House footings and an asparagus patch

We’ve started Edgefield’s new house project with a bang, I’m thrilled to report. In a week and a half, our builder and his earthmoving team, have managed to complete a massive site works program including:

  • laying all the services (water, power, phone/broadband)
  • building a new driveway over the top
  • clearing all remaining vegetation and levelling the block
  • putting in an extensive network of sub-surface drainage pipes to drain off all the water that accumulates in winter as it’s a low-lying back block that sits in a small valley with heavy, clay soil
  • marking out and pouring the concrete footings
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Footings are in: 16 May 2014

Sand pad and bricklaying of the brick build-up will happen on Monday with the concrete slab scheduled for Wednesday. Aah, progress. It’s a beautiful thing. Yet seemingly, so often it’s elusive on residential building projects. 

Jeff and I have previously built two houses together: one was a spec home built by project home builders, WA Country Builders, in Drummond Cove, 10 minutes north of Geraldton on WA’s north coast. It couldn’t have been easier, but we weren’t emotionally invested in the slightest. The other was Flinders St in Mount Hawthorn: the blood, sweat and tears custom design project that nearly killed us. We can look back on it now with some distance and say the result was worth the pain…perhaps. We built a beautiful house of our own design of which we are very proud and we sold it for a profit that got us where we are today. However, it was a traumatic experience with a builder who was in over his head and seemingly incapable of communication. Needless to say, we learnt a lot and have taken that experience with us into this project. So hopefully, this one will go a little more smoothly, if experience and organisation is worth anything.

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Henry and Basil the class bear sitting in the excavator.

Asparagus patch

My old asparagus patch was in the way of the new driveway so the three-year old crowns had to be lifted and moved to a permanent new location. I attempted to dig them out myself, shovel in hand…silly woman. I quickly realised how futile that was and so asked the earthmoving guy in his big excavator to dig them out for me. God bless diesel: they were humungous! They looked like giant sea monsters. There is no way I could have dug them out or lifted them for that matter. So today Jeff and I took on the gargantuan task of planting them. Unfortunately the trench I’d asked the excavator guy to dig for me was insufficient so we had to dig it by hand. God almighty this clay soil gives you a workout! Who needs to lift weights at the gym when you can dig holes?! Several hours later we got the six monster octopus crowns partially planted (will finish tomorrow) with a trailer load of mushroom compost and mixed manure, dolomite lime and gypsum sprayed all over the clay base and sides. They should now be the happiest asparagus alive (as long as I got them in the ground quickly enough.) The first residents of our future new vegie patch.

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Asparagus: the first residents of the new vegie patch