Archive for February, 2007
For many a year we have had to contend with an unsheltered entrance. While there is those of you who think that such a thing isn’t something you would especially prioritise in a dwelling, house or abode – I must say that it has been especially annoying when:
1. Off to work with thousands of dollars of equipment packed in bags and its raining
2. Coming home in the dark, too tired to think about getting your front door key out and its raining
3. Shopping in both hands, on the phone to the wife who is telling me that I have forgotten something (either the food or her), its dark and its raining
4. Off to a wedding in brand new suit, looking very suave (and might I say, extremely dapper), step outside and its raining
You can see the common theme. Yes – the rain (the wet stuff that occasionally falls from the sky) was a factor with the orignial version the house. The rain would fall and wash underneath the house. However since we are building underneath the house- that can’t be allowed happen anymore (although the going to sleep with the sounds of water trickling underneath the house is both disconcerting and calming at the same time) so hence a roof.
But the reason that we got the roof isn’t just for the rain. We face west – which means at the business end of a long, hot summers day, we cop the western sun straight through our 2400mm high windows, heating up the house like an oven. So finally – after all these long years, relief is at hand: a roof is over our front deck.
However the addition of the roof has taken away the percieved boxiness of the house. Jo (the wife) thinks that it looks very Australian (should that be ‘straylian…) and our resident architect thinks it adds very contemporary aussie look.
I just think it looks noice, unusual, different.1 comment
Well – I can’t really claim the fireproof thing considering that most materials can and will burn given the necessary heating – but our construction of the front deck is the best that can be achieved with wood and a fiscally prudent pocket. In the leafy Blue Mountains, we get fires. Bushfires. Big ones too.
As a result of this, the folk at the Blue Mountains council have implemented a series of measures to bring building works to task over risky developments close to fire prone areas. Because most of the Blue Mountains is fire prone, it affects most developments. They have done some clever stuff. For example – all of our decks (front and back) have to be constructed out of a fire resistant timber. Since most timbers burn (pretty readily infact), timber as a product is risky to build with. However it is cheap, available and nice to live with and around. So rather than go with an all metal frame and tile flooring construction (this approach is mandated in areas deems high risk of fire) we have gone with the only wood that is approved for construction in a Level 3 fire zone (thats the upper end – the next one up is flame impact where you can’t use wood at all); Merbau. The council isn’t all good with its approach to fire; there are some rules which are plain silly and oxymoroncial in their ruling; but that is council for you…
We originally wanted the cedar slat look across the front – but because of these restrictions and because of the price – we have opted for the Merbau which we will stain with a redwood/jarrah stain and then varnish with spar varnish. The spar varnish is great for high sun/heat/moisture areas – but non traffic areas.
Anyway this week should see the delivery of the windows/doors which will see us turn to the home straight for our current project. As my wife and I wandered around the house this morning we pondered just how much work there was to do to simply bring our humble home back to where it was in mid November (the front lawn/pitch is in some serious need of love). The formal part of the renovation might be coming to a close – but we can’t see the reno being completely finished for a few years. However that does mean more random ramblings for this blog. We are just about to buy enough paint to fill a swimming pool – we might buy some shares with Wesfarmers considering all the money that we will be forking out to Bunnings over the next 6 months…1 comment
On this Valentines Day, we at The Box have to announce that we have fallen in love with our house. It been a long time coming – and yes, we confess the purchase of the house was a marriage of convenience – but true love has blossomed like a spring flower…(aww).
The love is based on a new found respect and excitement we have for our abode. To say that we have loved the our house (the box) in the past is stretching the boundaries of what could be termed ‘love’. Yes……our house has given us some comfort, we have enjoyed the challenge of living here, we like the bush outlook at the back, and we like the climate of Warrimoo; but to say that we love (or loved) our house would be incorrect.
However the major surgery that has undergone The Box in the past 77 days (BRDAY+77) has transformed this dingy mountains beach house into something cool, contemporary and rather cool looking. And today our frontal deck started remodelling. Gone (or almost) are the metal posts. We have replaced them with something far more boxlike. The uprights are a merbau which have bolted into a concrete stirrup. The front deck will get a roof, plus red timber slats which will offset the grey corrugated cladding nicely.
Our trusty builders have also began to frame up the rangehood which will be built into a gyprock surround above our stove.1 comment
For slideshow -click on image
As an aussie – it is great to know that one of the most beautiful timbers in the world, is best grown in the dry, dusty soils of Australia. Whats more, its also great to know that this timber is the most common eucalypt (gum tree) grown in South West Australia – an area which also produces a handy drop of wine. We have chosen Jarrah for our downstairs floor entry and stairs. Eucalyptus marginata as its known by nerdy botanical types, is a vibrant rich red colour and known for its flowing yet tight tight grain. There is also a rumour that one can extract a jarrah alcohol out of the tree.
There were issues had in putting in this stairway. For the past 2 weeks, we have been using the old staircase. However the installation of the staircase meant that previously mentioned termite metropolis has been totally vanquished and destroyed. However it cause but a few headaches in its obliteration. Nevertheless the stairs are in, floors are done.
Oh and the cooktop and oven are in an working.1 comment
The kitchen is starting to come together with the island bench (aptly named ‘Straya’) installed over the weekend. Indeed much like our fair continent – the middle of the bench will be a great source of heat when properly warmed- where a fisher & paykel ceramic cooktop will be installed.
I would indulge in a metaphoric comparison of the rest of our kitchen with our northern continental neighbours (Fridge being north western Russia, Oven being the Gobi, Cupboards being the eastern bloc and so on) but I can’t be bothered….1 comment
…nobody is home? Well it does feel that way. Jo and I have been relative strangers in our own house over the past few weeks as we have feasted and rested in other venues (parents house and local restaurants before politely being told to go home) before returning to The Box to sleep and bathe. We have no bananas – nor do we have any food for that matter. No fridge, no cupboard, in fact no kitchen equals no food. So lights have been on (more of them recently)- but the builders have been home.
And busy they have been. Plastering was completed today with a fine mist of power over everything (and the two days of drizzle has turned it into a fine mud – awesome!). The kitchen is taking shape too. More on the design later – but Bryan and co have successfully put the upstairs kitchen back together downstairs in a far more strengthened and one might say, square way.
Halogens were installed downstairs today too – which certainly sheds new light on our downstairs area.
Go Team!3 comments