A Little House at No. 18

The ins and outs and inbetweens of building a new house in Little Howard St, Fremantle

Timeline

Week Starting 29th May 2017

Had photos taken of the house for our first ever Magazine article!!   Lookout Sanctuary, here we come.

Week Starting 1st May 2017

Working with solar installer and wet flue fabricator to design a water heating system.   Ordering more KNX automation equipment so we can continue to grow our system.

Week Starting 17th April 2017

Machining 4m  lengths of timber  for balustrade cap rails.

Week Starting 10th April 2017

Building and installing pantry. Wired up led light strips and motion sensors in the pantry and connected to the KNX system. The pantry is finally all finished at the end of this week so we had the pleasure of filling it with all our stuff.

 

Finished pantry

Finished pantry

Week Starting 3rd April 2017

Met with solar hot water installers about getting our evacuated tubes and thermal store system installed.
Machining timber for shelves in pantry and gluing shelves together.
Ordered all the Galvo threaded rod for building into pantry.
Started to talk to people about building a wet flue water heater.

Week Starting 27th March 2017

Fitted wall plates in pantry.  Fitted and fixed bench tops in pantry.
Built dividers and shelves in Pantry under benchtop.

Fitting out the pantry

Fitting out the pantry

Week Starting 20th March 2017

Spent week laminating and fitting pantry bench tops.
Cleaned railway line floor joists in short stay and re-oiled.

Benchtop and wall plates installed

Week Starting 13th March 2017

Started on pantry.
Timbers out for pantry bench top and start machining them.

Laminating the benchtop for the pantry

Laminating the benchtop for the pantry

11th December 2016 – 6th March 2017

Had a well deserved break over December.  Greg went back to work in January.  Then went down south and camped in the forest for a while in February.

Playing with new toys

Playing with new toys

Week Starting 5th December 2016

Building internal door between main house entry and garage.
Put in partition by chimney
Building reticulation system in back yard. Planted a vege garden.

Vege garden planted

Vege garden planted

Week Starting 28th November 2016

This was the week our second child was born.  It’s a good thing we moved in 3 days ago! Nothing like a deadline we say!

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The floor was completed about 5 days before the baby was born

Week Starting 21st November 2016

Concrete floors polished!  We started moving into the main house this week.
Lots of final little jobs like hanging curtains and curtain rails.
Re-building the stick bed that we built in 2010 and have had in storage for nearly 6 years. Building a cot and change table.   Oiling kitchen floor, kitchen and bathroom bench tops.
Painted balustrading with penetrol preserving oil.

Polishing the concrete floor

Polishing the concrete floor

Week Starting 14th November 2016

Built panelling around skylight in bathroom.
Wired up new reticulation controller, pond pump and rainwater pump.
Acid wash last few skirting bricks and had a big clean up ready for the floor polishing. Finished week by removing stairs ready for next week.

Hoisting the stairs to allow the floor to be polished

Hoisting the stairs to allow the floor to be polished

Week Starting 7th November 2016

Making cupboards for bathroom and fitting out.  Plumbing works completed in Kitchen and Bathroom.  Hook up the gas.

Fitting out the bathroom

Fitting out the bathroom

Week Starting 31st October 2016

Fitting out the kitchen.  Building cupboard fronts out of marine ply for kitchen.
Fitting kitchen boxes, oven, dishwasher , cooktop and sink.
Building Ikea boxes and draws.
Fitted fridge in the pantry.

Fitting out the kitchen

Fitting out the kitchen

Week Starting 24th October 2016

Complete laying parquetry flooring in kitchen.
Machining timber and laminating up kitchen bench and bathroom vanity.
Sanded the kitchen parquetry floor at the end of the week.

Sanding the parquetry floor with the kitchen benchtop behind

Sanding the parquetry floor with the kitchen benchtop behind

Week Starting 17th October 2016

Building pieces of parquetry floor.  Over this week we machined and cut over 1600 pieces of flooring block with the drop saw. Then sanded all the edges smooth ready for laying.  We spent 6 days in total preparing all the wooden pieces to make the 8 square meter kitchen floor.

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Sliced up timber ready to go

Week Starting 10th October 2016

Adding final touches to kitchen floor ready to lay end grain parquetry.

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Resin applied

Week Starting 3rd October 2016

Started machining timber for the kitchen end grain parquetry floor.  Meanwhile, preparations on the concrete floor are being made to take the timber floor.  Concrete grinded all the lumps off and faired the edge where the wooden blocks will meet the main living area floor.

 

Fairing the concrete to create a level edge to lay the parquetry floor against

Fairing the concrete to create a level edge to lay the parquetry floor against

Week Starting 26th September 2016

A therapeutic week consisting  of hand nailing around 1900 galvo nails into 75m2 of jarrah floorboards in mezzanine. It looks amazing!! One of the most enjoyable weeks of work on site so far.

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Mezzanine floor joists over kitchen ready for floorboards.

Week Starting 19th September  2016

As soon as the plasterboard walls were complete we pulled up the particle board flooring that we laid in February 2014 and started to level all of the joists ready for the floorboards.  Spent 5 days just doing the levelling of the front rooms.

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The last day of particle board flooring!

Week Starting 12th September 2016

Had over 330 visitors through the house over the weekend.  Monday morning back to , putting up plaster board sheeting in western dormer.
Laying out floorboards  in main living area ready to start installing them on the mezzanine.
Finished the plaster board in the western dormer and painted.

 

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The sum total of all the plasterboard walls in our house

 

Week Starting 5th September 2016

Another milestone and another 15 square meters of worksite dirt and sand gone forever.  This week we completed levelling the back yard, now that all the stonework is completed.  We laid down 150mm of soil conditioner, our subsurface textile irrigation piping and then the lawn. At the end of this week we participated in our first ever Sustainable House Day (11th September)

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KISSS Subsurface textile irrigation piping laid out in the back yard waiting for the topsoil and lawn.

Week Starting 29th August 2016

Like most achievements at this end of the project , the pond has finally found its final shape and position.  I filled it with water and it doesn’t leak!  Don’t underestimate the time it takes to build a pond. We worked all week on this and the main big rock in the middle took an entire day to get into a position that we were happy with and would work.

Completed pond - now all we need is a garden

Completed pond – now all we need is a garden

Week Starting 22nd August 2016

Building limestone wall and pond.

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Week Starting 15th August 2016

No work on the house this week but we are enjoying living in the short stay.  The old dunny is like a tardis when you close the door. It takes you back in time.

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The old dunny and its new surrounds.

Week Starting 25th July 2016

Wayne (the Scotsman ) once again weaving his magic and making something out of nothing much.  This time I found a whole heap of steel washers that we built a crazy looking gate out of.  Installed the gate from the backyard to the laneway.

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Our funky back gate

 

Week Starting 18th July 2016

Started the week installing rails on the roof for the solar panels.  Luckily it didn’t rain.  By the end of the week we had begun our lives of consuming energy from a renewable source. Such a good feeling!

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Installing Solar Panels

 

Week Starting 11th July 2016

The last few months have been some busy.  Life as per usual.  Except for once we have been spending a fair bit of time away from the house.  Lets just say it has been well earned as you can see from the below.  Back to our Sustainable little house.  Got our solar panels on site and made prep work for install. Put up some scaffolding to access roof and had the electrician around again to get the electrics sorted in the garage ready for the inverter.

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Our future energy supply sitting in the living room.

 

Week Starting 28th March 2016

Installed guttering to east side of short stay roof and plumbed to rainwater tank.
Greg went back to work after a very busy and productive month.

