It's Nomad or Never

6 October 2018

After the passing of a friend’s wife in ‘98, Nigel and Lesley had an epiphany:

“Why should we wait until one of us is gone or we are too old to travel before breaking out of the rat race?”

While working their respective corporate jobs in accounts and IT, they formulated a 5-year plan to substitute the Sydney rat race for the freedom of the road.

“We’d rather worry about the price of diesel and the next place to stop for a coffee than interest rates and traffic congestion.”

True to their dreams; the pair sold their house in 2003 and hit the road with a Landcruiser and 23ft Elross Caravan.

 

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After 15 years of touring, the reality of aging struck - it was time to look for a home base. Not wanting to fall back into the hustle and bustle of a major city, but still needing access to facilities like health and transport – Nigel and Lesley eventually signed a deal on a 1.5-acre block in Pie Creek on the outskirts of Gympie in the Mary Valley, QLD.

“For the shed, we had a design in mind. We wanted a skillion roof with an awning on the side to fit our caravan, while being able to fit the van in the shed as well.  On the other side we wanted a small ensuite, while also having room to fit our 4WD. We ended up with 12m x 12.1m in all.”

After sitting down with five shed builders in Gympie,

“Andrew from Sheds & Homes gave us the most confidence that we would get what we wanted – and he said he would be able to help with the ensuite.”

The order for the shed was placed in December for delivery late January.

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The build went to plan and for the most part, the weather cooperated. It wasn’t until after the roof was fitted that the biggest storm hit – and in typical Nigel fashion; he was prepared!

“I managed to get one side of the roof connected to the 2 x 30,000ltr water tanks, so we collected most of the downpour. Mind you, the guys did manage to bog the scissor lift one morning after heavy rain.”

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True to his word; Andrew spent a few weekends helping Nigel frame and clad the ensuite.

  

Never one to leave things to the last minute, Nigel had contracted Halcol Energy from the Sunshine Coast to install the solar system.

“It’s a 5 KVA system with 22 panels on the awning. Thus far it has provided us with a credit each quarter. The 12v LED lighting system helps, we use batteries at night for our lights and a 12v fan and then re-charge during the day from power generated from our solar system.”

With the shed completed, Nigel and Lesley began work landscaping. Dale from Nethercote Earthworks came back to do the rock wall around the shed, level the drive and spread the sandstone road base for the driveway.

“My brother and his partner came up one long weekend to help shift 15sqm of top soil into the garden beds. Tough on the body but soothing to the soul to see things coming together. - particularly with family around.”

As a representation of how particular Nigel and Lesley truly are; the shed floor was sealed, again by another local company; Concrete Solutions.

“It looks good and has reduced the dust.”

After fitting a new fence and front gate, Nigel installed a security system for peace-of-mind when they’re on the road.

“This alerts me wherever I am if people are prowling around the shed.”

Next came the irrigation system. “This pulls water from the dam to a sprinkler system I have installed on all our garden beds - just to ensure we can keep most plants alive when we are travelling.”

“We now have what we planned, a fully insulated shed that we can use as a home base with rainwater, septic, mains Power, 12v Lighting, space for our van and vehicle, and all supplied by local tradesmen and businesses. We can continue our travelling lifestyle knowing that our home base awaits us at any time and is secure. We have caravanning friends who drop in and stay whenever they’re passing by and we can provide them with power and water as required. The neighbours are fantastic and I would like to give a special mention to Anderson from Evergreen Plus who is doing the mowing while we’re away.”

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After years of planning, some blood, sweat and tears – and the help of local contractors, Nigel and Lesley’s nomadic dream has finally become a reality. At Sheds n Homes, we’re locals helping locals improve their lifestyle every day.

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