Well I made it back from the overseas adventure - had a great time and didn't think about the house build once!
The 'stans were terrific (except for Turkmenistan) and despite bad press Iran is exceptional. Never ever met such friendly people in my life.
And the sights are extraordinary.
In just over the month that I've been back I picked up my septic tank which I'd paid for and had the suppliers hang on to it for me.
The guy at the shop helped me load it onto my Ute - then I realised when I got out to site that I had no one to help me unload it!
And it's a big bugger.
Taller than I am.
Anyway after a bit of thought I reversed the Ute up to the soil heap beside the hole for the tank and dug a concave depression in the top:
Then I was able to tip the tank off the back of the Ute so it lay on its side in the depression.
I then drove the Ute away and slid the tank down the side of the soil heap. Then rolled it to the edge of the hole, and using my 2m step ladder as a ramp, I was able to slide the tank down it into the hole.
I have also had over 60 tonnes of shale delivered and spread onto my driveway so I don't have a repeat of the concrete fiasco!! (Just watch - it'll be the driest summer on record now...)
My water tank (also paid for but held back until my return) was supposed to be delivered a couple of weeks ago. I had to spend a few hours re-levelling the sand pad beforehand as the kangaroos had enjoyed playing in it while I was away overseas:
Then at 5pm the night before they were to deliver it I received a call - they had just discovered the major roof struts were the wrong size and they would have to order other ones with no date set for re-delivery. Why this was discovered at the 11th hour is beyond me.
Finally on Thursday this week they arrived and installed the tank:
And yesterday I had the concrete pump truck and concrete delivered to pour the pier foundations:
It all went well - as the pumper walked around and filled the piers I followed him with a makeshift float and levelled the concrete making sure any excess flowed out of the cuts I had placed in the side of the pier tubes.
This ensured every pier was filled to the same level. Concrete is not as fluid as water so sometimes it would sit a little higher in the middle of the tube. So paddling with the float levelled it out.
Then I was able to drop in the metal plates I had had made making sure they were in the correct position and no concrete spilled out over their surface.
I did the calculations for the concrete myself and was worried I had under ordered. So I asked the pumper to fill all of the piers needing metal plates first as they were the most important.
I also told him to leave the 4 verandah post piers until last as they could be done by hand if I ran out of concrete. Besides, for verandah posts, I thought the engineers had WAY OVER engineered them!
Due to overfilling of some piers and spillage, I ran out of concrete with 2 and a bit piers to go.
Finally before the concrete set, I went around with a trowel and smoothed the pier tops as best I could and with a wet rag wiped off as much of the concrete splashes from the side of the metal pier tubes above the concrete level.
These tube tops need to be cut off and I figured any set concrete on them would make the angle grinding more difficult.
So in the end, I was extremely happy with the result.