Sunday, March 07, 2010

Reno's. Part 1 of About 39,000

The real renovations and extensions won't be happening for some time yet but the preparation work has begun and that in itself is worthy of a celebration! The retaining wall that surrounds the house is mostly made up of timber sleepers and they are crumbling and falling down. Besides being really really ugly as they fall down around the place they're very attractive to white ants (termites) which is not terrific normally but really not great when you're got a cedar house. So the sleeper walls have to go. The question of course is what to replace them with. In our previous house Hubby discovered the joys of limestone blocks. He also discovered that he could make them himself a whole heap cheaper than he could buy them. The back-breaking labour was kind of beside the point - he likes to keep busy - and after some experimenting, a changes or two to the 'recipe', and a few second opinions he decided to go with limestone blocks again.

So, how do you make them? To start, you order the first of many truckloads of crushed limestone. It looks like this...

Then you get your kids shovelling (while the wife stands around taking photos), add some cement powder and water and swish it all around in the cement mixer. While that's happening you dig out the old sleeper wall, clear the trench, measure depths and widths and angles and all sorts of other stuff and finally set up the mould for the first brick.

Then you pour the first brick and make the woman with the camera come take photos of it.

And then you make a block or two each night after work and slowly build yourself a wall.

He's got to go around the entire house, with several tiers at the front of the house. And because of the planned extension he's got to go further out at the other end of the house. And I'll be following along behind him replanting the garden that needs to be ripped out as we go. And taking lots of photos. Lots. Don't worry, you'll get to see a heap more pics as we go along.


Anonymous said...

Just as well he was an ADD kid, back when there wasn't ADD - just kids who liked to always be busy

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know more myself... I'd like to make those blocks too - but I'm betting your hubby's better in the body department as I'm getting soft haha and my body is worried by physical labour these days!

It's the working behind a desk that really let's me down... these are the times I wish I was still doing tradie work (sometimes)

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Hey Anon - that'd be ADHD! Don't you remember the many, many, many jobs on the go (ie got bored and didn't finish kind of jobs) at the previous house?

Are you saying my Hubby's a hottie, Belongum????? Ummm... well I think so (obviously!!) but he's not in that great shape and is a lot less fit than you'd think. It's hard work but not back-breaking if you do it bit-by-bit (says she who doesn't do any of it).

Iris Flavia said...

Wow, great work (on both sides, haha :-)!...)

Anonymous said...

I ah - umm... well - I wouldn't know Mandi. That's more your dept mate ;-) But - as a bloke (of course) I"mm guessing he's a little fitter than me lol

I just stretch it out over a longer frame is all - quite the advantage really! ;-)

Jo MacD said...

Me: Why can't *you* replace our crumbling timber retaining walls with home-made limestone blocks?

Overeducated desk-working husband: I'll do it if you go do the Cordon Bleu cooking school.

Me: Bwahahahahaha! :)

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