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Progress in building the house

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Previous work
Winter 2012-13 -  mudding, bathroom, bedroom, moving, earth works
Summer 2013 - computer room, trees, jig, new yard, hall, kitchen, garage footings
Autumn 2013 - garage, insulation  

Spring 2013-14 -Not much work (look at bobcat)
Summer 2014 - shed, fence

Autumn 2014 - garage   
Winter 2014-15 - garage
Summer 2015 - garage 
jump to last update
Winter 2012-13

phone man

Before the bathroom things were put in, the walls and ceiling had to be mudded and painted because there was no way to get the platform out once the sink or shower was in. It took a lot of time in the cold for each layer of mud to set. Too boring to photograph.
stand for sink shower enclosure shower
Dec 19 - phone people came with wrong order

I started mudding the bedroom until I pulled a muscle.
stand for sink
shower enclosure almost done - a chinese puzzle
plumbing the shower
plumbing sink bathroom water

shower floor

in the middle of plumbing back of shower
putting in the bathrom sink
water to shower and toilet
bathroom cabinet & mirror above sink
bedroom vapor barrier Harry's hubble bubble catches the dust from sanding mud in water rather than having a room full of fine white dust. Anyone who has sanded mud will understand why he made it. He still wears a mask but he does not look like a white snowman at the end of the day.
hubblebubble hubblebubble
insolation on the bedroom walls

vapor barrier in bedroom

Pot half full of water with a lid with two air tight tubes
One tube short and in air, other is long and in water
bedroom walls bedroom
No pictures during move - too busy. Harry sanded bedroom floor and put down a carpet. Paul Henri and I moved stuff into the house and by night we had beds in a warm room. But little else.
sewer tank
Vacuum on short to draw out air, sander on long to bring dust into the water.

bedroom with drywall and mud ready for first sanding
bedroom ceiling done

Move started 30 Apr and ended May 8 - chaos
pump put in sewer tank so drains now can be used. Hot water also made good.

Now we had sinks, shower, toilet, washer, cooker, frig and two electric heaters for bathroom and bedroom. The telephone people came and hooked up phone line and internet. Normal life resumes about May 10

microwave drawers

On second day after move we put in washer.

We got a new microwave and Harry built the cupbroad drawers.
Harry got a riding mower
and put a hitch on it to pull the trailer and the thing for moving earth.

During Ryan and Ciara's visit we rented a digger and bobcat to fix some problems, redo the drive and make trench for garage footings. Ryan helped Harry with a lot of other small things.

bobcat digger
footing holes

Summer 2013

During visit the new oven was used for first time. Everything works now.

Ryan working on drive.
Harry on digger - he was upset because he was so tentative.
Garage footing trench

JK computer
hk comp trees upper cupboards rockwool
Setup made for my computer
And a setup for Harry's Harry taking down trees (affected elms) for workshop space first two of the wall cupboards up - doors later start of computer room walls - rockwool insulation
There were some jokes made about Harry's 'jigs'. Here is the one for cutting the rockwool with minimum dust and effort. Just included to prove the jigs are worth making. And best if made from scrap - Harry says.
jig jig jig jig
So there says Harry
the jig empty batten up against stop metal bar put in place compressing & cutting along the bar with knife
jig vapor barrier computer room drywall No photos from when I was in Canada. Most of the work was plumbing and yard cleanups. Only little things since then.

removing the cut square vapor barrier fixed with silicone and staples then dry wall

hall ceiling

The walls of the four rooms we will use this winter are now completely insolated and drywalling is done except for a few little pieces.
Got the bush cut on new lot and with nice weather we did some mowing.
mowed yard
front door
tall cabinet

hall ceiling drywall up

the mowed yard
varnished new front door
east wall of kitchen painted, tall cabinet put in


cupboard doors
east wall

last bit of mudding in the kitchen

oiling counter top for kitchen east wall outside
hole made to fit new door & it's in now
got around to putting on some cupboard doors
put in counter top & under cupboard on east wall

east cupboard
moved outside - garage footings need holes down to firm level. Harry doing this with a power washer, a trowel, and wet/dry vacuum. It works well. Finish by cutting out an roots sticking in. There are 4 holes, at the corners of workshop.
footing holes
two footing holes could have their concrete now, other two later. Harry had to find and reassemble his setup for concrete. Mixer back from neighbour who borrowed it; stand back from pile at bottom of the lot. The wooden bucket was rotten so he made a new metal one.

put a upper cupbroad on the east wall

First hole - 4 done in 3 days

mixer and stand


bucket on
all ready
using bucket

old and new bucket

bucket on stand
gravel, sand, water ready
first hole done
emptying the bucket into mixer

Three batches all together, one in first hole and two in the second larger hole. Next a bit of earth moving where the other two holes are.

bathroom cupboard
kitchen doors
kitchen doors
Harry put in the sewer vent. And he isolated above the ceiling. No pictures of this - sorry. It was hot, sweaty, ichy work and the glass isolation bats required a breathing mask. But it is essential to have it done by winter.

flatpack bathrm cupboard

done kitchen cupboard doors

When too hot for attic, Harry finish the holes and pour concrete in them. He straightened the sides of the garage trench. For this he made a very big square and a level measuring device with tubing filled with water.

big square

The big square and the water tubing (yellow)

Autumn 2013


The cribbing for garage was started. Harry got the steel for the garage base delivered and Bob, Dave, Aydon helped move it to near the hole. Each beam took all 4 of them to carry. They also got the scaffolding from a friend and erected it during visit.
putting up scaffold
the garage floor beams

starting to put up scaffold
gravel for a ramp to street on new lot (& Ginger)
putting tops over windows Oct 22

That was the last work done before Harry's operation for carpal tunnel. Recovery was slow because of his shoulder acting up and it took the rest of the month. And all of Nov!

