A quick recap before I get started: to give a bit more insight into what it’s like to live in the country and own acreage, I thought it would be interesting to do a quick post each month outlining what’s on the cards (or rather the never-ending job whiteboard) for the month ahead.
And now a warning: this month’s to-do list contains some grumpiness!
Here’s what April has in store:
1. Trying to find a new home and contents insurance provider (grrrrrr)
A new downside to living in the country has emerged for us this month.
Australian insurance providers have decided it’s not enough for people living in rural areas to have weathered droughts, catastrophic bushfires and floods in the last 18 months.
They’re now serving up a special bonus – either deciding to not offer insurance to properties in rural areas at all anymore or increasing premiums to a point where they are now almost unaffordable for the average punter!
In our case, the insurance provider we’ve been with for the last four years has told us – with almost no notice – that they’re not providing insurance in our area any more. And this is just where the fun starts.
Our last premium was around the $2,500 mark. Some quick research has confirmed that the average price being asked for the same level of cover level is $4,600, with quite a few insurers quoting in the $10,000+ range!
Now we get the way our insurance works and we also appreciate we’ve had a bit of natural disaster activity close by, but feel this is a bit rich when we’ve dutifully paid our insurance over the years and made no flood or fire claims!
Anyway, all of this means there will be lots of unplanned insurance research this month. And possibly some angry letters to our local MPs too…
(End rant. For now).
2. Building a(nother) shed
With the build of our new house now well underway, we’ll also spend some quality time this month constructing some of the extra stuff we need to put in to meet bushfire regulations.
In this case, we’re building a small shed by the dam to house our fire pump.
A shed that will no doubt also turn into a duck house when the weather turns bad 😐
3. Re(learning) how to use our toilets and sinks
Also on the list of new house jobs this month is installing a new septic system.
As with everything we seem to be doing down here, it’s slightly different and requires some homework!
We’re installing an AWTS (Aerated Water Treatment System), which is basically a system that will treat our wastewater to make it suitable for a second use – in our case, irrigating gardens and lawns. It achieves this by pumping air through the water to promote bacteria growth.
While many of these systems work a lot better than old fashioned septics, you have to be especially careful with what goes into them and keep an eye on the bacterial growth to avoid breakdowns and blockages.
Move to the country, they said….
How is your April shaping up? I hope you have lots of good things planned!