The old caravan leaving the block for the last time
When Janice and I first brought our block of land eight years ago there was an old caravan that the previous owners used for accommodation. I spent about eight nights in this caravan, Janice spent one night before I started looking for some more suitable accommodation. Not long after buying the block we had a digger up doing some work and I got him to put in a small level site with the intentions of putting some sort of hut their.
The hut was a big step up from the caravan
One week after the digger had left one of my work mates (Roscoe) had mentioned that his wife was selling one of their buildings that was part of their guest house as they were about to put in some motel units in its place. The building had been advertised in the local newspaper and there was a lot of interest. When I saw it I knew that it would be ideal for what I wanted. The main room was about six meters by three meters with a small bath room on the end. As soon as I got talking with Roscoe’s wife we got on so well and she said that Roscoe had said you would come and buy it. When I said to her my planes for the building and how I wanted to set up a dog training block she liked the idea of the building going to a good home and sold it to me for less than half of what she could have got for it from someone else.
Building the room on the back of the hut
It was a lucky break for me and I thank both Roscoe and his wife for giving me that break at the time, no more sleeping in the old caravan. The caravan quickly became the storage shed. While I loved staying in the hut I was always looking at improving things. When it rained the water could get driven in to the back door and make the carpet wet also there was nowhere to park the bike out of the weather and get inside without getting soaked. So I got keen and built a room on the back and a lean to out the front, this really improved the living standards.
One of the big snow falls at the hut
I can recall one winter riding the bike down off the hill when it started snowing very heavily. It was a great felling to park under the lean to where I could stay dry and watch the snow fall, and fall it did. I spent five days in the hut with over a foot of snow outside, it was bliss knowing that no one would come in and annoy me. I have had one other winter where I spent five days in the hut with over two feet of snow outside.
Five days sitting out this snow fall was bliss
Two years ago the house that we were renting was needed by the farm workers so we had to move out. At the time there was not much rental accommodation and my wife who had always said that she would never live in the hut relented and we moved in permanently. This was done so that we could save some money to build a proper house and Janice had said that she would only stay during the summer. I managed to convince her to stay twenty months before we got the house built but it did get close to a divorce along the way.
A big step up from both the caravan and the hut
For the people that have built before they will know that things are not straight forward and it takes a long time to get things done. Dealing with the council took a long time then when we finally got that sorted the bank mucked use around. We spent over two months trying to get everything right for the bank that we had been with for the past twenty plus years. The bank would lend us more money than we needed to buy a house but they would not lend on a build. In the end out of frustration we went in to see Brendan May at the ASB and within two minutes he said that they would lend us the money that we needed. That moment was such a relief.
Bacon and eggs for breakfast on the deck
For the build I got a local builder Gary Allan to do the work. I was in my off season so I would be the labourer, this way I would get to see how to build a house and not just any house but my own house. Gary turned out to be a perfectionist builder and I would recommend him to any one. Janice and I had settled on a wildwood homes kit set house made with cedar log exterior. We also built a three bay farm shed beside the house. The power is solar the water is gravity feed from a stream and our septic tank requires no power. The house took nine weeks to build. Now we are working on the landscaping and the gardens.
So now that we are in the house we go right back to the start the old caravan. One of my work mates is into old vintage caravans so I said that he could have it if he wanted to tow it away. He has giving it a tidy up and put it on trade me and said that he will give me half of what he gets for it so this could be a little bonus for me. Any money that I get will be going straight back into the fencing that I have started working on.