Saturday, 12 August 2017

Another day of screwing the deck

     A beautiful day of winter sunshine and some more decking drilled.

     The moment the smoke came out of the hole was captured, it looks like a smoking gun!

     I figured out that if I give the screw a 'bang' into the wood before I start screwing, it stops the screw dancing around and makes it easier to put the screw exactly where I want it. Two more lines of screws finished, each one neater than the last.

     I also measured and sawed a plank of merbau to length to help finish off the end of the deck. I had to go through about 7 planks before I found one which was not bent out of shape. The planks are all a bit out of whack so getting them to line up against each other without big gaps will be a bit of jigsaw puzzle!

     I put the measurement line underneath the plank, and so turned it over to cut it. This unfortunately meant that the messy side of the cut was uppermost at the end.

     Next time I suppose I should turn the plank over and then draw the line, so that I can saw from the top. I will just have to make sure that none of the line is left showing at the end as it would be a bit unsightly.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Screwing the Decking

     The decking has been nearly half screwed in now, looking good...
     It is so lovely to finally have somewhere on this 17 acres that I can comfortably walk barefoot - pure bliss!

     I was given a demo on how to screw in the screws, a bit more tricky than it may seem at first. The screw has to screw through the wood first, and then through the metal underneath.

     The hole in the wood is a little oversized due to the wings on the bottom part of the screw, so it is a little difficult to stop it from wiggling around sideways. And as the screws are heavily galvanised to protect from rust, they are not very sharp for cutting through wood. This means that it generates a lot of heat as it spins around quickly while very slowly moving downward, so some lovely wood smoke comes out of the hole and the sawdust comes out looking a bit black and singed. (Don't worry, it is not a bushfire hazard.)

     When the screw finally hits the metal it suddenly screws downwards very quickly. The wrists get a bit sore as it requires a fair bit of downward pressure, unfortunately the screw cannot be relied on to do the work for us.
     After doing a couple of rows I thought my screw lines looked a bit wiggly, as there were being lined up by sight from a plank layed down beside them. I fetched the chalk line from the shed and had a go at using that instead.
     It is a very pretty blue line, so that was nice, but not sure if it made much of a difference to my straight screwing! The screws always do a little dance at the start and end up a fraction of a millimetre all over the place. After only 2 hours of screwing the cordless drill battery was completely flat, and the wrists were a bit sore. The generator has blown up so we are without electricity for recharging batteries at the moment. Next step is to cut the rest of the merbau to length.

    * Oh and I forgot to mention in the last update - also the 3rd post of the verandah had been erected! Did anyone notice it in the photos?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Verandah Joists

     The verandah joists have been put in, looking very nice.

     The merbah decking has also started being cut to size, leaving some cute little short bits to make castles with.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

First Verandah Posts

     The first two verandah posts have been put up, along with the connecting beams.

     The tops haven't been cut to the correct height yet, so don't freak out that one looks higher than the other. There is going to be a third post between these two.

     Next step is to add more beams and what-not. I haven't been very involved with these steps as I have been at a paying job, and by the time I get home it's too dark for photos!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Verandah Started

     Work on the verandahs has started. Brackets have been screwed on the supporting bits and pieces.

     They are bearers or joists or roof supporting things - not too sure!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Gutters Joined

      A few more days work and the gutters are now ready to put up onto the house.
First the end stops were put on the bottom ends of the gutters. This involved drilling holes, adding silicone and putting rivets through the holes. The kit home company have given us spiffy rivets which exactly match the colour of the gutters - Slate Grey.

     Then the end stops were put on the top ends of the gutters.

        Then we cut the gutters to length. After lots of measuring of the various bits and pieces that will go onto the side of the house at each end, taking into account the length of the fascia board, the downspouts and what-not, we came up with some measurements. Then we did it all over again to try and make sure it was right. Then I put the pieces in roughly the right spot and measured it - yep Josh's measurements were spot on. So he measured and started cutting the gutter - then I wandered along and said (just to be silly) 'Remember to always measure twice and cut once!' Then I measured it and - oh no - it was 10 cm short as the overlap of the two gutters pieces had not been taken into account. Luckily it was just a tiny millimetre cut which was easily patched with silicone. So it turns out that the old adage 'measure twice and cut once' is actually true. Anyway, then the gutters were cut to length without too many further dramas, leaving us two short offcuts.

