Michael’s folks and Aunty Joan have been here to
help us again J
- and the motivation to complete projects with 4+ workers has been great!
As always, they have worked so much to help us
achieve so much too – so the whole house has had 3 coats of paint courtesy of
Michael’s Mum.Michael’s Dad has added
timber to the end of the kitchen cupboard, built our boot seat and filled in
all the old hardware holes in our second-hand internal doors.And Aunty Joan has cleaned all the windows
and frames for us.No small jobs, any of
them – and such a fantastic, amazing, enormous boost to us!!
And chief supervisor, Lucy dog.
While they toiled, Michael and I also did what we
could – him working on electrics and plumbing and helping everyone, everywhere
– and me, some painting of walls, some painting of cupboards in the hobby room
and tiling of the kitchen splashback – and plenty of cleaning in between.
Yesterday – yesterday, was a bittersweet day, a
We said, “finished” (yes, lower case is
intentional), to Harold, Pauline and Aunty Joan – and to Ryan, who was here on
Thursday and Friday to finish off the architraves and bits and bobs.
So that is the end to an era for us and Ryan – I
can’t imagine how he feels to drive away from this house that he has put so
much time and effort into – what an amazing thing he achieves being a carpenter!We will forever be grateful for what he has
provided for us, with the help of many, many, many others.Our home is so much more than the sum of its
parts – when we look at it, we can see the sum of the love that so many have
contributed – and it is a very special feeling to know we will live with that
As I do, in my thinking of our progress, motivation
and enjoyment of this owner-building adventure, I got to re-examining our
This little graphic is the ‘building triangle’
explained to us by Richard, our building supervisor, way back when we were just
starting to talk about how to owner-build a strawbale house.
Actually, Richard drew it point up - I prefer it
this way because it makes more sense to me – and those who have read The da Vinci Code might note the
potential symbology of both orientations ;-).
But, I digress.
The ‘builder’s triangle’ shows you the three
ultimate goals of building – most of us want all three of these to be in our
favour – but experience shows, you can only have two!They can be any two, so you just rotate the
triangle to illustrate your own priorities.
Richard’s builder’s triangle was a very worthwhile
lesson for us to decide which two were going to work for us and which one is
the compromise.The way I have labelled
this is the priorities we decided on way back – we wanted the money and quality
to be the things we had most control over, and therefore we accepted that
sometimes, the timing had to accommodate that.
And I found it a very worthwhile process to
re-examine the triangle and take note of the priorities I have felt in these
latter stages – they were actually different to what I thought I was feeling!In the last few weeks, I had thought I wanted
the time factor to be the priority (we want to move into this house!), but when
I spent the time to really examine my feelings, it actually wasn’t, and that
triangle is still looking the same to us…
I’ve taken some time off work – to spend with the
kids during school holidays and work around the building site again.It’s actually a bit scary how much I have
enjoyed getting back into it…
I’ve had fun in the mud:
Because we have started the infilling – yep, building is
still about digging holes and filling them back in again – and dang, this is a big hole! And being on the end of a shovel is hard work! And one should remember, one is of a certain age, where the joints protest the next day! But it sure is a great
step in the right direction J:
And we had the young-un help us – he’s not scared of
a spade, that is for sure J:
But before the digging, I tiled the laundry floor on
- no not perfect, but I still loved the process. (Not quite sure Michael enjoyed
the cutting - there were a few exclamations at tiles breaking where it wasn’t
wanted!).Most of the ‘character’ tiles
will be hidden by cupboards so no prob in the end.
And we lucked out and found the exact same wall
tiles as we had bought for the bathroom, at the salvage yard yesterday, so we
have enough to tile the wall behind the washing machine and trough, and a
border (skirting) all around – and all for $30.Gotta love that!
Sooooo – our floors could get laid over the top of
that weird waterproofing membraney stuff:
But it was obviously better to get some
waterproofing layer that did the job properly (you can see the nice shiny
smoothness in the background):
Sooooo - 4 and a half rooms all lovely wood floors
to look at and love J in the first week.Half a room…mmm, the jarrah floorboards we
picked up (from the Salvage yard even though they are brand new – seconds, that
is) had some character and we knew we would be lucky to get away with the tight
square metreage amount that was available.We took all the 72m2 available at the salvage yard - for the
68 m2 flooring we needed – so only 4m2 to ‘play with’ and
we ended up about 5m2 short now.We were so lucky to find enough locally to finish off, and Michael got
to install them too (I helped a little, it was hard work!)
Soooooo – 39mm of rain one night last week – plenty to
water in the septic tanks and leach drains - again – but dang, one of the
septic tanks developed a lean – so it needed to be levelled out.
So much work that doesn’t really seem to be a step
forward!Oh well, there *is* always good
isn’t there?Our lovely neighbour, Terry, leant
us his brand new sump pump and Michael was able to rig up the block and tackle
on some planks suspended across from the tractor to the far bank, and he
managed to get it all straightened back up again, after 3 days of work.... but yay!
And Michael had already had the leach drain all
beautifully levelled too:
And had got onto the pick to take out some more of
the clay wall so they could sit in a straight row:
But we still had to call in the big digger – again (this is Jo, our neighbour's, dad):
The leach drains were about 1m too short (only
because we changed over to the plastic ones and you need 14.7m compared to 12 m
for concrete) – we knew we were close – and even though Michael is certainly no
stranger to hard, digging work, there was no way he could dig through another
metre of mud and rock hard gravel.
Best news though – Kent, the plumber could come back
yesterday, so all the plumbing is connected and the shire will do their
inspection on Friday morning so we can get this all buried and stop the pits
flooding!We sure will be happy with
Sooooo – still plenty of rainy days lately and still
very high humidity in the house.The doors
were being kept open of course as wood flooring got cut etc – but Desmond has
Kenny to help now – so the humidity drops right down to ~55% overnight.
I hope that is enough to encourage the lice to live
outside instead!!With a life cycle of
21 days we need to keep the humidity down for about 3 weeks to see if they
really are dying off – it’s a lesson in patience for me :-/!It does look like there are much, much fewer
bodies on the tiles over the last couple of days – but I am needing to see zero
to believe they are gone!