Mission (Renovations) Completed

By the commencement of October the ensuite had been completed and is a fine addition to the house.  The job was delayed early on by the need to clarify with the Building Certifier about the amount of weight that could be placed on the existing steel floor joists which had previously only supported part of our front deck.  We were intending to pack up the new ensuite floor with very heavy 19mm compressed concrete sheeting as we had wanted a hobless shower area but instead the weight constrictions have meant that we have been left with a 35mm lip…..ho hum.

During the building of the ensuite, I completed building a wall of bookshelves and with Maria, constructed some back steps out to the patio

My ever reliable helper - Harold

Maria lent a hand in painting it


In addition to those major renovation tasks, there were a myriad of smaller and more irritating things for me to attend to eg ad hoc shelving, picture hanging, re-erecting a steel framed wardrobe from one room to another, ad nauseous painting  and the relocation of multiple TV antennae cable.....all identified as being necessary to convert this house into a 'home'!!!!

Following the completion of the ensuite, our builder again went off to complete other jobs in his extensive work inventory and we were left to our own devices.  During this spell we turned our attention back to our garden which had won a prize in the annual Yeppoon garden competition for a one year old garden.  With Spring rains turning up on schedule everything started to take off.

Fine spuds

My Chilli Picking shirt which I bought whilst in Airlee Beach

However, its not all been roses, as our garden has also started to attract the attention of several pests not least of which was the Qld Fruit Fly which got into our tomato crop but worse was still to come from some marauding Fruit Bats which discovered our prize peach tree.  We had half heartedly tried to protect it by loosely draping some bird netting over it but that proved no match to these fruit hungry vandals as can be seen from the following snap.

Our next battle will be to protect the cucumbers, zucchinis, Honey Dew and Cantaloupe we have  just planted from the Bush Fowls and Wallabies which live in large numbers in the Conservation Reserve which backs onto our block.

Brendan the builder returned again in November to commence work on the final project of the renovation ie the patio roof.  Of course it then decided to rain after six dry weeks.  It pelted down over the Melb Cup week preventing much progress on the new roof.

The roof area is approximately 12m x 4.8m and rises nearly 4m  from the paved patio below – almost cathedral like but it makes for a very pleasant cool retreat from the summer sun and a lovely setting for dinner with unimpeded views of the garden terraces rising up the hill behind us.  It took Brendan most of the month to complete the project.  It also serves to keep the house a little cooler and, of course, assists keep the water tank full.

The construction of the roof involved a deal of heavy lifting which was in part accomplished by the hiring of a hand worked mechanical  fork lift (capable of lifting 3Tonne over  6metres - a marvellous machine).  After the lifting there was of course the perilous task of securing the battens down with batten screws - I had not realised how squeamish I had become when balancing on rafters with an electric powered roof driver.  Still we managed that and then Bill Bechervaise popped up from his farm in Geelong to inspect the works and assist fix the iron sheeting over the roof.

The rear RHS support columns which were bolted to the existing steel wall frame of the house

The wonder machine in action

It took the greater part of a day to cut, carry and crank up the 4 x 6m beams and the 14 x 5m roof rafters

The 'wooden tight rope'

With Bill Bechervaise tightening down the roofing iron sheets

Almost complete

Of course, now that we had our roof, we could now request that our  wooden dining table, which we bought from a local pottery gallery back in July 2007, be delivered.  Then we needed new dining chairs and lighting and overhead fans.  The light fittings we wanted were very proving elusive to source. However, we recently visited the Second hand Building Supplier in Rockhampton who advised that they had plundered Woollies the last time they had a refit and secured most of their discarded light fittings.  Consequently, we managed to secure two of the kind of light shades (albeit Woollies fire engine red) that we had been chasing...but we still need a third one over the Bar B Cue.

And so we have at last come to the end of  our planned renovations and hope now to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labours.  With Xmas only 2 weeks away its been  a close call.

2007 has also been witness to a steady improvement in my golf game and I am now proud to report that I can struggle around the 18 holes here in Yeppoon with a small degree of competence, managing to Par the odd shorter hole and occasionally getting  onto the  green in three for the longer Par 4s.  However, my chipping and putting leaves alot to be desired.  This improvement has come at a price as my starter set of clubs is now down one after wrapping my 4 Iron around a tree.  Maria promises to spend alot more time on the course next year, hopefully  at the expense of her heavy charity workload with Lionesses.

To assist us relax better in the new year we decided to upgrade our boating arrangements and we are now the proud owners of a 4.6m Stessl Centre Console Tri Hull  powered by a 75hp Mariner outboard.  A very handsome and durable looking craft.  All we have to do now is sell the old tinny; which is already on the market.

The family will join us for Maria's birthday in January 2008 and we  hope that 2008  will mark the beginning of a much more mobile and sociable lifestyle than that which has been possible while the renovations were in progress. ie we hope to get around alot more and visit some of you.  Watch out!




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