The answer to increasing our living space is a deck to create an outside room extending the length of the caravan and projecting out from under the overhanging rain roof.
With Major Sprite now safely installed we have secure accommodation but only 10 square metres of living space. Thankfully Marie spotted a great decking system heavily discounted at Bunnings so we swooped. This has precut decking frames that screw together to form large timber decking tiles. They are each 1,100mm square and can be laid in any pattern you choose.
We have enough frames for a deck that is 5.5m long x 4.4m wide with extra 1.1m x 2.2m wings on each end to provide easy access onto and off the deck, a total of 24 frames and almost 30 square metres of outside living space. Being precut, we have been able to assemble the frames in Auckland and have also precut 288 decking boards so 12 can be nailed onto each frame, before trailering the entire deck to Tane's Rest for assembly.
After some serious digging time we have re-excavated the bench we dug out to level the caravan site and have extended it as an area of flat ground beside the caravan on which the deck will sit. The excess dirt has been spread in front of the caravan to create a raised flat area large enough to pitch a tent should people come to stay. This way we have created two shovelfuls of benefit for each shovelful of dirt we have moved.
We have sat the deck frames on large treated wooden blocks that have been leveled before the frames were nailed together and nailed down to the blocks. The frame arrangement has allowed one to become a raised step at the door of the caravan and the three posts supporting the rain roof pass through the deck frames without collision.
Now we have the task of finishing nailing down the decking boards and that requires 2,304 nails to be marked, drilled, driven and punched.
This blog is the ongoing story of our piece of paradise on the East Cape we have named Tāne's Rest. Visit our About pages to read more about our project, and feel free to leave a comment on any of our posts.
Uawa County existed for 45 years from 1 December 1918 to 1 April 1964 before merging with Cook County. Click on the map to download a copy.