     A test run of joining the two pieces by sliding them together proved to be impossible, even though all the gutter guides we had read simply said 'Just join the two pieces together and carry on with the rest of the job,' implying that it was simple and easy. A quick google showed that in fact there are a couple of things you do actually need to know - you have to cut a bit of the top edges of the gutter, and you have to TWIST the pieces together, instead of sliding. I wish that instructions would give a bit more detail for things like that. Anyway after knowing that it was much easier to join the pieces together.

        Now we have these annoying long gutters getting in the way. Next step is to figure out how we can put these gutters up!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Fascia and Gutters

     Today we finished the fascia board, by drilling holes and riveting the piece that attaches the two sides.

     Here is a picture of the whole house with the fascia board on.

     Then we started playing with gutters. We had to cut the holes for the gutter outlets to sit into. For this Josh marked the rectangles, drilled holes at the corners, put the nibbler attachment into one of the holes and cut out the rectangle. Of course there was lots of swearing and finicky readjusting before it was the right size.

     We have now done the outlets for the gutter on each side of the house. Next the gutter stops for the ends need to be attached with silicone, holes drilled and rivets put through. Also we need to cut the other ends of the gutters to length, we were given 4 pieces each 5.6 metres long which is ridiculously long. I think we have figured out that after taking into consideration the barge boards, the colourbond cladding and the sarking how much we need to cut the other pieces to. We want the downpipes to be as close to the house as possible in order to be able to attach it to the house for support. This measurement may change when we realise other factors which need considering. Anyway we can't start to silicone until we know that it will stay dry for 24 hours, and we have lots of rain forecast!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Fascia Boards

     Today the fascia boards were put up on their brackets. Here is the first one up. The installation instructions were 'Just clip them on' but in real life it was much more difficult. It ended up being easier to slide them in from the end.

     And then the second fascia board had to be cut to size, as for some reason they have given the pieces to us at 5.4m long each, even though the house is only 10m long - not 10.8m. We used our wonderful new cordless drill with our new nibbler attachment. It was a bit fiddley to get around the multiple bent corners on each side, requiring some fiddling with tin snips, a hack saw and some vice grips, but got there in the end. Those nibblers are fantastic! - easy to cut through the metal and giving quite a clean edge. Just required a little clean-up with a file.

     Then the two pieces needed to be joined with a special joining piece, with some holes screwed through and then the pieces riveted together. Today it was almost finished, hopefully it will be fully finished tomorrow.

     Then the next step will be the gutters, which need to be pre-assembled and then clipped onto the fascia board. And this is only one side of the house - all of this will need to be repeated on the other side.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Fascia Board Brackets

          Today Josh screwed on all the fascia board brackets for one side of the house.

          We bought a new cordless drill since the battery had died on the old one, and so we didn't need to have the generator running to do some screwing, which was nice. The other side of the house is on the downhill, so not sure how the ladder is going to reach in order to screw those ones on!

          Meanwhile I was doing some gardening and planting tomatoes, and also collecting clay to use to build my rocket oven. Always something to do!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Roof strapping mostly finished

     Another day's work and all the roof strapping is now attached.

     They still need some more screws and the tensioners put on, but it's looking good.

     We lost a day of work because we had to go and buy some more strapping, yet another thing the kit home company failed to supply us with. Oh well, a trip to Bunnings is always fun, we came home with a bunch of new toys to play with!

Monday, 17 April 2017

First Roof Strapping

        A couple of months of rain have halted progress a little, then last week I went through the pile of parts supplied by the kit-home company, and sorted them out into their relevant categories.
    Here is the guttering.

        Here is an assortment of 'customised flashing'. Each bundle has a sticker on it which identifies what it is, how many there are, how long it is, how wide it is, and how many bends are in it. All of these are just called 'customised flashing' so we don't really know where each piece is meant to go. I guess we will figure it out as we go.

        Here is our zincalume roofing sheets. I had tried to count how many there are, but they are so closely piled that it was impossible! I did the calculations for how many we would need to go across the roof, taking into account the minimum overlap required of 10cm, and I got 14 for each side of the roof - with an extra 36 cm. We wouldn't bother cutting that off the last piece, but just do some extra overlapping of some sheets to make it the right width.

        I had the idea to take a macro close-up photo of the pile and then zoom in on the picture to count the roof sheets - and it worked! Twenty-eight sheets, divided by 2 equals fourteen sheets for each side of the roof - which fits my calculations. I must have done them right!

        Today Josh got up on the roof and started doing the strapping. Half done on both sides, just waiting for tensioners to finish it off. Doesn't look like much in the photo, but the strapping is the two faint X shapes on the right hand side of the roof.

