With a little over a month remaining on the build contract, this has proven to be one of the busiest weeks yet, with builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and painters all on site each day.
Asbestos specialists were again with us to remove sheeting in the existing indoor bathroom (site in lock down for the morning), and the lean-to hot water cabinet removed pending installation of the new Rinnai hot water on demand heaters (3 in total). Once asbestos was removed, Alan Jurd and team replaced the floor of the old bathroom with a new slab.
Screeding of the new-build kitchen annex floor was completed, and the tilers have spent two days laying the large floor tiles (each 1200mm x 600mm), with another two days remaining to finish the job. Our cabinet maker Don visited to install the cabinetry in the butlers’ pantry which houses an under bench hot water billy, dishwasher and bar fridges.
Electricians decommissioned and removed the overhead power lines and activated the underground feed to the new board at the back of the house, which means we can crack on with removing the conduits from the exterior of the main house as well as the old power board situated at the end of the veranda.
Also outdoors, Daniel at Vista Landscaping kicked off work on the new steel-edged garden path which wraps around the veranda. Next week the decomposed granite will be delivered and the path dressed. We have doubled the depth of the garden beds so that they are in better proportion to the veranda and plan on adding Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Phlomis ‘Tuberosa’, Salvia Nemorosa ‘Piet Oudolf’, Sisyrinchium ‘Satin Flower’ and Verbascum densiflorum (all tube stock which was delivered this week) to the existing plantings.
We also planted three mature heirloom variety crab apples ‘Malus Profusion’ in what will be the reinstated farm orchard to the west of the house. Burnett’s on Barney have taken delivery of our wish-list for remaining trees, and are on the hunt for suitable mature specimens for us; these include heirloom varieties of apple, pear, medlar and quince.
It was exciting to take delivery and watch installation of the new 23,079 litre galvanised water tank. This will store all rain water gathered from the roof and will be used to flush all toilets as well as provide water for the laundry. It is fitted with a top-up valve that allows us to supplement with mains water should the tank levels drop substantially. Two existing water tanks will be repositioned to provide water for garden irrigation and a water trough for the main paddock.
Even more exciting was signing the contract this week for installation of a 9.81kW solar PV Grid Connect system on the roof of the machinery shed in the back paddock. In ideal weather conditions, 30 SunPower 327W panels will produce enough electricity to fully power the house and swimming pool plant as well as feed power back into the grid. Electricity was first introduced to Terragong in 1948; up until then, the home had been lit by oil lamp and heated using coal. With our extensive renovation, including the addition of numerous appliances and underfloor heating, we feel good doing something to minimise our impact on the environment.