So we had the frame up and roof on with a few ideas rattling around inside our heads about how we wanted the cottage to look.
Aesthetics– To start out we both agreed that we like the weathered look of cottages and cabins that we had seen on various social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. How we were going to achieve this was another matter we either had to use a material that weathered quickly or a second-hand material that was pre-weathered. While sitting on this issue for a few days i thought i would look up prices for timber cladding. I quickly realised that we would not be using new cladding as the prices for hardwood started at $7.00 a lineal meter. A few days later i open the Gumtree app (online classifieds website) to find that their nestled in my saved searches was the mother load of second-hand hardwood weatherboard.
So within a second or two i am on the phone calling this bloke about the weatherboards……… hey mate how are ya?………….. so you still have the weatherboards?……. how much have ya got?………….would ya take $400.00?……..righto mate ill take em! And just like that i got 1400 lineal meters of weatherboards for a purchase price of $400.00. (That’s about 28c a lineal meter) Nothing like striking while the irons hot the down side to all of this…. the location of the weather boards was Tamworth (country music capital of Australia) about 4 hour drive through a windy mountain range. Note i am not sure if it is actually a mountain range it could just be a range of hills still very steep though.
The transport was the killer and after 5 to 6 phone calls the cheapest i could get the weather boards delivered for was $800.00. moving forwards the transport was booked and a date set for drop off.
Above image ☝ finish of the weatherboards
Natural lighting – With the cottage being situated close to the trees it does get some refuge from the sun tho still allowing ample sunlight to enter the cottage. Larger windows and doors with big openings were used to let in more natural light and the fresh coastal breeze that helps to keep the place cooler during summer. Although we like the weathered look the new aluminum windows and doors give a modern touch to the cottages appearance. All windows and doors are in the Monument Matt colour and have a grey tint applied to help the cottage blend into the surroundings by reflecting the native bush it is located in.
- Front door – 4.2m x 2.1m sliding door. Panel arrangement – fixed sliding sliding fixed
- Kitchen window – 3.0m x 0.6m fixed panel
- Sitting room window – 3.6m x 1.2m center opening. Panel arrangement – fixed sliding sliding fixed.
- Bedroom window – 3.0m x 1.2m awning style opening (they open from the bottom outwards so you can leave them open when its raining)
- Bedroom door – 1.8m x 2.1m sliding door. Panel arrangement sliding fixed.
- Wardrobe window – 3.0m x 0.3m center fixed. Panel arrangement sliding fixed sliding.
The kitchen, wardrobe and sitting room windows were purchased as new products from a major window and door retailer as for the two sliding doors and bedroom window i managed to broker a deal with the window installers on my work site at the time which saved close to $2000.00. It was sheer coincidence that the apartment block build we were overseeing at the time had the same colour windows and it just so happened that their were a few doors and windows ordered at the wrong size. With a few smooth words and cartons of beer/cash their boss was happy to part ways with them and load them onto my vehicle.
Above image ☝ Kitchen and wardrobe windows.
Above image ☝ Sitting room window and bedroom door.
Above image ☝View from sitting room window not a bad spot to soak up the ambiance of the bush and various chatter between the native bird life.
Above image ☝Veiw from the wardrobe window showing the surrounding bush and afternoon sun
The rookie mistake #2 – The time between the delivery of the weather boards and the installation of the weather boards was close to a year and during that year as you could expect their had been considerable amounts of rain and sun. I have some understanding of timber and know that when storing it you need to elevate it from the ground and keep it flat and dry which in this case i did. However i did let the grass grow underneath the pile of weatherboards and at no stage considered cutting or spraying it. By doing this i had unknowingly started farming termites and over the year this mini farm was consuming allot of food in other words eating my weatherboards…….!
Above image ☝The remnants of what used to hardwood weatherboards.
The day eventually came where i needed to start sorting through the weatherboards to find the best quality lengths to use for the cottage. After turning over say 10 weatherboards i discovered a small clump of ominous looking dirt…….
After digging a little deeper the little clump was just the tip of the iceberg and before long i had uncovered an intricate city that this termite civilisation had built over the past year “Your F%#king kidding me” my heart sank and my brain was rattled i needed to sit down and regain my thoughts. I figured i was in deep s%#t as at this stage i had already hand-built all of the reveals for the windows to suit weatherboards and installed them.
A good friend of mine was their helping me at the time he cracked a beer handed it to me and said “man just chill out they can’t all be wrecked” and after a minutes break we proceeded to dig through the remainder and sort what could and could not be used. After the day 37 degree day was over we had just on 700 lineal meters of weatherboards left and i was confident their would be enough to finish the task.
Above gif ☝Footage i took while mustering termites across the farm ☠
- When storing materials and equipment regular checks should be carried out to check the condition.
- Dont F%#k with termites they are dead serious about eating timber.
- Remain optimistic when the s%#t hits the fan it may not always be as bad as you think.