Short but productive is how I would describe our last burst on the house – it was only 8 days long but we got a fair bit achieved. The major task was to start the groundworks on the western side of the house, aiming to get to a point where it is paved and ready to move in.
This time we had to start from the top and work our way to the ground. Before we could shift any dirt we had to move the scaffold and before we could move the scaffold we needed to finish all those odd jobs from roof level down, including painting the brackets, fixing a minor roof leak and the bigger one – pointing up the western wall.
Then we were back at ground level. Our labourers did a great job shifting all of the dirt that had washed down in the last few months of rain back up the ramp, restoring the ground level to where is should be, then digging a bit lower so that we could create some footings to support a small retaining wall.
Everyone worked a lot quicker than expected so it was a few urgent calls to order some concrete and get hold of reinforcing steel and before we knew it the concrete truck was back on site, this time for the last time. As always with concrete, it’s a mad rush to get the stuff out of the truck and into the hole – hoping you’ve got the balance right between having enough concrete to do the job and not so much that you have to dump excess or pay to take it back to the yard. Greg did a great job and with a bit of hurried digging to create one more footing to support some steps up to the back wing, we were able to use it all, down to the last wheel barrow load.
The next day, the boys were straight back into it, starting work on the limestone retaining wall. As this wall is up against our neighbours house and it’s beautiful turn of the century, locally quarried limestone wall we thought that blocks and even new rubble would look a bit out of place. Instead, we were able to cart most of the limestone foundation blocks that we had recovered from our old house around the side and use them to construct the wall.
I think the end result is fantastic – a really natural looking wall that blends in so well with the wall behind it (and will continue to do so as it weathers). It should do, it’s all the same stone. We didn’t quite get it done, we intend to put a recycled red brick capping course along the top plus we obviously didn’t get to the paving. But we carry on and next time Greg is home from work and we can carry on we’ll be straight back into it.