Two out of three garden walls complete

Two out of three garden walls complete

Week Starting 21st March 2016

Oiled the bottoms of the floorboards. For the mezzanine floor.
Hung the glass door in the upstairs shower.
Continued to build walls in Backyard.

The back yard taking shape

The back yard taking shape

Week Starting 14th March 2016

Built scaffold down the west side of the house and gave the timberwork another coat of oil.
Building garden bed walls out of old footing stones, bits of recycled bricks , leftover broken blocks and limestone rubble.
Installed and wired up power-points, lights.
Final Glass order delivered on site on Wednesday. Installed the final pieces of glass in the upstairs windows and doors. Installed glass in the shower recess.
We turned all the lights on in the main house for the first time this week. It really does look amazing.

Building some garden walls

Building some garden walls

Week Starting 7th March 2016

Measured up for the last lot of glass. Quite a momentous feeling! We have the shower and the a few windows and the bifold doors across the front of the house to go.
We started again out in the back yard. This time building the steps to the laneway.

Building the stairs to the back yard

Building the stairs to the back yard

Week Starting 29th February 2016

Started back with the electrician, installing components of the Distribution board in the services area. Running last few cables. Made great progress on Electrics this week.

The electrics are coordinated from and terminated in the services area

The electrics are coordinated from and terminated in the services area

Week Starting 22nd February 2016

Planning how we are going to layout the back yard. We have saved lots of broken blocks, have some left over bricks and limestone spawls. Trying to work out how we can use it all in the back yard garden beds.

This is a month before the autumnal equinox - the sun is just starting to get into the living room in the middle of the day

This is a month before the autumnal equinox – the sun is just starting to get into the living room in the middle of the day

Week Starting 15th February 2016

Shopping around for Fans for the ventilated roof gallery and researching the components required to automate the fans with varied speed for the amount of ventilation required.

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Week Starting 8th February 2016

Greg Back at work but preparations for March are already in full swing.
We have plenty planned for March including getting the last of the Glass in and hopefully some lights on!

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Week Starting 1st February 2016

We had a visit from the Owner Builder Support network. This gave other owner builders the opportunity to visit our work site with the presence of a licensed builder and inspect the construction. They also had the opportunity to ask us plenty of questions about our experiences

 animated OBSN members
Week Starting 25th January 2016

Australia Day by the pool at our place . Working on installing the Distribution boards for the Electrics in the Services area.

Electrical whiz bangery

Electrical whiz bangery

Week Starting 18th January 2016

Built 14 stair treads for the main living area staircase. Pulled down the side stair stringers and routed out the grooves to house the treads. Re-fitted the stringers before installing the stair treads one by one.

Building the stair stringers

Building the stair stringers

Week Starting 11th January 2016

Making beading for the upstairs doors and windows and fitting.
Cleaning glass, Tidy up from the Christmas cheer and turn the seemingly quite “lived in” space back into a building site. (this is Greg’s idea of a ‘break’)

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Week Starting 4th January 2016

You would be forgiven for not doing anything on the house this week. We have proven that the first two weeks of January are virtually impossible to get trades on site. And quite rightly so, it’s the summer holidays.
Greg got home from work on the 7th Jan and had a few days of post Christmas break.

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Week Starting 28th December 2015

1st Christmas Day & New Year’s day in the new House (No living in here yet)

By the way, merry Christmas

By the way, merry Christmas

Week Starting 21st December 2015

Getting ready for the first Christmas in Little House. Yes, its Christmas on a building site but it is both unique and memorable!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Week Starting 14th December 2015

This was about the week that we said at the beginning of the year that we be moving in. It hasn’t happened. We always talked about having a big Christmas tree in our new house so this year this is what we did. We have only been talking about it for 5 years

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree - you don't get many houses that can fit a 3.6m Christmas tree in them

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree – you don’t get many houses that can fit a 3.6m Christmas tree in them

Week Starting 7th December 2015

Finished sealing up on the inside of all the windows with silicone
Cleaning all the glass for the first time.
Installed West Dormer Window and Bathroom window.
Greg went back to work.

Our first family dinner in our new living/dining room

Our first family dinner in our new living/dining room

Week Starting 30th November 2015

We spent this week installing the glass for the Triangular windows, The north glass “Wall” and bifold doors. It has made an enormous difference to the feel of the house. Its no longer “Open” and the space feels and sounds different. Its cosy!

Look, outward opening triangular windows

Look, outward opening triangular windows

Week Starting 23rd November 2015

Making Bathroom windows and western dormer windows .
The western dormer windows are made out of recycled floorboards and roof timbers from our old house. The windows consist of 20 pieces of timber laminated and screwed together. The window design reflects the windows in the very old rooms from our old house.

Constructing the western dormer window frame

Constructing the western dormer window frame

Week Starting 16th November 2015

Built a timber for the balustrade to sit on. Working out how it is all going to tie in to the floor.

Looking like it's all nearly finished (we wish)

Looking like it’s all nearly finished (we wish)

Week Starting 9th November 2015

The last section of steel Art Balustrade was delivered to site and installed. Now that its altogether it looks great and complete.

Installing the new balustrade

Installing the new balustrade

Week Starting 2nd November 2015

Greg went back to work after 9 months off.
Sorting out the delivery and installation of the next lot of glass

Bathroom rendered and steel shower frame under construction

Bathroom rendered and steel shower frame under construction

Week Starting 26th October 2015

Its 3 years since the first bricks were delivered on site and our daughter is now two years old!

Art glass in place with the double glazed unit ready to go in

Art glass in place with the double glazed unit ready to go in

Week Starting 19th October 2015

We installed the first lot of glass across the front of the house.
Including the Glass art in the front door!
Greg went back to work. But things don’t slow.  We are making plans for November already.

Greg trying out the glass art to check for fit

Greg trying out the glass art to check for fit

Week Starting 12th October 2015

Installed bifold doors across the front of the house.
Making preparations to install the glass.
Re-oiled all the truss timbers and Jarrah rafters inside the house.
Also oiled all the facia boards at the north and south end of the house.

All the doors in - looks great, even if I do say so myself!

All the doors in – looks great, even if I do say so myself!

Week Starting 5th October 2015

Building Bifold doors. Balustrade is on site for fitting.
Glass Art for the front door on site and placed into the frames for the first time.

Balustrade fitted roughly in place

Balustrade fitted roughly in place

Week Starting 28th September 2015

Assembled and fitted the bifold door frame upstairs.
All the bolts on the trusses got a tighten as they have now been standing for  18 months.  Then we gave them a paint.
Final fitting of the 4x chain winders for the upper ridge windows.
All the Glass has been ordered so we are touching up and cleaning all of the frames ready for the glass.

Ready to install the bifold doors

Ready to install the bifold doors

Week Starting 21st September 2015

The front door Glass Art has been through the kiln and on Monday night we went and saw it for the first time!!  Its Amazing!
Wayne is now onto the third section of steel balustrade.  The more he adds the better its looking!
The bathroom tiling is finished.
The french doors are all done now and I’m working the challenge of building a frame for the bifold doors.  This involves incorporating a door track into the head and the foot of the frame.  It turned out to be a larger (and much heavier) than expected !

Our front door panes fresh out of the kiln at Kooky Art Glass

Our front door panes fresh out of the kiln at Kooky Art Glass

Week Starting 14th September 2015

We installed synthetic grass on terrace across front of house. This was always our intention and although it my look well out of place to most people,  most people don’t even see it or know that its there.
Waterproofed the main Bathroom ready for tiling
Installed first and second lots of french doors.
Tiler commences tiling the main bathroom.
We got the chain winders for the four triangular ridge windows and commenced installing them.

