Sunday, September 22, 2013


We are now halfway through the build.  It was a week of cladding and hebel walls.  Hebel walls went up on the boundary walls. A couple of full day's staining of timber, and it is finally all done.  Exhausting yet satisfying.  All 12,000 lineal metres of it - front back, sides, ends, wow.  Flashings in black arrived for clad upper walls. Timber cladding of upper level is progressing.  Lovely to see the front upper facade all clad. Weatherboards on eastern ground floor now completed too.  Progressing!

The first boards go up...

Hebel up on boundary walls:

More cladding!

Looking along rake on upper east:

Sunday, September 15, 2013


This week brought a few major milestones in the build: our front bedroom wall (the facade) was removed and rebuilt, and a new front window to replicate (as close as possible) the old one was ordered.  In the course of one day it was demolished, rebuilt, and wrapped in the vapour sheet.  The timber was completely rotten at the base, so absolutely needed to be done. New front door and side light arrived (the old door was unfortunately past its used by date).  I quite like the rough cast glass.  The U shaped staircase was installed on Thursday.  There will be a 50mm round oak handrail too.  Treads will be clad in oak, a white smoked american oak to match the hall floorboards. The builders trimmed back the rear concrete slab to fit the door tracking, so that the door tracking is flush with the polished concrete.  And on Friday the doors and windows arrived.  Black satin powder coated aluminium.  Look at the size and height of that back door.  The double glazing has been measured and will get installed shortly.  Lock up is not far away....Cabinetry drawings and specs have now been finalised, everything starting to take shape.  And the painting of the timber continues on....

Main bedroom with no front wall!

Old door out, nice wide entrance:

Gyprock in stairwell ahead of stairs being installed:

New frame on main bedroom is up and old window is out, all wrapped up so noone really knows!
 Front doorway/new electrical box:

 Staircase starting to go in:
 W outside new front door and side light, likely to all be painted gloss black:
 Rear concrete slab with recess to allow flush door tracking.  Check out the aggregate in the cut, looks pretty even so here's hoping for a great finish when it comes the time to grind the concrete:
 Stair case finished, notice there are no stringers either side ie tread finishes right up to wall, without a timber running down each side, nice and simple:
 Underside of stairwell over study:
 The boys helping out in the light court:
 This is the look that T gives me when I say it is time to leave the house and go home!! He loves being on site:
 Stairwell from upper landing:
 Doors and windows arrive:
 Rear open plan area with doors installed:
 Front raked upper window is in:
 Rear view today, with doors in:

Sunday, September 8, 2013


On Monday the roofing for the first floor arrived, and the roof plumbers were on site.  We now have a flat roof with a box gutter, lots of flashings.  Builder and roof plumber working on issues to get Velux windows to work on the raked timber clad eastern first floor, slightly tricky with the flashings.  Velux windows are in for boys' bedrooms and over stairwell.  Stair case is imminent, so the trimming of the frame to accommodate the stair has commenced.  We have managed a flat landing on our U staircase, so that is fabulous. Together with the velux window in the rake and the 2m long thin skylight above the stair, I hope this stair is light and airy.  Painted lots more timber cladding, but all takes time.  As you can see, T likes helping paint (with water) and 'sawing'.  Take a look at the hot air balloons I spotted from our front verge this morning at about 7am when I went to do the first lot of painting for the day.....

Stairwell almost ready for staircase:

 View along first floor hall to bathroom:

 Boys' bedrooms each have section for desk space under rake:

All that painting seems worthwhile when I look at the charcoal stained timber knotted cladding:

 You can see new roof, with ply placed across stair skylight, and velux windows on raked section:

 New roof with box gutter:

Sunday, September 1, 2013


We seemed to have made lots of decisions this week!  Another bath sourced, the original one returned.  Strip drains picked out.  Air con linear slot issue thought through.  Profile of weatherboards sorted.  New front door style, with side light, type of glass insert - all sorted. The remainder of the eaves on the ground level were finished, no mean feat. Frencham Cypress cladding arrived to site, the same day the scaffold arrived!  The weatherboards on the ground floor eastern side were installed, just before the scaffold arrived, to window height.  Our main bedroom weatherboards and linings came off, and yes the front of the house is almost completely rotted through at the base, could almost push it over!  So, a new frame for the front of the house is in order.  Number of original timbers which will remain after the reno - not many!  Builders put in extra bracing this week, in the form of plywood to address some engineering issues.  Hebel power panel arrived and ready to go up on the  two boundary walls, which will be rendered. Some insulation has also arrived to site. Vapour barrier sheeting has gone up on western side of first floor. Roof plumbing and velux windows are imminent.  Plumber spent Saturday roughing in the remainder of the hydronic for the first floor.  I spent Saturday and some of Sunday starting to stain the external cypress cladding - very time consuming. I like the finish.  W helped me out on Sunday, and spent alot of time bounding around the lower levels of the scaffold in his robot undies with work boots - the weather was lovely. We went up to his bedroom on the first floor together, he is very excited. Hope the charcoal will look good on the first level with the black satin aluminium windows and doors.  Slight fatigue at the end of week 9!

Main bedroom without eastern wall!

 Front porch

 Scaffold and cypress has arrived:
 Frencham Cypress:

 Charcoal stained timber cladding:
 Views from scaffold up high (not taken by me!)

 Look at that rake in the wall, lovely:

 W in his bedroom: