Friday, 25 February 2011

More damage

Sorry about the iPhone photos..a few more pics from the house - one of the walls to the side has actually fallen, and the other is slowly subsiding/falling:

Now if more boulders fall from the cliff, they can run all the way down to the road - yay!

Sifting through the rubble, we found some old newspaper which had been used to back some of the blocks:

The Christchurch Star - Thursday December 17, 1970. Choice.

Things could be worse...

This is another old Christchurch Warren & Mahoney house. See it in it's full glory here..

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A few more photos.

Okay, we are starting to come to terms with what's happened, although the stories that we are starting to hear are just horrific. They are yet to release any names of some 300 dead and missing people, and although thankfully our close friends and family are safe, we are all sure we will know some of those who have died. Anyway, if you want to know more about that kind of side of things, then you can go here. This blog is about our little house, so I will keep it focused.

The image above shows the back of the house, which was definitely the worst hit. The brick 'veneer' or facade over the top storey has literally flown off the side of the building. The concrete roof tiles have also been shaken off.

The blue tarpaulin above covers the french doors - they were open and got smashed by falling blocks.

My vege garden is definitely no can also see one strand of our washing line which remains - the rest of it snapped in the middle - illustrating the huge amount of tension placed on it when the house and the anchor of the line obviously moved in separate directions at high speed. Mental.

The view out the french doors.

A significant part of the cliff came down, including these chunks of clay - they are at least 1m in diameter. You can also see that one of the bricks from the fence has flown off - it landed about 10 feet from the fence.

The front of the house isn't as bad - similar damage, but to a lesser extent.

Those parts of the building which have lost the walls are not strictly waterproof, although they are covered in building paper. We have organised a builder to get up there this week and waterproof them.

Internally there is a LOT of dust, partly from the fallen blocks, but largely from the slip at the back of the house. When the first shake ended, I was spitting out dust from my mouth and had trouble seeing for a minute or two.

The internal window by the entrance way (I haven't got a photo) shattered, but otherwise the damage inside isn't too apparent.

There are a couple of cracks downstairs like the one above.

But perhaps of more concern is this crack in the rimu beams which are bolted into the concrete walls. It is hard to imagine how much force must have been present to do this.

Our builder came up to the house yesterday and after a quick look, seemed to think that structurally the house is okay, and he thought it is all reparable, and once waterproof could be liveable in it's current state. We will be getting an engineer's report and probably another builder's opinion before even considering going back, but I guess we are feeling pretty optimistic that we can save our house.

After donning hard hats and salvaging our precious things, we are staying with my parents where we have power and running water. We are incredibly lucky. As they say - it's only bricks and mortar.

More about our personal experiences here.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Just so you know....

In case you have heard the latest, we are fine. Unfortunately the house is far from fine.

We are all safe, but many people aren't. I'll write with more news when my head can deal with it.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The one about the skylights...

Somehow I have managed to miss out our skylight update..

Well, when we got the new ones put in, I thought I was being really clever, because we wanted exact replicas of the ones we had (which were rotting), and we have copies of the original working drawings for the house...So, me being the logical and straight forward thinking person that I am, I figured if we gave the builder a copy of the working drawings, and said that we just wanted them exactly the same, then he would be able to get us some new ones, exactly the same.

And because they're working drawings they have all the dimensions, materials and information anyone would need to reproduce new skylights - right? Wrong.

I already wrote about how the glass that goes into them is different, but we dealt with that (fortunately Matt preferred the clear glass). The next problem with them came up after they were installed. The wind blew. And our toilets were filled with leaves and dirt. Lots of leaves and dirt. You would go the toilet and if the wind was blowing you would have a shower of little green leaves gently falling on your head and shoulders..almost kind of romantic. Except it was in the toilet. And leaves are not meant to come into toilets.

What went wrong? Well, our skylights have a vent which is really just a gap between two of the wooden parts, and if you look at the working drawings, that gap is supposed to be bridged with some mesh. But it wasn't. They just left a big old gap. Nice.

So as well as re-doing the bathroom, we're getting the skylights removed and mesh installed. Did I mention how awesome that is (insert sarcastic tone here)?

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Bathroom - Take Two.

Well, it wasn't finished last week as we were promised, and looks like we will be without a bathroom for another three week stint, but our standards have dropped to the point where we are okay with this - at least it's happening right?

And it looks super precise:

Unfortunately, the super duper tiler (truly - this guy was mental, he turned up at 6.30am on a Saturday and worked without a break until about 2pm) ran out of tiles, which is part of the reason for the delay. And after the tiles are done, we need to get the bath re-enamelled before we can start using the bathroom again...

So, I wouldn't say the end was in sight, but it's somewhere out there, it exists. And that's enough for us right now.