The holiday season has come to an end, and it is bittersweet. On the sweet side, the thrill of seeing progress is addictive; the bitter side, progress will now slow down as we won’t be dedicated to building most of the time.
The front wall frame is the crowning glory of this post, albeit not yet complete; remaining are the back lintels and a few brackets to secure all the lintels in place. As you can see in the pics:
a) the posts were put up first, then
b) the ring beam and front lintels, and
c) the last of the bottom boxing
At 3.85 metres tall, the front north facing wall frames were a bit of a challenge, especially when it is just the two of us. I attempted to conquer my fear of heights by climbing up onto the scaffolding, but the dread and queasiness did not ease even after my third time of being up that high. I did manage to assist Matt despite my state of mind, though he mostly single-handedly secured all the lintels seen in the pictures. It was worth the sense of accomplishment we both felt at the end of New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve was spent putting up all front wall posts and bracing all the external wall frames properly; the temporary braces that were placed previously had to come off as they would interfere with strawbale insertion.
During this past week I also focused my attention on varnishing 7 out of the 10 windows of the house, the remaining 3 are quite large and will require some kind of block and tackle contraption to secure it to the shed roof so that I can complete them. The windows are double glazed and made of beautiful Vic Ash timber.
The pool got some of our attention during the break. The property originally came with a saltwater pool, however as saltwater pools are quite costly to run we opted for a freshwater pool instead. The entire saltwater unit was sold, including the two 2000 watt water pumps that were used as part of the system.
Prior to Christmas Day, we had spent several days draining and cleaning out the pool, setting up a natural filtering system using sand, a submersible 20 watt solar water pump, stones and a funky tree trunk with concrete trough feature to hold this filtering system in place. On Christmas Day, we spent several hours prepping water submersible plants to be put into the pool.
The end outcome is somewhat like a pond, with plants sticking out of the now murky water. 2 cubic meters of crushed rock was placed in the pool to help resist algae growth, plus it feels amazing under your feet. The water is a bit murky than it will be in the future due to all the crushed rock. As time passes, the submersible plants and the crushed rock will assist in filtering the water as they act as a foundation on which microorganisms and bacteria attach to, both of which create an environment for water cleansing. These helpful inhabitants alongside the sand filtering system (in the trough) will eventually make the water clearer, but pristine most likely never.
We got to christen the pool on Christmas Day, and it has been getting our attention nearly on a daily basis since then; the perfect remedy after a hard day of labour in the sun :)
With so many little triumphs, it is hard not to feel excited about the year ahead. Every day brings forth a new challenge, and every day something new is conquered…. not always that easily but we try to be hopeful.
Happy new year dears, cheers to at least another 10 months of building!