So it really begins

flickr in their wisdom have told me to have more than 200 photos on their site I must upgrade to a premium membership. Pfffffffft to that I say. To see larger pics click on the thumbnails.

So, after packing the Pajero and trailer with so much stuff it barely managed to crawl up the hills, we got onsite with virtually all the components needed to build the house. All that blue steel is the boom lift which I have completely forgotten to get photographs of so far.

First point of business was to get a grip on water usage, so a simple and cheap tank guage was installed. No more guessing or pointlessly tapping at the tank to guess how much water is in there.

With the tank done, next was installing the site toilet. The cladding is all recycled fencing panels, since this is not a permanent structure how it looks was the least important factor in its’ construction. The loo cistern is filled with a bucket and it has an el cheapo LED solar powered light for night use. The toilet is installed using an extra IP installed by the plumber.

With all that done and the site now comfortable for the wife, attention turned to laying the very first of the blocks of the power room. In total it took us 7 hours to set up the formwork, mix and pour 9 blocks. There was a lot of learning in that 7 hours and I have now made several mods to the formwork based on that experience.

For all those wondering why on earth I would choose to sleep in the back of the Pajero when the block is only 45 minutes away, that question was answered when I hit a roo on the way up the next morning. This was only a little roo, about 1 metre tall, and I only hit it at 60kmh. That bullbar is 4mm aluminium and you can see the deformation it did to that. I was very lucky to hit it while it was on the ground, had it been mid hop he would have joined me in the cab.

After stripping away the formwork of those first blocks the results were pleasing and again offered more lessons. The cracked blocks were made with very wet mix and shrank considerably while other blocks were not tamped enough, or were topped up with the next mix without being rodded through to combine the two mixes. In order of the thumbs we have: cracked block, bevelled wall ends, shutter divider void, dual mix block, dual mix block with corner block showing insufficient tamping. Last thumb is of the next generation of locusts that are crawling through the area at the moment. I’d estimate the numbers to be 100-200 per square metre.

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