Having Good Neighbours

We have been extremely blessed to have had good neighbours at all of our residences in Townsville since we have been married. When we were renting our unit we had the end unit and a young couple on the other side. Then at our old house we had a neighbour who was a real pain to the city and the shopping centre, but a great neighbour for us as he really advocated for all of us people in the neighbourhood.

In our current house we have another young family with kids on one side and another couple on the other side. Both of them have been great neighbours so far, even during all the noise of us lifting the house and signing the documents to allow us to put a deck on the back of the house (it will be closer than usually allowed to the property line, but in line with the current house).

Unfortunately all is not well in neighbourly relations here in Australia as you can read below and in the article I’ve linked to:

Overall, 16 per cent of Australians have been forced to move house to escape bad neighbours with NSW and Queensland residents leading the way at 21 and 20 per cent respectively.

You can read the shortened Internet version of the article (for a limited time only before it hides behind a subsciption page) at News.com.au: Bad neighbours prompt home moves: study.

What has your experiences been with neighbours?
How have they handled the noise and disruption caused by renovation?
Is this experience unique to Australia?

Let us know in the comments below…

Clothesline Finally Installed

The Hill’s Hoist “is one of Australia’s biggest success stories; a story which has become part of Australian folklore”. Which is a lot to say about a simple clothesline, but almost everyone in Australia will acknowledge that the Hill’s Hoist is an Australian Icon. (You can read the full story at The Hill’s Story.)

A few weekends ago I finally got around to installing our new clothesline in our backyard. The clothesline can actually be removed from the ground hole and the ground hole plugged. That way even though it is in the middle of the backyard we can just pull it out if we want to play sports in the yard. We’ve got 54m of clothesline, which will hopefully be enough for our growing family…

Nearly 40kg of Concrete used to cement in the clothesline

It took us nearly 40kg of concrete to actually fill the hole that I dug for the clothesline. This was a bit of a pain since I had only purchased 20kg and had to send out Matt (pictured below) to pick up more for me and the closest store was already closed.

Cement mixing tarp, spirit level and general mess

To mix the cement I just purchased a $2.00 tarp and made a pool with some of our old bricks from the backyard. This was a lot easier than purchasing a wheel barrow. Since we haven’t enclosed under the house yet I don’t have anywhere to actually store a wheel barrow, but a tarp is pretty easy to store.

Installing the Clothesline with the hired help - Matt

The instructions for installing the clothes line actually call for using twine and pegging the clothesline so that it stays vertical. The guy I spoke to at Bunnings though recommended I use timber planks clamped onto the clothesline (as pictured above) and pegged into the ground. This was supposed to create a much more stable base for it, and it seemed to work.

Installed Clothes line - the photo is crooked, not the clothesline...

Here is the installed clothesline. It actually is perfectly straight according to the spirit level, I was only trying to make the shot more “artistic”. (Did it work?)

Throwing in the Towel – Almost…

Last week I ended up with bruised nuckles after I punched my car after a rather frustrating meeting with an engineer about some of the “stranger” features of our renovations…

I must admit that this renovation process is a lot more complicated and aggrivating than I had thought it would be. I was looking at the real estate section of the newspaper last weekend and thought about how nice it would be to buy the house down the street that already has four bedrooms, two living areas and a new kitchen.

Now with an extra week behind me I am feeling a bit better about the whole project. This week I met with my original architect and I found out that the strange things in the drawings were actually recommended by our original builders, who we got rid of quite a while ago. The main thing that had been bugging me was that the drawing had required a new joist to be run next to every existing joist. This is a lot of extra work and materials, which means a lot of extra money for me. Now I need to get in touch with the builders who had quoted us already and get them to re-quote the work with the new information from the architect, which was that the extra joists were not needed.

If it all goes how I hope these changes will hopefully mean that we can afford to go ahead with the full renovations, rather than just getting the shell under the house done.