Hi All, I had to post and share - finally finished the side access to my house (but still have the other side to do!). Am stoked it’s now done. A big job that tested a range of skills - plumbing (basic stormwater drainage), concreting, paving, retaining walls, pergola, screened fence and gate, screened gas meter and some plants for good measure. The pergola serves as a shed (about 6.5m in length). The gate can be secured. Happy to pass on the lessons I learnt. Am enjoying a cold one tonight.
Brilliant job @Allan72. I'm sure your work will inspire many community members and visitors alike.
Can you tell us about some of the lessons you learnt?
Thanks for sharing,
Jason has asked that I share some lessons learnt. Gladly - there were a few.
Safety was probably the first and most important lesson. I used a 6 foot ladder to build the pergola and was often up and down it. At one point my safety bail dislodged from the constant moving the ladder around. And yes the ladder collapsed under my weight when I was up it. The fall hurt (a lot) but I was ok. The lesson - don’t get complacent, check your gear and check again. It was a close call.
When laying concrete - get your fall right (no pun intended). I originally put too much slope in my concrete under the pergola area. In fact I laid these slabs first before the courtyard you can see in the background. In retrospect I should have started with the courtyard first and worked back from there. I ended up removing these slabs (it was hard work) and then recasting with new concrete work and a drainage design. I’m glad I did. The finished product is so much better
Finally, I’d recommend investing in two hand drills, especially for decking work and in this case a screened gate and cabinet for the gas meter. It’s worth the investment in time when you get a good run going pre-drilling hard woods and then fixing with a Phillips bit. So there’s a few lessons learnt. I hope they help a few folk. Keep safe.
Fantastic, many thanks for sharing @Allan72.
I've also had a close call with a ladder that makes me extra careful these days. We had a plumber at our place attempting to fix a pesky leak where the old roof met the new. I went up to join the plumber on the roof, up a fully extended ladder. As I clambered onto the flat roof, the ladder gave way (the plumber hadn't locked the sides) and I could feel myself teetering backwards. Very fortunately, the plumber (a strong bloke) grabbed by arm and helped me to restore my balance as the ladder crashed to the ground - about a 3-4 metre drop.
That was a close call @Jason. I’ve certainly got wiser with safety as I’ve gotten older. You realise that ‘bits’ once broken never come back the same!! I still sometimes forget the little things, especially when getting into a job. My wife will often come and check on me and safety (it’s nice that she does). So there I am cutting pavers with my angle grinder - in clouds of dust - with my P3 mask and safety glasses sitting on top of my head. Kind of missed the point...and she points it out!! @Allan72