And the Spa is complete (almost)

This year has been the year (so far) of getting the deck built and the spa put into place and then setting it up to work correctly and be easy to use. So until last weekend we had much of this sorted, but not the last part.

Over the last weeks the electrician and gas guy/pumber  (it’s a gas powered unit remember) worked together; result, a permanent power source to the spa was installed.

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The gas line put into place and made easy to access alongside the deck, at the bottom of the back porch stairs.

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Then the heating unit was refitted, all electrical connections tested and certified.

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Finally, all was in place, so when we arrived last weekend and set it all up we were very expectant of being able to set it up, get it going and enjoy a spa on Saturday evening. We flicked the main switch to on and everything burst into life, the airjets swirled, the digital readout lit up and the temperature started going up – very slowly, very very slowly.

Then it stopped. And would go no further.

A quick call to the gas guy (2.30 saturday afternoon) and remotely he toook me through a range of remedial options, bleed the gas line, check the fitting here / there etc. It seemed to work, then again we topped out at about 17 degrees, not warm at all. Saturday night spa was off. Sunday morning the gas guy rang, “I’m coming down” he said, be there about 11.30am.

He arrived, did his own testing, we checked all electrical fittings as well, strange – no power at the igniter switch – stood there scratching our heads…….then light bulb moment.

The airjets were running, not the water jets, and if there was no water running through the igniter switch, there was no ignition – the unit requires pressure there to get the spark going, so a quick push on the button on the top of the spa, air jets off, water jets on, ignition, flame = heat.

So, for all who come after us the set up is simple. If the spa is empty, fill from the hose reel fitted to the back wall of the house, fill to above the water jet nozzles, but below the mosiac line.

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Attach gas bottle, turn on power, turn on main switch (the one of the right – the red one has to be in the on position as well) listen for the water jets to be running inside the pool and then the ignition kicks in and magic happens.

And, thanks to the gas guy / plumber we also have a drainage process that isn’t manual labout and involves buckets. The drain plug sits at the base of the spa, connect the hose and run the hose to the drain, then open the panel and reach inside, turn the red handle and the spa empties.

The gas guy / plumber?

Mike from Tuamaranui Plumbing, can’t say thank you, loud enough for all his efforts, he and team there are very, very good indeed. Use them if you can.

End of summer round up…..

So, it’s been a long warm Summer and we got a lot done at RaetihiRetro, and still there’s stuff not done. The garage got a new roof and the dry rot in the walls cut out and replaced, and painted again, but not fully. Most have undercoat on the new wood but where the paints faded and flaked, there’s bare boards in the main.

In time the garage will be the same colour scheme as the house with the roller door being the full on orange we’ve used only on the doors and sills so far.

The roof on the house – got a single coat of the grey/silver last weekend, between waiting on the dew to dry off around 10am and then it coming down again from about 3.15pm onwards I got the majority of a coat on, on the Saturday and then did the edges, ridge line etc on Sunday before I ran out of paint. 10 litres not enough…but enough to go from the green to the silver.

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Also completed recently was the front and back door steps / doors etc

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The 41 is made up of numbers we purchased at Taliesin West  when Zoe and I were in Phoenix middle of last year.

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The views from the roof were clear with Ngauruhoe in the distance and Mt Ruapehu shining in the sun….

So the Summer has seen the following work done, the new deck built and stained, the spa’s been moved into place, it’s now got power run to it, the gas guy is doing his thing this week and it will have a new lockable lid which will be easier to lift and move to give access (this means that we don’t have to fully fence it so that’s been a reduction in costs)

We’ve painted the house (99% done) painted the roof, the garage is now re-roofed, and rebuilt where required due to dry rot and needs it’s paint job to be done as well. It’ll be the same as the house with the roller door being the full orange!

Now, roll on Winter, lot’s of snow and fine dry days to give us the most time up on the slopes. There’s already been snow down on the ground at Raetihi this year so here’s hoping…

From huckery to elegant

So, some of you will have seen the recent updates about the new deck being in place and stained etc, Zoe’s immediate comment was that the house now looked ‘huckery’ – which led to a flurry of explanations to our overseas friends on the providence of that term in Kiwi slang.

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So, there has been much conjecture and conversation around possible colour combinations – much of this online through Zoe’s FB page and the final options were only chosen in the carpark of Resene, Whanganui last Friday.

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I had a almost full day call on Saturday so Zoe first purchased a new water-blaster (told me the old one had no oomph) and then took the back wall of the house on (in the rain most of the time) with an immense grin on her face. Sunday, we got a first coat on that wall and Zoe couldn’t resist adding the orange just to see what the overall effect will be.