We couldn't decide on any other material for the balcony so we went for fake grass

We couldn’t decide on any other material for the balcony so we went for fake grass

Week Starting 7th September 2015

Wayne started building the balustrade for the Mezzanine.
Front door Glass Art is all cut and ready to go into the kiln.
Final finishing off bits on deck.  Put in some manhole hatches so we can get to the rainwater tank.
At the end of the week, Wayne unveiled the first section of steel balustrade. It was so crazy awesome it made us excited about installing it in our home.  Aesthetically, a game changer and a talking point from this day on.

The start of the balustrade, laid out on Wayne's workshop floor

The start of the balustrade, laid out on Wayne’s workshop floor

Week Starting 31st August 2015

Built the back deck  which is 6m x 3.5m
The deck is built out of practically 100% recycled materials.
The bearers are made of timbers from the roof of our kitchen and shed of the old house and some pieces of milled sleepers that one of my neighbours had given me.  The Deck itself is made from recycled sleepers.

Just repeat these steps for the rest of the sleepers

Just repeat these steps for the rest of the sleepers

Week Starting 24th August 2015

Building French doors out of recycled jarrah across front of house.
Tilers came in and rendered main bathroom ready for sealing and tiling
The four recycled verandah posts (which rumour has it originated from Rosie O’Grady’s in Freo)  Turned into a four post bed.
Started building the shower for the main bathroom out of steel.

Bathroom rendered and steel shower frame under construction

Bathroom rendered and steel shower frame under construction

Week Starting 17th August 2015

This week was  spent catching up on things and doing a fair bit of running around
Ordering tiles, getting fastenings and bits for deck,  buying more paint,  drawing up and getting quotes for electrical things like boxes and GPO’s
and some more steel for Wayne.
Work on building a four post bed out of some old verandah posts we have been given (I know that this is not technically part of building a house
but the action can be justified purely in order to get them out of the way!)

A small side project - building a four poster bed

A small side project – building a four poster bed

Week Starting 10th August 2015

Greg built a brick wall in the bathroom.  A confession that these were actually the first bricks he had laid in the whole project.
Making preparations to build the Deck.
Installed middle door frame across front of house.
Met with Amanda for the first time and discussed making some Kooky Glass Art to go in the front door.

Greg trying his hand at a little brickwork

Greg trying his hand at a little brickwork

Week Starting 3rd August 2015

Installed the first of the door frames across the front of the house.
Cleared out the bathroom ready for getting in there and making a brick wall and doing some tiling.
General site tidy. Moved all the left over bricks and pavers out the back now that the footpath and driveway is finished.

'Persuading' the door frame into place

‘Persuading’ the door frame into place

Week Starting 27th July 2015

We have been shopping around looking for somebody who can work with glass and help us make some art to go into the front door.

Our house at night (August 2015)

Our house at night (August 2015)

Week Starting 20th July 2015

Built and painted some long strap steel hinges for the Garage door.
Put some limestone blocks and a load of woodchips in the front yard to 1) make it look a little better 2) hold the sand down.

Hand shaped and hand made 'bespoke' strap hinges

Hand shaped and hand made ‘bespoke’ strap hinges

Week Starting 13th July 2015

Installed Garage doors.  These ones are just temporary.  Its going to be a big job but I’m going to build some solid “barn” style doors out of recycled jarrah.
Pulled the fences down to expose the view of the house to the street for the first time.

Installing a temporary garage door

Installing a temporary garage door

Week Starting 6th July 2015

Replaced Kerb with concrete crossover.  Recycled the old kerb to make a small wall across the top of the water tank.
Completed the Driveway crossover with recycled bricks.
Moved the street tree from out the front of #10 (12th July 2015)

The driveway is nearly complete

The driveway is nearly complete

Week Starting 29th June 2015

Buried soak well in (next to rainwater tank) for draining rainwater piping. Installed front door. Installed rainwater catchment piping across back of house.

Installing the frame

Installing the frame (it fit like a glove)

Week Starting 22nd June 2015

Barry finished the front door.
Bobcat came in and removed all the old road base and we started putting  the footpath back down.
Putting in rainwater catchment piping across front of house.
Built the brick driveway.

Bobcat removing old gravel and dirt from the footpath

Bobcat removing old gravel and dirt from the footpath

Week Starting 15th June 2015

The winter Solstice was upon us this week.  The 21st of June to be precise. The shortest day of the year in our part of the world.
So why is that so important to us?  Our whole living area is flooded with sunlight at a time of the year when you most need it and like it!  I still find it hard to believe we are building a solar passive house that I know we are going to so much enjoy living in!   We didn’t really do anything this week… Just enjoyed the sunshine!
Well I finished off and installed the Garage door frame.

A snapshot in time at the winter solstice 2015

A snapshot in time at the winter solstice 2015

Week Starting 8th June 2015

Sealed and waterproofed the wet are floor
Made and installed tin gutters and drains for the Balcony /  Terrace
Making the Garage door Frame.   Built from 19 pieces of shaped Jarrah and laminated together to form the arch.

Water proof membrane painted on and finished.

Water proof membrane painted on and finished.

Week Starting 1st June 2015

Progress continues with the wet area flooring.  Floorboards are now down, Then some battens and some insulation board.
Then the fiber cement sheeting has been screwed down

Nailing the floor boards into place

Nailing the floor boards into place

Week Starting 25th May 2015

Commenced building the wet area flooring on the Balcony / terrace. You can see what a solar passive house achieves in winter!  This is the shortstay bedroom we are currently living in and on these cold still winter days this room is toasty warm.

Noting how far the sun enters the house on 29 May.

Noting how far the sun enters the house on 29 May.

Week Starting 18th May 2015

I have been machining  pieces of our salvaged timber from our old house to build a Front door out of.  Delivered timber to Barry to commence building the front door.

Timber for the door frames, laminated and oiled

Timber for the door frames, laminated and oiled

Week Starting 11th May 2015

Finish building the brick BBQ and tidy up a few last little bits of limestone work.  This was Nicks last days with us.
Nick has been working on the masonry of our house for 28 months!!  He has been an absolute asset to our project and we are going to miss having him on site.
We have said many times that this project wouldn’t have been the same without some people’s input and Nick is definitely one of those people.  Thanks for your wonderful job Nick!  We are forever in debt to you.

To call it just a BBQ seems not to convey it's full glory somehow

To call it just a BBQ seems not to convey it’s full glory somehow

Week Starting 4th May 2015

Paint bifold doors, beam across door head and shader brackets. Build brick steps up to verandah.
Build brick BBQ

Trying out the new bifold doors

Trying out the new bifold doors

Week Starting 27th April 2015

Pointed up stonework inside main house. This was a big 5 man job and took 4 days.
Bushing Limestone blocks. (chipping diamond sawn faces to look hand cut / rough sawn)
Layout sleepers for back decking and make plans for how we are going to turn them into a deck.
Remove scaffold from the roof. The chimney is now all finished!

It's a fiddly job - it takes a bit of care and attention

It’s a fiddly job – it takes a bit of care and attention

Week Starting 20th April 2015

Sold scaffold and moved off site.  Gained a load of precious “free” space to occupy!
Complete building chimney. Nick carved his name on the top of the chimney.
Sorted 2 pallets of bricks to find 9.5m2 of whole bricks and 6m2 of half bricks ready for building driveway.

Brick header on top of the chimney, just to match the rest of the house

Brick header on top of the chimney, just to match the rest of the house

Week Starting 13th April 2015

Completed shaping of columns in Main living area.
Started building the chimney on the roof.
Install flashings to chimney
Welded Shader bracket awning pieces in place.

