Monday, 28 May 2012

Plaster hung

All the walls have plaster now and they have started sealing the joins. The brickies have also been getting quite a bit done and are working on the lower level around the back of the house now. They erected some trestles at the end of last week, but I can't see that any higher brickwork has been started yet.
We had organised to get another 50 tonne of the recycled concrete out to help fix the holes various trucks have made as well as continue the drive on up to our garage, but it hasn't been delivered yet. Going to be quite a bit of work for Stu spreading that once it all arrives.
The two house tanks were delivered late last week. Due to the rain and boggyness of the ground, they could only be delivered to our gate, don't think the builders are going to be happy having to move them so far.
Stu spent a few hours out there on Sunday backfilling a trench...he got a little dirty...

Front of house

The living room raked ceiling. I love it!

Stu playing in the mud hehe

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bricks and Plastering Started

Very exciting to see the house looking more like a house. The plaster is going up so fast. The ceiling in the living room looks great - but it's very echoey in there. Most rooms have the board up now, but the joining and so on hasn't been started yet. Very impressed with the progress the last 2 days.

Standing where the oven will be

The bricks started today and they are already looking really good. We were a bit worried as we don't have any corner bricks, and with our bricks being a larger size then standard doing the corners would make the whole house offset rather then having each brick centred over another, but it looks really good still. I have also been stressing as Timbercrete cannot be acid washed so the brickies have to be really careful and neat when laying them and they are doing a brilliant job.

Garage corner

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Odds and Sods

The plasterer has been delayed until Monday now, which is probably just as well as Stu still hasn't quite finished the wall insulation (between some of the rooms as a soundproofing measure), despite the fact he has been there every evening this week.
We had some doors put on yesterday which was pretty exciting until I realised that the wrong front door had been put on. It's the right style, but has been primed for painting rather then being a wood ready for varnishing. KB have told me they will change it later on, which Freya is upset about as she likes the door being aqua. The laundry door is also on, and the internal door into the garage as well.
We were contacted by Beaumonts yesterday, giving us the news that the carpet we wanted is no longer available. I asked if we could find something similar, and today Karen got back to me telling me they had managed to find a roll in Sydney that will do our house. It then got a bit strange as she told me despite the price not changing since we did the selections, it was now going to cost me more. I queried this, and spoke to Ian at KB who contacted Karen then got back to me within 10 minutes assuring me that we were not being charged more and were still within our budget.
The other thing that came up is that Stu discovered one of the windows had these strange little beads between the two glass panes. So I took some pics and forwarded to the window company, who agreed immediately that it was faulty and have ordered a replacement.
The plumbers have also been back, doing some more fitting off, and the carpenters have done some bracing to my book shelf/wall, and have now attached it to the floor.
So although not much has changed at the house, there has still been quite a bit happening.

The faulty window

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


I thought it important to tell you why windows are such an important part of sustainable building. Apart from the obvious points like catching breezes and cross flow for air ventilation and allowing natural light to brighten a room, windows can also be an active agent in keeping cool air out and warm air in.
Double glazing contributes a lot to this, but there are other things that can help as well.
The windows we have chosen are all double glazed and also thermally broken. This means that the frames also help to maintain temperature unlike standard aluminium windows which conduct heat in and out of buildings constantly. Our windows are made from UPVC which along with wood frames are the best choices - with sustainably sourced timber probably the better option. UPVC however, not requiring painting, are a lower maintenance option. Additional to this, we also have Argon gas between the two glass layers. This is a transparent gas that again helps prevent the disbursement of heat.
The compromise we had to make for our window selection was we couldn't quite get the styles we wanted. Ideally we preferred to have double hung windows, but getting these in UPVC proved quite a challenge. There was one company who could do this - but they couldn't provide flywire for our high light windows and a retrofit option was not available. Their price was considerably higher too. So we have many Tilt & Turn windows - also known as European windows. These have two ways of opening. One like a door which opens wide, and the other where the bottom locks down, and the window tilts back leaving a gap at the top. I'm really happy with the windows we have chosen, I just wish I had paid more attention to which way they open as I should have had a couple opening in the opposite direction.

Tilt & Turn window closed. Without flywire looks  like a door

Tilt & Turn fully open (should have had this one open the other way)

Tilt & Turn window at tilt

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Roof insulation completed

After several days hard work Stu and I have managed to finish installing the roof insulation. We took on this job to save some money, but with the time it took, plus our ebay bargain turning out to be not quite so much of a bargain we are only just ahead from what it would have cost us to have the builders complete it. Oh well, you live and learn.
We have also finally decided what hot water service to go with. After much research we have decided to use an Apricus Evacuated tube Solar, with electric boosting. We have gone electric as we are not on town gas and as we are expecting to install solar power hopefully not too far in the future this will be hopefully a better way for us to boost. To help minimise the boosting, we have gone the evacuated tubes which heat up the water more efficiently, and are also having a stand on the roof to maximise heat absorption. The stand has already been installed and it's going to take a bit of getting used to, but it's there for a purpose after all, not to look pretty.

The new stand minus the evacuated tubing

We had another site meeting late last week, just confirming a few things. Plasterer is now set to be started this Thursday, and brickwork to start the following Monday.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bricks on site

The first load of bricks were delivered yesterday and the rest are due to come after the brickwork starts.
Electricians ended up working all day yesterday and half of today as well, took a bit longer then we expected.
Stu has almost finished installing the wall insulation but due to the nice weather forecast for tomorrow he will probably get back on the kanga and dig the pit for the electrical cable to run from the garage to the shed, if it gets left much longer I doubt it could get done until next Summer with how boggy it is out there.
So Thursday together we will be doing the roof insulation. I had hoped that all the insulation would be done by then so we could take advantage of our child free day and go to Melbourne and check out some lighting shops, but not to be.
KB cleaned up the mess today (so my floor looks nice and clean again after all the mess from the various tradies, was strange seeing it dirty after always seeing it clean) and they finished installing the roof battens. They have also changed the book shelf/wall and it looks great now, much better being wider and higher.

Exciting to see some bricks arrive (18 pallets)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Windows finished

All the windows and glazing (excluding one for our small porch at the back of the house) has now been installed and Stu has completed the data cabling and TV wiring as well. Yesterday we had the electricians out doing some of the rough in, and they managed to get most of that done, hopefully it will be finished on Monday, then Stu can start doing all the insulation.
The bricks are supposed to be arriving at the block any day now. Hope the delivery goes smoothly as it's a mud pit out there now.

Garage window (single glazed, frosted) is hidden under the insulation flap

Some of the mud mess

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Roof is on!

The roof is finished and it all looks pretty good I think :)

The heater A/C is being roughed in right now and the electrical is starting any day now. Windows to be finished on Friday.