Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Up to the bedrooms

Now the frame for the second floor above the kitchen, family room etc is starting to appear.The steps need to be squeezed in safely behind the garage to access this floor.Will there be enough room for a landing half way up?


The tree is in the ground in the back courtyard, but the rest is a mess. Inside, you can see the opening for the bi-fold doors at the end of the family room, through which the tree will be visible below. The frame for the fireplace is in line with the dining room opposite, and the front entry beyond.

Slab Progress

I was sitting in the dream kitchen a few days back when a huge cement mixer appeared - I thought it was coming in for my toast. Well it was very exciting to see the cement going in for the first of the slabs underneath. As you can gather this is my first blogg (fellow bloggers - and I'm doing it in the dark!!!) Jim.

Foreman on the job

Lydia particularly loved the soft sand laid on top of the new portico at the front. This will be our new entry, through that casement window in the old dining room. Once this is opened up, the old front stairs can be demolished, then rebuilt as internal stairs to the 'Garden Room' downstairs.

Framing doors and windows

The frame takes on some walls, windows and alcove for the gas fireplace.

connecting to the old part

Now we have a floor to walk on, the wall into the old second bedroom, soon to be new dining room, can be opened up.

starting to go up

The timber frame goes up at the back. This will be the family room, with kitchen behind and butlers pantry/laundry further back again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The house proper

Now the retaining walls are in, tarred, rubble drained etc , the land is backfilled to start the floor of the new parts ie kitchen, family room, laundry and garages.


No, we haven't built the house yet, but the fence pillars, retaining wall, tree hole and lighting for the pillars and the tree all have to go in first. The steps up the back of the house and large garden box are being built from besser blocks.

Plenty to do yet.

The new foundations are in so the house is settling down. Only the old front steps remain to be demolished when the new portico at the front will give us access. Once the retaining walls, gas pipes etc go into it, the portico will be core filled with cement in the besser bricks and then backfilled.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Forging ahead

Instead of the smell of mud and earth we longed to smell new timber. Slowly but surely we got closer to it. The exposed floor boards above started to show their promise.

Getting serious

Finally we felt that something new was going to come out of all this mess. Dire warnings suggested that you do not enter, a dunny for the workmen appeared at our front door and deliveries started to happen every day at the usual time, 6am. Bless the neighbours for suffering with us.

Still down, not up

When will we ever get out of the ground? Mud appeared everywhere, the weather turned cold, and still they dug. One day no electricity, then the phone went, gas owas turned off and failed to reignite the hot water system for the weekend. Luckily the really cold weather came 2 weeks later. We went away many times for the weekend, and visited Mike for a shower or two and the odd meal. Lydia kept up the side.

WW1 trenches

Trenches for pipes, foundations, retaining walls and landscaping were dug and promptly filled up with water as the drought broke. It all then turned to mud, but Lydia went out every day to supervise the works.

Wobbly Camping

Once the old kitchen had gone, we set up camp on the enclosed verahdah at the undermined end. As this was the east at least we had morning sun at breakfast time. Note the bar fridge, microwave and temporary sink. Yes we had hot water and a drain, thanks to Bruce.

Demolition continues

Once the builders started, they really went to town. As the underneath disappeared, more problems came to light, meetings followed,and the budget expanded slightly.