Thursday, 1 December 2016

Roof Trusses

I took some photos of the construction in progress as I was leaving for work today.

Then this afternoon I came home to this.

It looks like a real house! Here is a pic of the overhang along the side.

There will probably be a bit of a pause for the next week as life is getting busy in other ways. Also we are not sure how exactly we are going to put the roofing on! Maybe we will need that ladder?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Second Lintel

Today the boys drove an hour and half to a sheet metal factory to get a replacement lintel, as one was missing from the kit home parts. This cost $40 and luckily was a quick turn-around. After they got back Nic screwed some holes in the lintels.

Then one of the lintels was screwed over the kitchen window, as seen from the outside. Note the angry thunderclouds in the background.

Now there are two lintels, as seen from the inside. Josh has figured out that he can climb up the ladder and reach over from the inside to the outside and still reach it to screw in, so that should be easier than trying to do it from the outside balanced on scaffolding.
Actually the boys tell me that the lintel over the door was put up as well, but I failed to notice this when taking photos!

Here is a pic of the missing piece that Josh made up for the roof truss. It was so well done that it was quite tricky for me to work out which one it was!

The next step is to screw more lintels on - three more to go!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Finished assembling roof trusses

Today the boys finished assembling the last roof truss.
It's the one in the middle. The missing piece was created from an extra length of metal, so that's not a problem anymore.

Then it was time to put up some lintels.

In the photo below is the lintel over the bathroom window, as seen from inside the house.

And the same lintel as seen from outside the house.
Apparently these things are quite heavy, and it was a bit tricky screwing them in at such a height. This one was at the easy side of the house, so the other side of the house with a much higher drop down to the ground is going to be even harder! Do we need another ladder?

Meanwhile this little creature thought the wheelbarrow wheel was a great place to catch flies from...

Friday, 25 November 2016

Nearly finished roof trusses

The boys did another day of hard work in the hot sun, and have finished all the roof trusses except one of the special different end ones.

There has been a hiccup with the last truss because one of the pieces is missing from all the material that was supplied by the kit home company.

I think the plan is to make a piece to fit from some other un-needed bit and bobs that are around, as the kit home company is about 1000 km away. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

More Roof Trusses

Today the boys put together a bunch more roof trusses.

Bits were screwed into bits.

 The holes were pre-drilled so the tek heads screws were screwed though the holes.

Quite a few screws went into each truss.

There are 3 more left to assemble and then all the roof trusses will be finished.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Internal Wall Photo

Here is a pic of the internal wall.
I scared off a wallaby to go down and take this photo!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

First Internal Wall

Today the boys assembled and stood up the first of the internal wall frames.

All the pieces have come in piles

And they have numbers printed on them to let you know which piece they are, and the plans say where each piece goes.

Here's an action shot of the screws being drilled into the wall - all the holes are pre-drilled so the holes on the inside piece and the outside just have to be lined up and the screws screwed in the holes - sometimes easier said than done when they don't want to cooperate!

Looking through the kitchen window up the hill to the little generator shed in which the generator needs to be running in order to use electric power tools.

Here's a pic of the big screws which attached the internal wall to the external wall.

And here's a pic of the new bedroom doors, all stood up with our assistant helping.
 I forgot to take a photo of the whole wall after it was stood up. I think the next step is going to be more roofing trusses, but tomorrow we are running around doing other stuff. Life getting in the way again!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Roof Truss

Today the first of the roof trusses was assembled..
It was quite quick and easy, so hopefully tomorrow we can assemble quite a few - we need to have eight or so.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Wall Framing Details

     Here are some pics of the process of building the wall frames. First the frame pieces were slotted together, sometimes requiring some banging with a rubber mallet. Then they were screwed together.
     Then the bracing was screwed on.
     Then the bracing was tightened with special tensioners.

      Then the walls were stood up and screwed into the floor.
     Here's an action shot.
     Next step is to do some extra screwing and general tightening up, then it's time to start assembling some internal wall frames.

Monday, 14 November 2016

More Wall Frames Erected

     This morning the boys went down to the house site and did some more building work. There was already two wall frames assembled so they put the third and last frame together.
     This is the wall for the kitchen and bathroom, and they then erected it. It was a little dicey with the wind randomly gusting through but luckily Nic didn't get blown away.
     The next wall was the living room wall, which has a ridiculously large window. I vote we put the couch right in front of it and sit on it all day watching the birds.

     Last was the wall which has the sliding glass door in it. This will open out onto a small verandah.
     As you can see on the top right corner the local inspector Mr Kookaburra came to show his appreciation, very impressed with the new place to sit.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

New Wall Frames

Two more wall frames have been assembled and are ready to be stood up and attached.

The nearer frame is the doorway where the glass sliding door will go, and the further frame is the living room window, which is extra large and low down, so will provide us with great views. We have been having some gusty winds so will wait for them to die down before erecting these frames!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

First house wall frames erected.

          Yesterday the boys erected the first house walls. It only took an afternoon to get the 3 walls strapped, erected and braced.
     Shortly afterwards we were hit with a massive storm dropping 50mm in less than an hour, luckily the frames still looked good the next morning! They are surprisingly noticeable, the bright blue colour very pretty from every angle. They are also quite visible from the road too, letting us know just how visible the finished house will be from the road. Apparently the window openings are quite large, which is good cos it means that we will have a great view of them of the beautiful bush around us.
          Next step will be assembling the next walls frames and erecting them. Hopefully they will be quite quick and easy, although the weather forecast is for rain, of course!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Second Wall Frame

     The second wall frame has been partially constructed, this is a big one as it covers the entire 6 metres from one side of the house to the other, at the bedroom end.

