With the steps up to the meadow path done, it’s time to turn attention back to the wood shed. Of course, it’s no good having a wood shed if one is tripping over oneself getting down there on treacherous slippery slopes. So there will eventually be 19 steps leading from deck level down to the shed, the worm farm and compost heap.
Big mama rock won the day, and is staying put. That means that the level of the wood shed floor needs to come up a bit so the planks pass over mama rock’s head. Some more digging had to be effected, much measuring and calculation performed and, finally, a piece of string could be tied around a stake at the right spot: in line with the front of the house, 5.7m from the edge of the future deck, and 2.85m down from the deck level. This is the datum for all the steps.
Pretty sure the winter will be over before the wood shed is built, but that’s OK. It gives the wood all summer to dry out again!
What a mission. Paving is totally the worst job ever.
The big sleepers in the ground here will serve as anchor points for the wood shed, which can now proceed. The left hand edge of the paving was moved slightly to the right, to make sure there’s room at the bottom of the stairs (which will be out of picture to the left) for moving around (and chopping wood). The floor of the wood shed will be raised a bit to avoid big mama rock and her crony, aunty rock.
Now we can start mulching the piles of leaves, sticks and bark that are lying around. Yay!
The wood house will be rather nice, to practice our building skills. So it will be stud walls, battened and weatherboarded, with plasterboard on the inside. We’ll use wet area plasterboard and exterior paint to keep it weatherproof, since it will be open on one side (but behind a pile of wood most of the time).
It will need 5 600mm stud sections, which will be prefabricated. Here’s number 1, with marine ply on the outside edge, nothing on the inside (not much point insulating it!), and plain old builder’s film all the way around to keep the water out.
It should hold about 3.5 cubic metres of wood once it’s done.
Finally, a bit of paving. The hillside dug out and flattened, it was time to put in some boundary-marking sleepers and get onto it. Downhill Dave was waiting with bags of leaves to add to the compost pile that is going here.
I moved a couple of plants from up the hill down here, to put in the gap between the paving and the fence. Then tried it with some sunflowers and pumpkins, but they’re too big now in the nursery and they won’t transplant without dying. Some wild and wooly weather has peppered the whole area with leaves and bark and twigs.
Bonus point: the flat area catches logs ditched down from above, and stops them from rolling pell-mell all the way to the bottom of the garden.
It was a long weekend with nothing else to do, and hopes were high that much progress could be made on one or other of the half-finished projects around the yard that seem to be piling up.
But the heat just battered and battered until I submitted and went back inside. Just a bit of digging and prep for brick work at the wood pile achieved in the end.
I’m looking at this picture and all I can see is big mama rock laughing at me.
Discovered the maximum size of rock that can be moved by hand.
Need bigger muscles.
Also, tried to winch the mama rock out of its hole down by the compost heap/wood pile area, after having finally found “bottom” (Note: bottom not actual bottom, but undercut enough to get a rope around).
That puppy just didn’t want to move. The straps tensioned, and tensioned, and tensioned until I grew too nervous about some kind of system failure, and bugged out.
Stopped dreaming about getting mama rock up the hill. Just want it out.
In digging out the flat spot for the wood pile, compost heap and access to chickens, it would be handy to know how close to the house to stop. The idea is to have steps coming down from the deck, which will run along the side of the house as well as the front. Some of those steps can be made now.
Here’s the initial lookout.
I got a bit overzealous, a few big rocks have already been carted up the hill to serve as a kind of kerb for the road.
That sleeper on the bottom right lines up with the front of the house. I want to extend that line all the way to the fence, at deck height. Did some measuring – that sleeper is 1.41m below the deck height. I’ll make the steps generous, 300mm wide and 150mm high, which should allow Rohan to get up and down and allow me to fit my foot on it. I’m getting a little over steps that are not wide enough to fit a foot. We got a house full of them.
Half way down the sleeper is the height of step 10, which is positioned around about where the brown star picket is sticking out from behind that rock. So we’ll make that the initial level, extend the level 3m from the deck end (about 2m from the end of the sleeper), make the steps 1.6m wide (more generosity, but it’s just dirt – I got lots of dirt), which matches the width of the deck and makes it all symmetrical and harmonious.
So those big rocks have to come out. Damn. Some will go up the hill for the kerb project; the really big one can stabilise the downhill side of the steps.
And that’s me done for the evening. Going to have to come up with something to hold in the dirt on the downhill side. But what’s that in the distance? A gajillion sleepers? They’ll do for temporary purposes.
Can’t wait to rip out that corrugated iron.
Haven’t made much headway on the big mama rocks. They just keep on going down. But now there’s a pile of wood (from the dead tree), a pile of sleepers (from the dismantled non-retaining retaining wall) and a pile of bricks, which will all go towards a nice neat wood and compost pile.
This is the old compost pile (read: grass clippings) and wood pile. That tarp. Just doesn’t go with the whole look.
Previously, there was a picture of the space to the east of the house posted, with some lines on it showing where the levels go.
Time to get cracking and get digging. We want to put the wood pile, the compost heaps and the chicken coop in this area. While it’s not ready we’re throwing good compostable waste away, and the wood is covered by a big ugly tarp.
The corrugated iron has to go – it can make a roof for the wood pile. The scavenged pavers are going on the ground to make it ant-proof and sweepable. The big stump will be buried. The level matches to the spot where the big tree grows out.
Found some big mama rocks in that hole. I have no idea how far down they go, but they have to come up because the whole area is supposed to be paved …