The last day of Winter!

old pearly jenkins

Today was the last day of Winter but felt a lot warmer. The temperature in Brisbane today (according to google was 31c (88f).  We spent the morning tidying up around the pool.  The temptation was too much for the youngest.


What to do when its too hot to be outside??

It’s so hot here in Brisbane at the moment.  When we’re not out in the pool,  I’ve been sitting here at the computer with a pedestal fan on full.  Its better than nothing!!  This old house doesn’t have air conditioning.

I’ve been looking for a website that you can have a go  designing  your garden for free.  I found one and  managed to waste a good few hours doing one for us.  It was really fun and quite satisfying.


Seating and Storage.

How do you hide a pool pump and still make it look good?


A fake boulder or perhaps a green thingy?


We’ve employed an AMAZING young builder called Kayde from TOP NOTCH CARPENTRY & CONSTRUCTION to building a cover and storage for the pool toys etc.  We used again.  We did the right thing and got three quotes.  We decided to go with  Kayde because  he just had such a good attitude and willingness to work.

This is what is looked like before.

Old Pearly Jenkins

And this is what it looks like now.

We have solved the problem of how to hide the pump and have also gained three storage boxes.  Two under the bench seat and a one to match the pool pump box on the left.  Perfect for all the toys and cleaning products.  We are going to find a watertight box to put inside the box on the left to keep cushions etc.. dry.

old pearly jenkins


It’s not finished yet, he has to build a horizontal screen behind it.  This will cover up the old fence and tie it in with the rest of the decking.  We are so incredibly impressed with Kayde’s skills and workmanship.  For such a young guy, he’s certainly got his head screwed on the right way.


If anyone from Brisbane is looking for a builder give Top Notch Carpentry & Construction a call.

A new space for the washing line.

I know it’s not the best idea  having a washing line  blocking the view of the pool from the house but we don’t have a lot of choice.   When the major alterations to the house start, the washing line hanging off the back stairs would be the first thing to go. There is absolutely NO room down either side of the house to put one.  So we’re trying to make it look as nice as possible.

Mr F and eldest son have spent a few days during the Christmas holidays extending the side fence to re-hang the existing washing line and also another platform out of Merbau to stand on.


A tree was  in the way.  So a few of its branches had to go.  Eventually the whole tree will come down as we are planning on putting a small garden shed in this space.






Mr F and eldest son were determined to finish the job despite the heat and were very creative  with some clamps and a drop sheet.  It definitely worked.


Here is the oldest son getting stuck in.



Here is the completed project.  I love it!!


I’ll start from the beginning!!

Before I do start this blog. I have to quickly say that I am a complete novice. I’ve never done anything like this before. So please excuse the odd sized photos, photos that are placed haphazardly. It’s all new to me and I will be learning as I go.   Some of the photos may not look the best either, I’ve used the camera on my phone.  So here goes nothing….

Late  2011 we brought a new house to renovate.  It’s a little house, a very little house and  we are a family of five (three sons), two cats and two possums (they were here  when we moved in).

We moved from a bland yet spacious brick and tile, four bedroom, two bathroom, media room, swimming pool etc… in an equally bland suburb. To a much smaller two bedroom + sunroom, character house. But this house is oozing with personality.  It’s in an older suburb closer to Brisbane city that’s bursting at the seams with vibrant, interesting people and beautiful older homes. We love the house and the location but the house is just a little too small for us lot.

So… the renovations began!  We started with clearing the back garden. The house has been a rental for many years.  The previous tenants had kind of  let things go.  Please don’t be fooled by the photograph above.  It was sent to us by our lovely real estate agent.  I think it has to have been taken at least five years ago.  As there is now an enormous tree by the back steps.

This is what we were up against on a stinking hot day in January.  It was quite a satisfying job. The neighbours on one side didn’t seem too impressed though, the overgrown jungle had given them privacy and she told me so.  I felt bad for a few moments, then took the opportunity to explain to her in  the nicest way possible that we’d brought the house to live in. It was going to need some work,  but hey ” No more tenants ” !!

Old Pearly JenkinsOld Pearly Jenkins

She   just  snorted and walked away.  But you’ll be pleased to know that since this first meeting we’ve got to know her quite well.  It took a while for her to warm to us (remember the three boys) .  so anyhoo we’re  keeping  our neighbours well-informed of whats going on and I think she’s secretly pleased that the ‘old girl’ is getting a makeover at last.

It might not  look like much when you look at the photo above  but it was a great start.

A month or two later the lovely neighbours on the other side gave us some fence panels that had been removed from their place and they had no need for them.  A couple of bottles of wine, a dozen beer and the new/recycled fence was  passed over the fence .

We cleared the mess down the back, demolishing the bits and pieces that had for many years been some sort of property divider. Then replaced it  with the new/recycled back fence.  A few trees from the house behind us  needed a few limbs cut off and one particularly ugly one that had been planted too close to the old fence line had to go. We were given the thumbs up from the owner, we just needed to find the right person for the job .

We decided to try using to find a suitable person for the job. We placed a job description and waited for the quotes to come in.  We decided to go with a man called Grady Simon.  His passion and knowledge was incredible and he was extremely well priced.  I would recommend his services to anyone needing something done in the garden anywhere in Brisbane (North and South side), Ipswich etc.


The next job to do was to build  a low retaining wall to level out the garden.  We wanted to put a small swimming pool at the far right hand corner.  The cooler winter evenings set in and it was harder to motivate Mr F to do anything outside.  But with a little encouragement and acting as his labourer, we completed the wall in time for the hole to be dug for the swimming pool .

The new recycled back fence and the markings for the new pool.

The  company that we chose to construct our swimming pool was Thomas Pools. They’re based in Capalaba but have been putting in pools all over Brisbane for many years.  They did my parent’s swimming pool in two of their houses.  My dad, who does everything ‘by the book’ was very impressed with them and so by late August, Brian from Thomas Pools  ( ) came over and measured up and sent the diggers in.

I think I’ll just fast forward this week. We had a few hiccups with Brisbane City Council, we had to get a permit to have a fence over two metres on the boundary. As usual the paperwork disappeared and then ended up on the wrong person’s desk. It was a massive delay but FINALLY last week we got the certification and started to fill the pool.

Woo hoo its been so hot these past few weeks and looking at an empty concrete hole was pretty rough.

We did use the time however to have Indo, from Pro Fence ( build a hardwood deck around two sides and install the pool fence. In our previous house we decided to have glass panels installed instead of the standard powder coated type. We found it to be a bit of a pain to keep clean. So this time we have gone with the  standard powder coated type. Pretty boring, I know  but its one less job to do on a weekend.

It’s nearly done. We just have to clean and seal the pavers, clean up the decking (tradies just don’t seem to care about making a mess), lay some turf and we are set for Summer. Bring it on!!!!

So this is what the pool looks like currently.