     There are no windows in this wall so it is relatively simple, and the windows for the bedrooms are on the other walls. This works out better as the view through the end wall would just be looking at the water tank anyway.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

First wall frame

     Once again I returned home to discover that magical building work had been done.

     The first wall frame was completely assembled in one day by Josh on his own, all very smoothly until the top plate refused to fit onto the other pieces. The next frame will be assembled with a slightly different method, to try and reduce the problems with the metal warping out of a straight line. Also the purchase of a rubber mallet will help make the pieces behave themselves. If in doubt, bang it out!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Floor screws finished

     Today the yellow-tongue flooring had all of its screws and joins finished. I have been lucky enough to be getting home from work to find the work magically completed :)

     It has taken a few days of hard to work to finally get all of the screws in place, with some delays and frustrations due to problems with tools not working properly. You would think with 3 drills we could get one of them to work! At least 5 days have been spent down there drilling all the screws in, as each full size sheet of yellow-tongue needs 36 screws (4 across each joist and spanning 9 joists), and extra screws needed when joining shorter sections, so the whole floor needed about 600 screws altogether. The lengths of dark wood planks seen in the above photo is the merbau decking waiting for the verandah floor to be constructed, and are being stored on the house floor at the moment to clear up some room in the shed.

     The joins between the sheets of yellowtongue were also sealed with construction adhesive, and then the joins were taped over with insulation tape.

     We have also received the plans for constructing the wall frames, so we can finally get onto that step. Weather permitting, of course!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Yellowtongue Floor

     Josh has now finished attaching the yellowtongue floor to the floor frame.
     In this picture you can see the box of screws, tube of glue/sealant, and the drill, along with the yellowtongue sheets partially finished. It took 2 days of Josh working on his own to put all the yellowtongue down. They now just require a little more glueing and screwing, and then the next stage is wall frames. First we need to wait for the kit home company to send us the missing plans, it's been several days and still waiting for a reply...

Saturday, 23 July 2016


     Over the weekend we had some friends visiting, and took the opportunity to move the yellowtongue out of the storage shed down to the house site. Laying the sheets on the joists, we covered them up with tarps for a bit of weather protection as rain was predicted. Yellowtongue is a type of particleboard flooring made from "precision milled wood flakes and bonded with moisture resistant synthetic resin". This was provided with the kit home when it was delivered. Each sheet is 3.6 metres long by 90 cm wide and weighs 30kg, which Josh says is not that heavy and he is able to carry it on his own. It may not sound like a lot of weight, but imagine lifting a 30kg backpack or box - that's pretty heavy. When he and I were carrying them together I found it to be an almost unbearable weight, as for me around 15kg is just getting beyond what the limit of what I can carry. Whilst I CAN carry 15kg, I know that I am pushing my body to its limit, and doing so will definitely lead to long term damage (and pain!). So I had to tell him that I could not help carry the boards as they were too heavy for me.

      On the Friday before everyone arrived Josh carried 7 of the sheets down to the house site on his own, which is around 100 metres down a hill on rocky and uneven ground. He said that the weight of it was not so much the problem, as was the length and width of the sheets, making them very unwieldy. So he created a tool made of a camping shovel, with the head folded to a 90 degree right angle, and 2 G-clamps. This allowed him to carry the sheets underneath his arm like a really large surfboard. His body was very sore the next day after carrying all those sheets at an awkward angle, combined with the constant tromping back up the hill to get the next sheet. The boys helped carry the rest of the boards with two people on each board, and it was lovely to see all the work get done so quickly and easily (of course it was easy for me - I was just watching!). THANK YOU GUYS!!! All done in a couple of hours, after waiting for two months trying to figure out how to get this done.

      The next step is to cut half of the boards to the right size, and the other half will stay full length. I figure the easiest way to do that is to make a temporary floor on the joists out of the yellowtongue, and then lay them over the sawhorses in order to cut them with the orbital saw which has been purchased for this express purpose. We will have to remember to measure twice and cut once, as we do not have any yellowtongue to spare - and getting more on site would be both difficult, and expensive. We have 20 sheets, which is JUST enough, but could really do with one more anyway. Once they have been cut, they need to be placed in exactly the right spot and screwed to the metal joists. Hopefully this will be a trick that we figure out BEFORE we do it the wrong way!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Screwed Top Hats

     This arvo Josh spent a couple of hours screwing the top hats down.
     He has now started talking about cutting the yellow-tongue particle board flooring into the right lengths. First we need to re-arrange the storage shed, as the yellow-tongue was piled up in there BEFORE we brought up all of our belongings out of storage. Also I think we need a strong assistant to lift those floor boards, as they are HEAVY! Too heavy for just me and Josh, as I discovered when we moved them the 30 metres from where the truck dropped them off into the shed. Ouch!

Friday, 13 May 2016

More Raking

      The other half of the joists have now been screwed to the brackets, a relatively quick and easy job.
         After 2 more days of raking I still haven't finished clearing the house site, but I am nearly there!
     As you can imagine, a bucket of rocks is quite heavy and I have gotten quite tired of carrying them over to the driveway, but at least the driveway is looking better every day.
     While I was sitting there quietly sorting my rocks, a pair of yellow-tailed black cockatoos flew low overhead and landed in the nearby banksia tree.
     It has been a delight to watch the wildlife enjoying the new plant growth down in the clearing, with the tiny finches and wrens sharing bushes, and the cute little quails pushing their way through the grass. Quite a change to the birds which hang around in the trees around the caravan and the shed.
     Meanwhile Josh found the brackets which need screwing on next, appropriately called 'top hats'. He spent the afternoon bending them into shape so now they are ready to screw the joists to the bearers.