Monday, 4 July 2016

Down the garden path...

The path to minimal gardening I might add. This is the southern side of the house and as you would have seen in the previous post this was a weedy/grassy area with no path to the back of the house where the clothesline, shed, chook pen and veggie garden are. Keeping in mind we are in a low rainfall area for significant parts of the year, the aim was to keep this side of the house as low maintenance as possible, and we have used 25mm bluestone as a mulch and planted drought tolerant plants such as succulents where possible thus far.

In the last two weeks we have had the new concrete path laid and have continued on with the landscaping. I was amazed with the amount of soil that needed to be shifted from what seemed like not a big project, but looks can be deceiving. Two box trailers of mixed soil/concrete went off site, one box trailers worth of clean soil went to the neighbour next door for a new garden bed they are building, and the remaining soil went to a new garden bed out the front of our house.


Marking out the path to be laid.

Nothing quite like freshly laid concrete is there...

Concrete is set and you can see the soil that was displaced by the path
and needs to be moved by yours truly.

Prepping the ground for paving where the new kitchen herb
garden trolley is going

 Pavers laid and bluestone down


The new herb trolley (our old BBQ). All the BBQ plates etc
have been removed and I am going to put timber slats
where the hotplates where, and make a stand to go on
top for herbs in pots to sit level with the kitchen window.

Finished on the left hand side, but leaving the right hand
side for now for footings to go down for pergola posts

 The path comes out and meets up now with the carport slab
at the front of the house

An outline of the pergola that is planned for the side of the house,
most likely to shift to the left to provide some shade for the
windows from the summer sun.

And that's pretty much a wrap for now; not the most exciting of updates but good to see progress and the finish line for this project in sight. I can almost envisage when the idea of jobs to do down here is simply sweep the path and water the plants!

Cheers, Col

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Fence Post...

...and Path.

No not an English pub and no pun intended, this is literally my fence post, a post about our fence upgrade and the path we took to get there ;-)

This is how the Southern boundary of the property looked when we moved in...


No idea what that mark is on the photo above ?! Anyway, the existing fence consisted of galvanised posts, PVC coated chain wire, plus there was no path from the laundry door (halfway down house) to the washing line at the rear of the house - just grass/weeds.


At the rear of the property was the traditional Hills Hoist clothes line, which was removed  to make way for the new shed and chicken pen.


Once the new shed was completed we had a new concrete path installed to go from the laundry down to the shed and new clothes line (now mounted on the back wall of the house).



Once the path was installed I set about making a chook pen at the back, with the eventual aim of making a bigger more permanent enclosure than the current coop, which we purchased when we first got the chickens.


This involved putting in a 1.8m high paling fence where the chook pen would go, which would then taper down to a 1.2m high paling boundary fence.



Once the 1.8m high section at the rear was complete, I started at the front of the fence and tackled it in sections, cutting off and pulling back the PVC coated chain wire, and then replacing with treated pine palings for a more modern look.


This process took longer than I thought as we chose to retain the existing galvanised steel pipes used as the posts and bearers for the fence. This meant pre-drilling each hole and then using a self tapping screw to secure the palings. Why pre-drill for self tapping screws I hear you ask? Well that galvanised steel is about 30 years old and tougher than concrete, so the pre-drilling sped up the process and reduced the amount of screws that failed to go all the way in on the first attempt!


This is the first section completed and we were happy with the result and how it looked compared to the original fence. This took the better part of a day...


And the remainder the better part of the following two weekends. But now that this was done, this meant that I could get started on the landscaping, putting in the plants that we had been temporarily been holding in pots (see the photos below) and putting down 25mm bluestone as mulch.




And the finished result with the plants in and the bluestone down.





And below you can see the chicken coop and pen which has been built, and the passion fruit vine I planted for the girls is doing well getting established. I also put up a bird feeder (which we brought home from America) to keep the native birds from trying to steal the chicken's feed.



So all in all a lot of hard work but really happy to see progress being made and our vision coming together. Next step on the Southern boundary is to install a new path from the laundry door to the carport slab out front, and erect a pergola over the kitchen and dining room window, so that we continue with the landscaping and complete this side of the house.

The list of things to do never ends!

Cheers, Col


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Putting Our Stamp On This Place...

...An update from the Cape #capepallarenda

Yes it's been six months since our last update, but we haven't been lazy, just crazy buzy. Start of another school year, both of us working, and me committing all available spare time to completing my post graduate finance studies. Reno works have been intermittent at best, but we have been plodding along and now are ready to tackle the remaining jobs on 'the list'. 

But we do feel like we are finally putting our stamp on this place so thought it would be good to look back at how this house has evolved over time (there's going to be some obvious variation in photo quality due to changes in technology, but I'm sure you get the idea)...

First photo we ever saw of our Cabin by the Sea.


What we saw on Google street view before we even looked at the house


How it looked when the original owners sold the house to the owner prior to us


How it was when we started construction of the extension 
(building in the garage)




Posts being dug starting construction of the Dutch Gable Carport



Footings being poured



Posts going in



Trussses going up and sheeting going on


(Glenn Blanco from Total Span completed the carport supply and construction for us - 
and we can't recommend them highly enough)

Finito... for now!



As you can see our house continues to evolve, and I'll try and be a little more frequent in updating its progress, now that I've got some more free time.

Cheers, Col

PS. No matter which way you look at it, life is better at the beach ! #cabinbythesea #lifeisbetteratthecape




Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Year That Disappeared...

Also known as "we haven't written diddly on the blog for months!"

Where on earth did this year go - well a lot of it was consumed by our renovation; and our blogging of said reno evaporated between work, family, study and school. I dip my hat to Caroline from West End Cottage because delivering weekly updates while in the process of project managing a reno and raising a family is an achievement in its own right. And while we have failed miserably in the blogging, I want to start loading some photos and writing brief blog posts where possible as I think it is important to finish documenting our (still a work in progress) renovation. 

Our biggest achievement has been the extension - building in the two car garage to deliver a new Master Suite, complete with ensuite and walk in robe, as well as a separate storage area at the front of the house for the bikes and frequently accessed items. And when I say we, I mean Kate, as this build has been her responsibility and she has done a grand job in delivering our new 'digs'. So below is a photo journal taking us through from construction starting to fit out commencing...

Adult lego building blocks arrive

Front 'Before'

The blockies begin their magic

Initial block-work complete

New window ledge laid for Master Suite

New slab laid for Master Suite

Studs going up
(New Storeroom at front)

New Walk-in Robe

The Boss oversees construction

Master bedroom back to door to house

Stud wall separates storeroom from bedroom

New wall cavity for Smart TV

Plasterboard rough fit out

Master Bedroom

Plaster and Insulation fit out (WIR)

Ensuite Window Cavity

Villa-board fit out in ensuite

Bring on the mud and sanding

Priming, sealing and undercoating

Ensuite floor tiles down

Windows fitted and lock-up complete

New storeroom to right (before roller door fitted)

As you can see some progress has been made!! Thanks to all who have followed our shenanigan's so far and from all of us in the land of Sunshine and Paint Pots - Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year. 


We'll try to be better bloggers as we get jobs done in 2016... we promise?!

Cheers, Col