Wednesday, January 6, 2010
After our lovely, extra long weekend spent with our families it was time to get back to work. We took advantage of the Public Holiday on Monday and decided it was time to build some sheds. First thing was working out how it all went together. The instructions that came with the sheds made it really easy to put it all together. The most time consuming part was looking for the right pieces and then finding somewhere to put everything as we went. One shed up and time for lunch (a late lunch anyway). It was so exciting to see some progress. We are very happy with the quality of the shed and the cost. We bought the sheds on line from www.buyashed.com.au and had them delivered to the depot in town for free. As we traded (down graded.... a long way) our BMW for a snazzy truck (KIA Ceres) we were able to pick up the sheds from the depot and save money. We were going to replace the existing shed with one bigger shed 6m x 3m however when we looked at the space where we were going to place the shed we discovered that 3m was too wide to fit. In order to comply with our local council regulations the shed had to be a minimum of 900mm off the boundary/fence and we have an existing brick path in front of the other shed that we preferred not to move so we needed to find a shed less then 3m in depth. The best we could do in order to get the biggest shed for the space was to buy two and place them side by side. Each shed is 3m wide and 2.56m deep. Perfect! At the end of the day we had two sheds built and we were very pleased with the result. They line up and look nice and straight (we were a little bit concerned about our paving efforts). In the end we are happy with having two sheds as all of the gardening stuff and power tools can be locked up in one shed and all of the bikes, kids stuff etc in the other, that way children don't need to access the shed with all of the dangerous items. It is so good to have a project finished. We still have a long way to go though. The pile of pavers on the left hand side of the sheds is to pave the area behind the sheds in order for our bins and wood to get stockpiled. We ended up with a space 6m long and about 1.2m wide. We will keep the wood on the left side and construct a colour bond roof/covering (of some description) below the fence line so that we can stack the wood for our fire and it won't get wet. Behind the right shed we will hide all of our wheelie bins so that they are easy to access but out of sight. The pile of old bricks on the right of the sheds will be used to pave an area just below the vegetable garden. The area is about 5m x 5m and we will put a gazebo there to provide another sitting area. This is still a big job as we will need to build some more retaining walls around the area. This weekend we will hopefully begin paving our outdoor area immediately outside the back door. We used to have a deck that was rotting and we ripped it up, built retaining walls, filled it in, ripped up the existing paving (that sloped towards the house) and levelled the area. We extended the space and we will end up with 65m2 of paved outdoor entertaining. Still so much to do..... As promised this is where my Eiffel tower lives for now. It came with the cute little lights that I have left on it for now but I am not sure that they will stay for long.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
It's all over for another year. School finished on the 10th of December with our Nicholas getting the award for academic excellence in Year 4. We are so proud of him and really pleased with how well he did.
When school finished we were lucky enough to spend a week at the Central Coast relaxing on the beach and hanging out together. We stayed in a Holiday Rental, 2 bedroom Cottage just four houses from the beach, just lovely. The house was pet friendly so we took Boss, took our bikes and all the beach gear. Quite amazing how much you can fit into a little hatchback when you try. We highly recommend the house we stayed in, we found it via the Take a Break website and it is called the Umina Beach House.
Last day at the beach house, enjoying the front porch
Boss is learning to pay attention, particularly when you have food
Back home and it was time to get back to work. We decided to build some sheds. This is where the proposed new shed site was left off. So far we had roughly levelled the area with the Dingo (digger) when we hired it for the weekend (mid November).
The existing shed was old and rusted so it will get pulled down and we will put up two new ones. The plan was to lay a paved area next to the existing concrete slab that will house the second shed so we would have two alongside each other.
In order to keep the cost down and given that one shed would be for bikes, skateboards and generally storage for kids stuff we decided to pave the area with offcuts of granite pavers I bought on EBay for $54. The pavers were 50mm in depth so we were pretty sure that the area would be sturdy enough.
Once we finished levelling the area as best as we could (or had patience for, I admit that levelling is such a horrible time consuming job) we then lay some weed mat down in order to reduce the likelihood of bits of greenery growing between our pavers.
Then one by one we laid out our pavers, given that they were offcuts they were all odd shapes and sizes so it was abit like a big (and heavy) jigsaw puzzle. This is about the time we started questioning our decision, we weren't quite sure that our paving was going to work. The whole process seemed very unscientific, we would place a paver in place and if it wobbled one of us would hold up the corner while the other one either shovelled more dirt on or removed dirt as required. We would then put the paver down and jump on it until it stayed it place.
After all the pavers were in place we shovelled in some blue metal road base and swept that into all of the cracks. On top of that we scattered some cement and hosed it all in, prayed and then waited to see if it worked.
While we waited for the cement to dry we started to dismantle the existing shed. Why is it that when you seem to progressing at a good rate and you actually start thinking that you may actually get a job finished in a day you hit a snag? It seems that our existing shed was concreted in and wouldn't budge. Out came the power tools and my WH used the angle grinder to cut the shed away. Of course this meant that we needed to make a trip to Bunnings and purchase more grinding discs and before the job was finished a new angle grinder (guess what WH got for an early Christmas gift).
This is where Day 1 of the new shed project finished. Half an old shed, a drying paved area and a big mess all over the lawn.
Day two: we managed to pull the rest of the shed down and then had to leave our yard in a mess due to work commitments and then while we celebrated Christmas over the next few days with both of our families.
We had a great time and my favourite gift was from my WH. He had remembered my admiring an Eiffel Tower in a gift shop months ago and then in a catalogue a few weeks later.
Friday, January 1, 2010
What is it about a new calendar that makes us want to re-invent or improve our lives? Is it the "fresh start" an opportunity to begin anew? Anyway, like may others my resolutions are to do with improving my fitness levels and finding more time for the important things/people in my life. Wishing you all a Happy 2010, may it be truly blessed! xx
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