Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Saving the fence!

When we moved in, just 8 years ago, we knew there would be maintenance to deal with. Sure, that's part of owning your own home. There have been many changes over those years with some busier than others. I've built complete walls in the garage, storage shelves too....I even built a built-in-robe in our bedroom. Although it hasn't got the doors on it (yet), it's still somewhere to hang our clothes.....and that's something we didn't have at first.

The land in the back yard has been built up, levelled out and paved to the far fence to make the ground not so steep. If your weren't told how deep those back garden beds were, you would never have guessed. There's 12 tonne of road base under those pavers out there, as well as 2 tonne of sand. I'll give you one guess as to who transported it all into the back yard by wheelbarrow (before my bone disease) At the end of Hubby's work day, he would also help with a few barrow fulls, but by then it was time to finish up for the day.

When we were looking for a house, like other first home buyers, we had expectations of what was needed. First priority after affordability and bedrooms etc; was that there had to be room for Mum to build a dwelling in the back yard. After looking at over 50 houses, and losing out on one house, we finally put a bid in for the home we live in today.

I love our home, it's not fancy, there's no style...because I have no sense of the word...(lol), and it's not huge and new like the double story houses that are popping up in the new estates around here. If you go for a drive in a new estate roughly 12 months after the houses are built...You would be amazed at how many of the freshly completed houses are up for sale. Why so quickly? I can't help but think if the young couple bought outside their budget and were living beyond their means.

You MUST live beneath your wage, otherwise there is no true way of earning and saving ANY money.

I see and hear of it all too often around here, people buying a huge house, adding a lovely new car to the mortgage, and while they're at it, adding a pool too. It's like free money when it just gets added on to the end of your mortgage. But it couldn't be further from ideal. It seems there is a reputation of new mortgage couples want it all today. I'm talking of the lovely huge house, the new car, the new swimming pool and possibly a boat if they enjoy fishing. Most of the new houses don't have access to get a boat out the back yard anyway. What about other scenarios like including a huge salary sacrifice if the newly weds become pregnant and one parent has to give up work early. All of these possibilities can spell trouble if you buy above your means.

When it comes to repairs and maintenance on the family home.....
The more you can build, repair, replace, grow and cook....the better off financially you will be. Whenever we find a new breakdown to add to that ever evolving list of household tasks, we try to do the work as soon as possible or as soon as we can afford it. I know we  have saved thousands in work labour alone, having done most of the work ourselves. (Except for when I was really ill, stuck in bed with my Bone Disease ).

This brings me to Repairing the Fence!......
With two fence posts completely rotten at the base...2 whole fence sections have been on a lean that has been  propped up for too long....That has all changed now, and has been corrected. Shopping around at the metal recyclers...We found enough angle iron to repair the side fence. Both my boys helped me with all the work.

*First you need to clear the soil from around the problem post/s....
*Then break up the old concrete from around the post....We hired a Jack Hammer for this job and I took small turns with DS17 and DS20....I was extra proud of my boys and the work they did that day. Although this is a very labour intensive job, it does need to be done, because wet concrete does not stick to dry concrete. (sorry for the bad news)....
*Cut away any dead rotting timber from the base of the posts....
*Measure and cut angle iron to 1 and 1/2 depths of the hole dug....
*Pre-drill the angle iron to the correct size of the bolts chosen....
*Pre-drill the timber posts while holding the angle iron on the post and pulling the fence back into alignment....

*After mixing 'quick mix concrete', pour it into the hole....
*Pull the fence post into alignment and place the angle iron in the future spot that will fit with the timber post. You can judge this by temporarily screwing a few bolts into the post and angle iron. Gently allow the fence to fall back away from the angle iron...it's critical at this time that the angle iron does not move in the wet but setting cement....then allow 24 to 48 hours for the cement to set well....
*Once the cement is well set, pull the fence post into alignment with the angle iron that is set in the concrete....
*While someone is holding the post in place, have someone else put the bolts in. Then screw them in tightly....

