Sunday, 3 August 2014

A few months of my life

It has been as close to a year as can be, since I last wrote a word on my blog. It's been a very busy twelve months, but I'm still keen to keep my blog updated from time to time.

I'm not going to try to cover all that's happened in the last year. I'd still be writing this time next year.

Briefly, we went to Queensland for a month after Christmas. Queensland will always be home for me, even if I am living on the other side of the country. But it was awesome to go back, spend a month working with my brother who is a mechanic, and generally enjoy some scorchingly hot QLD weather.

Now, half a year later, we are almost about to go back to QLD for a week, in order to celebrate his marriage! So, once again, we will be trekking close to 2000km each way! It's going to be a long drive.

 The last 4 months I have been working away from home, about two and a half hours drive north of where we live. Coming home only for the weekends has been tough, and not something I am going to consider doing again for a very long time. We have been renovating a kindergarten there, extending the existing building and renovating it throughout. I thought I'd post up some pics so you can see what I do for a living most days...
This is the existing building after we had demolished the rear wall and framed some new walls. We have the long concrete pump there to lay the slab and footings for the extension.

There were a number of rooms inside that had to be demolished completely, and a few new rooms that had to be built, aside from the extension.

All the stumps and columns are in place, and the steel bearers are going into place.

Simply by looking at these photos, you might get the impression that we had nothing but lovely sunny weather. As a matter of fact, our job was made increasingly difficult because of the amount of wet weather we had, and delayed us by several weeks at least. Because we were working on such a limited time frame, we often had to push on in spite of the weather, working through rain, storms, frosts, and just about anything else. The only thing it didn't do while we were there, in spite of threatening to several times, was snow.

Laying the flooring sheets.

We often worked late hours in order to catch up to schedule, after rain had prevented us from making good progress, It was not a strange thing to still be working long after dark, (sunset here was about 5:00 - 5:30 for most of this job), and we were sometimes still at work at 7 or 8 PM.

We were all very keen to finish in the shortest time possible, as all of us had left families behind in order to do this job.

We stayed together in dormitory style accommodation, two bedrooms and a kitchen and bathroom in each section of the dormitory.

I have absolutely no photos of the middle part of the building project, as unbeknown to me, my SD card was having problems and did not save them.

After laying the floor, we started on framing the walls, putting up the roof trusses, rafters, battens, insulation, roof sheets, and the external cladding. Once the building was somewhat waterproof and dry inside, we could start putting plaster on the walls, sealing it, painting, and a myriad of other jobs that go into a completed building.

Close to the finished product. There are a few things left to do. A small amount of concrete to be poured, and lights inside to be installed. Probably about 2 days of work left there.
There is really no way of explaining how much work it takes to get a building to this stage.

After 4 months of pretty much non stop work, 10 + hours a day most of the time, 3 guys working full time on this project, plus subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, and painting, we have finally got the end of the project. The council is going to take care of landscaping, but the building itself is just about done. We are waiting for the interior lights to be delivered, as they were a custom order and were delayed. Apart from that, there is a little touch up work to be done, and it'll all be over.

Anyway, I'm not going to ramble much more. I know we went to bed exhausted, stiff and sore, more often than I'd care to admit, but I have to admit to a little satisfaction at the finished product. But I'm glad it's over, and glad I'll be able to spend a little more time with my family now.

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