Wayne measuring up for the brackets

Wayne measuring up for the brackets

Week Starting 6th April 2015

Fitted steel bifold doors. They actually required to be fitted (and removed) 3 times. The last time was when we finished the painting.
Shaping columns in living area.
The Chimney reached the underside of the roof and looks amazing!
Started building scaffold on roof so that we could proceed upwards with the chimney.
Delivery of steel for shader brackets arrived on site.

Just about at ceiling level

Just about at ceiling level

Week Starting 30th March 2015

Fabricating steel bifold doors across back of house.  Installing the top and bottom door tracks.
Doesn’t sound like much but there were many hours of playing around. And it was Easter.

Not a bad view from the ridge of our roof

Not a bad view from the ridge of our roof

Week Starting 23rd March 2015

Getting steel cut for the shade awning.
Working on limestone chimney .
Oil verandah timbers and install flashings.
Dug around the outside edges of the Rainwater tank.  Filled with sealant and tar sealed the lid to the base.

Bifold doors put together and ready for oiling

Two out of three garden walls complete

Week Starting 16th March 2015

Started building bifold doors for across back of main living area.
Working on chimney in main living area ready to continue on its construction.

Our backyard with rainwater tank uncovered so we can seal the lid up

Our backyard with rainwater tank uncovered so we can seal the lid up

Week Starting 9th March 2015

Completed building the verandah
Working on front door design
Installed door track for main living area bifold doors.

Getting a roof on the verandah

Getting a roof on the verandah

Week Starting 2nd March 2015

Finished building rear wall
Started building verandah of front of house.
Installed verandah posts , wall plates and hockey stick rafters first.
Verandah decking bearers , joists and temporary decking installed second.
Then gutter, tin and flashings for verandah installed.
The verandah looks great and adds a whole new presence of the building to Little Howard Street.
Opened up the rear laneway again.

Starting on the verandah

Starting on the verandah

Week Starting 23rd February 2015

My diary says hot day…. 41.
Bifold door track finished and is being painted
Fabricating steel door jambs
Shaping and oiling hockey stick rafters.
Clearing laneway
Work on the back wall continues.  We are now up to the windows and waves.
Completed moving out of our storage unit.

The finished wall with 'vertical waves'

The finished wall with ‘vertical waves’

Week Starting 16th February 2015Bobcat cleared front yard ready for verandah to  be constructed . Ended up taking away about 10m3 of rubble and “land”
Started building track for bifold doors across back of living area
Poured concrete for verandah post footings and footing for eastern garden wall in back yard.
Getting timbers ready for verandah… Went to the Zoo on Wednesday.
Work continues on rear boundary wall. (coming along very nicely)
Commenced moving out of our storage unit.

Firing up the cement mixer again

Firing up the cement mixer again

Week Starting 9th February 2015Removed scaffold from living area
Commenced clearing out laneway of all of our timber and scaffold.
Prepare to start building back retaining wall
Built hockey stick rafters for Verandah
Started building the back wall with rubble and left over cut/broken blocks for main house.

Scaffold down, packed and ready to be sold on to the next owner builder

Scaffold down, packed and ready to be sold on to the next owner builder

Week Starting 2nd February 2015Started moving out of our storage unit.

Moving out of the storage unit - where to put it all?

Moving out of the storage unit – where to put it all?

Week Starting 26th January 2015JJJ Hottest 100 Day
Programmed KNX light switches to control lighting.
Working on the short stay (which we are currently living in)… finishing off door on fridge and dishwasher in kitchen,  install draws in kitchen cupboards

Lit up at night

Lit up at night

Week Starting 19th January 2015Getting things wound up to get back into progress (and Alice went back to full time work).
Getting plans together for building verandah and back wall.
Planning the construction of bifold doors across back of house.
Half railway sleepers deliverd to site for building short stay spiral staircase and back decking
Building workshop bench

Building a bench in the workshop

Building a bench in the workshop (don’t worry, she’s fine)

1st December 2014 to 18th January 2015
The previous 6 weeks have been spent taking a break.  Since starting the project in September 2012 we have  focused on the main goal of moving back on site.  Now that we have achieved this, Greg went back to work and we had a much deserved break with family.

Family gatherings in the new house

Family gatherings in the new house

Week Starting 24th November 2014Build doors for laundry and bedroom to separate the two areas (for living and work site)
Install 24V leds and connect up to KNX automation system.  (After more than 2 years of research/ planning / purchasing and installation the day has finally arrived!  Exciting and challenging new concepts all at once)
Moved out of our beautiful little cottage at #1 Little Howard st  across the road which we have come to love and call “home” .  But all the same, excited to be living back in “our” place albeit a little different to when we last lived here 25 months  ago!
Had a house warming party.

Armchairs for two

Armchairs for two

Week Starting 17th November 2014First delivery of glass on site ready for installation
Install glass to short stay (or our new house)
Gas reconnected… an exciting moment leading up to moving in.. Hot water!
Complete shower , install kitchen plumbing.
Build kitchen.

There were some dags from the silicone used to create the seal in the double glazing that had to be painstakingly removed with razor blades

There were some dags from the silicone used to create the seal in the double glazing that had to be painstakingly removed with razor blades

Week Starting 10th November 2014Gave door and window frames final coat of black paint. Electricians in to connect the wiring together. Install kitchen (recycled our old Ikea kitchen but with new appliances). Make bathroom vanity and install. Floor boards for mezzanine got delivered. Installed ceiling fan. Built stairs. Built stud frame wall above laundry.

Greg was a bit nervous about lifting the first one

Greg was a bit nervous about lifting the first one

Week Starting 3rd November 2014Started work on site again aiming to get the back wing complete in about 20 days time. Washed down and spray sealed the walls and floor in the back wing, tiler in to do the bathroom, concrete in the back wing getting polished, odd welding jobs to get the doors and windows ready to fit glass.

Tiling in the visitor's bathroom

Tiling in the visitor’s bathroom

Week Starting 27th October 2014Wayne on site to fit the steel doors and windows in the back wing. Meeting with glazier to sort out requirements. Generally getting organised for next week.

Welding the frames into place

Welding the frames into place

Week Starting 20th October 2014Finally got the order in for locks and handles. Sourcing tiles and grout  141106_TilingGeneral-07
Week Starting 13th October 2014Put in order for the glass for windows and doors (all insulated glass units).  141106_TilingGeneral-19
Week Starting 6th October 2014
Organised the tiler, ordered tiles, put in a quote request for the glass, ordered 62 railway sleepers (cut in half), tried to sort out the lock situation, had the rest of the tin delivered…

Rolled tin for dunny roof

Rolled tin for dunny roof

Week Starting 29th September 2014
Greg back to work on Monday. Getting quote requests in for glazing, booking in tilers, sorting out lock requirements plus finally getting around to updating the blog.

View up the stair well in the back wing

View up the stair well in the back wing

Week Starting 22nd September 2014
Building fence and back gate.   Set up 24v lighting in basement.

New back gate - those who have visited our old house may recognise the doors

New back gate – those who have visited our old house may recognise the doors

Week Starting 15th September 2014
Installed limestone on wall next to short stay shower.   Brick cleaning and stacking.  Steps at back and 3 days of paving.

