Life in the trenches

Now that I have some idea where the buildings are going to go, I can start working on how I’m going to run services all over the block – the downside of an 80m-long block (with the ATU and water tank right down the back) is that there’s a LOT of trenching. I hate to say it, but I’m almost getting sick of driving excavators. 🙁 Another long day in the driver’s seat, but got most of it done despite running into a lot of…Continue Reading “Life in the trenches”

More earthworks!

In one of those random encounters that you get from time to time, a bloke walked down the road while we were doing the crossover the other week and stopped for a chat. Turns out he used to run a small building company, but now his nephew (who lives two doors down from me…wait…can I say “two doors down” before I even have a door? I guess the neighbours have a door and he has a door, so let’s go with it) does the building…Continue Reading “More earthworks!”


At last, breaking some ground! Two days with my favourite excavator and my tireless offsider waving the hose around to keep some of the dust down and the levels measured, and I’ve nearly got the ‘cut’ part of ‘cut and fill’ done. The shed area was first – scraped the top ~150mm off first, to get all the grass and what topsoil exists into its own pile for later re-use, then got into digging. Hit the hard semi-sandstone’y type stuff pretty quickly, but managed to…Continue Reading “Earthworks!”

A new way in

Once I start earthworks, I’m going to dig a massive hole at the base of the existing driveway…so I needed a new crossover. Recruited a few family members, including my sister who (as I might have mentioned) is a huge fan of….using compactors. Still can’t explain it, but very happy to exploit it. 🙂 I’d already moved a few pieces of concrete kerbing to protect the trunks of the trees, and moved a big pile of the dirt from the ATU hole to somewhere near…Continue Reading “A new way in”

Retaining wall: No going back now!

This felt like the first bit of construction that I couldn’t undo – of course this is a bit silly, what with 6 tonnes of ATU already in the ground, but for that I just sat around and watched people install it – this was stuff I’d put together myself which makes a difference…somehow. Dad and I spent the morning tweaking the propping and fixing the alignment of the posts – a few of them shifted when I put the long strips of rebar on…Continue Reading “Retaining wall: No going back now!”

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”