Saturday, November 24, 2012

Over Head at Last

Thursday morning we began the installation of the main roof.
The first sheet goes down followed by sliding the sarking underneath. The sarking is not for insulation but is a fire retardant material designed to stop embers entering the roof in the event of a bushfire.
Fortunately there was very little wind which made handling the sarking easy. It was however very hot on the roof. Despite the heat, John worked at a very steady pace with Jim and I passing up the sheets .
By late afternoon more than half the roof was covered.

 Friday we completed the roof. By this time our charmed spell of calm weather had ended and a fickle wind blew in fits and starts from several directions. A few times the build resembled 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' with lengths of silver sarking billowing in the wind.
Next Jim and I unloaded some of the steel studs while John fixed the ridge capping.
The day ended with a lesson in stud wall assembly.
The roof is not totally screwed off, but this can be done over a period of time definitely on cloudy days.
With the roof on we can now mark out the internal wall positions and bliss oh bliss work in the shade and not in the blazing sun! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Putting a Roof Over Our Heads

Yesterday it began, to define the shape of our house with the addition of the custom orb roof, which is a fancey way of saying corrugated iron!

The first of the verandah sheets go down.
There are 48 sheets to both verandahs and every one had to be cut down. The Feral Fossil A team was set to work cutting the ends and passing them up to John who only came down from his lofty perch for coffee.
By lunch time the front veranda was done. The back was completed by around 3pm.
 This morning we sat on the back verandah and had breakfast in preparation for the main roof.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A $200 Hole

Back in September our next door neighbour and our neighbour but one, organised with a local farmer to bring in his dozer and do some work. Were we interested?
You betcha!
We had a spot on the driveway earmarked so we set him to work.
 With much roaring, belching of black smoke and clanking the hole grew deeper and the banks higher. Ended up about 2.5 metres deep in the middle. Lindsay said he thought it should hold water as there was plenty of clay, but our enemy was evaporation and seepage.
In order to compact the base and walls, Jim first tried the old ute, but the long wheelbase meant it kept bottoming out. So the trusty Discovery was pressed into service. Jim drove backwards and forwards up the walls until he felt that it was compacted as well as we could manage.
As will anything involving earthmoving equipment the site was raw and rather an afront to the surrounding bush.
A layer of bark chips over the top of the bank and a few tufts of local grass helped to soften it. 
 Then we waited for rain. Our catchment area is a section of drive about 3 metres wide and 100 metres long. This should give us about 300 litres for every mil of rain that falls. First event yielded us a small puddle in the bottom and we stuck a stick at the water's edge and waited to see if it vanished, but a week later and the water level had not dropped very much.
Next rain event and the level rose higher and stayed constant.
This week we have had good rain from thunderstorms and the dam now look like this. The next lot should reach the spillway.

In my mind I see it as a limpid pool with our local blue waterlillies, rushes grasses and other small sprawling plants on the bank. It will be a work in progress for quite a while, but will be a lovely spot eventually.
Not bad for 200 bucks eh?