Saturday, June 27, 2009

Look A Patio

Finally after a week of intensive concrete pouring we have a patio. The concrete was poured in sections about a meter wide. Prior to each section being poured a small strip was laid to provide the level. Each pour took about 5 loads of the cement mixer. Some of the pieces had extra complications like a drain channel to take the water from the front steps down and out through the rain water drain.
But finally after a week of hard work and the purchase of a gazebo we now have some where nice outside to sit.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The patio takes shape.

Now mostly of the preparation work is it is time to surface the patio (outside Kitchen / barbecue area) The original surface had a large slope and although it was smooth was not that good when you wanted to sit at a table. So we decided to make a flat area ... The only problem was that the underlying ground was mostly solid rock.. So we desired that instead of trying to dig it all out we would just rise the level. To get it right it had to be in two steps... so that the patio would not be above the kitchen floor!!!!

There are a few more drains to go in though, the Rain water needs to be taken from the roof and from where it runs down the back steps. and the sink in the outside kitchen needs to be connected. So these pipes were put in first before the top step is added.
Once the drains are all done its the lower level was filled with rubble (most of this came from demolition in the kitchen). it was the plan to lay the lower level in three sections, rather than using shuttering to get the levels I decided to us a method that I had seen the local builders use. A line is strung to give the level and then a "wall" of concrete is laid to this level as below.

Once the level has set then the first part of the patio was laid... Only one small problem was that the concrete was not fine enough so that the surface was not that good. This was solved in later poring by adding a few shovels of sand. The quality of the surface is not too much of a problem as we intend to tile the area sometime.... (when we have the money).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Look a Flower Bed

As I explained in a earlier post behind one part of the wall we were going to put a small flower bed in. Well here it is. Having taken some good earth from a pile we had down the garden and mixing it liberally with some manure we have a very nice light soil to plant things in. The first thing to go in was a flower that had to be moved from the garden outside the kitchen window which is being removed. Then the other two things to go in were some herbs; thyme and rosemary. The flower bed also has scattered around some bits of broken flower pot which as well a looking pretty also try and stop Tabby from digging up the plants and using the place as a loo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's all gone down the drain. (Drains Phase two)

One small reason for all the work on the outside kitchen was that we have to continue laying the main drains under it, with all the connections for the sink in the outside kitchen and other services. So with the work on the walls approaching the end of the first phase it is now the time to dig the trench for the drains... To be honest I have been dreading this as there is not much soil around here so it was likely that we would have to dig the trench through solid rock.

We were in luck though.... as we found an old drain that ran from the garden at the right depth right through the kitchen to the old water tank that will be the bathroom. This took a good bit of excavating (including the demise of our heavy duty SDS drill) but once this was excavated, it only needed widening a little, it was simple to lay the drain...

Excavated trench outside,

under the kitchen,

And out to the entrance way

OK the connection to the existing part of the drain was a little complicated but in the end it all went in OK and was coved with concrete.

And here's the wobbly bit...

Next to go in was the pipes for the grey water and rain / ground water drain. A little more work as the grey water drain includes the kitchen and outside kitchen sink drains and also needed to be cut into the existing grey water drain the goes to the temp. kitchen.

Cutting the new grey water drain into the current one

All the drains laid
You will notice as well as laying drains there are lots of power conduits going in for power to the outside kitchen and the outside loo (will one day be where the washing machine will go...) and lighting.