House retaining wall – pour and un-forming

Poured the concrete for the house retaining wall on Wednesday – went reasonably smoothly, except for the operator not really getting the concept of “a bit more concrete slowly, please” and throwing concrete around with complete abandon. So we ended up with some largish blobs of concrete not inside the form. Spent today removing the formwork. I’d expected this to be a bit easier than it was, but the plywood was tightly wedged between the concrete and the sides of the trench in a lot…Continue Reading “House retaining wall – pour and un-forming”

Retaining wall: propping

Another fun day putting the posts in place to be concreted. Thankfully had some help for this, so I could mostly stay in the trench while my helper ran around fetching posts, spacers and bluemetal. The technique recommended by the wall manufacturer worked really well, with a top & bottom spacer (the top one with notches to sit on the top of each post) to keep the posts aligned with each other. I made the spacers out of structural pine, which is wildly overkill for…Continue Reading “Retaining wall: propping”

More retaining wall fun

Physically draining day today prepping the retaining wall posts – what with me changing the foundation design, and hitting a lot of rock’ish type stuff, I had to shorten 16 of the 22 posts. Cue 7 hours with two grinders (one for cutting the concrete down to the embedded rebar, the other to cut the rebar) and a lot of lugging some very heavy posts around. The pretty red ends are painted to protect the now-exposed rebar from rusting out. Lesson of the day would…Continue Reading “More retaining wall fun”

Magical sky-water

Some very unseasonal weather today – made a quick trip to the block armed with a laser level, a string line and a measuring stick, to see how far short of the required depth my trench was. Nice warm, sunny day quickly went south as a summer thunderstorm went over, sending me scurrying for the shed. Thankfully I’d just finished the measuring part and was just mucking about with a fat masonry bit in my drill, tidying up the trench walls. Got home to do…Continue Reading “Magical sky-water”

Water tank

One of the smaller sustainability features I wanted to include was a decent rainwater setup – ideally running the entire house off rainwater, with mains backup. My last house was run entirely off rainwater, as there was no mains supply in the area, and I found that worked really well – it had a ~100kL tank, which filled every winter except one (I think it was 2015?) when Perth’s rainfall was wildly below average, and that was enough to get the household through the summer…Continue Reading “Water tank”

Water tank prep

With the excavator still around thanks to the long weekend, I figured it’d be a good chance to get the sand pad prepped for my main water tank. Coincidentally, my sister had made a wild claim that she really wanted to learn to use a compactor – and I wasn’t going to pass up a willing helper or two. Me, K and dad gathered up the exxy, a compactor and the pile of sand I had delivered last week, and we had a right old…Continue Reading “Water tank prep”