Sunday, 26 October 2014

All Bricked up

We had our Boral Sandstone Gold double and single height bricks delivered way back in August, as we'd ordered them just before the price rise at the end of June, and they simply had to be paid for and delivered back then.

20 pallets of double height, 2 pallets of singles

After many delays of getting the doors ordered and finally delivered, followed by having them installed, as the bricky we'd chosen to use said he would lay them until all the external doors were installed, the bricky emailed us advising he was pulling out of the job due to commitments to his regular employer, a project builder. Not much we could do, as our job was a 'one-off' to the bricky, and the project builder provides him with employment for the rest of the year.

front verandah with front door and external door to HT room

I've stained and put clear top coat on both of these doors, as I knew when the bricking was being done, the bare wood of the door would get messed up.

front pivot door
After a bit of hunting around for a new bricky, we ended getting one but his quote was nearly $4000 more than the original quote. Knowing that the original bricky may or may not be able to do the job after Christmas, it was decided to pay the extra to get it done now, rather than pay more in rent over the next few months.

bricks stacked and ready to be layed back of house
We went with off white mortar and pleased that we did so, as we were pointed to another house with the same bricks as us, but using regular mortar.

The side of our house, off white mortar

The other house with standard mortar same time of day
It appears the bricks are different, but in reality are the same.

front of house

As you will see in the photos, we put galvanised lintels above all doors and windows, and it does look so much better than the alternative of fibro above the windows/doors.

Looking down front verandah from garage end

Back of house

Back of house
The garage and laundry doors are half glass, as it's always good to see what's going on outside, as well as let some light in.

Never been a big fan of sliding glass doors, as they lose heat quickly, get hot in the summer sun (even though this is on the southern side of the house). Also you lose bench space in the laundry if you have a sliding door, and things fall down between the bench top and sliding door.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Special Site Inspection

I was just in doing some agi pipe extensions around the house and grabbed this image the other day of a special Site Inspector doing his inspection of the site.

He did have a question that he asked :-

"Where is this amateur tower thingy they said I could climb ?"

Had to tell him that paranoia had won out at this stage, and that the $6000 tower would not be appearing due to the tin foil hat brigade, that thought that amateur radio was a lot more 'dangerous' than having a mobile phone stuck to the side of a persons head or a leaky microwave oven in a kitchen.

Here's the photo that indicate the total height of the tower, taken by Logan Council officers from the street, that clearly show that the tower would not have been higher than the surrounding trees, and not much would have been seen from the road. I might add here that the pipe they held up was only a 100mm pipe, so the actual width of the tower would be less than 4 times the pipe (380mm) width.

I might add that the neighbours in the right of this photo were quite supportive of my AR hobby, even though they would have been the closest to the tower.

Friday, 27 June 2014

The Roof is now up

It's plodding along bit by bit, and it is allowing me to do bits and pieces before we get in there.

Just last week the roof finally got finished on the house, it took quite a while to do, as the roofing guy had other jobs going at the same time, and I made the mistake of telling him no need to rush for us and he could do other jobs at the same time.

At least this roofer did quote correctly and did not come back later to tell me that there was additional costs involved. The first one I got from either service seeking or hipages, and so far every time I've got a quote from them, they've always misquoted or not bothered responding.

A view of the house from the road with the surfmist roof now on, but still no bull nose verandah, as that was to take another couple of weeks to get a 110mm batten up on it.

A view from the back of the house very late afternoon, which also shows the SW3000 Solar Whiz fan.

I'll try and get another lot of photo's now the roofing has been finished.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Frame and Trusses up, Windows installed.

Have been extremely slack at updating this blog, and after about 3 weeks of having the frames up, I thought I should extract the 'digit' and blog about it. :)

Frames were delivered up the top of the driveway close by to the slab on the Tuesday, and my chippies put it up on the Wednesday.

The following week, the trusses were delivered, but instead of up the top of the driveway, they were put on the ground about halfway down the driveway, however the driver of the truck didn't pay any attention on the way out of block, and basically splattered our letterbox. :(

You can see in the second photo by the tyre tracks, not only did he flatten the letterbox, he drove over the top of the drain, which fortunately wasn't damaged, lest the council get up me for any damage.

After several weeks, the truss and frame company finally sent out a new letterbox, less the stand for it. Time for some more emails to them to get them to replace it, even though the post is around $10, it's the principle involved, as the letter box was a fair way from the road and not on the edge of the driveway, and dozens of other trucks have managed to clear it okay.

Edit: I made a mistake, the letterbox did come with the post inside the box. I opened the box up and found that the post for it is a 3 segment post that is screwed together. The new letterbox is there now, let's hope we don't get any trucks running over this one. :)

Dan and Jake the chippies getting close to finishing off the trusses.

It's now really starting to look like a house now. :)

 Just last week we had the windows and sliding door arrive from Bradnams, so the boys after wrapping the house in that foil insulation wrap R1.3 rating, put them in to the house.

