Garden bank and patio edge completed

Once the patio was completed I was able to finally install the small patio light.

The grass bank and edge was reshaped, seeded with grass and finished.  Within a few weeks the grass was sprouting and the lawn was taking shape.

Entrance side bed completed

Once the footpaths were completed we had our excellent blocklayer back to build the retaining walls around the entranceway.  A few weeks later we had then rendered with the same external finish as the main Aquapanel walls.

The area was filled with coarse gravel and topped with the same black chip used around the rest of the house perimeter.  The radon vent pipe was left just above the top of the gravel – but later a vent cap was fitted to the top of the pipe which allowed it to be put just under the top of the gravel and hidden.

Patio now complete

The weather is clearing up and the patio layout got underway.

We have opted for a blue limestone from an irish quarry with a flamed surface finish which makes is safer to walk on when wet.

The stone features a wide range of natural shell, coral and other fossil inclusions which adds lots of interest.  Looking forward to our first meal outside this weekend.  Summer dining in the sunshine here we come.

It took about 4 days and a bit to complete, and although the edges need to be filled with gravel and grass around the outer edges which will be planted in the autumn, the patio is ready to use.

First bed planted

Thanks to our friends who provided some wonderful herbs and plants for our house-warming and they’ve found a home at Jackdaw Ridge in the front bed.

We’ve now got some rosemary & thyme, sorrell, sage, mint, chives, angelica & lovage to flavour our dishes.

Door under the stairs finally completed

Another job finally completed.  The door under the stairs is completed and looking good.

Having fitted a standard 800mm door into the opening, I added 2 MDF panels to the exterior of the door to line up with the recessed skirting. As the door hinges inwards there is no need for any handle on the outside.

To keep the door open we found these clever foot latch door stops – delivered all the way from New Zealand for just a few Euro.  We ordered a selection of door stops as well and they arrived within 7 days – now there is service.



Sunshine at Jackdaw Ridge – time lapse camera

IMG_0058The sun was shining early last week and I couldn’t resist setting up the Time Lapse Camera which we used during the building of the house.

Setup to run over a full day you see the shadows passing across the living room and hallway.

With no more major build projects on the cards I’m going to sell the Brinno Time Lapse Camera .. anyone interested you can see it on –

And they lived apple-y ever after

Before the winter sets in I managed to get out into the garden and plant 3 apple trees.  We have a cooking apple ‘Bramley‘ and two eating apples ‘Beauty of Bath‘ and “Katy/Katja‘ planted on the south east corner of the garden.

Looking forward to an apple or two in 2014 and years of jams, pies, chutneys and WASPS at Jackdaw Ridge.

And they all lived ‘apple-y’ ever after!!

Halloween Update – window ledge complete and pictures hung

We had a house-warming party on Saturday night with all our neighbours invited for a few drinks and nibbles.  We had a great time and it was good to get to meet many of the locals and we look forwards to many happy years in Knocknagoug.

As there’s nothing like a deadline to get things done, the party was a good opportunity to get lots of jobs finished.   The window ledge in the living room is finally finished, painted and varnished and looking well.  It doubles as a bench, seat and steps and worked well on the evening.

We also managed to get some of our prints, paintings, photos and mirrors hung around the house to add a little character and personality.

Leaf Traps added to roof downpipes

With Autumn 2013 on the way and the trees starting to shed it is time to sort leaf-traps for the roof gutter downpipes.

The fibreglass roof has integrated gutters and downpipes. The roofing material is moulded to fit down into the top of the 4in waste pipes which are nice and big but the downside of the downpipes is that they could eventually fill with leaves and block-up.

After calling into half a dozen builders merchants, plumbing suppliers and gutter companies it the Limerick and Clare region it became obvious that nobody has leaf traps for 4in (100mm diameter) waste pipes .. and with the fibreglass around the top of the opening it was a bit smaller (95mm diameter) which made standard 4in pipe accessories unworkable.

Eventually after a bit of hunting I found galvanised wire leaf-traps on eBay & Amazon (both from the same supplier in the UK).  With postage 1/3 of the price on eBay I ordered 6 on Thursday and they arrived 2 days later .. they sit nicely into the top of the pipes and will hopefully do the job.

Lawns and Gravel

With the autumn upon us … it is time to set the lawn and finish around the exterior of the house.  The front patio will wait until next year but in the meantime we need to get the grass and gravel set down.

The lawn was sprayed with weedkiller in mid-August and, with a nice spell of dry weather last week, it has done the job of killing most of the weeds.  A local landscaping professional Paul Gleeson and his crew have spent a couple of days working on the lawn and it is now largely complete.

After removing all the large boulders, rotavating the lawn it took a couple of passes with a grader/rake to get a level finish into which the seed can be sown.  A good dose of rain in the coming days will get it started and hopefully we will have a nice, rich, lush lawn by the time spring 2014 comes around.

The strip between the house and footpath has also been filled in with a local stone chip which will permit drainage but keep the weeds at bay (fingers crossed).