Finally…… out of the ground.

25 04 2018

Since pouring the house slab, almost six weeks ago, quite a bit has happened on the Fanny Farm. To start with, the concrete suppliers came to the party regarding that last load that went off as soon as it was poured….  they knew they’d screwed up, there were no arguments, and the rep asked me what I wanted, and I told him, and he said OK. So I’m not paying for that load, and they supplied self levelling concrete to rectify the wonky end of the house, which I will do once the walls are up……  frustrating all the same.

My daughter and I harvested 400kg of Geeveston Fannies, which were taken next door and turned into almost 200 litres of Cider. I have such a bumper crop this year, I’m afraid that due to other pressures, like building, a lot of my apples will simply go to waste….. I just can’t do everything.

IMG_20180415_090227It even snowed on Hartz. I took my Belgian wwoofer Nelle up the hill to show her Australian Alpine landscape, and she was amazed at how different it looks compared to Europe. When it snows there, it rains down on the farm, and threeIMG_20180414_133644 days went by with virtually nothing happening…. very frustrating….. though Nelle did finish braiding my garlic for me, now hanging decoratively from the shed rafters…. and hopefully keeping vampires away!

With the weather improving, we started moving blocks onto the slab in preparation for Mark the blocklayer’s arrival. He has now laid the first course of every block wall in the house, and it’s my task to install the first fit of wiring and plumbing.

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Because an entire pallet of half blocks – conveniently behind the huge stack of blocks – had collapsed towards the dam, I decided to move them all, and the three pallets in front of it…  I started this process with a wheelbarrow, but quickly realised this was the slow way to do things, and ended up using the ute – what would I do without a ute? – which could shift six wheelbarrow loads at a time, with the blocks at a convenient height for unloading….. four down, twenty to go. Caleb will have to come back!

Thanks to the stuff up with the last load of concrete at the end of the big pour which meant I was not there for a full hour to supervise the finishing, the surface where the blocks had to go was less than perfect, and so it took Mark two days to

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One of the many cut blocks that will make this wall a reality….

lay the first course. he did a fine job though, and the rest of the work will be a breeze, he tells me, after I’ve cut all the corner ones to fit, a noisy dusty job if ever there was one.

Nelle quickly picked up the skills required to become a bricky’s labourer, mixing mud for Mark and barrowing it onto his mud boards while I was cutting.

Now that all the masonry walls are laid out with only the front stud wall as yet not visible, the entire layout of the house is becoming more obvious, and I like the way it flows….

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The next step was for me to lay out the wiring for all the power points in the house, and put in the connections to the power station once the wall is high enough.

A lot of thought prior to the pour went into this, because once done, it’s all cast in concrete, never to be altered! Do it once, do it properly……

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Simple power point connection

The connections to the underslab wiring to the bathrooms was a bit tricky, because there wasn’t much room for three bell connectors inside the T shaped junction boxes. It was all tested for continuity, and once it’s all cast in concrete when the blocks are core filled, those wires will never move!

I have to add I don’t recommend ANYONE do their own wiring like this unless they know exactly what they are doing…. not a job for rank amateurs…….

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Not a lot of room to maneuvre… nothing a little silicone can’t fix.

Next job is the bathroom plumbing, but that won’t take long, and Mark can come back and lay more courses on top of this one so we can start building the house’s backbone…… it’s actually starting to get quite exciting!