The windows on the front are of a Low E glass, which have a slightly green tinge to them, but will help keep the heat in the house during the cooler months.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Worm Farm Treatment Plant installed

Last week we had Al from Worm Farm Treatment systems come up from Victoria to install our new sewerage treatment plant.

To top it off it coincided with the biggest lot of rain we've had all year! so by the end of the two and a half day's work, it looked like a boggy ol' swamp. :)

First step is getting the hole dug and the extra tie downs in the hole to ensure the tank doesn't move, even in very wet soil and empty/buoyant tank.
There's also some 100mm agi pipe down the bottom to drain off extra moisture that finds its way down there, which drains above the ground further down the block.

The tanks going down in to the previously dug hole for it, still to get the hopper on the top of it and the 'stink pipe' to allow the tank to breathe to keep the worms alive, as the processing of waste is an aerobic system.

Tank is now in place with hopper and 'stink pipe', just the transpiration pits, all 12 of them to be dug lower down on the block, where you see next to the driveway which get dug right across to the other side of the block. Those were done the next day.

Whilst rain on the day caused some delays, the biggest delay was with the Logan Council's plumbing department who had never seen this system before, in particular the fact there are NO pumps in any part of the system, so the entire system cost absolutely zero to run, unlike the usual HSTP systems, which can cost you $700 per year in electricity to run. Even if the block was flat, it only requires a 400watt pump that runs for around 10 minutes per day.  As I mentioned earlier, all the 'head honchos' of the council's plumbing department came out to see it in real life, so that were able to ask questions and get answers from Al who owns the business.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Slab now done

After having the drainage done, we were able to get the concretor in to lay the waffle pod slab. This was a two day effort, with day one involving the formwork and waffle pods being laid down.

The formwork and base gravel and plastic sheeing being laid prior to the waffle pods being placed in to position.

Waffle pods now in place and rebar/reo mesh laid over the top on chairs. Right now it is starting to look like there's going to be a house built here.

The first blobs of concrete get pumped up on to the slab, lots of reo and many more trucks yet to turn up.

A view further up the block, where you can see the base of my amateur radio mast, which was concreted at the same time as the slab.

The slab is virtually finished, with part of the formwork already being pulled away.

Then the rain decided to pay us a visit. Wonderful!

Actually, not such a bad thing as the extra dampness of the top of the slab could help with the concrete curing. Only rained for a short period, so they were still able to run the whirlybird thing (I'm sure I'll be told what it is), to smooth the surface out a bit more.

You might notice the recessed shower pans , as we're looking at a step free bathroom and ensuites.

Next step is to get the worm farm treatement plant put in and connected up.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Drainage done

After being told by the plumber he couldn't do the drainage until our worm farm treatment plant was installed, due to ensuring levels were going to match up, we got a call from him advising that he'd be here the next Monday to put it all in to place.

That's great news, as it means the slab can be done after this drainage is installed.

Got there early and advised the excavator operator the locations of the agi pipe that runs around the back of house, and assumed he understood the importance of the surveyors pegs. How wrong can one be ?

By the end of the day, he'd managed to dig up the agi pipe at both ends of the rear of the house, and managed to rip out 4 pegs, including the datum point in front of the house ! unfortunately I didn't stick around until they'd finished, as I had to be somewhere else.

Spoke to the plumber after visiting the block on the weekend, and he said he'd speak to the excavator operator about paying for the extra visit the surveyors to peg things out again, and would then credit me on his next bill. The extra surveyors work can to $412.

Next step is laying the waffle pod slab.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Piers concreted in place

The week following the Agi pipes going in behind the house, we got a call from the concretor saying he could do the piers in the next few days, which will be good because the drainage hasn't been done yet, and it should also give them a good chance to set and settle in to the ground, particulary if we got some rain in the meantime.

All the piers went in at different depths, with the one closest to camera only need to go down about 800mm, but the next one along went down 2400mm before it got down to rock.

Whilst they had the excavator with auger there, I got them to dig with the 600mm auger a hole in the position up the hill where I'll be putting my Amateur Radio mast.

The hole goes down a fair way as you can see, around 1600mm, but more on this topic in another blog post. :)

Water and Agi pipes

Been a while since my last post, and have been meaning to update things for a while, but simply forgot about the blog. ;)

Over the last couple of weeks we've had the phone pre-provisioned and the electricity hooked up to the circuit box that will eventually find its way on to the outside wall of the garage.

Logan Council have hooked up the water meter, and I've run the 25mm polypipe up the trench to just near the water tank, and then buried in sand to an appropriate level, taken photos to prove it was done to spec, and then backfilled the trench in. This now gives us water up to the house, which has allowed me to put down some Jap Millet seed, and can then water it whenever I can get out there. If it works as planned, then it will give me some erosion protection at the same time it makes the place look a bit greener.

