Building, Structural

Patty patio

Finally settled on a concreter to do the patio! Woot woot! I had a few quotes, and they seemed ridiculous. We only need about 2 cubic metres and quotes were coming in at about $6,000. How can a days work cost that considering the concrete would probably cost us $1,500 if we ordered it ourselves.

I find it challenging to sift through these trades, some think they can take advantage of you and ask for an arm and leg. I just can’t justify the cost of someone creating a box and standing by watching someone else pour the concrete, to be $3,000 worth.

Good news though, we found someone who will do the lot. Here’s hoping for some good weather. Then we will finally be able to walk up a set of steps and stand on our patio.

Building, Structural

Bearing down

As I’ve been the one to organise supplies and materials to come in, I ordered the LVL Hyspan for our bearers and joists from Advanced Timber. The order came in nice and early on Wednesday morning (I requested afternoon…but anyways, you get that).

Day 1 of 2

Today Anthony was lucky enough to get a day off work to get his hands dirty and help Tony put in the bearers and joists over the next 2 days. Because Anthony works full time, work on the house has become a weekend project. I admire his stamina to do 16 hour shifts at his full time job and then work away on the house over the weekends. It has to come from love and passion…otherwise we would never have got this project off the ground. Bearers are looking good at the end of the day and fitting really well.


Day 2 of 2

The joists have now been positioned on top of the bearers and nailed into place. I was on and off helping the 2 men move the hyspan around, feeling a bit trapped in the grid of bearers and joists.

Perspective is an interesting thing. I was brave enough (am a bit shaky up high), to stand at the top and have a look at the new space. It’s a lot bigger now that the hyspan is in.

Tony also made some minor adjustments, cutting back some of the joists so that our wet areas would be level with the hardwood floor. Some nifty work!!

I’m also in the process of arranging for a concreter to do the formwork for our patio and stair detail. Hopefully I can find someone suitable to do the job. We’ll be using an outdoor tile with wood effect on the patio. Can’t wait to put that in!

The plan for next weekend is to finish of the joists and make a start on the wall frames.


The view from my son’s room. The right corner is where our ensuite will be. Some changes made so that the floor and tiled areas will be level, rather than stepping up and potentially stubbing toes when walking into the ensuite.


Anthony and Tony discuss the next steps


Standing in the family room


Pipe dreams

This week, we’ve moved on with the plumbing. The word “plumber” definitely has made me nervous, what with our past experience. What we were needing at this stage was the rough-in for our ensuite, bathroom and laundry. Partly set up pipes for the kitchen and get the sewer line outside of the house inspected. That was another thing that Woodorth Plumbing never done…they never arranged for any inspections by NSW Fair Trading. We also needed a new gulley set up…and yep! You guessed it…not done by Woodorth Plumbing.

This time we looked back at some of our past quotes. We also created a new ad on HIpages and decided that we would find someone ourselves. When dealing with tradies and first meeting them, impressions count. If they turn up at the time they said they would then it is just one step closer to trust. There are a lot of them out there that make broken promises and they haven’t even given us a quote yet, so immediately they are struck off my list. Then there are the ones that arrive on site and are very thoughtful, notice the issues and give you solutions, but also understand that this is your project, you are the customer and whatever you want they will deliver. These are the kinds of people that you want to hire. Of course, it will come at a cost. We met 2 plumbers that seemed reliable, next was the question of how much they were going to cost us. One plumber came recommended by our neighbour, and he was a lovely man, he took a week to quote us and it arrived in the mail – bit old school. Unfortunately he was just outside way too expensive. We then had another quote that was half the price, the plumber was quick to respond…we had to move quick…so we booked him in.

All is right in the world

Flowcorp Plumbing turned up and were straight into it. It was such a HUGE relief to see Adrian put the pipes in the correct place and just fix the mess that the other plumbers left. After day one, Anthony and I were so impressed by his work. What I was also happy with, was he left day one with the area clean, rubbish piled to one side and not strewn everywhere.

Inspection day is today, so Flowcorp Plumbing have organised this *fingers crossed* for an approval, then he’ll be back again just before lock up and then finally to fit in all the bathware and tapware.

Although Flowcorp Plumbing are still yet to complete the job, I highly recommend them for the work so far. The work was excellent and Adrian was reliable and cost competitive.

So plumbing…to be continued…