Removed the stairs at the end of the veranda.
Removed the stump near the hot water service and started shifting soil from this garden bed towards where the stairs used to be.
Off to work again today
Ran plastic around the base boards and began the long process of digging and back filling.
Started digging the holes for the post that will form the wall to screen the garage from view.
Cut the concrete path back so I can build the retaining wall.
A bit more digging of the post holes before going off to work
Built a platform on David’s tandem trailer to pick the spa up from Narre Warren.
Picked the Spa up with David, Leigh and Jamie, with the spa weighing 280kgs the only way we could get it onto the trailer was by removing a fence and backing the trailer over a garden bed all the way up to the spa.
Once we arrived at home we slid the spa vertically onto a piano trolley and wheeled it into the back yard.
Leigh gave me a hand to demolish the concrete path at the end of the garage.
Mixed and poured the concrete footing extension for the retaining wall.
Levelled off the first course of retaining wall blocks on sandy cement.
Build up the retaining wall to 3 blocks high.
Started putting in the posts with the help of Fiona.
Fiona and Cath started moving the paving brick stack, after I realised it was in the way.
Spent the morning fighting with a tree stump and couldn’t get it out before I needed to leave for work.
Won the fight with the tree stump and managed to get it out.
Started digging out the garden beds and back filling the retaining wall before off to work again.
Still digging and back filling and working out the levels.
Poured concrete footing for blocks around the hot water service and retaining wall extension before goig to work.
Laid the blocks around the hot water service and the blocks on the final end of the retaining wall.
Cath and I spent the entire day digging and levelling off the the area.
With up to 3 foot of fill in places, Cath drove a vibrating plate compactor for a large part of the day.
Rained today and everything has turned into a swamp.
Started bringing the crushed rock around and spreading it out.
Made boxing for the spa base in preparation of pouring the concrete spa base.
Digging again, finalised the last of the levels in the area up near the lawn and around the spa base.
Brought the last of the crushed rock up and levelled off.
Put steel down for concrete pour tomorrow and made up boxing for the path near the garage.
Poured concrete base for spa and footpath section.
Set out for decking, the last remaining post done, dug holes for stumps, started cutting and putting stumps into the ground, moved Spa onto concrete pad with the help of Andrew, Scott, Leigh and Jamie.
Last of the stumps done, checked-in all the posts for the bearers and cut all bearers and placed in position
After Osteopath appointment that’s now becoming a Thursday morning ritual, I swapped the Pod trailer with David for his compressor and a 3” nail gun.
Managed to get most of the joists on before I ran out of timber and it began raining.
Started the retaining wall along the decking but had to stop at the point where a drain needs to placed and ran out of time before going to work.
I showed Cath how to use the compound miter saw and she did a great job cutting all the noggins for the decking especially considering a large portion were angle cuts.
Putting in the drain didn’t go quite as well. I had planned to connect it to the drain from the down pipe off the garage, but after I cut the concrete path for it I found that in fact the drain didn’t actually go anywhere, It was nothing more than an 8” length of PVC stuck into the ground! I sent Cath off to Bunnings for a length of PVC and fittings whilst I began digging the trench for the drain so that the retaining wall could be completed.
Once the drain was completed far enough for the retaining wall to go in over the top I began laying the last few base bricks on sandy cement before putting in the quick 2nd and 3rd courses.
Began the torturous digging of the trench for the power wire to be run in, I really haven’t been looking forward to doing this as any digging in our place is close to impossible. In reality it wasn’t as bad as I suspected it would be but it was still awful, it took a full day and was pick and crowbar most of the way.
Digging the trench was enough to push me over the edge, after 3 weeks of full on go I’m completely spent.
Whilst at work i started drawing up the plans for a gazebo which will go over the top of the spa.
A little bit of finishing off today, I dressed the front edge of the decking with a piece of western red cedar and put in a base board so that it could be back filled.
I ran around with the router on the posts cleaning up the corners as best I could until the router died which was probably not helped by the temperature of 39Degs today
Ran around and got chemicals for the spa today, have put the filters in a solution to soak for a couple of days
Cleaned the inside of the spa with a general purpose cleaner and am a little worried that any residue left might create a giant bubble bath when its turned on!?!
Today I borrowed some power wire from David and wired it up quickly so that I could check everything worked with the spa and to balance the water ready for tomorrow.
The spa has 3 options for connecting power to it:
1. 2x separate feeds from a 16 amp circuits where 1 circuit supplies power to the pumps and the other to the heater.
2. 1x 32 amp circuit which is what we will be doing when the electrician does the install tomorrow.
3. 1x 16 amp circuit where it can only operate the pumps or the heater and not at the same time, this is what I wired up as a temporary solution.
By the early afternoon I had the PH, alkalinity and sanitiser levels all at acceptable levels and the spa had heated the water from 20deg to just over 30deg.
Fiona called in from work and after we had dinner I suggested we all jump in the spa to christen it.
Bruce the electrician came today to wire up the spa and replace the switchboard in the meter box and the garage and install RDC safety switches.
Bruce had issues with his car so was running late which gave me time to prepare a few things such as to pull the weatherboards off around the meter box and drill the bottom plate and studs in preparation of running the cable to the spa.
I was Bruce's labourer today doing all the dirty work such as running the cable under the house and clipping it up.
It took Bruce about 7 hours and he did a great job he is very fussy and neat in his work.
I had a spare bag of Pink Batt insulation in the roof so once Bruce was done wiring the spa I used these to insulate the spa as best I could, which I hope will help insulate the spa.
Conclusion of Part 1
Its been a hard slog to get this far but with the spa operational and Xmas less than 3 days away that is all I will be doing for this year.
Next year some of the tasks will be gazebo, decking, lighting, shower, fencing, paving and wall building.