The courtyard ready to receive sand

The courtyard ready to receive sand

Week Starting 8th September 2014
A huge week this week.  Had the plumbers here for the first two days.  Got all the piping on the bathrooms chased into the walls.  Installed the gas booster, buried in the gas and got it all hooked up ready for a gas meter. Installed all the plumbing for the bathroom and shower wastes. Then Wayne  came and welded the large window frame in across the back of the house. We started wiring up the first of the electrical switchboards. We also celebrated the 2nd anniversary of building permit (and our project). (Also Greg’s Birthday)   Spent week also preparing the courtyard and path down western side.  Installed soak wells and water piping for rainwater catchment and stormwater drainage.  Installed front steel window.  The week ended with a truck load of bricks.

Upper window frames installed

Upper window frames installed

Week Starting 1st September 2014
Greg got back from work Tuesday this week. Carried on working building up slots on the part of the chimney facing the main living area.   Nick ran around with the mud squirting gun and pointed up all the small gaps between the top of the walls and underside of the timber wall plates.  Matt built brick header along retaining wall at boundary. Built last bits of brickwork in dunny.  Pointed up the old dunny with lime mortar. Finished off the brick masonry in the short stay bathroom.

Building up the chimney

Building up the chimney

Week Starting 25th August 2014
August  David (Alice’s brother) and Alison visit from Canberra to see the progress of the project.  Meanwhile, as Greg is still away, getting all the ducks in a line and booking in the trades to hit the ground running when he gets back next week.  Plumbing, electrical, stonework, labourers etc booked in ready to go.

Finishing off the brick header along the balcony

Finishing off the brick header along the balcony

Week Starting 18th August 2014
Sorting out door locking order to get a quote.   Playing around with things like planning the bull nose veranda.  Designing the fence, and planning the way the gates are going to be built across the back of the block

The pieces are slowly coming together

The pieces are slowly coming together

Week Starting 11th August 2014
Site work stops again. LED T5 tubes get delivered. Trying to make decisions on plumbing fixtures (taps etc).

Retaining wall and garden bed.

Retaining wall and garden bed.

Week Starting 4th August 2014
Found out that Greg has to go back to work early, this Thursday. Finish the rubble work and brick header course on the front of the house. Nearly finish the retaining wall on the western side.

Building retaining walls

Building retaining walls

Week Starting 28th July 2014
Back into full swing. Pointed up western external wall and removed scaffolding. Leveled courtyard and dug footings. Got the concrete truck in on Thursday to poor the footings. Started building the retaining wall along the western boundary on Friday.

Western wall pointed up and sans scaffolding

Western wall pointed up and sans scaffolding

Week Starting 21st July 2014
Greg home but no trades available until next week – plenty of jobs to be getting on with though like fitting the window frame, painting brackets, taking scaffold down around the chimney, cleaning up the basement and generally getting organised.

Painting brackets prior to removing scaffolding.

Painting brackets prior to removing scaffolding.

Week Starting 14th July 2014
Getting in touch with all of the trades to make sure everyone is ready to start again when Greg gets home next week.

Brick header course

Brick header course

Week Starting 7th July 2014
Discussed the ‘four week plan’ for work to do when Greg gets home. Rhett has the floor boards milled and ready to go into the kiln to dry out. Working out the most efficient order to do everything in is proving challenging as lots of tasks rely on completion of other tasks to avoid double handling of equipment.

Stack of floorboards ready to go in the kiln.

Stack of floorboards ready to go in the kiln.

Week Starting 30th June 2014
Chasing up some outstanding orders, including LED lights. Tidying up the admin side of things.

Flooding issues in the storms before Greg left

Flooding issues in the storms before Greg left

Week Starting 23rd June 2014
Greg back to work this week, not much going on with the house. Just keeping an eye on things to make sure the house doesn’t blow away or get drowned in the storms.

Building the bathroom walls

Building the bathroom walls

Week Starting 16th June 2014
Trades back on site – built the internal walls for the upstairs bathroom, the brick header course along the front and finished cladding the front and side with weather boards that were recycled from the old house.

Weatherboards on western gable

Weatherboards on western gable

Week Starting 9th June 2014
Continued to potter on site, getting organised and planning the next stages. Painted the window frames, building door frames, organising the trades to start again next week, buying materials so they can start again, deciding the style of door we want to use and whether we can ‘upcycle’ some of the doors from our old house (and if it is worth the effort), getting more window frames delivered to site, making flashings etc etc etc

Making and fitting flashings for the western gable window

Making and fitting flashings for the western gable window

Week Starting 2nd June 2014
Planning and catch up this week. No trades on site (except for Wayne coming to measure and fit window frames). Trying to get our heads around the extent and order of what we need to get done to finish this house! (Went camping over the long weekend, first time since we started building)

Fitting window frame

Fitting window frame

Week Starting 26th May 2014
Finish off the last bits for the roof. It’s all done except for one missing barge roll (that we failed to order the first time). Got the big window frame for the upper north end on site and sitting in place, fits like a charm. Got a lovely surprise when the boys chipped in for a bottle of bubbles to thank Alice for making lunches and morning tea! We have the best tradies.

Installing zincalume sheeting

Installing zincalume sheeting

Week Starting 19th May 2014Getting the top hats on the roof (they are the blue battens in the photos). Started fabricating the stainless steel box gutter (a critical piece of kit in our house). Built in steel brackets to support the eaves. As an added bonus we received a painting of our new house from Sophia Shaw (who did some painting and oiling for us about 6 months ago). So stoked with it :-).

Artwork by Sophia Shaw

Artwork by Sophia Shaw

Week Starting 12th May 2014Began installing the Marri lining boards after a bit of rain last week. In all there are 970 lineal metres to install, totalling about 2.5t. Crane came in on Friday to lift the Metecno insulation panels into place. This was the last time that we need the crane on site, quite the milestone.

Installing Marri lining boards

Installing Marri lining boards

Week Starting 5th May 2014
Big front (wind and rain) came through on Thursday which delayed us a bit with the roof. Still plenty of work to do preparing for installing the lining boards plus we managed to get the lining boards and insulation panels installed on the western dormer section. Have run all of the electrical cables that need to go through the roof.

Lining boards and insulation panels on the western dormer

Lining boards and insulation panels on the western dormer

Week Starting 28th April 2014
Finished getting the rafters up this week. Spent time nutting out exactly how the chimney will fit together, taking in to account the pipework for the solar hot water and wetback system on the fire plus making sure that the air intake for cooling the chimney sources air from outside our ‘insulation envelope’.

Steel frame and flue for the chimney

Steel frame and flue for the chimney

Week Starting 21st April 2014
Short week with Easter and ANZAC Day. Still, we kept going with the rafters and purlins for the roof.

Rafters are just about done

Rafters are just about done

Week Starting 14th April 2014Finish off installing ridge beams and make a start on the purlins and rafters. Keep going with rubble work on front of house. Installed the date stone.

An aspirational statement

An aspirational statement

Week Starting 7th April 2014
Back into building. Finish building the trusses and get the crane in on Friday to stand them up. Get the Metecno panels delivered. Building front wall of balcony. Start working on the date stone.

Final truss being lowered into place.

Final truss being lowered into place.

Week Starting 31st March 2014
Greg home this week, ringing around arranging for everyone to start work again on Friday. Build part of the bathroom wall in preparation for standing up trusses.

Bathroom wall

Bathroom wall

Week Starting 24th March 2014
Planning for the next swing home. Had a bit of rain but the tarps and plastic covering the timber held up OK.

Protecting the truss timbers with black plastic

Protecting the truss timbers with black plastic

Week Starting 17th March 2014
Update budget and expenditure spread sheets. Keep following up with outstanding orders.
The front room lit up at night.
Week Starting 10th March 2014
Chasing up orders and quotes that are still outstanding. Research fittings and fixtures – things like toilets, tiles, range hoods… the list goes on.

