Hi there,

In the few months since finishing the renovations I must say that I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with what is still required in the back and front yards in order to be completely finished. Many people have been very comforting, suggesting that it doesn’t have to be done straight away and that I just have to chip away at it and that my work will never be done! Hmmm.

I reviewed the list of the items that I blogged about some time ago (My name is Owen) and have been quietly surprised at the progress I have made.

So the past few months what I have done is as follows:

  • Installed new letter box – purchased from Bunnings, 2 bags of concrete and very level, watching it in the rear vision mirror everytime I leave the driveway
  • Connected all of the downpipes to the storm water pits that I installed, so no water is going into the ground around the house and we will (whilst have no trees) have consistent ground moisture content – very good in a highly reactive site
  • Pulled the old shed down – which you can witness in my previous blog
  • Removed the mounds of dirt that were in the back yard – well I have done this but in digging out the new shed foundations, I have created a new mound which will be removed in the next couple of weeks
  • Constructed three new paling fences around the house – I will blog about this in the near future so that you can all see how easy it is
  • Began construction of my new shed – at present the slab has been poured, the boundary walls in brickwork have been completed on the two boundaries, the wall and roof framing is about 85% complete. I have some progressive photos of this too at which I will blog about shortly
  • I have installed curtains in little M’s room that L had made, which still need hemming!
  • I have replanted a fruit tree – our little peach tree, which I was doubtful would survive another relocation but I am optimistic that next year we will have fruit again!

So has you can see I have been busy, and obviously having a little addition to the family does slow me down a bit in my outside chores with my Saturdays now being swimming lesson day for little M. Combined with our busy little social life I will get there.

My goals and next tasks for the near future are:

  • Complete the new shed
  • Level off the backyard
  • Construct planter boxes around the back and side fences
  • Plant trees in the planter box for some greenery in the back yard
  • Paint the new paling fences
  • Move all of the things out of storage and into my new shed – and set my shed up! Very exciting (Early Feb 09)
  • Get quotes for a new colourbond roof for our house
  • Write up a new maintenance regime for our house
  • Install a new clothes line

I think the above is enough for the next couple of months but I will keep you posted.

I want to wish everyone a happy new year and all the best for the future. I will endeavour to keep you updated more often in my trials and tribulations of the constant renovations at our family home and also keep you informed of some hobbies I am picking up along the way to keep life interesting.

To give you a bit of an update, we have in fact finished our renovation, on time and on budget (i might add) which allowed us a seamless transition from being homeless and expecting our first child, to having a beautifully renovated home and a new little person (of which we just adore).

We moved back in and then took stock of our where we are and decided just to potter around and take our time with the landscaping side of the renovation, which can be done over the next year or two.

In finishing the house we had the conundrum of a nice new house and an ailing relic sitting in the back yard that was formally my shed. In order to fully appreciate the North west view of our new house, we had to take down the shed, which will also help by allowing us to start moving in the back yard, which had piles of dirt and 6 months worth of unkept garden that had to be dealt with.

You must be able to tell, even by my procrastinating that letting go of my shed was not easy, particularly when I am unsure when the next one would rise out of the ground. Moving back into the house I was able to move a bit of stuff into the house and the rest of the ‘shed’ stuff had  to go to storage otherwise I would have no room. I slowly, weekend at a time, began cleaning the old shed out til such time that I could be ready to knock it down.

I got up on to the roof and started to remove the roof tiles and throw them into the wheelbarrow below and then take them the skip out the front, barrow after barrow, I cant believe how many it took!

During this time had a call from Stu, who wasn’t really doing anything and wanting to breathe in some dust on a weekend. He came around and we started the fun stuff, pulling apart the shed and getting it ready for the skip. Unfortunately the old hardwood frame could not be used for anything except fire wood and even then you would blunt your saw cutting it up. We managed to remove all of the things that were holding the shed up, ie cutting all of the bracing units, and generally getting the shed to a position to where we could push it over.  In order to do most of these things we had to use a chainsaw that was in the possession of Steve, who is Stu’s Dad and was down doing some renovation work for Stu as well. We called Steve to see if we could use the chainsaw only to be met with: ‘Chainsaw, you want to use the chainsaw, well I wont allow it, you’ll cut your fu#&ing arms off’, like any concerned father would (even though we are both well into our 30’s). So my little task of knocking the shed down, now turned into a full on exercise with the chainsaw going sending saw dust everywhere!

Please see the link below for a final look at my old shed, with a perfect controlled demolition ready for it to be cut up and taken away.