We just found out our niece from Japan wants to come and stay with us while she learns english in NZ but we're bursting at the seams in the house so rather than send her elsewhere we decided to build a sleepout to make room for her. She's only here for 6 months but the extra room will come in handy after she's gone.
The tricky part is that she's arriving on the 3rd of February which only gives us a few weeks to do it. So it's 'Action Stations' because I also know I've got a busy week the week before she arrives.
First of all I had to decide where to put it. Actually the only place I can really put it is right in the bottom of the gully which is a bit of a dead zone where nothing but weeds grow (it's also very wet in the winter with plenty of mosquitos in the summer – but I'll get to that). Everywhere else in the garden is valuable growing space. So first of all I had to clear the site of Punga trees – native Silver Ferns.
One important criteria was that I wanted to do this as cheaply as possible and also minimise any waste.
So, not that I wanted to make the job any bigger, but I decided to use the Punga trunks to build a Punga fence. I had the ideal spot in mind where it would create shelter from the wind and provide some privacy from a neighbouring property at the rear of the garden.
I started off by digging a trench about a foot and half deep, then after cutting the trunks up into lengths I stood them up in the trench and packed soil around the base to hold them in place. If I keep them well watered they'll probably continue growing.
Anyway, with the site cleared, it was time to get started on the foundations of the sleepout (although I'm thinking about it as more of a rustic cabin), which is going to be built on poles. So after mapping out the position of everything, I started digging the holes.
Then I got some H5 treated house piles and concreted them into the ground starting with the four corner posts, which is where I got up to today.
It's going to join onto the bridge with a little deck. I reckon it'll be pretty good once it's finished and best of all it'll be right near the garden. I just hope I can get it finished before our niece (Marié) arrives.
Read about what I did next here.