One year at House By The Water.

The Nice Wolf and I have been flat out getting at least some of the garden ready in time for the influx of Christmas and Summer visitors.  I’ve lost count of the weekends the Nice Wolf has been laying cobblestones.  He complains that I get the good jobs and it’s probably true.  Planting, painting.  Any way, no time to write, but I feel I owe my readers at least some photos of recent progress.  I hope you enjoy the gallery:

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Retaining walls cost shock!

Did I just come down in the last shower?

We need retaining walls.  They will keep the house from slipping into the canal.  We had a provisional sum of $24K allocated to limestone retaining walls.  A lot of money.  We recovered from this first shock long ago, yet we still held a little hope that the actual cost may be less.

Retaining wall design.  Tim Davies Landscaping.

Retaining wall design. Tim Davies Landscaping.

Meanwhile, we’ve had a stylish landscape design drawn up.  Some of that design will be constructed by the landscaping company.  The retaining walls have been passed on to the builders.  The new design is more work than a simple limestone retaining wall – it requires brick work, concrete and render to match the house.  For that, add another $18K!  (Yes, you read it right – that’s $42K altogether for retaining walls and steps.)  I’ve questioned some of the sum – I think there is some doubling up of scope between the builder and the landscapers…  but whatever the response, I don’t think we’ll be getting out of this lightly.

Originally, the landscape company quoted $20K for this work, but since we already had $24K worth of retaining wall work allocated to the builder, we thought we wouldn’t need the landscapers to do this.  Me thinks I was wrong.   (I’m thinking fondly of the days, years ago, when we put in our own limestone retaining wall.  We ordered a truck load of limestone blocks,  borrowed a cement mixer and provided beer and BBQ to a group of friends for a day’s work.  I can’t remember the cost but I’m pretty sure it was under $1000.)  Anyway, watch this space.

Another fairly major change to the house plans this week is an increase in roof height to accommodate the air-conditioning. We need an extra 3 courses height in the roof space to fit in the “fan coil” and ducting.  Fortunately we are not being charged additionally for this, but it does mean that the plans must be returned to council.

We prefer the original roof line shown on the left.

We prefer the original roof line shown on the left.

On to lighter things.  I’ve organised a gas and electricity account for the new property.  I’m quite excited about that.  I’m sure that’ll all change once we receive the first bill.

Finally, about that shower.  Quite possibly I did come down in the last shower.  But if that is the case, it should at least have been a nice one.  Here are a few of my favourite outdoor showers I’ve found on the web this week:

We plan to have a shower in the pool area.  It will need to be mounted on an existing brick boundary wall or be freestanding.  From my quick squiz, prices seem to range from $800 to $2000 (tell them they’re dreaming!)  There’s another reason to teach myself to use Ebay or Gumtree/Craiglist.

*Apologies to my non-Australian readers.  Quite a few Aussie sayings have slipped into the post this week.  This is what talking big bucks does to me.