building, home

Tradies on Hols

Bricking a house

Progress has been slower in the last few weeks. School holidays might mean that the tradesmen have taken a break. But they were back at work early last week getting ready to lay the bricks.

However over the next week or two, the house will look a lot different as the external coverings are completed.

Building a house

Weatherseal and windows have been installed. External and Internal doors to Laundry and Front of House. Now we could get much more of an idea of the ultimate size of the rooms.

The plasterboard and front door

I am being asked about window coverings. In building a house, you are required to think a long way ahead. Before you anticipate you need to do so.

The MOTH does not like shutters, yet everywhere we go – shutters are visible in many houses. I do agree I don’t want shutters everywhere, as it tends to look too much, but it does say Coastal, and we are at the coast.

Vertical blinds are out, and if it is curtains, they certainly have to be easily washable, otherwise they are major dust collectors, and blow about in the wind. And we do live by the water, when wind is a prevailing force.

What would you suggest? What do you prefer?

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Another Step Closer

If you have been following our building journey, at A Home by the Sea, I can tell you that we are yet another step closer.

The weather Gods were not kind to us this week, but it is becoming more and more apparent that our building team are the very best. The forecast of rain so concerned us given that our upper floor would be open to the elements and the floor is not at all weatherproof!

So we were extremely relieved when our weekly visit revealed the builders had finished the complete guttering and roof (at least the roof that is over all upper floorboards) in just one day.

Timber Frame and Roof Trusses

Great team effort guys! (and girls?) *

*Note: No sexism on A Home by the Sea.

Perhaps they tried their very best given that a week of rain was on its way. I like that they are so conscientious and pro-active. They is very reassuring. We have come this far in four weeks!

And now the remaining roof, more plumbing/electrical on the lower floor comes next!

We decided to take some time out to support local business and mingle with the locals at the Boat Club. There is a great view of the Marina from there.

The large boat in the foreground of the next photo is a Marlin fishing boat, and the official weighing station is on the right of the photo.

I have to say that view was pretty hard to take!

More next week.

home

The Second Storey

Building a house

Our weekly visit, this week, brought us a quick reality check. The house now looks large, and we can now get a full idea of its double storey scale on the property with the second storey timber frame going up. The roof will be installed next week, given no issues from Mr. Weather Man.

We are pretty happy with the way it is turning out. Although I expected some more winter sun to be impacting the al fresco area.

But then I ask myself: am I going to be outside when it is cold, or snuggled inside?

Timber frame second storey

The front rooms of the house are drenched in winter sun – good for ageing folk who might ( I hope not ), develop arthritic knees and enjoy a good dose of morning sun, in winter.

Summertime will see most of the sunlight on the rear of the house, however this is the section of the house that will be airconditioned, and shaded by eaves, so I feel sure it will work out in terms of its comfort level.

Micro climate and Aspect

This is why we chose a north-facing property. Ideally, we would have purchased a property with the back yard with a north facing aspect, given that the garage limits half what is open to a northern face, as most garages face to the street in new estates.

However, you can’t control what type of structure is built on the parcel of land behind you in a new estate, and with smaller blocks requiring double storey houses to secure a family’s need in a residential house, the northern sunlight in a rear yard might be effectively blocked out by the neighbour’s build.

This is what happened in our previous home. It also equates to more energy use in keeping a home liveable, in winter, unless you are happy wearing thermals and coats, indoors.

Despite living in a sub-tropical climate, our former house was always so cold in winter; much colder than the northern facing townhouse, we are in at the moment. What’s more – because it is a townhouse, the garage can be located at the rear, so all the living areas and bedrooms can face north. Just glorious.

Days here in Queensland are so perfect during a winter day with cloudless skies, little breeze and low humidity; however, the nights can get down to single digit celsius temperatures. Not pleasant if you have a house style made to cope with sub tropical summers. Read: little insulation; lots of open plan rooms and large opening windows without double glazing.

So, a north facing block is for me, in my retirement.

Does aspect and micro-climate figure in your design for a new home?

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Framing a Storey

We have began to visit the little block of land beside the sea each week, as development is beginning to move rather swiftly now that the concrete slab and foundations are down.

Once the concrete slab had cured, and with modern technology, cement cures within a few days, so the termite shield and waterproofing can then be installed. From then, the timber frame can be erected.

Construction methods have changed immensely since the day that my Builder Father-in-law used to knock up homes in six weeks with a team of three.

Houses are larger and timber frames comes in pre-fabricated pieces. A Nail gun secures everythin in place in one day. The bottom storey was completed in just one day.

It is an exciting time, seeing all the preparations and plans emerge from the soil and take shape in front of your eyes. It is kind of like a young child growing up all too fast.

The second storey is due for completion today and the roof will be installed next week.

Looking good.

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Wilderness It Is

The builder informed us an error had been made and they had delivered the wrong brick to the Little Home By the Sea.

I thought it had to be wrong, but what do I know?

Tim checked into it and found they had delivered the wrong bricks. Austral will swap them over. That feels a lot better now. I can sleep again.

This is the Wilderness design – Blackbutt – with two shadows looming over.

It even looks black. Quite different from the grey with white flecks, seen below. They realized the bricks delivered on the palettes that had sat there for several weeks were completely wrong. Thank goodness we checked.

The waterproofing was complete and excess soil removed and spread out. So now we were starting to get an idea of the internal size of the rooms and yard.

More will become obvious when the frame begins at the end of this week. Then it will really look like a house.

Frame starts soon

Looking forward to that.

It was a gorgeous day in the bay with only a SW zephyr. Perfect beach weather, really. How lucky are we to have a piece of paradise to retire too.

home

The Slab is Down!

So this week things started moving on our new little Home by the Sea.

From this:-

To this: –

The Concreting team have been and gone. The Slab was laid last week, and by 3 pm that same day, we were walking on what would soon be our new floor. Woo hoo!

Amazing what quick dry concrete can do.

And this is what is underneath the concrete – Polystyrene Waffle pods.

Our block is all fill. The concrete needs to be able to shift a little when the fill settles, otherwise the slab and walls will crack. Hence we will be living on top of polystyrene.

Ah the wonders of modern engineering. Who would have thought polystyrene, something you can crush with your hands, would hold up a double storey house?

Then we noticed the bricks they had delivered! They looked wrong.

This is the sample we ordered: –

Austral Bricks – Wilderness Blackbutt.

A new range of coloured bricks.

This is what was delivered to our site. A bit different?

Should we question them about it?

We did.

Tim, our Site supervisor followed it up for us, and yes they delivered the wrong brick.

After all the time we took to decide on the right brick for our new home, even checking the sample colours in natural light and on demonstration websites, imagine if we hadn’t of asked for clarification.

We would have ended up with a house that looked very different from what we planned.

Austral bricks will remove the brick and deliver the correct one this week.

Phew! Another lucky break. We noticed it before they were installed!

Did I tell you it is my lucky year! I firmly believe so.

The frame goes up next week!