Interesting ceiling spaces

Interesting ceiling spaces

Week Starting 3rd March 2014
Greg back to work on Tuesday. Clean up site and cover the timbers to protect from rain (we wish) and sun. Catch up on admin tasks and start planning the next period of work.

Creating the rebate for each steel plate.

Creating the rebate for each steel plate.

Week Starting 24th February 2014
No stonemasons on site this week. Start work on the massive timber trusses for the roof. Have steel plates laser cut and painted ready to be bolted to the timbers to hold the trusses together. Small celebration (the Mez Party) on Saturday night to mark the milestone of going up another level.

The first truss being built.

The first truss being built.

Week Starting 17th February 2014
Carpenters have finished the mezzanine floor and are moving onto the small amount of stud frame wall. Timbers for the roof arrive on site on Friday. Stone walls at mezzanine level are nearly done and the rubble work continues out the front.

Installing timber joists for the mezzanine floor over the garage area.

Installing timber joists for the mezzanine floor over the garage area.

Week Starting 10th February 2014
Everyone back on site to start work on Monday. Carpenters get started on the mezzanine floor and the stonemasons hook into the last of the jobs to get the walls ready for the mezzanine floor to go on. Keep going on the rubble work out the front and start the brick vault. It’s all taking shape very quickly!

Starting the brick vault

Starting the brick vault

Week Starting 3rd February 2014
Picked up brushing tool and dust extractor. Greg home late Thursday night, started on the house again 7am Friday morning. Got a fair bit of the timber brushed and oiled, it’s coming up beautifully.

Brushing timber.

Brushing timber.

Week Starting 20th January 2014
Contacted the timber mill in Collie to enquire about our 10 missing beams and they were able to find them. Thank goodness. Got delivered to site late in the afternoon – many thanks to Ray for dealing with a truck driver who couldn’t get up the street.

Detail from the metal doors.

Detail from the metal doors.

Week Starting 13th January 2014
Greg back at work. Gives us a chance to do all of the administration like updating the budget, emailing quote requests for timber, fasteners and other things and plan for the next stage of works.

View down the west side of the house

View down the west side of the house

Week Starting 6th January 2014
Finished oiling all of the timber that we could. Slight detail as the wire brusing tool we have ordered hasn’t arrived yet. Busily getting the stonework up to Mezzanine level. Poured our last concrete slab on Friday (for the upstairs bathroom).

Pouring the concrete slab...by hand

Pouring the concrete slab…by hand

Week Starting 30th December 2013Happy New Year. Continued with the stonework – rubble and red brick quoining on the front of the house are looking fabulous. Started dressing and oiling the mezzanine floor timbers and oiling the Marri lining boards. Building up the quoining for the front window
Week Starting 23rd December 2013Last lot of Marri lining boards delivered by Rhett. The boys shifted the timber for the mezzanine floor from the storage unit to site. Nick continued with the rubble work on the front of the house and the red brick quoining around the front window. Oh, and there was Christmas and boxing day in there too.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Week Starting 16th December 2013Continue building walls ready to install steel beams that support the mezzanine floor on Thursday. Completed arched window in kitchen. Denail all of the timber in the back laneway and move into the basement.Crane came to install steel beams for mezzanine floor and shift bags of sand, pallets of stone and bricks, and Greg’s thicknesser/planer around. Nick and Matt threw up the garage arch on Friday nothing like a bit of friendly competition!

Lowering beam into place

Lowering beam into place

Week Starting 9th December 2013Clean out basement after rendering and get tools and materials back in there.

A rendered and clean basement.

A rendered and clean basement.

Week Starting 2nd December 3013Basement rendered. Double hung sash window for the front room, built from our recycled timber, delivered.

Double hung sash window built from our recycled timber

Double hung sash window built from our recycled timber

Week Starting 25th November 2013Nick and Matt onsite building up walls. Matt started on the garage/studio walls while Nick and Greg installed the fireplace and Nick built the hearth from red bricks and limestone rubble. Wayne has nearly finished fitting the window frames.

Installing the fireplace

Installing the fireplace

Week Starting 18th November 2013Final bit of Termimesh installed. Stand up door frames and steel columns. Continue working on internal brick walls in vestibule and front wall of house.

Building internal walls in back wing

Building internal walls in back wing

Week Starting 11th November 2013Roof of back wing completed. More limestone delivered to site. Paint window frames that have been finished. Get a couple more jarrah door frames made up.

Guttering looks great

Finished roof with gutter and everything

Week Starting 4th November 2013Roof continued – insulation panels are going on and working out how to install the roof window. Nick completed inner leaf of the east wall of the house. Wayne continuing to build window and door frames.

Nearly finished roof, tin on, velux window in.

Nearly finished roof, tin on, velux window in.

Week Starting 28th October 2013Started building roof of the back wing.

Roof of back wing with Marri lining boards exposed

Roof of back wing with Marri lining boards exposed

Week Starting 21st October 2013Started the week by giving birth to our daughter, Matilda. Got the crane in on Tuesday to lift steel beam at north end of house into place. Stonemason started back.

How the site looked six days after having a baby

How the site looked six days after having a baby

Week Starting 14th October 2013Greg home on the 13th and straight into it on the 14th preparing everything for the tradies to start on site next week. Went to the limestone quarry to check out the spalls that we want to use for the front of the house.

Limestone spalls

Limestone spalls

Week Starting 7th October 2013
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First pack of many pieces of timber to come on site.  These are for the short stay roof

 

Week Starting 30th September 2013  130906_WoodWindowsWalls-06
Week Starting 23rd September 2013
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Frame for the short stay northern window wall

 

Week Starting 16th September 2013Refining lighting and power/appliances plan. Getting quotes to make double hung sash window. Complete list of fastenings needed to build short stay roof.

Drawing of sash window

Drawing of sash window

Week Starting 9th September 2013This week was one year since we received a building permit. Greg heads to work on Thursday.
130906_WoodWindowsWalls-23

View of the site with the short stay bedroom to be in the fore-ground

Week Starting 2nd September 2013Move timber for roof of back wing from storage unit to site. Continue oiling lining boards. Continue building east wall.

Starting to oil the lining boards

Starting to oil the lining boards

Week Starting 26th August 2013Continued building east wall. Ground brass strip level with slab. Oil lining boards. Cut out template to make arched kitchen window.

Template for kitchen window

Template for kitchen window

Week Starting 19th August 2013Swapped left over rail line for a carton of wine. Six bulka bags of sand and eight pallets of limestone blocks delivered to site. Ground out the last of the ficus tree stump and poured the final footing. Ran more wiring in back wing. Glued in and grouted brass strip in entrance hallway.

Brass strip being glued in

Brass strip being glued in

Week Starting 12th August 2013Ordered Metecno insulated panels. Order steel beams. Cut concrete ready to install brass strip in entrance hallway. Purchased thicknesser/planer – started dressing up recycled timber from old house. It looks awesome. Set up KNX test board for light automation.

Figuring out the KNX system

Figuring out the KNX system

Week Starting 5th August 2013Greg home. Moved house on the weekend. Met with roof carpenters on site to discuss job.
Week Starting 29th July 2013Power got put underground. Trying to work out what to put between the ceiling lining boards and the insulation panels to disguise the white panel. Organise to meet Bondor rep on site to finalise insulated panel order.
Week Starting 22nd July 2013Finalise dimensions and design details of steel beams. Order ready for when Greg gets home.

