Last Friday, I was rudely awakened by a semi trailer outside my shed, at 6:30AM. I wasn’t expecting it before 10AM or so, but the driver had left the depot at 3:30AM, and ta-dah……. there he was! Loaded with nine out of the twenty four pallets of concrete blocks destined to go into the new build.
It’s amazing how quickly one is able to jump out of bed and throw on some clothes when duty calls…… Luckily, this driver had more than two brain cells to rub together; he worked out the best way to approach the tricky delivery, even though the rep who was here a week earlier to plan this, never told him anything about our place…….
Altogether, there are thirty tonnes of blocks to be delivered, and it could not all be done in one go apparently. The delivery alone is costing us $1000….. buying anything when you’re building always involves lots of zeroes! Last week I bought $4000 worth of Hoop Pine plywood from South East Queensland for the ceiling. It’s the closest thing to white wood I’ve ever seen. Amazingly, the young man who served me worked at the Noosa office where I used to buy plywood for the last house… small world!
The way the pallets are unloaded off the semi is really clever. They use a three wheeled (and three wheel drive) forklift which permanently resides on the truck. To get it off, it lifts itself off the tray, slides backwards until clear of the trailer, then lowers itself to the ground….. I had no idea of whether these gadgets were able to be driven 500 metres return on a dirt road or not, but that was no issue.
Included in the load were sixty litres (with more to come I think) of waterproofing additive for the mortar that ‘glues’ the blocks together…. while discussing this with the driver, he then informed me that the entire load of blocks has this stuff mixed in at the time of manufacture. Because they are destined for a retaining wall, which needs to be as waterproof as possible, for obvious reasons in our case, Island Blocks decided to include this in the order without me knowing….. We don’t want water coming into the house in a deluge like the one we had last week, so I am mighty pleased with this. Amazingly, these blocks cost us less than the ones we bought in Gympie all those years ago, even though they were specially made for us; it’s a colour they no longer market. We chose it, because it was the nearest thing to the blocks we had at Mon Abri, which we dearly wanted to reproduce as much as possible….
To test this waterproofing feature, I decided to put some water on a block and see if it beaded instead of the usual absorption like a sponge normal concrete displays… and indeed, the concrete is waterproof!
How I wish I had known this was possible when I built the last house…. if such a service was at all possible then.
Tomorrow afternoon, a local concretor is coming for a visit to discuss the footings and slab…….. Will I be out of the ground before Christmas? Now that would be one hell of a Chrissy present!