Hi All, I had to post and share - finally finished the side access to my house (but still have the other side to do!). Am stoked it’s now done. A big job that tested a range of skills - plumbing (basic stormwater drainage), concreting, paving, retaining walls, pergola, screened fence and gate, screened gas meter and some plants for good measure. The pergola serves as a shed (about 6.5m in length). The gate can be secured. Happy to pass on the lessons I learnt. Am enjoying a cold one tonight.
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Brilliant job @Allan72. I'm sure your work will inspire many community members and visitors alike.
Can you tell us about some of the lessons you learnt?
Thanks for sharing,
Jason has asked that I share some lessons learnt. Gladly - there were a few.
Safety was probably the first and most important lesson. I used a 6 foot ladder to build the pergola and was often up and down it. At one point my safety bail dislodged from the constant moving the ladder around. And yes the ladder collapsed under my weight when I was up it. The fall hurt (a lot) but I was ok. The lesson - don’t get complacent, check your gear and check again. It was a close call.
When laying concrete - get your fall right (no pun intended). I originally put too much slope in my concrete under the pergola area. In fact I laid these slabs first before the courtyard you can see in the background. In retrospect I should have started with the courtyard first and worked back from there. I ended up removing these slabs (it was hard work) and then recasting with new concrete work and a drainage design. I’m glad I did. The finished product is so much better
Finally, I’d recommend investing in two hand drills, especially for decking work and in this case a screened gate and cabinet for the gas meter. It’s worth the investment in time when you get a good run going pre-drilling hard woods and then fixing with a Phillips bit. So there’s a few lessons learnt. I hope they help a few folk. Keep safe.
Fantastic, many thanks for sharing @Allan72.
I've also had a close call with a ladder that makes me extra careful these days. We had a plumber at our place attempting to fix a pesky leak where the old roof met the new. I went up to join the plumber on the roof, up a fully extended ladder. As I clambered onto the flat roof, the ladder gave way (the plumber hadn't locked the sides) and I could feel myself teetering backwards. Very fortunately, the plumber (a strong bloke) grabbed by arm and helped me to restore my balance as the ladder crashed to the ground - about a 3-4 metre drop.
That was a close call @Jason. I’ve certainly got wiser with safety as I’ve gotten older. You realise that ‘bits’ once broken never come back the same!! I still sometimes forget the little things, especially when getting into a job. My wife will often come and check on me and safety (it’s nice that she does). So there I am cutting pavers with my angle grinder - in clouds of dust - with my P3 mask and safety glasses sitting on top of my head. Kind of missed the point...and she points it out!! @Allan72
Hi there Allan 72,
Just looking at replacing our wooden railway sleepers with the concrete ones and love what you’ve done with the wood on top of them. Just a couple of questions.....
what sort of wood did you use on top of the sleepers? And,
what product have you used on the front of your pergola? Looks great!
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @jodie_21.
It's fantastic to have you join us and I'm sure Allan72 appreciates your feedback on their project. Let me mention @Allan72 so they are alerted to your question and to see if they might be able to answer it for you. It appears the timber used on top of the concrete retaining wall was the Ironwood Sienna range of treated pine sleepers. The slats on the front of the pergola seem to be similar to Specrite 42 x 18mm x 2.7m Finger Jointed Merbau Screening or perhaps Specrite 69 x 15mm x 2.7m Finger Jointed Merbau Screening.
We look forward to hearing about the projects around your own home and garden and I trust you'll find plenty of inspirational projects just like this one within the community. Please let us know anytime you need assistance or had a project to share.
Hey there @MitchellMc and @jodie_21 Spot on! The gate and fence are 42 x 17mm Merbau screening. The are two different types of timber on top of the concrete sleepers - ironwood nearest the gate, whereas the remainder are cypress pine. A bit more expensive but they look great when oiled and go the distance.