I like my house. It's old (for Gold Coast bungalow standards, at 17 years), but in fair shape and close enough to work for me to walk there in just 11 minutes door-to-office. With the car the trip takes about 9 minutes because of the huge detour involved, so walking is really a good option.

These are pics of the view from just outside my garage to the west, and the workplace from the park outside the complex (I had a panorama of that view, too, but chucked it as being too lousy. Will do again.)

 2004_07_20-view-west-from-garage.jpg winter at landau court 2004_08_13-bond-from-home.jpg just outside the complex fence 2004_08_13-evening-at-home.jpg just before sunset

However, there were a few bad spots on this appl^Whouse. One is that it's real close to the wild hill and termites abound. There's some in the retaining/decorative walls around near the fence, and in the forest for sure. The building inspectors last year claimed some old damage evidence, too. So I had a chem barrier done when I moved in last year, but you never know.

The inspection later last year showed none, and on the 26.8. I had the pest guys in again, for an inspection and a general spray. They didn't find any crawlies, and the fellow crawling through the roof klonking on the trusses didn't turn up anything bad. Very reassuring, and they weren't expensive, either.

Another problem is the kitchen being ready for replacement. Well, that's being taken care of right now, with the bathroom scheduled for next year or so.

The last problem I found was a nastily sagging ceiling in the living room. I realised this when I painted the ceiling early last November. Being a Wellconditioned European, I was very much worried by this: when a ceiling is sagging in places where houses are built, not just nailed together, this is a doomsday sign.

I feared the roof trusses themselves having sagged and didn't even as much as look into the roof cavity so that I wouldn't be shocked by the potential badness there. (I'm a big pessimist and avoidance is one of my skills. I'm good at both, occasionally too good.)

In short I dreaded that the house I've enslaved myself for to the bank would fall apart before I'd finish paying it off (which, after doing some non-panicky simple calculations, would still leave me with a living place for not more money than renting would cost me), and I didn't want to uncover any nasty surprises (which I was awaiting anyway) - thus the avoidance of certain tasks. So much for history.

After the pesties were gone I was feeling up and ready to tackle a couple of the DIY tasks I've had on the todo list for a year. First item was to buy matching replacement ceiling fans and mounting them. One fan had a grumbling main bearing that heated up badly, and another was totally unmatched, with a horrible non-recessed controller unit on the wall - super-ugly.

The fans were cheap, $52 each for the ones with light and $42 or so for the lightless one.

Item two was to resow the lawn in the back, which had a couple of very dusty bare spots where the jungle had been cleared earlier. Now, after two weeks the grass is growing beautifully. Very nice, indeed.

But back to technology (Oz-style). A day after doing the backyard and buying the gear, the weekend was there and the wind was too strong for flying. So I decided to do the fans.

Two of them were easy to mount as the old mounts were conveniently located beneath trusses to screw the anchor to. The electrical stuff I had to redo completely, with new controller panels etc. Cheap bastards had only twirled the protective earth, put some solder on it and then wrapped it in isolating tape. Assholes!

 2004_08_27-oz-electrics.jpg erde verdröselt, verzinnt + isolierband

The third wasn't anywhere near a truss, and hung from a big hook which I couldn't use for the new ones anyway.

So I finally relented and realised I had to get into the roof. As the pesties had been spraying just two days before there wouldn't be any (live) critters up there.

Donning my dirtiest clothes, I entered the manhole in anticipation of the very worst.
But there wasn't anything to be afraid of. The replacement of the fan was simple, just had to improvise an anchor for it resting on the closest two trusses (easy-peasy).

And my worries about the ceiling also were unfounded. OZ construction is nail-only (as much as I could see anywhere so far). The ceiling plasterboard is simply nailed to the underside of the trusses. That's all that holds it up. Naturally, after 17 years, a fair number of those nails had loosened and the ceiling drooped where the biggest stretches are.

So I've got another item on the todo list: push the ceiling plasterboard up and screw it in place properly. I'll do that with the kitchen work as it'll be dirty.

While crawling through the roof I also decided that now would be a good opportunity to move the speaker cables for the rear speakers in the living room into the ceiling (instead of having them tacked underneath it). For once, Oz construction actually has advantages beyond just being cheap: take a screwdriver, extend arm upward, poke a hole, and thread the cable. Finished. :-)

 2004_08_27-new-fan.jpg  2004_08_27-new-fan-no-cables.jpg ls kabel in dach

The next projects: replacing the kitchen, new antenna on the roof, a whirlybird roof ventilator, and neatify some cabling. Ah yes, and finally get a safety switch installed (which unfortunately means I'll have to replace the switchbox as the dumbasses installed a tiny one with not a single slot left...grrr.)

[ published on Thu 09.09.2004 13:40 | filed in interests/au | ]
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