Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our first harvest

While the house has been slowly coming together, I have been chucking a few seeds around to see how good our soil is. We are now harvesting lebanese cucumbers and have 6 nice fat sugarbaby watermelons nearly ready. The zucchini's are a bit slow and the rockmelons haven't set fruit yet. I have cast some budgie seed around the front yard (which is mainly millet) to try and get a cover crop going and it is sprouting well after the rain. I've put in a passionfruit to cover the wire fence and my lovely brother Tony gave me 5 fruit trees for christmas - 2 feijoas, 1 eureka lemon, 1 tahitian lime and a low-chill peach. There is still alot of soil to be moved around before the orchard can be planted but I can hardly wait!!!!

What about the walls?

Aaaahhh, walls - what a luxury!

We have chosen an exterior ply cladding called 'Shadowclad'. It comes in large sheets and is 12mm thick with vertical grooves. We love it. Originally we were going to clear coat it to give a nice timber finish but advice from the manufacturer's suggested that the board would only last about 15 years if we did this, whereas they estimated a life of 50 years for painted boards. So paint it is. The colour is Wattyl 'weekender' and is probably a bit darker than it appears in the photo. We have found shadowclad relatively easy to put up - as long as the first board is true, the rest just slot into place alongside it.

Upstairs framing is complete - could it be true??

We assumed that the upstairs framing would take about the same as the downstairs framing but nooooo! There were lots of tricky fiddly nasty bits up there (which we will be revisiting soon with plasterboard) and we underestimated on timber by about 500 lineal metres. But, finally, it is all done.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What's happening?

In the last 3 weeks we have moved to the mountain and settled into our new 'temporary' life 2 doors down from the building site.
We are now in the slow 'middle stage'. Just like most things, the start is exciting, the end is a celebration and the middle is ....well, the middle. Not alot to see at the moment but in a few weeks the house should be looking more like a house. The cladding will go on over christmas - all going well.
To add to the constant feeling of 'this is not happening fast enough', the house next door has had a quick start. They got the wall frame up in a week and it was starting to look as if we would lose the race but...... their builders have nicked off for more than a week and counting. They were hoping to have the roof on by christmas but their trusses haven't arrived yet so it's looking a bit doubtful. Just goes to show that getting a builder to do the work doesn't necessarily make the process go any faster.
There is that lesson again..... patience in all things. Why can't I learn that one?