Monday, October 26, 2015

One step(s) at a time

The starting point for this whole flurry of activity was the collapse of some steps leading from our main door to the lawn.  That was because of a leaking joint in the gutters above them and we have replaced the gutters as a starting point..
The step illustrated above  was, I had thought the worst step.  But then the second one (from the top) completely collapsed and was replaced with a jury rigged effort by me.
So we had to get new steps.  One possibility was to get a kit from Bunnings but an expert was consulted and he advised that any wooden steps were likely to fail relatively quickly,   He suggested steel risers and treated pine steps, which we agreed with.

The wood for the steps came a couple of days early, so that it could be prepainted.  Here we have yet another use for an unroadworthy trailer!

To save a bit of time for our expert I removed the old steps.  This took about two hours and astonishingly did not involve any self defeating prophetic language (where the second word is "me") or references to the hot place, even when a huge coach bolt needed to be removed.  In this process I used just about every tool I own - including the chainsaw and the angle grinder - except the lawn mower.

 Having done that, it was important that neither I, nor the smalldog tried to use the steps.  Fortunately we kept the tape from when the ford was concreted.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The gutters of 2015 (part 2)

I posted recently about the preparations for replacing our guttering.  That has now happened.

Here is a snap of part of it.
Pretty much as soon as the job was finished a thunderstorm rolled in, bringing with it a lot of hail.
Much of it washed down the gutters and ran of the leaf guards (too big to fit through the holes!) and formed a heap n the ground under each opening.
Eventually it got a bit much and blocked the leaf guards but a quick visit from Mr Hand fixed that!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The gutters of 2015 (part 1)

I have eventually got fed up with cutting myself to ribbons lifting up gutter guard every 2 months to remove the dust etc from the gutters, so that they don't overflow every time there is rain.  So we contacted ACT Gutter Services.  Even though they live about 80km North of Canberra they came out and gave us a quote which we accepted.

We had painted the fascias and the gutters a shade of blue which wasn't accommodated in the range of hues offered by the gutter manufacturers so Frances chose a shade of red which matched some of the tones in our bricks.  See below for more on this.

Andrew, for the installers' offered to come out a bit before they put up the new stuff to remove the old so that we can repaint the fascias to match.  So here we go.

The old stuff was just put in a heap, waiting for them to have an empty truck to take it away.  It looked a bit like a modern art installation.
A wombat expressed a critical opinion on the matter.  This raises a matter of taxonomy: are wombats genetically similar to art critics or are art critics genetically similar to wombats.  Possibly even raising the question is being rude to womabats!
It was very clear where we had painted beforehand.  On the original part of the house the fascia was painted behind the gutters but the extension had bare wood in that position.
Here is how the initial stage of repainting looks from the lawn side of the house.
 This shows clearly how the colour chosen matched the bricks and -bonus time - the garage doors ....
 and the woodwork above the windows!
Here is part 2.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jackson Pollock's trews (and THE END)

The final image of this project is the trousers I wore throughout.  They ended resembling a work by Pollock from his dribbler phase.  This is now the end of this project and the end of this blog, although I guess it will hang around in the blogsphere indefinitely!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A plan is just one more ...

... thing to go wrong.

We decided that after three years we needed to paint the outside of the house.  In the past our practise had been to hire someone to do this, when we had rented the house out (and thus it became a deductible expense against our rent- and due to the laws about negative gearing against the taxes on our salary also).  This time we couldn't do that so it came down to us to do the yakka.

The first stage of this was drawing up a broad plan, so that we had some targets.  This was seen as a Good Thing since it should keep us motivated with intermediate targets rather than the awesome prospect of spending an entire Summer up a ladder (or two ladders on occasion).

