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HOW I STOPPED PISS-FARTING AROUND AND INSTEAD STARTED SCREWING AROUND
My family and I recently decided to build a landscape pergola and stormwater tank with stand in our back garden as part of our efforts to become more “sustainable”. Of course I was volunteered by the rest of the family to do all the hard work (yes, yes, I know, men are good for some things). I was looking forward to doing the carpentry, but not the laying of the numerous post base footings, which are always a pain in the butt and bloody hard yakka to boot. Digging deep holes, carefully setting the post shoes in place dangling over the footing hole, mixing and pouring the concrete footings (damn, the post shoe moved!!!), waiting for the concrete to set (with fingers crossed that the post shoes are still in the right spot – now, did I measure up right in the first place, or not?), and then disposing of all the soil and rock. What a bloody mess, and what a bloody effort!!!!
But then the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine hit me square in the face. Somebody had just told me about “ground screws”. They sounded too good to be true: no digging, no concrete footings, no waiting with fingers crossed, no soil and rock disposal, infinitely adjustable (even after placement) and with impressive loading and wind shear characteristics). Apparently, all they needed was an ability to screw accurately (hey, I’m your man!!!). Having been a licensed builder and architect for 25 years, I was sceptical, but keen. I finally tracked down Fred at Krinner Australia and had a look at his ground screws. They were more expensive than conventional post shoe footings, but not by much. I bought myself eight ground screws that were supposedly perfect for my job. So, now the jobs done and I’m grinning from ear to ear. Why? Well, here’s a glimpse of how I started:
About half an hour ago I was just finishing breakfast and reminding myself that I had to get ready for a meeting in the City. But instead I gave in to an urge to go into the back garden (still wearing my pyjamas) to tinker with the first of the ground screws. Okay, after 1 minute I had carefully measured out to locate the centre for the first ground screw. After two minutes I had punched a pilot hole and had started screwing in the first ground screw by hand (after of course forgetting to take the plastic sleeve off and then quickly realising my mistake - oops!). After three minutes I had found a decent length of 100 x 50 timber (I later realised that something around 2 metres is ideal) and was screwing away like a frustrated, but very happy monk. After 5 minutes I checked my levels and realised I needed to ease the shaft back to vertical - no problems. After 7 minutes I was starting to breath hard as I turned and turned, but approaching my target. After 9 minutes I was down on my haunches checking the relative height of the stirrup and getting millimetre perfect with no problems at all. After 10 minutes I was standing back, admiring the finished result and shaking my head with enormous satisfaction. Why? Well, firstly I was thinking how brilliant the inventor of the ground screw was. Secondly, I was remembering one of the most important philosophical adages of my 25 years working as an architect - "TOUCH LIGHTLY". Thirdly, I was telling myself how lucky I was to discover this brilliant product.
Please accept my most sincere thanks all the help and advice you gave to me recently in how to set-up the corner strainer posts and gate posts around my four rental properties in Sunlands in rural South Australia. As I told you when we first spoke on the phone, this was a job i had been putting off for nearly seven years now, because it just seemed too hard. I am over 70, have a bad back and am still getting over a fight with cancer. The thought of all those post holes had been overwhelming........... up until now.
Hearing about your Ground Screws gave me new hope and in the end, because of ease with which the Krinner Ground Screws went into the ground, the job turned out to be an absolute breeze.
With the help of two family members, one a 12 year old, all 20 or more Krinner Ground Screws were in place, (the properties are about a mile apart), complete with posts, in just under two and a half hours.
Because of the sheet limestone in the area, we had to use a front end loader with an auger attached to make the holes to start them, but I just couldn't believe the speed with which it was all accomplished.
Thanks for all your help/advice Fred. I would not have attempted/could not have done the job without it. As for a product, it is the cleverest idea I have seen in a long while and I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone. It made a difficult job just too easy!