And there you have a fence.....all fixed! 

It's much cheaper than replacing the fence...The fence is fine for many years to come...it was just the timber that is in the ground.....when the others go, they will be repaired the same way. I hope you can save some money by doing a fence repair this way.....There's still some life left in the old fence!


  1. what a great idea! I agree that young people today want everything up front - no such thing as buying a fixer-upper and moving up slowly. I blame the banks - when they approve a mortgage they don't take into account rising interest rates, cost of living etc. Keeping to a set budget should be required before a house is purchased simply so they know where their money is going and how much they are actually spending.

  2. I agree Narelle, when we bought our house 21 years ago we were tempted to buy something more expensive especially after seeing what we could afford but we didn't (17% interest rates helped that decision). We bought a little red brick house that is on a very steep slope. We decided that we would put as much of our wages on to getting the mortgage down, and got used to living on the wage we would have available when I left work for babies. I am still waiting for automatic garage doors (especially in the wet because the driveway is so slippery) and I'd love a new kitchen, so like you we do as much as we can ourselves. I will often tell hubby when he gets home from work, 'I saved $xxx today' because I have repaired something, made something, or maintained something that we would have had to pay someone else to do or bought something. I think it is something to be proud of - like your fence fix, brilliant job. You probably saved $200 by doing it yourselves.

  3. great post, we always buy what we can afford at the time. 11 years ago we bought a old queenslander a bit run down and it was very cheap, we have nearly finished doing it up and we did it our seleves, it's nothing flash but l love it. We would save up our money to do the bathroom, the shower was under our bed for 3 years till we had all the tiles to start the job, kitchen took 7 months of weekends for hubby and his friend to fit out. We did the fence of the property when we first moved in and a couple of years later they were eaten away, we live on sand so hubby replaced all the posts with conceret post, just let the white ants eat those.
    We have learnt a lot of trades by doing things ourselves, electricans are the only tradies we bring in these days.

    cheers Gail (poodle lover)

  4. You are so right. Many young people not only want, but expect to have everything right at the start. They obviously don't realise the satisfaction there is to be gained in working your way to where you want to be! Our place is not fancy either but I don't want it to be. I want it to be comfortable and cosy (actually it's a little squishy, but never mind) and to be sustainable. I don't think people in huge houses are happier than I am.

  5. Well done :) That should hold it for a good long time!

  6. I come from a family in which there was always very little money to spare. My father put his mind to doing whatever needed to be done. He built the family home from scratch (he bought the block of land at the pub one evening back in the late 60s.... you should have heard my mother when he told her!) with no building experience or know how. It is still standing and now in his late 70's he is still fixing, building and saving money and helping us with whatever we need just so we can save a dollar here and a dollar there. I too notice the fine big houses spring up around us, the ready made gardens and all the trimmings of modern life. But I am also hearing more and more about the costs of heating and cooling these grand mansions. These houses are huge burdens on the family purse and I wonder if they will become white elephants in the future.

  7. I love your blog, just a little bit of everything, from gardening to some major repair work of the fence. I received an award for my little blog today and when it asked to share I couldn't think of a better blog than yours, so I would like to offer you a Leibster Blog award. To accept it, please pop over to my blog http://jugglingthehome.blogspot.com.au/ and have a look and see what its all about!

    PS. Well done to your boys for the jackhammering, that is some seriously hard yakka!

  8. Our lean manufacturing process allows us to produce our fence products for less – and we pass the savings on to you – our loyal customers. With every piece we produce, we ensure our strict quality has been met.

  9. That must have been a very tiring day for you. It can be a little complicated if it's only the feet you're going to repair. You can't be so sure if the work you did was successful. But then, you did a good job by providing support so that the each foot won't shift from its current place.


  10. I left them with the note on her front porch in front of her door. She is a stewardess and was gone for who knows how many days. https://bestfencecompany.jimdo.com/contact/


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