Wednesday 14 January 2009

More spending on house and garden

After we'd settled the purchase of our home six years ago and moved in, the final paperwork from our solicitor included a note that there was some council paperwork missing (a building compliance notice of some sort) because the wooden gate and fence around the pool didn't meet current standards. Since then the latch on the pool gate has broken off and some palings on the side have started to fall off.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered some replacement metal pool fencing that I'll install myself over the next few weekends. The 10 panels (1.2mx2.5m) and three gates, plus posts and fittings, cost a total of $2,572.20, delivered to a Sydney depot from the factory outlet in Queensland. Aside from buying some bags of rapid-set concrete mix and a manual post-hole digger for around $80, I should have all the other tools needed to install the new fencing and gates. I'm not sure how much time and effort installing the fence and gates will take ;)

I bought the simplest fence design ("flat top") as it looks neat and simple and costs less than the more ornamental designs. Although the cheapest option is unpainted ($67 per fence panel) or standard satin black finish ($77), I decided on the "precious silver pearl" finish that was on special for $85 instead of the usual $99 per panel. The cost of the finish and design isn't a signigicant part of the total cost - the self-closing child-sage gates cost $242 each!

I could have replaced the existing wood fence sections and gate with just five panels and one (or two) gates, but the extra sections allow us to enclose the new swing set on a flat area of grass adjacent to the pool enclosure and street frontage. The boys will be able to play on the swing set without having to worry (too much) about them running into the street or falling into the swimming pool.

Unfortunately this won't be the end of the current round of required spending. Next spring I'll have to pay around $700 for a new pool filter as the existing filter has finally fallen to pieces. Without a working filter the pool isn't usable this summer, so I paid $66 for a three month weekend family pass to the nearby public swimming pool. Of course it would have been cheaper to just fill in and grass over the pool and use the public swimming pool, but I've always enjoyed having my own swimming pool (although the maintenance and costs are less alluring).

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Bigchrisb said...

I think that this is one of the most often under-stated benefits of renting a house - i.e. that there is no temptation to spend a significant portion of income and time on home improvement projects. I know that I'm a born tinkerer, and suspect that renting, rather than living in my own home saves me at least $10k a year! This becomes almost on par with what I pay in rental.

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