Well, if we thought the first stage of this project was hard, this next stage would give us a huge shock!
A significant part of this project is it’s Homestar™ rating, and water use and retention sit high on the priority list. Underground and tucked tightly down the side of the house we found a disused concrete water tank that we realised was no longer water tight and had a concrete lid on it that was starting to subside. The lid was doubling as the back patio and we shudder now to think of how unstable it might have been.
Our plan was to cut the lid off, reseal the tank so it would retain water, and have a new lid made and installed. It wasn’t until the concrete cutters arrived and started work to remove the lid that we realised how mammoth the whole task would be. Somehow Aaron from Aaron concrete cutters managed to slowly and strategically complete the task and do it safely but the noise and tension caused by it all was immense.
Once cut we then had to remove the heavy blocks that had fallen back into the tank and scrape out the thick sludge that was left behind. Because of the tank’s position we were unable to get diggers involved so our only choice was to do all of this by hand. Discovering that we would have trouble craning in a new lid, and that we had little assurance that any waterproofing efforts would be successful, we decided to cut our losses and totally change tact. We managed to find Gerrard from PFP who would custom build us a plastic water tank that would sit neatly down inside the concrete cavity. Not fully understanding the physics of what we were doing we had still to face a few more challenges involving concreting the tank in, water tightness, and water pressure, before being entirely satisfied that we had a usable tank that would perform long term as it should.
It was a happy day! After weeks of stress and drama, we were finally able to lay joists and decking on top of it all.