During this period we marked out the site, dug 36, 1 metre holes for the concrete footings and poured the footings around the bearer/stump fabrications which were manufactured by a local welder, Matthew Brown.
Matthew was a good tradie in that he turned up when he said he would and generally made every effort to do a good and accurate job. I was paranoi d about getting the structure precisely square at the outset because you don't get a second chance, and if it's not square you pay for it repeatedly in/span> every subsequent operation Well I think he got the square not too badly but unfortunately the bearers supporting the front and back walls were not straight, the front wall in fact "bends in" 31mm in the middle, not something you pick up readily with the eye over 16 metres but you certainly pick up when you start laying your flooring, roofing, verandah rafters, verandah decking etc., etc (Matthew argues that there is a certain amount of movement while the concrete is setting but I donít think that accounts for the 31mm)
Fortunately we got that part of the work completed before the rain set in. There had been a cyclone threatening in the gulf. It didnít come our way but produced about 2 weeks of rain in its wake which gave us time to get on with the frames under cover of the shed. Also the joists arrived and we made a start on bolting them onto cleats welded onto the bearers. This method allows us to have a gap (5/10 mm) between the bearer and the joists which avoids rot where the joists meets the bearers through moisture retention and provides a partial barrier for termites.