Continued rest through Dec and Jan. Weather was not cooperative and neither was Harry's arm/hand. But we watched the road works.
planting bads
finished walk

we have a drain at our drive
& plant bed in front of lot
red gravel walks finished

Spring 2013-2014


road done

made first raised garden plot Feb 25

started second large one early April
and we got a proper drive entry
re-surfacing done (lines painted May 28 - 7 months)
deep potato bed in a box


blocks for shed

Harry wanted some photos of the Hysoon baby bobcat (taken July 2)
kits for shed

leveling blocks for shed to sit on
new baby bobcat Jun 27
shipped from China in a custom made cage
well made & included in shipping from China $350



it had phywood sides screwed on

it is not a riding or a walk-behind but a stand-on
heavy strong frame - all in & cage, wieghed about a ton
hydrolics (bolt on cover is off)



controls: joy sticks and hand holds on top (black)

has the bucket on here
digger attachment that can replace the bucket

Summer 2014


Shed: squaring up first boards and door frame

Building walls
walls up to level needing ladder
gables and roof rafters up
roof boards up 1 side using stop to line them up at top


The old hedge and fence that separated our lot from the orchard lot is being repaced with a new fence by the neighbour. We are paying for half the expense. Work started Jul28 with getting rid of the old hedge.

roor boards started on 2nd side

done from inside rather then outside

putting gravel and wooden 'dalles'



Man with a digger tore up the old hedge

Neighbour couple watching & helping
New view of orchard with the rubble of the hedge
The trees stand clear without the undergrowth
This is street end with blue stick on boundary



There was a lot of rain in August and some storms. I had a operation with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. So not a great deal was done.

looking down the fence line from near street end

There is a blue stick at the far end too.

The start of fence. Concrete was set before continuing
The gang -neighbours & in-laws. Harry watching



Finished fence

looking thro at neighbours sheep
and garden
Shed biult and secure - some tiny bits to do

Autumn 2014

Harry rashly promised to have the garage up by mid-Dec. First he cleared the hole and the vegetation. Then got the thing square and the right size.


concrete arrived am on the 30th Sep

Putting in a level perimeter

filling the center area with dirt



covering the center with plastic

and covering the outer frame work
putting in spacers for later steel beams
starting to place re-enforcing



laying the concrete


 Getting the formwork off was nearly impossible. It took a day for each side. The last side took help for neighbours. Then started getting the ground level right. 

Hysoon had a problem and it took a few days to make the repair

 Hysoon bucket used until earth too hard
But lots of good top soil for garden
Needed digger attachment to break up lower soil

When getting near the right depth, Harry had to make sure of his levels and levelness. He used water in a length of hose.


testing levels
tree trimming machine and the branches it cut
the trim
branches for bonfire on Harry's birthday

hedge out

hedge out
hedge out

Taking out old hedge still in place

hedge gone
except for old stumps that will be burned out
new east fence & scrap from hedge for another fire

Winter 2014-15

Harry got a new tool (toy), a plasma cutting torch. When he went to use it, the rain started and didn't stop until late into Dec. Harry made a thing to hold the machine and its gauges. It also requires our compresser and tank.

plasma cutter
plasma cutter
plasma cutter
plasma cutter

The plasma cutter
cutting the floor beams
neat thin cuts - flanges just done, finshed cut on beside grounding of workpiece and guide to feel not see

plasma cutter

 Very little done in Jan. too cold and then too wet. There were only a couple of days when Harry could work ouside. End of Jan - one lot of concrete to go before welding.
leveling beams

first beam in place

all beams done, making adjustment to pads
ready to level but too cold to work

beams mortered into slab

leveling beams

No pictures of the concrete pads going in or of the preparation for welding. Cold wet weather for much of the month.
welding beams

beams leveled ready for concrete in some pillars

welding the beams together
joists set in floor & wooden sill plates on beams
laying floor


It rained till the end of the month with one nice day that we used to work on the garden. Walls have to wait for the lumber order to come.

floor down & some stumps broken up

cheap lino put down to protect from rain
lino in rain

Summer 2015

new since last updatelumber
lumber lumber Bought wood 13.5 meters long & arranged to have it cut at the right lengths for Harry to cut the peices he needed. They cut from 13.1 m stock. He got money back for 10.5 m short. He had to re-plan how to do the finish cuts. They will make up if there is increased scrappage.

lumber arrived May 13

1st pallet - all correct
2nd pallet - lengths wrong

Angled cuts - morter saw


east wall
east wall

plain cuts on jig (lower left) so all lengths the same

building the east wall on the slab