Steel beam drawings

Steel beam drawings

Week Starting 15th July 2013Hunting down ingredients for wood oil mix – gum turpentine, pine tar and pale boiled linseed oil.
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The laundry internal wall taking shape

 

Week Starting 8th July 2013Greg Back to work.We are getting close to choosing a roof carpenter. Lots of emailsGetting plans together for next 5 weeks home. Drawing up designs for steel brackets, putting together a list of structural steel order to put in. Still shopping for LED lights (trying to find something that’s 24v and outputs 100 lumens per watt)Another storm came through. The fences didn’t blow down.

Progress as at the end of June

Progress as at the end of June

Week starting 1st July 2013We plumbed our water services to the water meter and turned the tap on for the first time!1st bonus… No leaks! 2nd bonus. We now have a tap at the back of the block. 3rd Bonus. If anyone drills a hole through the water piping , we’ll know about it sooner rather than later!The brickwork for the toilet and laundry walls are taking shape. The pot plant shelf outside the laundry window is built . Looking great.Dad spent many hours on the brick saw cutting half bricks for Nick (the stonemason) to lay the header course on the top of our first wall to reach full height! All happy to reach the top.

Laundry wall going up

Laundry wall going up

Week starting 24th June 2013Building the upper level short stay limestone walls. Nick started with the inner leaf of limestone first. This allows us to go and fix the water piping, cabling and insulation to the back of the blocks. The outer leaf is then laid up. This is a process that I’m sure we will be well accustomed to and familiar with by the time we get to the top of the last wall.The electricians installed 500m of electrical and lighting cable. We installed the KNX automation bus line.The plumber came and connected up the gas.World records yet to be broken. The utility power people came and energized the green underground dome they installed in the front of our block.

General progress as at 1 July 2013

General progress as at 1 July 2013

Week starting 17th June 2013Poured garage/ studio slab. Peter Danzi (boiler maker) was the first to park his car on it.Boiler maker came to site and we stood up the columns for the East wall.We finished the brick floor. It took 10 working days to lay the 1100 solid bricks. It looks awesome!Started building the scaffold for the upper short stay walls. Loaded up the scaffold with limestone.

Brick floor just about finished (yes, Alice is pregnant)

Brick floor just about finished (yes, Alice is pregnant – about 20 wks)

Week starting 10th June 2013Spent most of this week building a brick floor on the rail. A very amazing and satisfying job. Nick the stonemason and I were injecting the mortar between the bricks with a special mortar gun.A quiet beer was shared in the afternoon as we removed the mortar “dags” from the underside of the bricks.Steel columns for the main living area were delivered to site.Triple J’s Hottest 100 turned 20 years old. Spent the weekend building formwork for the Garage / studio slab.

Mortaring the floor

Mortaring the floor

Week starting 3rd June 2013A lot going on this week. So it was a good thing that this week , Dick (Alice’s dad) was over from Adelaide to give us a hand with pretty much everything. Thanks Dick.Bobcat came to clean up the front yard ready for the crane.Craned the rail for the short stay floor joists into place, stood up the power pole stair column. Nick started laying the 1100 solid bricks on the rail to make the floor.The boiler maker welded all the rail back together and fabricated an awesome “gallow” bracket for the stair columnMoved sand bags , recycled bricks, limestone block pallets onto the main floor to clear the garage/studio for laying the slab. Bury in pipe work, level slab and built formwork for slab.

Welding the stair bracket in place

Welding the stair bracket in place

Week starting 27th May 2013Greg back from work.Moved all the scaffold to site. Scaffold.. Check !Interviewing roof carpenters. Installed water piping for short stay.

Set up scaffold for back wing

Set up scaffold for back wing

Week Starting 20th May 2013Mick the Plumber got all the materials for continuing with the water piping installationNick (stonemason) and Tony (from Termimesh ) did a few days on site getting the last of the wall ready for installing the rail line.Meanwhile we are gearing up to get progressing on site. We have the truck organized to deliver the rail, a bobcat to clean up the front yard so we can fit the crane on site again. Have organized limestone blocks and solid bricks (for the floor) to be delivered before the crane arrives and some labour to help us move a quantity of scaffold that we are not entirely sure we are going to fit on site. Oh and the boiler maker, electrician and plumber are booked in too.

Bobcat clearing front yard

Bobcat clearing front yard

Week Starting 13th May 2013Gumtree is a very handy tool when building a house. Currently shopping for power cable (half the price than from the wholesaler. Save $$$), getting numerous contacts from roof carpenters, renderers and steel fabricators from adds we posted asking for interest, looking for a recycled jarrah door frame and/or somebody to make a door frame for us out of our recycled jarrah. Keeping an eye out for 135mm wide recycled jarrah floor boards, more recycled red bricks and limestone spalls (rubble) . Also lining up some more labour to help with the scaffold when I get home.Researching making 24v DIY LED cable lighting. This was fun. It wasn’t very popular in google world but I learned enough to think it can be done. Keen to give it a go.Ordered a box of electrical equipment (switches , GPO’s , junction boxes etc) online. Why? Once again, half the price of standard electrical suppliers. Plus, I can’t get to the shop while I’m away at work so may as well have it waiting when I get back. Save time and $$$.
Week Starting Monday 6th May  Placed our first order for KNX home automation equipment from Germany. (This may not seem like much but after 2 years of research and one hell of a learning curve we have done it. Feels good)A storm came through and blew the front fence down. No damage to the roof… we don’t have one yet! Researched and shopped for water / gas booster (It’s like an instantaneous water heater but can deal with heating up warm water too. On the few days when the solar needs a jump up 10 or 20 degrees. These are more efficient and instant than a water tank gas heater).
Week Starting 29th April Greg went back to work for a break. (well a physical break anyhow)We drew up the final drawings and plans for the steel columns to get fabricated.Shopping for Heavy duty 90mm storm water pipe. (really hard to find in WA)Communicating on a number of fronts and interviewing fabricators to made steel windows and doors for us.

More limestone on site

More limestone on site

Week Starting 22nd AprilLimestone walls for short stay are coming up and up. Really nice to see the first vast wall of limestone taking shape.The steel door frames and lintels painted and installed in lower part of short stay.Electrican’s installed a cable to the neighbours property to link them up to our dome when we get underground power. We are going for a record here as the application for underground service went in in December. Apparently something is going to happen soon so we are getting ready. (28th April??)Had timber delivered and stored in storage unit (it did all eventually fit).

We got it all in eventually.

We got it all in eventually.

Week starting 15th AprilSpent a few days fabricating the railway line into a grid for the floor joists. Continued with the block work and trying to keep up with installation of electrical conduit, water pipe and insulation. Main slab got polished. Injected resin into the shells. More limestone delivered to site. Run the gas line and the first of the water piping with the plumber. Ended the week oiling the rails with Fish oil and storing them covering with a tarp. Ready to install on site.

Laying the frame pieces out ready to oil.

Laying the frame pieces out ready to oil.

Week starting 8th AprilSet up the scaffold. Poured the slab on Wednesday – pulled a couple of late nights Monday and Tuesday getting ready. Pouring the slab, over the hydronic piping, with three different colours and seeded material is a big job. Had a few tense moments but really pleased with how it turned out. Continued with block work later in the week.

Pouring concrete over the hydronic pipes.

Pouring concrete over the hydronic pipes.

Week starting 1st AprilReally happy to get stuck into the block work straight after Easter. Very satisfying to see the limestone walls start to go up. Decided to put a red brick border around the bottom to act as a ‘skirting board’. Over Easter we installed the hydronic piping and Brad braised our brass latitude and longitude together. Formworkers and grannos set up for the slab pour.