The first part of this was to split the job  into 4 chunks based on the colour of the stuff to be redone:
  • Blue bits - essentially the gutters, fascias; supports therefore, and barge boards;
  • White bits - the ceiling of the deck including the rafters;
  • Window frames and other rusty coloured bits; and
  • The deck itself.
Our target time frames were as follows (note that there are 5 entries here rather than 4):
  • Ceiling of verandah and joists: 2 weeks, to be completed by mid January.
  • Blue poles, steps and rails etc: 4 weeks to be completed by mid February.
  • Wooden window frames etc: 2 weeks, end February
  • Gutters and high fascias: 2 weeks, mid March
  • Deck: no time set but rated as 'last stage.
Step 2 was to choose the colour for the blue bits and to find out what products were available.  We decided to give some action to a Queanbeyan business and headed off to a paint specialist in that fair town.  Obviously a few more people should have patronised them in the past as they were closed up.  So we walked across the road and into Magnet Mart where we spent some time talking to Dean the paint man.

We will get on to some more planning in a further post.  For the time being I'll discuss an urban legend from my youth.  The image to the left gives a hint about this.  Basically we were brought up to belief that Mr Hitler was a painter - with the sneering riposte that he was a house painter not a potential member of the Royal Academy!  The wikipedia article about him seems to dismiss this idea, saying that he was actually a dauber, but who wanted to be an architect.   Since I view architects as somewhere below lawyers (themselves below slime-mould as a lfe form) I am not sure this is a major upgrade.

However this current project has two inputs to the question.
  • The first is that if Hitler was a house painter it could well explain his misanthropic and vile nature later in life.  
  • Secondly, a person who could plan and organise painting a house should have been able to do a better job of the Russian campaign

Friday, January 22, 2010

A plan is more than one thing ...

.. to go wrong.

I always like to cite evidence in support of my positions.  In this case it is Terry Pratchett in 'A Hat Full of Sky".  In this epic tome the Wee Free Men comment "Now we have a Plan, all we got tae do is work out what tae do."

After our conversation with Dean the Paint the next steps were to work out
  • how we felt about the blue paint we had chosen; and
  • how much paint we needed.
The first step was easily solved by painting one of the purlings for the deck.  This is the part of the paint job which we will see the most.  We got a sample pot of the colour and Frances ripped into a pole outside our bedroom window.  We both thought it looked great, drawing in some colours from the lavender we have got growing here and also there around the place.

The second step involved a fair bit of measuring things and putting them in a spreadsheet to calculate surface areas.  The final stages of that involved:
  • guessing how much those calculations were in error (always going to be a greater-than-zero outcome); and
  • using the result to determine the volume of paint we needed (with the advice of Dean the Paint using info supplied by the paint manufacturers.

We did this and the bottom line came out to a round $1,000 (after Dean gave us a small - but always welcome - discount).  Needles to say we then came up with a few odds and sods that removed the roundness of the figure.  However we ended up with:
  • 30 l of deck paint;
  •  8 l of blue paint
  • 20 l of ceiling white; and
  •  4 l  of stuff for the window frames and related areas.
We had acquired some masking tape but almost immediately found the amount acquired to be inadequate.  As it was the Monday after New Year Magnet Mart was shut so we used the services of Bunnings (presumably under a different industrial agreement) to get some more tape and also gap filler, having had a more detailed exploration of the joins between various elements of the house.

In fact I have decided that masking tape is governed by a variant of Parkinson's law.   It would be worded along the lines of "The length of maskable borders expands to require 1 more roll of masking tape than you have purchased."   It appears that the law renews itself as work proceeds, so that after buying 2 more rolls a third is required.  Purchase that and walk straight back into the store to get #4!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blue Poles

When we were contemplating the colour that we would use for the blue stuff Frances tried it out on one of the uprights.  It looked rather splendid so we decided it was the go.

The blue colour we chose has a tinge of lavender in it.   This is generated by the presence of some magenta in the mix.  This separates out when the pant isn't stirred a great deal leading to very pretty effects as we stirred it.

Having got one blue pole led us  to start by doing all the uprights as the first part of the project so that they looked consistent. 

Apparently some dude by the name of Pollock came up with Blue Poles for the title of one of his works but I reckon ours look just as nice.  I also recall a friend using that as the model for the decor of his dunny (aka Bog/loo/bathroom/kazi).  Not a good place to go after several of his good wines.There will be more of Mr Pollock towards the end of this blog.

Here are some views of how they look with the job done!