition is carried out. The steps were the last to go.

The roof definitely needs to be replaced so we had the roofer out today to give us a quote. It appears that the Decramastic tiles need to be stripped off and the existing battens replaced before the new Colorbond sheeting can be laid. Re-roofing is one of those costs of renovating that an end buyer usually won’t notice, but it will increase the renovation cost significantly. Read more