Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bach update

Over the winter I've spent most of my weekends and holidays working on the bach. l've left the bulk of the work to the two very skilled builders who I have hired to do the build but have also been doing all I can to help out to cut down on costs.  I've been doing stuff such as taking all the rubbish to the dump, labouring for the brickie, picking up materials from the hardware stores in town, putting in the insulation, painting the ply and battens prior to the ply sheets going on etc. During my last holidays prior to heading up to Panzershrek I spent five days labouring and helping out on the build- the first two mornings we finally got a winter, -5 and -7 first thing in the morning. Unfortunately there was no insulation in at that stage so it was as cold inside as it was out! After a very, very mild winter up to that point it was a bit of a shock to the system!

The build has been a bit slower than I'd hoped but we were held up a couple of times and the guys have had other smaller projects now and then that they've done but we are finally reaching completion, hopefully the end of next week they'll be finished.  

About to start- as you can see is a small typical kiwi bach. It was pretty small at about 65m2 in floor area. I'd cleared most of the old deck prior to this shot.

The digger prepares the hillside for the build

Foundations are laid.

A few weeks later we finally see the addition starts to take shape. Upstairs will be a bedroom with a balcony, below is the new north & west facing lounge- so gets maximum sun.

A few from where the car parks- which ha always had the best views!

Last school holidays I spent a couple of says putting in all the insulation.

Last weekend it is finally starting to take shape. Eventually I intend to get rid of all the old cladding (which I hate) but need to see how the finances hold up- so far we are on track with the budget so might be able to do that too. If not it will be painted black to tie it in better with the new build.

I arrived down there yesterday to find that the walls had been gibbed and stopped and also that the stairs were finally in- no more clambering up a ladder to get to the upstairs.  So we are now on the home straight.

Below is a shot taken yesterday. The scaffolding finally came down this  week. The balustrade for the balcony was supposed to arrive on Friday. My wife headed up to CHCH to pick it up only to be rung up when up there by the company to say it had a scratch on it and was going to need to be re-powder coated over the weekend. It is now due tomorrow and I'll take it down after work.

Last weekend I gave the upper storey a second coat before the scaffolding came down.  I was hoping to stain the lower level today but the weather was a bit crappy so worked on the inside instead- prepping to paint next weekend. By the time I got down yesterday there wasn't time to take a load of rubbish to the dump (hence the pile of rubbish for me in the photo below).

 You may notice that the front is a completely different colour to the rest of it. My plan was always to stain it black but a couple of weeks ago the building inspector informed us that as the front is also a  bracing wall it can't be stained but must be painted and in a lighter colour to reduce the impact of UV light. To say I was a tad annoyed is an understatement but will come up with a solution to the problem. I've a couple of ideas in mind.

The above photos also shows my latest purchase. On Friday after work I headed up to Christchurch and picked up a hottub! I've wanted one for quite a while but they also seemed to be very, very expensive. A mate of mine however has recently had one made by a friend of his so I contacted the guy and he was willing to build another and at a very, very reasonable price.  As well as hand building the tubs he is also a sheet metal worker so built the heating unit as well. It is pretty simple woodfired and takes about 3-4 hours to heat up. Note the firebox/heater unit is just sitting in it and I need to install it next weekend once I've settled on a place for the tub. 

So a 3 hour drive south was in order yesterday with a rather large hottub on the trailer - the weather was a bit dodgy too- strong winds around Ashburton preceding a cold southerly blast which made the trip a tad interesting.

Anyway, this was the view from the balcony this morning after the southerly. The Kakanui ranges finally have a reasonable covering of snow.

So the finishing line is now in sight but I've still a few weekends of painting ahead.


  1. The British planning laws are so restrictive that self builds are almost impossible, the regulations are so tight that theres almost no innovation allowed as it wont match the Mock-Tudor or Victoriana already built. Then of course theres the countryside problem. If you find a bit of land its already designated as Green Built so you wont get planning permission Either that of the council wants it used for starter homes so only developers get a look in! Land is in short supply here so even empty plots are expensive! Looks like you are going to end up with a lovely extension.

  2. Yes, watching the likes of Grand Designs gives one an appreciation of how difficult your laws can be. Here the South Island is half the size of Great Britain but with only 1m people so land isn't an issue. Main issue is deregulation of building industry in the 90s led to a wave of poorly built homes creating a "leaky home crisis". End result of that in the past few years gov't has tightened up what DIYers can do (not that they created most of the problems) and much more must be done by licenced building practioners.

  3. Wow, count me jealous! What a view ... and I see great gaming space in your future! :-)

  4. holy crap that looks awesome :-)

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