Latitude and longitude being brazed

Latitude and longitude being brazed

Week starting 25th MarchA very short week with Greg having to go on training courses Wednesday and Thursday and Good Friday to boot. Still managed to get the back yard filled in, thus reclaiming a whole lot more work area.

Filling the back yard with dirt

Filling the back yard with dirt

Week starting 18th MarchGreg got home from work this week, picking up steel orders and talking to tradies getting ready to get stuck into the work next week.
Week starting 11th MarchGetting quotes for insulated glass units (aka double glazing), purchasing tap fittings and getting quotes for things like range hoods – anything that requires us to drill a hole in the wall.
Week starting 4th MarchMoved house again on the weekend, back to Smithy’s place. Many thanks to Barney and Kandy for use of their wonderful house (they did what we are doing at the moment about 30 years ago). It is good to have some company again though.
Week starting 25th FebruaryMore planning and administration – trying to get the lighting automation sorted out as we will need to run conduit and cables in the walls as soon as they start going up again.
Week starting 18th FebruaryStarted looking for pluming fittings (taps, showers etc) for the short stay. Met with form workers to get quotes for the next stage.
Week starting 11th FebruaryGreg went back to work on Thursday. Lots of running around doing add jobs to get the place tidied up and locked up for the next five weeks. This included building a door for the workshop and sealing up the ‘cut out’ holes in the planks.
Week starting 4th FebruaryFinished building up the workshop walls, installing the timber bearing strips and installing the Deltacore Planks The plank gets lowered into position

The plank gets lowered into position

Week starting 28th JanuaryA short week due to the Australia Day long weekend. Got the stonemason started on the final walls for the workshop. Ordered limestone and had it delivered to site.
Week starting 21 JanuaryGreg got home, late because of constant head winds while towing a barge to Singapore. Lots of planning and organising ready for next week.
Week starting 14th JanuaryPlanning and administration jobs getting ready for Greg’s return.
Week starting 7th JanuaryAnother load of bricks and some recycled brick we purchased from a reno in City Beach arrived on site. Painted waterproofing on walls where still required.
Week starting 31st DecemberGreg is back at work.
Week starting 24thDecemberChristmas. Not a lot has happened around site this week. Very hot.
Week starting 17th DecemberPreparing for the delivery of Deltacore planks. Never quite got there though.
Week starting 10th December 2012

Bruce and the boys from “All Polished Concrete” came out and cut back the short stay slab to expose the aggregate and the things we’d seeded into the slab. Injected all the shells with casting resin. Then APC came back again and ground the surface with 120 grit before covering the slab surface with two coats or “slurry” (to protect the surface and fill up fine holes.) The slab will stay like this now until the walls are built.

The combination of shells, glass and terracotta came up a treat

The combination of shells, glass and terracotta came up a treat

Week starting 3rd December 2012

 Started the week with a big day. Poured the short-stay, basement and crawl space slabs as well as cavity filled the walls for the front rooms. We also seeded the short stay slab with aggregate. Spent the rest of the week recovering. Removed all the formwork. Drove down to Bunbury to have a look at the timber being milled.

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The granos screeding and bull floating the slab

Week starting 26th November 2012

We started the week digging and pouring the footings for the front room and garage/studio. The next few days was spent building up the foundation walls, installing under slab insulation and Hydronic piping, building formwork for the slabs and laying out the plastic and mesh ready for pouring concrete.

This pattern of installation makes for an even distribution of temperature in the slab

This pattern of installation makes for an even distribution of temperature in the slab

Week starting 19th November 2012

On Monday the retaining walls got cavity filled with concrete. The form workers came back this week and removed all the formwork. Once this was done we could backfill and compact the retained earth under what is going to be the front rooms and the garage. Removed the old concrete floor from the outside dunny.

In the end it took an old-fashioned pick and sledge hammer to do the job, but the job got done.

In the end it took an old-fashioned pick and sledge hammer to do the job, but the job got done.

Week starting 12th November 2012

Fat Gary came to move some dirt around (roughly level the pads for the slabs). The brickies finished off the last bit of retaining wall. Form workers came in on Friday to form up and prop the walls.

A little bobcat came and helped us level the pad

A little bobcat came and helped us level the pad

Week starting 5th November 2012 Brickies had Melbourne cup off and then came to keep going with the retaining walls. We painted on water-proofing paint and installed reinforcing mesh between the wall and the starter bars over the weekend. The stonemason came in to do the first bit of face-brick in the recycled red bricks on the weekend.

Greg painting on black, bitumen-based waterproofing paint. The red things are cavity wall ties to hold the two leaves of brick together

Greg painting on black, bitumen-based waterproofing paint. The red things are cavity wall ties to hold the two leaves of brick together

Week starting 29th October 2012

The brick-layers are started on the retaining walls. They built the walls around along the back, around the tank and along the east side.

Half way through

Half way through

Week starting 22nd October 2012

This week we set out the footings on Tuesday and poured the concrete into them on Wednesday. Then the footings needed a couple of days to cure. Delivered the first lot of maxi-bricks on Friday.

Definitely a job for the gumboots

Definitely a job for the gumboots

Week starting 15th October 2012

The rainwater tank arrived on site on Monday! Installed by mid afternoon! Then the earthworks carried on as soon as the rainwater tank trucks were off site. 80m³ of sand has been taken off site to make way for the basement. The levels have been set for the concrete pads and the soil has been compacted and tested. Once this was done, the plumber came in and dug in all the sewerage and grey water system. We also dug in other piping for rainwater collection etc.

Down she goes...

Down she goes…

Week starting 8th October 2012

The beginning of this week was spent salvaging the last of the timber we wanted. The rest we put in a bin to take away for firewood. In all, I think we managed to up-cycle or recycle about 95% of the timber from the old house. On Wednesday the big machines moved in. Achieving a day’s labour for one man in two swoops, Garrett and the 14t excavator made a dramatic effect on the houses appearance! In under 2 hours, our old house was a neat pile of rubble. The old bricks from the middle rooms were separated and piled in the laneway. The limestone footings were carefully removed and stockpiled in the lane too. Concrete, tiles, insulation, rusty metal, rubble and tree roots/stumps were taken off site. Scrap metal was stockpiled and taken off site.By the end of the week we had a clear block! The site surveyors came and re-pegged out the site and set some survey pegs to get the 1:1 scale model of this new house started.

Nothing left but the outback dunny

Nothing left but the outback dunny

Week starting 1st October 2012

Rhett started milling all the lining boards and Jarrah for the short stay rafters in Bunbury. Meanwhile on site we have been demolishing the shed kitchen and stacking all the jarrah for future use. We pulled the footpath paving up to preserve it. Garrett arrived with a bobcat and took out the front wall and put it in the bedroom! (out of the way). We put down some road base to replace the footpath. Fondex came and injected under the limestone retaining wall along the east side of the property with micro-fine cement. We pulled up the timber floorboards and floor joists in the middle rooms. Towards the end of the week Dad gave me a hand to remove the tiles and roof timbers. There is no turning back now.

View from the top of the roof, now that the tiles are all gone

View from the top of the roof, now that the tiles are all gone

Week starting 17th September 2012

Taking down the back shed

Taking down the back shed

Week starting 10th September 2012
Greg had his birthday on the 12th And we got a building license on that day! A phone call from the council on this day also confirmed “You can get to work now”. Despite the fact we were still living in the old house we immediately rang the utilities companies and organized to have everything disconnected. We’ll see how long we can “exist” here before we have to move out.

One thought on “Timeline

  1. I hope you found some good plum-coloured fittings 😉 I’m enjoying the updates thanks 🙂 you’re doing a fantastic job!

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