Monday, 6 August 2012

The garage build begins...

We now have an internet contract, so blogging should get back to normal.  Well, more normal than it has been this past month - getting our final solar power installed will be the cherry on top and relieve the pressure of needing full sun to charge our damaged batteries :)


MKid was still here in June when the builder started by squaring off the foundations which had been dug by the digger loader.
Having the garage is critical to our plans.  Once it is finished we can remove all the goods from storage in Swellendam.  Plus, the biggest bonus means that we can purchase, and install our new solar panels on the roof and place the new batteries in their new power room position - a small (but bigger than the old) room behind the garage on the cooler southern side.  But, what about the old power room?  Well, that is so lovely and cool all year round that it's going to become my cold room / larder.  Yeehah!
Once they were square, the builders could start mixing, and pouring the foundations.

But, just as a watched pot takes forever to boil, the build wasn't helped by my constant checking on progress.
They took so long (in my opinion) that once the foundations were finished I thought we could almost throw a party.
Foundations - lovely, lovely foundations...
However, my excitement was short lived.  For no sooner were the foundations finished than the winter weather hit.  Bad enough for the poor builders, but even worse for the delivery trucks.  Snow and rain.  And more snow and rain.  In fact snow fell on the mountains again last night - the third time this winter.  Unheard of!
Unnavigational
All that liquid caused our entrance to became a quagmire - and 6 and 10 ton trucks were unable to navigate the hurdle.  So, that did the drivers do?  Well, they just dumped the fill and stone where they got stuck.  Which meant that when the ground dried enough for other trucks to deliver, they wouldn't be able to, because the stone was blocking the way.  The grass on either side of the driveway was even more mushy - not compacted like the driveway and completely useless as an alternative route to the house.
RMan and the trailer to the rescue
Thankfully, RMan used his head.  We have a 1.8 ton trailer.  And we had our helper, John, and MKids assistance :)
MKid doing what kids do best - get stuck in helping
Bless him - MKid moved a fair portion of the stone.  And then hopped on the back of the trailer for a ride back to the building site.  He loved it :)
Stone - just dumped on our driveway
To give you some idea of where the stone was dumped check out the circle in the pic below.  Close, but no cigar...:)
The circle shows the spot
Naturally, 5000 bricks weighs even more, so the driver initially offloaded a pile of 500 bricks onto RMan's trailer, but, after only loading 1 500, I guess he got tired of waiting whilst they were being offloaded by hand  So, whilst RMan and the trailer were delivering the third load to the builders, the driver just dumped the balance inside the gate - and left!  And, not having a forklift on the truck meant that they had to be manually loaded and offloaded...
RMan and his trailer - collecting the bricks from the gate
So - although this caused quite a delay, we were lucky for at least we had the wherewithall (a.k.a. the trailer and the builders hands) to get the material where we needed it.

That took 2 1/2 weeks to complete the foundations and build the foundation walls.  Next - we needed fill before we could throw the floor slab.  And that meant another 10 ton truck had to deliver...

16 comments:

  1. Wow, that wears me out just reading about it. It all will be worth it in the end. The building process always takes time.

    Hope your week is a good one.

    FlowerLady

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    1. FlowerLady - I know it will be worth it in the end. Question is, do I have enough patience...? :)

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  2. There always has to be some bump in the road. Lets hope this is the extent of it. Congratulations on the internet hookup.

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    1. Jane - Bumps and humps... Nope it's not the extent of it - we've just had our 3rd snowfall in 5 weeks (unheard of here)and with the cold, and rain, there are... no builders on site today...

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  3. That which doesn't KILL us, makes us stronger. Wow-sorry about the extra hassles. But, it does make for some memories!
    ;)

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    1. Sue - Superwoman here I come LOL Memories - oh yes, the build has certainly created a bucketload of those...

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  4. It is always challenging to build something new, and yet, the challenges precede the most satisfying projects. This project is just making sure you have expanded your knowledge on construction and can advise someone else in future ! Very best wishes !

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    1. JaneofVirginia - Thank you :) And it enables us to achieve exactly what we want too :) Reckon after this lot I could probably become a project manager on someone else's build... None the less, I AM loving it - every step, for I have the end goal firmly in view.

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  5. Dani, so glad things are getting more "normal" for you! The garage/driveway fiasco sounds like a nightmare. I hope it's something you can laugh about a few years down the road, but what a headache for now!

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    1. Leigh - We're already laughing about it LOL But, yeah, could've done without it...

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  6. Dani - it sucks now, but you'll laugh about it later. when we left the city, the movers were to arrive at 9 and be done by noon due to us having everything already packed and marked. they showed up in a great big 18-wheeler and drove over the meridian in the middle of the street in order to back up into our driveway. but yes, it had rained for 3 straight days so the grass in the meridian was sogged and of course, the truck got stuck! it blocked traffic on a one-way, very busy street at 8:45 in the morning. we had 4 cop cars come to re-direct traffic, we tried to dig the truck out, we tried putting cardboard and old carpets under the tires, and finally 3 hours later a commercial tow-truck came to tow it out - it was a nightmare!!!! so what should have been done by noon didn't even start until after the workers had their lunch. they were good guys and i felt bad for them.

    we laugh about it now. kind of. naw, it's still too raw of a memory. maybe in another year we'll laugh - bahahahahah!

    good luck with the rest of the build and everything looks like it's coming along fine! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. kymber - Seems this is common world wide. We also tried digging, adding wood, stone, cardboard (ended up soggy LOL) - nothing worked! Yeah, time schedules - they don't exist with builders or movers. And as for the lunch and tea breaks - don't they know that I want them finished.... yesterday LOL

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  7. We have snow on our mountain too, but luckily we are not trying to build. Good luck, I hope things go better.

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  8. GG - It's lovely - I'm loving it LOL - just need the weather to play ball...

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  9. Hee Hee. Welcome to my past life. I used to do this for up to 4 clients a year, through rain and snow. Please give a thought to the labour as building is physically demanding. Is there anything more rewarding than seeing an intangible idea manefest in front of your very eyes into bricks and mortar?

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    1. Brat - LOL! How is the recycling business going? Yeah, have given lots of commiseration to the builders, as well as hot coffee, etc...

      I LOVE what is happening - in front of my eyes! Just wish the weather would play ball. I also need to harvest some of that lovely rainwater - if only my gutters were up...

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