There’s a heap of cutting in and a second coat for this wall, I’ve got the water-blasting to do on the other three sides, a local builder to come and manage some minor repairs to eaves and fascia and of course the spa to be moved into place, fenced and the gas guy to come to refit the hoses etc before it’s back up and running.

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By the way, our lovely friend Fifi, did the render of what our initial colours could look like -Zoe pulled the two images together and they match!

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More images and details to come as the summer slowly begins it’s wind down into Autumn, but winters still a while away, so if you’re keen on getting some walking in, some cycling (the local companies do a stunning job getting to to and from the start / end points of some of the best riding in the region) let me know and come and experience RaetihiRetro for yourself.

http://www.bookabach.co.nz/baches-and-holiday-homes/view/20183

And still the work goes on…

Summer time in Raetihi was probably fairly quiet only a few years back, I know when we brought RaetihiRetro and started the renovations there didn’t seem to be much traffic or people around during the warmer months.

Raetihi Main

It’s great that this has changed – last weekend as I sampled a great breakfast at Angel Louise Cafe (between applying 1st and 2nd coats of stain to the new deck – more on that later) there was a steady stream of tourist vehicles pulling in (you know the Moa’s, Britz’s etc – NZ RV’s) and a number of languages spoken.

The German couple who asked about the best option to get to Pipiriki had already had a GPS induced calamity a day or so earlier so were happy to take my suggestion of taking SH4 towards Whanganui and turning in towards Pipiriki from there, they also enjoyed their coffees and cheese scones before they headed off.

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With the help of Mal and Ian (a builder of great expertise and calmness, and the two lady hammer hands – I as usual did the food / drink duties) the deck was created and completed in two days over the New Year, my job last weekend was to apply the stain.

Another first for me, (cue the Aussie ad for the guy with the great deek) but all went smoothly, though a few minor touchups may be required this coming weekend.

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Now, we have to move the spa into the space in the corner, put up the fencing and have the local sparky run power, probably rerun the gas pipe to the opposite corner for ease of access and that’ll be the deck, spa area ready for use through the Summer, Autumn and into Winter.

Heating will have to be sorted, Zoe does want to put the ‘fire pit’ up on the deck, I’m not convinced as yet – this on the deck may not be the wisest option…..

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Anyway, another step on the journey to have the house completed, however those eagle eyed of you may have noted that the house now, by comparison to the deck looks (as Zoe put it) every so slightly huckery…..Kiwi slang for ‘not up to it, short of the mark, ugly’ so now we have a house waiting party to arrange, all welcome.

The end of the season

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So, the season is coming to an end as it’s been for much of the year, another weekend where the weather has been poor, while delivering snow. That’s right, the indicator for today and tomorrow is for snow, the first weekend of November – more snow!

It’s been an odd year from the start, snow early, way back in May there was a snow fall that didn’t last long but which had us hoping for a long season, we got that in the length, but not in the days on the mountain.

It felt something like a few years ago where the weather patterns had it fine Monday to Thursday, clouding up on Friday then rain and wind for the weekend, every weekend, for the entire winter.

My sons rugby season that year was less than 10 games, from a scheduled 22.

So, we head into summer, the thoughts move to what’s next? I’ve already purchased my first trout rod, well the first I’ll have owned in maybe 30 years, where’s my bike, have to locate that from whoever I loaned it to, and I need to buy a BBQ for the house, and do I need Xmas lights for that later afternoon dinner we are planning for that day?

I guess as the seasons change we just move to the next thing, the lifties and instructors have already migrated North, following the snow to Canada, France etc. and those of us left behind, we move into a new routine of later evenings, lighter days and waiting for that first snow fall in 2013.

Have a great summer folks, I’ll be loading this blog up with summer and autumn holiday options in the Ruapehu area very soon.

and yet there’s more……

Not far from Raetihi the famed bridge to Nowhere is a well know tourist destination, at RaetihiRetro the French Doors to Nowhere are yet to catch on with the punters.

When we have had time in summer to create the enclosed deck that will provide firm footing outside of these doors, maybe then the locals will start making a noise about the tourist value of such a destination, or maybe only those in the know will bother with a visit.

Also completed was the addition of both ‘real’ 1960’s artwork, the J H Lynch print (Woodland Goddess) is in it’s original frame and came from the antiques store at Turakina, ( http://www.myantiqueshops.co.nz/Turakina_Antiques.html )I got this as a birthday present for Zoe earlier in August, but then she chose to buy some very cool snow wear while in America so it became an anniversary gift.

The other painting is newer, painted in the ‘style of’ by Fifi Colston ( http://fificolston.blogspot.co.nz/) and presented to me by Zoe as a dual present, for both my recent 50th and also our 10th re-wedding anniversary, which fall on the same day.

All in all the two look very good as features on the lounge walls.