        Meanwhile, since Josh didn't require an assistant, I dug a hole. I separated the piles of dirt depending on which layer they came out of, and it was interesting noting the colour differences at the end. In the middle is the topsoil, on the right is the middle layer, and on the left is the clay from the bottom. I can use this clay to help finish the rocket oven which I have started making.

        Tomorrow we plan to do some more strapping, depending on the weather of course. More rain is forecast!!! Later in the week we are hoping to have a local guy come and help us out with the roof sheeting. Wish us luck...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Finished Purlins

        Another day of work and we managed to beat the rain to finish the last 3 purlins. I woke up ridiculously early and it was good building weather so I woke poor Josh up after only 6 hours sleep - surprisingly he was willing to do some work.

        It was all relatively easy since we have had so much practice that we know the drill now. Josh did all the measuring and clamping and setting up, and then I went and drilled all the screws in between. The drilling the screws in is the easy part, the hard part is climbing up the ladder with a heavy drill and standing in the right angle and height in order to screw it without a chance of falling down if the drill mucks up somehow. Unfortunately, just as we figured out how to do it perfectly we have finished the job - now we have to start from scratch and learn the next one!

        We have piled the merbau for the decking in its own neat pile, which looks very nice. This won't be our next step though, next will be the sisalation to go on the roof and then topped with zincalume roofing sheets. I have done some measurements to try and figure out how many sheets will go across each side of the roof and how much overlap will be on each one to make a neat finish on the far side. The rest of the week is meant to be rain, so will focus on other things for the time being.

Friday, 24 February 2017

One Side of Purlins finished

        Three more days of work and we have finished attaching most of the purlins to the roof. This was the view this morning as we went down to work on the site.

        And the view this afternoon of one side of the purlins finished. Three more to go on the other side!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Three more purlins

     Yesterday was the first day in a while that wasn't over 40 degrees, wasn't raining and we didn't have to do other important stuff. Josh screwed in three more purlins. The photo isn't so good as it was pretty much dark when we finished. These were all the lower purlins, the next ones are going to be even trickier as they are on the higher part of the roof and not really reachable via the ladder unless we unfold it. We'll figure something out.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Two more roof purlins

          Yesterday Josh put up two moree of the roof purlins. It doesn't look like much in the photo, but each purlin is screwed in about 20 times, and requires getting up and down the ladder a lot more times than that - exhausting!

Friday, 3 February 2017

First Roof Purlin

          Today it wasn't 40 degrees for a nice change, so work progressed on the house. First Josh used the angle grinder to cut the roof purlins to length. This meant that sparks were flying but since it rained last night there was a low risk of starting a bushfire - I took down a bucket of water just in case though.

          Meanwhile I assembled the wall frame for the bathroom.

          Then we both took turns to screw the wall frame together. This is the wall which has the bathroom door in it, upside down from this angle

          Then Josh screwed in the first roof purlin. It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but it is the thin blue line which runs all the way along the roof framing.

          Here is the view from underneath.

          Then we went to town and got ice-cream, it seemed like a fair reward! I guess the next step is to continue with the rest of the 24 purlins...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Kitchen Wall

     Last week Josh finished screwing in the last of the of the triple grip brackets which attach the roof frames to the external walls. Today he did some measurements and calculations so now he knows how long to cut the purlins.

     Then this afternoon we went down and assembled and screwed together the internal wall which goes between the kitchen and the bathroom. This is one which I had previously loosely assembled, so Josh showed me how to finish it off. I was even allowed to do some of the screwing! Then we stood it up temporarily just to see what it looks like.

          It finally gave us an idea of how big our kitchen and our bathroom are going to be on the inside. The kitchen was actually wider and shallower than I was expecting, after doing some 3D designs on the Bunnings website. The window seems wonderfully massive, and that's where the sink is going, but we still have to figure out where the stove and fridge are going to go, and what kind of cupboards we will have.

     The bathroom is a bit trickier because the window is not centred, so that means that the basin is going on the left side and we have to figure out how to fit a shower, toilet AND washing machine in the rest of the space.

         Next Josh managed to un-stick the piece for the bathroom wall frame from its neighbour. It was very thoroughly stuck together, and required lots of brute force with screwdrivers and hammers. I am glad that I did not attempt to do this on my own, as I would never have pulled it off.

     That means that next work day will be bracing the kitchen wall and screwing it in place, and assembling the bathroom wall, or cutting the purlins to length.