Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve

Everything is looking sparkly and almost nearly finished. Timber floors are being polished today and the concrete floors were revealed from under their protective plastic sheeting - beautiful and cooling on a hot summer's morning.

The building team has been working flat out and will continue until the end of today when they collapse in a big heap.
Living RoomKitchen - not yet finished! Clear and stained hoop pine solid ply joinery with reconstituted stone benchtops.Sunny central courtyard. There will be grass between the pavers to filter rainwater into the tank below.All limewash rendering is now finished to the blockwork.
Blackbutt stairs on painted steel stringers are now almost complete - just waiting for the decorative screen and handrail.

Monday, December 21, 2009

At the 11th hour

Although the whole house and landscaping won't be complete for Christmas as hoped, the inside should be sufficiently there to appreciate how the finished house will look. Here are photos from this morning - 2 days before the team has a rest after working 6 day weeks.
All concrete polishing is now complete. Entry pavers and slab show the difference between the internal concrete (and pavers, below architect's feet) and standard Portland cement with bluestone and hand-scattered coloured aggregate.
Stairs are going in today - no more ladders and steps made of salvaged ply and timber.
The floor and wall tiles (recycled content, glass and glazed porcelain) are complete.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nearly there!

Narrow chamferboards salvaged from the previous house have new life as fence palings.
Daniel, fitting the translucent roof over the Plant Room
The Entry has a outer, battened enclosure to allow for secure airflow through the house from or to the north.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Solar power and other trimmings

The 3.2kW bank of photovoltaics is now on the roof and supplying power to the construction team during the day. This will provide all of the household energy needs and hopefully a surplus to sell back to the grid.Rainwater tanks have some water in them and a few of the stormwater gullies take the diverted, not-quite-warm-enough hot water back to the rainwater tanks for reuse (see the small black pipe behind the downpipe).
Ceiling fans are now installed and some of the compact fluorescent recessed downlights.Doors in solid hoop pine have been hung.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The first pass of concrete grinding is underway, with the floors and sitting ledges transformed with the white aggregate (chosen to improve light reflection) exposed. The stair screen in the Entry and Gallery is now being lined with the original house hoop pine flooring and small bands of hardwood.
Some splashes of colour...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Screens and joinery

The locally produced planatation hoop pine doors and windows to the exterior have now been hung, giving a better sense of the spaces.
The Entry area is almost complete with recycled hoop pine flooring to the ceiling, sustainably source ironbark batten screen to the garage and soft finish of the natural limewash render to the blockwork.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Limewash paint to blockwork is now finished.
Fences are almost complete, all constructed from parts of the original house. The rear, west boundary uses the hardwood t&g flooring from a more recent addition and the courtyard screen featuring the original verandah posts is now complete. The front feature fence will reuse the narrow chamferboard cladding.

Hardwood flooring before...
Hardwood verandah posts before...After...
Chamferboards before...Stay tuned for next week's entry for "after"

Monday, November 2, 2009

A splash of colour

Cheerful, singing Rudy and his team of painters is now adding colour to the interiors.

Blockwork internally will receive a final coat or three of natural limewash paint. The lower floor is now complete but the main floor is next.

The soffit lining to the entry is a combination of the original home's hoop pine flooring and black-stained hardwood.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rains and tanks

Photos above by Marcelo
A fantastic storm last night started to fill the two 23,000L rainwater tanks beneath the front yard.. and the surrounding soil.

The builder's concern with the tanks is their risk of "floating" when surrounding soil gets water-logged and the tank water volume is insufficient to counteract the pressure, pushing the tanks upward. The ideal topping currently nominated is a recycled plastic grid holding finely crushed recycled brick and concrete gravel, allowing water to permeate the soil around the tanks and into the water table. The current recommendation from the builder and tank installer is to weigh the tanks down with a concrete driveway.

Limewash painting is almost complete and the VOC-free Queensland-made paint is brightening up the interior.
The timber screen to the courtyard, which will give privacy on both sides of the fence, will be constructed of timber from the original house. Recycled timber decking palings will be fixed to the hardwood rails, on the taper-chamfered posts. The recycled laminated beam supports to the River Terrace roof have been stained, oiled and meticulously flashed to protect them from the elements.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big hole

The last two tanks (47,000L) will be lowered into place tomorrow in the front of the house. This will make the total rainwater storage capacity to around 60,000L - sufficient to run the house and garden.
The last wall to be rendered is now complete and the natural limewash finish is underway externally. This wall will receive a natural clay and plant fibre render finish.