So now all trenches from the front to the house have been backfilled, so my main concern of flooding rain washing soil through the trenches then out on the road is no more. Just have to get the sloped ground in front of the house greened up or erosion barriers put in place.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to hire a 1.7tonne excavator to bring to the block to dig some drainage trenches behind the house at the base of the batters that go up to the high spot of the block, so that water won't just sit behind the house to soak under the slab (being a P block with H1 character, you don't want water to pool and soak under the house). I put in some 100m socked poly agi pipe in there, backfilled with 20mm gravel and then soil above it.
The agi pipe exits the ground near the side boundaries of the block. Since the sun was going down, we started to pack the excavator down, only to have the neighbour on one side come over to question if we were going to leave the pipe pointing on to his block to 'flood' his block. Politely I advised him that we were not finished yet, and were going to ensure that it wouldn't when finished, poked him back with the comment that what sort of neighbours do you think we are, and that there's no way I would do such a thing to a neighbour.... I might add that my mate who was there helping me, noticed on several occasions them watching rather intently what we were doing all through the day.

Came back the next day to tidy things up, and ensure that the agi pipe was directed entirely on to our block, and cleared along my side of the fence line to ensure no water would end up on his block.

So why hire a small excavator to dig trenches, rather than a trencher ? Both cost about the same as each other, and the excavator digs deeper and quicker, and it also comes with several buckets that you can scoop up the 20mm gravel to pour back in to the trench... a wheel barrow would have taken up a day alone to do it all. The big catch is that a trencher is very easy and simple to drive, the excavator will take quite a while to come to grips with, particulary if you've had no previous earthmoving gear experience. I've driven backhoes and bobcats before, albeit I've never been licenced because of the lack of need/experience.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Excavation and water tank installed

Been a tad sidetracked and forgot to update the blog (can't you see, I'm not much of a blogger!).

Last week we had the excavations finished, the water tank installed and back filled, and trenches dug on both sides of the block from the road to the house, one to take the trickle feed water up to the house, and the other to bring the power and phone up.

The bottom half of the tank is now in place, now to join the two halves together.

In order to prevent erosion, I've put up some shadecloth mesh  up, and added some turf sections to keep the topsoil in place. Whilst there's still a lot to go, I've still got to get in the worm farm treatment plant installed yet, which means more digging, I won't be buying too much turf just yet. In the meantime I've thrown down some grass seeds from the local produce shop and been watering them and the turf to try and keep all the soil on our block, and not down on the road.

Our dear friends at Tel$tra have bounced us all over the place, as the Jimboomba Woods estate was to be all NBN connected, Stages 1A and 1B weren't part of that plan, so when pre-provisioning was to take place, the private contractor turned up, only read part of the plan that said not to connect copper up in the estate, and drove away taking our 'ticket of work' away from us, with the claim that it has to go through the NBN side of Tel$tra. Whilst I'd kill to get NBN connected up, that just ain't going to happen for at least a couple of years. Anyway, I've got that ticket of work back, and hopefully they'll come back to pre-provision the copper.... unfortunately in the meantime the 100+M trench remains open to catch the rain and silt build up in it till they're ready to do what they should have done back on the 22nd January !

I'm going to run up a 32mm communications conduit with rope inside of it, so when the times comes for the NBN to finally arrive, they won't need to re-dig the trench all over again, as they'll be able to pull the fibre through without any real effort.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Excavation and clearing has started

Was out at the block most of yesterday watching the earthmoving contractor clearing the block and starting on the the house pad.

It is now feeling like something is finally happening at last.

Forgot to take appropriate protection and got myself very sunburnt. Didn't realise until late in the day that even though seeking shade whenever I could, I was getting awfully red.

Anyway, here's a couple of photo's

This is looking up towards the house pad area, just behind the first row of trees.

You might notice the strip of lawn close to the fence was maintained by the neighbours, which I thought was a good idea for them, as it better defines their property, and keeps the weeds down from being close to their property. I would do the same if I had a vacant block next door, as the extra bit that you mow isn't that much extra anyway, and it makes your own block look better.

Looking at the rough location of the house pad from the east side, and you can just see the neighbours house and shed. As you can see it is a fairly steep slope,

Clearing has started, and there goes some scrappy wattle trees.

This shot was taken from a similar location to the earlier one, but now the pad is being levelled off you can see the neighbours much easier, but now you can see the mountains/hills in the north west in the distance. We were a bit concerned when the council knocked back our earlier plan of building just outside of the BLE, as it dropped us down nearly 2 metres lower than desired, but I can sure live with this.
As the house is slightly angled on the block to face due north, this view will be easy to take. :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

house plans

Thought it might be nice to show you the plans of our new house build.

A reasonable sized home theatre room, marked as media room to reduce questions asked by council, and a decent sized garage, so I can utilise it as a workshop and still have room to park the car whilst having space to weld or otherwise.

Garage door will be a panel lift door with insulation, currently looking at the Gliderol Insul-Glide, that will match the roof colour, which will be Colourbond Surfmist, as that'll help keep the house cooler in the hotter months, particulary as the house is going to be facing solar north to maximise solar PV production.