Skip to main content

Paved verandahs: don't forget their maintenance needs

With our verandah paved in a sandstone paver, we've quickly found that it needs to be frequently cleaned.  Two small children, a pet chicken and sandy soil are adding to its rapid griminess.

If we only had a nice lush green lawn, the problem might not be so bad.

The verandah has been a bit of a trial, with some "confusion" over its colour, a higher than expected cost to prepare and lay it, and now how dirty it quickly becomes.

But when clean it looks brilliant.

I went looking a high pressure water cleaners at Bunnings several weeks ago.  I was shocked to see how expensive they were - up to about $500 if I recall correctly.  I decided not to get one.

But the verandah still wasn't clean, and wet chicken poo is not easy to clean off.  A project that is rapidly getting closer is reconstruction of the fence around the chicken run so that it stays inside its area under the lemon tree.  We are also planning to get two more chickens.  But until then...

Fortunately, during the week Aldi advertised a $79 high pressure water cleaner from its Gardenline range.  Although only 1600W, 5.5 litres per minute and 70 bar of cleaning pressure, the price was right.

And it cleans well.

Update: It cleans so well that it takes render off the wall too....Another patch for when the renderers come back in about a months time.


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-in pantry: advice for designing yours

Now we've been in our renovated home for a week, we've picked up on some minor issues that anyone considering a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry may want to consider. I think we got ours right, and the minor issues are ones we'll correct ourselves, shortly, at low cost.

 Our pantry is exactly that on most days - a pantry. There's no sink, no oven or hot plates, and no exhaust fan. It does have a microwave and a milkshake maker, storage for irregularly used appliances, and a bench top that can be worked on. We could fit plumbing for a sink later, but can't see a need right now.

Big cost savings can be made with a walk-in pantry. By having a separate room and door, there's absolutely no need for cupboards and cabinet doors within the pantry. Think of the pantry as a cupboard!  Bench tops can be practical and not showy - you don't need Corian or Caeserstone surfaces. A walk-in pantry is a separate room, so soft-close drawers to keep noise down aren't …

How to install a new garden tap for your vegetable garden

The day before the turf for our lawn was laid, I used a trenching shovel to quickly dig a trench from our existing tap on the back wall of the house, to the edge of our raised vegetable patches.

I laid a length of 25mm blue line PE pipe ("poly-pipe") and back filled the trench. I fitted a right angle elbow fitting to either end, with a short length sticking in the air, clear of the soil, so the line wouldn't become blocked.

During summer, our gardening efforts were focused on establishing the new lawn, so we didn't plant any vegetables.  Then last weekend, about six months after we laid the lawn, I completed the garden tap after speaking to a plumber about my options for connecting the pipe to the water supply.

In the end I took the easy and cheaper DIY option. At Bunnings I bought the tap fittings for the garden end, and quickly screwed it together.  A star dropper and some cable ties provide temporary support until I put in place a more substantial post.

The other …

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following…