Between purchasing the land and the builder digging a hole we’ve been busy getting to know our postage stamp and tidying up in order to hand a clean site over to the builder. Between the summer heat, bushfire smoke and torrential rain we found time to:
- prune a few trees (someone was very keen to dust of his tree loping skills and gear)
- pull up about 950 pavers and stack them for potential reuse (although, they will probably end up at Kimbriki tip)
- knock down a small brick retaining wall (we imagined we’d clean the bricks, I even watched YouTube videos on how to, but they’ve ended up at Kimbriki for recycling)
- try numerous times to get Gav’s kids to help (minimal success even with offering to pay them
- break up some concrete drains (that was a workout for Gav)
- load 9 trailer loads of brick and concrete averaging about 800kg each (that was a workout for both of us)
- unearth and stack a few hundred bricks from an old drain (it’s slightly more likely that we might reuse these)
- have a competition to see who could kill grass the best (I’m still a bit dark that Gavin’s poison beat my light restriction technique). Dead grass weighs less than live grass and reduces the fee for the excavated soil removal.
We didn’t have to do this prep work, but it saved us a few bucks in demolition fees. If we hadn’t done it we would have missed out on the fun of a trip to emergency for a palm spike to be removed from Gav’s hand, and the 20 grass ticks we each got having a beer on the grass at the end of a hard day picking up pavers.
None of this has anything to do with passive house, except maybe the need the need to save money. Nor was any of this complicated building work, and was only a tiny bit of effort and work compared to what the builders are about to do.
The weekends we were working on our block were also a really nice time to get to know many of the neighbours as they walked past on their way to the beach or shops. Seems likes we will be moving to a very friendly neighbourhood.