Many readers will have heard about the stroms that have afflicted my part of the world in recent times. Sunday was particularly impressive. There we were, enjoying a quiet beer with the neighbours while the kids played an exciting game of cul-de-sac cricket, when the ominous clouds that had been approaching became significantly more ominous.
With the words “nah, the weather bureau warnings don’t include our council area” having just passed my lips, the sky literally turned an aqua-green colour that I had never seen in something as large as a sky before. Let’s just say you wouldn’t paint your house that colour, but it does have a place in certain mild-minty toothpastes. Within 10 minutes it was bedlam….the dog ran off (in to a neighbour’s garage), the 100km/h winds blew out of the south, which happens to be the direction our front door faces. About a dozen towels plus some dog blankets were used to soak up the water that came in under the front door and front window frame. The neighbour’s back fence blew over, and after the storm passed I joined a gaggle of other neighbours in jerry-rigging it back up again with rope. Won’t last though….the termite-ridden posts snapped off at ground level.
Some more of the dirt under our house was washed down on to the concrete pad underneath, covering it in slimy mud and further exposing some of our footings….not good. It has basically accelerated the Great Retaining Wall Project, for which I hope to provide pictorial evidence at some point. We had several quotes for doing a retaining wall, ranging from $3500 to $8500. Deeply suspecting that somewhere back in my family tree is hidden a long line of economic conservatives, I thought something along the lines of “stick that” and made plan B. Plan B arose when my urge not to spend between $3500 and $8500 on a retianing wall surpassed my belief that I was completely incapable of building one myself. Plan B consists of buying no fewer than 41 2.4m x 200mm x 75mm treated pine sleepers, 11 bags of post-crete and enough really big screws to put the wall together myself. At the moment digging post holes is a problem because of the shaley rock in the ground, but for the sake of an $80 hiring fee I suspect I’ll be hiring a two-person post-hole digger to get the job done. After that it is concrete the posts in, drill holes, use drill with socket to put screws in and Bob’s your uncle…..one uncertified-by-engineers retaining wall to help prevent our house washing away. The best news is the total cost should be less than $1000, leaving enough cash to finally build the shed to hold the crap that’s been under the house for a year.
Final project news….we seem to have made the decision to put an above ground pool in the back yard. Beloved K will make all the appropriate calls for installation quotes etc. and hopefully we’ll have it ordered by the end of the week.
Stay tuned before Christmas for more construction news!