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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Courtyard Project - Let's Go!

The courtyard design at the front of the house which was approved back in March 2013 has been slowly taking shape in the background the last couple of months.

It hasn't progressed far because we have been busy renovating the kitchen and I've learnt to only focus on one major project at a time or I'll turn into a stress head and nobody wants that! Plus with the Winter weather and rain not much work could be done outside anyways. So now that the kitchen is done and Spring is here with it's nicer weather the Courtyard project is our priority and the goal is to have it finished by the end of the year.

We are really just project managing this one not yet having mastered the art of brick laying and such but there is still so much to organise as the Courtyard also includes a total front house redesign including laying a new driveway and path to the front door, neighboring fences and a gate, landscaping, plants and decor, finishing painting the front of house and door frames and updating our front door. You can see my front house design ideas here.

House Before render, roof restoration, garage extension and courtyard project

Once we had the Council's approval to go ahead, and a few months ago now, we had a bob cat driver come and dig out the sand at the front to make it level and dig the trenches in the shape of the fence for the concrete footings.

Bob cat driver ready to dig and shift some sand
The sand was dug out to form trenches along the edge where the fence will be built. The excess sand was dumped in the centre of the courtyard. It would make a pretty fun race track don't you think!

Sand fights anyone?!

Our Internet line got ripped out amongst all the soil moving but thankfully we were only down for a few days until we managed to fix the wires with some new clips.

Working out how to fix the Internet line!

We also put up a temporary fence around the area to make it safe so that nobody could fall down the slope. And so no kids were tempted to use it as a race track as I'm sure they would be!

Safety fence put up
Just a few weeks ago we had a break in the wet weather and booked in a crew of concreter's to come and pour the concrete footings into the trench for the fence. Unfortunately it rained that day but thankfully it didn't affected the concrete.

Concrete footings poured

Unfortunately they ripped up our Internet line (yes again!) and once again after a week of no Internet we were able to fix the snapped wires again.

Avoid pipes for water, power and Internet

The road sits quite high and our house sits quite low - the water metre use to sit at ground level and now the courtyard has been levelled out you can see how high the water metre use to sit. We are debating whether the water metre will be in the way of the fence where it is and if we should apply to the council to move the water metre to the other side of the fence so it's on the front verge.

Water metre height

The next stage we are at is finding a bricklayer to build the brick courtyard fence. This is where it becomes a bit more technical as our architect and the Council has instructed we use 1 metre long limestone blocks and this is not something the average bricklayer is use to working with and because of their size and the equipment needed to bring them in and lay them. We have asked our brickie who built our garage and helped us with the french door way but doesn't want to work with these bricks. So we are now looking through Gumtree for someone who is specialised in the large limestone blocks.

The brickwork for the courtyard fence
The blocks need to be large to support the weight of the fence, taking into the account the soil type and slope of the land, the wall needs to be built strong to last. Sometimes I think a picket fence would have been a lot easier and cheaper, but it needs to be solid to retain and hold up the soil.

The highest part of the courtyard fence

Hopefully we can start booking in tradies and get the fence built and then the driveway. Once that's done we can spend our weekends doing the landscaping and giving it some kerb appeal.

Some projects seem to take a bit longer to get into ... but hopefully we'll get it progressing soon!

[All images my own]
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  1. Really looking forward to this part of your build! You have some fab ideas!

    1. Thanks me to, has been a long time waiting for the front to get some kerb appeal. And I cant wait!

  2. I'm with you on 1 project at a time - otherwise it's just overwhelming. It's looking good! Lisa xo

  3. so fun! i can't wait to see more!!


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