The Deck

Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything! Keeping the blog up to date is obviously not one of my priorities at the moment. Still, I think posting every once in a while is a good activity in and of itself. Without further adieu, here is the deck.

Just a bit of background for context. I was made redundant around August 2017 – perfect opportunity I thought, to spend some time with Dad. After flying him over from New Zealand in October we went straight to work on the deck, a project I had been putting off because of lack of free time. Four months on and after one very stressful visit from the council, the deck is done.

A word of warning – If you live in Victoria and are planning to build a deck, you need a permit. No exceptions. If you have called your local council and they have said it’s fine – you most likely spoke to someone in the wrong department.


Day Oneish:

You’d be surprised at how much work digging can be.

Day Twoish:

Digging was going to take a while. As the ground was on an angle, I had to clear a lot of dirt away from the side of the house:

Once enough dirt had been cleared, I started to dig some of the post holes by hand. Each hole was taking around 3 hours – the ground had some very dry/hard layers making progress very slow. Time to get the machines in.

There were something like 24 holes to dig. We started with concreting the wall poles first, then the stumps for the deck.

With the stumps done it was time for the bearers:

After letting it set, we put the joists on:

After another 3 days and 3000 screws, we had the decking laid:

It was around this time when we got a visit from the local council. The gentleman politely asked if we had a building permit – which we did not. We were informed that an order to destroy the deck would be issued, and we would have up to a month to show evidence (In the form of a building certificate) that the construction was in-line with all the building regulations and local laws. All work on the deck stopped at this point while we worked out how best to deal with the situation. Long story short, two months and $2000, along with lots of back and forth with a local building company, the council and the estate management resulted in a certificate of compliance being issued, which the council thankfully accepted. The unexpected cost meant we had to leave the feature wall unfinished.

There were a few more bits left to complete:

After letting the deck leak out the tannin, it was time for the oil:

Now we just need to get that feature wall done….


Deck Details:

  • Decking – 90mm Merbau
  • Screws – Star Drive, Coloured
  • Joists / Bearers – Treated Pine
  • Posts – Cyprus Pine
  • Deck Size – 9.7m x 3.7m

Moving to Australia

So, the time has come to leave Japan. I really planned on staying here a long time but – due to a certain opportunity and various other ‘things’ we have begun to leave Japan. I am really going to miss living here, especially the gigabit unlimited fibre internet. I will also miss Amazon Japan – same day delivery is awesome. Alas, these are just trivial matters but I will miss them none-the-less.

So – we are selling everything. I have a list of stuff here: If there is something not on the list, and you think it should be – it probably is. I buy a lot of stuff I don’t really need, but is nice to have.

I will be writing up another page on what we are doing to prepare for our move to Australia. You may find it useful if you find yourself in the same situation. You can check it here:

Oh, I am also selling the car. It is a shame that it would cost ~$6000 to have it shipped to Australia. We cannot afford this and so must sell. Even though I was told the car “holds its value”, the most I have been offered by car companies is 1500000 yen. This is pretty sad considering its only a year and a half old, has less than 20,000km on it and cost us initially 2800000. Still, without sacrifice there can be no progress 🙂


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