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New games room/studio build


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So for the last 6 months we have slowly been building a new studio/games room and unground pool in our backyard. 

We had an old shed that had been there for over 80 years (the lady we bought it off moved in when she was 20 and sold it to us when she turned 100) which needed to come down. We basically just went through with sledgehammers and knocked out the end walls and pushed it over 🙂 We used the shed mainly for storage and putting our bikes in. There was no power going out to it and it was in such poor shape I didn't want to turn it into a games room.
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The next thing we needed to do was dig up the existing driveway going out to the back shed. That was a pretty intensive process. My wife and I undertook this task ourselves and if I had to do it again... I would use some heavy machinery. I've subsequently got a 2cm disc herniation in the L5 disc in my back that will now require surgery next month 😞 We filled up 2 skip bins with concrete that must have weighed tonnes! The truck that came to pick it up cracked the driveway out the front trying to lift it all up.

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We did a rough layout of how we envisioned the build to look. The pool s 6x3m and the studio is about 8x6 with a 3x3m space set aside for pinball (3 or possibly 4 in the space) 

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This all took place in October last year. As we were to find out, getting things built is quite a long process (especially when we were doing a lot of it ourselves)



 

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Posted (edited)

Moving on to November 2021, and we got the site levelled ready for construction to begin... or so we thought. 

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The excavator that came out to remove the grass almost sank into the dirt. It was really spongey and bouncy soil and even walking on it felt like a trampoline. It remained this way for close to a month as it started to dry out. Then we got heaps of rain and it reverted back to how it was before. We needed to get 450 diameter x 500 deep mass concrete pad footings over proprietary screw piers supporting adjustable steel posts. We had a sewer line running right through the middle of the backyard so we needed to have strip fittings over the top to put the studio on top of.

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We marked out the areas that needed holes dug and the strip footings and then had the excavator come and dig it all up. I had hired the guy to come and dig it up and take the soil away but when he showed up he asked where all the soil was going to go. He said that he heard I was going to be removing it from the site so he didn't have anything to dump it in to. He ended up dumping it at the back of the property and I had to hire a tip truck to remove it myself (which I was really annoyed about) 

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We got the trenches dug (you can see the tracks from the excavator) 

The next step was to get the screw piers inserted. That's where we ran into a problem (another one) It was going to take a month for the company to install the screw piers. We thought that would be ok, but the weather decided otherwise. Really wish I had organised both the dig and screw piers be done by the same company. We got the screw piers put in without any fuss but then I didn't line up the concrete to be done ASAP too. If I had to do it again, I would line up my trades to be done straight after each other as much as possible (or get one company to do all of it) 
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We had so much rain that it started caving in all of the holes that had been dug. I ended up buying some metal pier liners at 450mm to put in just so that walls would have some sort of protection from the rain. We had a bit of an archaeological site going on out there for a while, with gazebos over the top letting us work in bad weather. But then the bad weather got too much... 😞
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Got that all cleaned up and had concreters out.
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Few shallow graves put in... 🙂

Pulled down the old fence with our neighbour ready for the new Modular wall to go in.
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We had ordered modular wall from a company in Sydney and they quoted us $1250 delivery fee, so we just hired a truck and drove down from Newcastle to pick it up ourselves for free.

We had ordered the pool and frames for the studio in July 2021 and the pool was originally to be installed in January. The frames were set to arrive in April. So a lot of people doing building projects it seems. 🙂

The pool install date kept getting pushed back due to the weather, and it finally happened in April.

 

Edited by nich2pat
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I was putting a few jobs out on hipages for various things including electricians, plumbers, concreters and excavation work. Few things I found out.
Almost half of the tradies who contacted me who said they would come out for a site inspection didn't bother to come out at all and were unable to be contacted afterwards. 
Plumbers were the worst culprits for this. We only had one plumber come and quote for the job and he came back with a quote of $32,000... Luckily our neighbour is a plumber and he had just finished up working at his job in Canberra and could get working on it for us. He quoted $9000 for the same job, so you can see some of the discrepancies here. 

