Thursday, 21 November 2013

Oh! - Reservoir (apologies to E F Benson)

I've just had a dam built on my property.

For those of you who have dams, you will understand my excitement!!
For those who don't - I now have a big clay-lined hole in the ground!

I will now drive across the dam wall from the gate to the proposed house site which has conveniently filled in the deep dip in the driveway.

(Specs: 1.5Megalitres or 1.5 million litres
+ 2M deep at centre, and took 15 hours to construct.)

                                          view before starting

                                          finished product

Bring on the rain!!

While I had the big bulldozer on site - I had the driver do a site scrape for where the house will go, plus a 6 sq metre pad for my secondary water tank.

                                          site scrape

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

thistle while you work

Today's land visit was to try out my new weed spray:

Paul came along to show this novice how it's done. He had, up until a couple of years ago, a 100 acre farm and was very used to weed spraying.

On my previous visit I had noticed a lot of thistle beginning to sprout so I thought it prudent to try and get on top of them. (Ouch....)

Spraying was surprisingly meditative and would almost have been enjoyable if it hadn't been for the 26 billion flies that came along to watch.

The responsibilities of owning land - this will be an annual event for as long as I own it!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

report report

Finally - this morning I received my structural engineering plans.

Now I just have to try and understand them!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

home delivery

finally....some action!

This morning my first (of four) 40' High Cube containers arrived.

I am not permitted more than one until my Development Application has been approved by council, so until that time this one will act as tool storage facility and workshop.

It was exciting to see it coming down the dirt road and I was a little trepidatious as I was supposed to take delivery of it last week. Typically, after a completely rain free month, the day before it was suppose to arrive it poured down. The ground was too sodded for the 21 ton (plus 4 tons of empty container) so it was put off for a week.

But to make sure there would be no problems of becoming bogged, I cut through the front fence and opened an alternate route to the house site thus bypassing the worst of the wet areas. If my dam had been built none of this would have been an issue.

The truck had no problems at all. And it took the driver about 5 or 6 minutes to have the container off the truck and onto the small brick piers I had put on the ground.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

first planting

Not a lot happening on the building front - I am being held up by people who apparently don't want me to give them money!

I am at the stage of needing a structural engineer to check my building plans and give me a soil report for the foundations. (And I have to organise a second soil report for the waste-water management plan as I cannot use the other soil report). I have been waiting over two weeks for one engineer (and they are thin on the ground in this area) just to give me a quote.

Also I am having a small dam put in. I am allowed only up to about 0.75 of a megalitre (approx. 3/4 of an Olympic pool.) without a special permit. I don't really need a bigger one as it will really be used for wildlife (attracting wild birds and 'roos) and occasional watering for my small veggy patch.

I could only find three dam builders in the area - one gave me a phone quote, came to see the land, tried to get me to go to a megalitre ("you don't have to tell anyone") said on seeing the location "Should take me a day or a little over".

Then the written quote came in: 15 hours and 50% higher than the phone quote. (No mention on the phone of an almost $500 fee just to bring the bulldozer to the property - a distance of about 22 kms)

The other two have not even bothered to return my phonecalls.

In the meantime I have started to think about putting some trees back on the land. Being a former sheep farm it has been cleared of a lot of natural vegetation in favour of grassland.

I decided quite early on that I only want native vegetation - with the exception of a handful of fruit trees (mainly a lemon, lime, almond, and a couple of others I can't think of right now). And I would like to focus on plants and trees that attract native fauna.

My last visit out to the property gave me the opportunity to plant a few trees. Only 9 at the moment!

I bought tubestock (usually only 5 - 10cms high) as they better survive planting than more mature trees. And these natives need little or no attention once in the ground.

Neighbouring interlopers - now banished! So long and thanks for all the poo!!

The first four trees to go in are Eucalyptus Leucoxylon var. Rosea  aka known as Blue/Yellow Gum or White Ironbark:

The other 5 are Eucalyptus Pauciflora (snow gum):

Eventually - when I can find them - I really want some of my favourite Eucalypts: Eucalyptus Macrocarpa (Mottlecah). An amazing tree with enormous flowers - I only hope they will grow in this climate.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

plans ad nauseam...

I am currently working on all of the necessary plans to submit to council.

This is taking me a while as I really don't know what I am doing! All of the plans below are not at the completed stage as I am still trying to work out all of the correct information and details needed to be approved by council. I am using quite a lot of downloaded house plans to give me an idea of what is required in general.

I have been creating these by using SketchUp - the free programme that used to be owned by Google.

All of the measurements on the first five drawings are completed - I have just hidden them temporarily so the plans don't look too cluttered.

This is not all of the plans that I need. There are still several more such as the environmental plan which shows the house in relationship with the property, a sewerage and stormwater plan, a bushfire zoning plan, (would you believe) a landscaping plan, and others that I can't quite think of at the moment!

This exercise is not a money saving one - though I hope it does save me in that respect. It is more a case of doing it by myself and learning something new as I go - which is the underlying principal of the entire self-build project.

Monday, 25 February 2013

summer browns

 standing in proposed lounge/dining area with views north behind me.

I visited my property three weeks ago - the dryness of summer had created a delightful change of hues.

Then last week it rained and when I went there 2 days ago - the green was back!