Had a guy quote for installing 3 downpipes and digging a trench 4 metres to the street for $8000. I ended up digging all of the trenches myself and buying $200 worth of pic pipe and doing it myself. 

 

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Plumber working on getting all of the pipework installed. We were annoyed that according to our DA, we needed to get all of the rainwater from the studio into a rainwater tank (we got a 5000L one) and then pumped all the way to the street (about 30 metres away) The stormwater drain is over the back fence.. We wanted to just dump the stormwater straight into the stormwater drain but weren't allowed by Hunter Water. 

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Came around to April and it seemed like everything started happening all at once. The pool arrived and the frames arrived all in the same week.

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Had a friend from work who said he would take all of the soil because he had a retaining wall he needed filled in. They had dug about 1/5th of the pool out and he said he had enough soil now and asked how much more was left to come... 🙂 
He has a really big property so we were able to dump the rest of the soil over the edge of a hill he had there, but he has 4 goats that kept trying to escape. Half of the time we were herding goats while the trucks dumped the soil. Then one of the trucks got a flat tyre and so we only had one little tipper doing trips that were 5km away. It ended up taking a lot longer than we had anticipated.

 
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Pool got dug out and then it was time for it to get craned in. Really impressive seeing the crane operators getting through such tight gaps and navigating over the top of the neighbours house. 

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Pool all backfilled with sand and a cement mixture and filled up with water. Old mate having a quick drink to 🙂 haha.

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Then we had our adjustable piers ready for our bearers and joists.

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So just after the pool was installed we had our frames arrive.

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I have been out of action all year with my back injury, so was unable to help with any of the heavy lifting (or doing anything really) which I am really angry about. I want to do things but I am unable to.

Luckily we have a lot of friends and family who pitched in to get everything sorted out.

The bearers and joists going in.
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Floor going down and reo for the bond beam around the pool 
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Had a builder mate come round to help put the frames up (and a lot of extra sets of hands to lift, carry and hold things 🙂 Or stand around which is what I was doing a lot of.


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Got all the frames up and then the next day we worked on putting on rafters
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Rafters all done and then concrete around pool put in.
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We are now waiting for our sarking, roofing and cladding to arrive hopefully this week.

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Good to see Pat. What an ordeal with the weather. It will be worth it in the end. Sorry to hear about the back. Been there done that as you know but there is light and the end of the tunnel. You have a hydrotherapy pool now which is a bonus. 

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On 4/5/2022 at 6:44 PM, 1.21 Gigawatts said:

Good to see Pat. What an ordeal with the weather. It will be worth it in the end. Sorry to hear about the back. Been there done that as you know but there is light and the end of the tunnel. You have a hydrotherapy pool now which is a bonus. 

Thanks Duncan. Yeah I remember you having some big issues with your back when we used to play at Coogee Diggers. Did you get some surgery to fix it? 
I'm trying to stay off the heavy painkillers like Endone for as long as I can, but it is getting harder to do so. I can't even put my shoes on at the moment, any forward bending puts pressure on the S1 nerve root which causes a lot of pain. And yes having the pool is great, especially since it is a heated pool.

 

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7 hours ago, nich2pat said:

Thanks Duncan. Yeah I remember you having some big issues with your back when we used to play at Coogee Diggers. Did you get some surgery to fix it? 
I'm trying to stay off the heavy painkillers like Endone for as long as I can, but it is getting harder to do so. I can't even put my shoes on at the moment, any forward bending puts pressure on the S1 nerve root which causes a lot of pain. And yes having the pool is great, especially since it is a heated pool.

 

Can I move in I can pay you with hugs?

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Wow , just read this thread...bloody nice work!. I too did is much as I could. Hired a Kanga digger, trenched, leveled, 3 skips later. Layed the drainage and cabling. Then garden beds, sleepers. No pool or shed 🙂 Youve used the area spot on. 

What heating did you get? 

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