Building, External, Structural

Now we need a roof

We’re in the middle of a lull at the moment. After the couple of weekends where we had some momentum getting the wall frames, we have now hit a quiet period. It’s kind of depressing when this happens because just as you feel like you’re that one step closer to lock up – we get to this point and it’s like we’re even further away.

Currently organising a carpenter to do our whacky roof for us. It’s been difficult, also because it seems like everyone in Sydney is building and has taken up all the available carpenters, so the wait is about 2-3 weeks. Not to mention the quotes coming through that are just not adding up to us. Again, the cost of labour can be outrageous at times.

Because we have a street that is practically a one way street and cars are parked either side AND the power lines are low and on our side of the street, it poses a big challenge for us to get a trussed roof craned in. So we are looking at a conventional roof that is to be built on site. I suppose cost wise this will likely be on par with hiring a crane. The safest option really is going to have the roof built at our place.

And so the hunt for a carpenter now continues…

Building, Structural

Wall frames complete

Another milestone reached today. Anthony and Tony continued to finish up the wall frames. It’s looking really great! Afterwards, we walked around some of the rooms. Our master is feeling not so masterish, but I’m surprised at how large the bathroom and laundry feels. The best thing was walking into part of the family area and then onto the patio.

We are currently now sourcing a carpenter to help us get roof trusses in. This will be quite a challenge. Our roof is complicated with lots of hips and valleys, reason being that Council wouldn’t allow us to have a higher ridge line to the original roof. The other challenge is that we have a low power line in front of our house, which will make it difficult to crane over. I guess we shall wait and see what the carpenters suggest…


Standing on the patio


Our bedroom window

Building, Structural

Framing the house

We’ve been very lucky to have our builder friend want to take part and help us with the carpentry. It’s been quite frustrating hiring people we don’t know and to find that the work hasn’t been to standard, so it’s hard to really trust anyone. Even if we spent top dollar on someone, could we trust that they’ll do the job right or are just overpricing themselves?

Whilst Anthony was at work, Tony worked on setting out ready for the wall frames to be built and put in on the Saturday. All the timbers were marked, calculations done.

Saturday arrived and so did Tony in the morning. It’s been a great lesson for Anthony who is learning a lot from Tony. He’s learnt how to install bearers and joists and how to build wall frames so far – so much knowledge!

Putting the frames together

Anthony was guided on how the timbers were put together, installing the angle braces and nailing in all the noggins. After they established a production line, Tony cutting up the pieces and Anthony nailing it all together with the nail gun, they were them able to stand and position the frames.


The window is where our ensuite is


Positioning in the back wall

Standing out there watching them, as the timbers were raised, it was an exciting moment. The start of being able to see the little spaces we’ve been planning for. Our house isn’t a mansion by any means, and the rooms won’t be large as some, but it will be substantial for our family. We will still be able to have our family over as well, which is important for us since they live 5hrs away.

Putting up the wall frames will continue on Monday and we’ll then be ready to organise the roof trusses and a carpenter to install these.


So who’s pat-i-o problem?

We’ve hired a few trades now via Service Seeking and HIPages and I’d have to say that for the most part, it has not been smooth sailing. There always seems to be some issue or error that arises during the job, which then means further cost for us to fix.

After the 3 quote process we went ahead with A1 Concrete Works. Not only were we swayed by their competitive pricing, but their website had a lot of genuine looking photos in the gallery.

The guys arrived on the Thursday nice and early and were straight into it. They set up the formwork, things looked good. We all then waited for the structural engineer to come by to inspect, unfortunately – he was running late, but at least the job was passed. Things were a bit of a domino effect after that…

Because the engineer didn’t arrive when they were supposed to, the concrete couldn’t be poured that day like it was planned. We also had to get additional steel for the small slab we requested on the side of the house. The next day, A1 Concrete Works turned up in the afternoon as did the concrete truck. The pour started well, but all of a sudden the bondek was slowly caving in due to the weight of the concrete. The concreters hadn’t supported the bondek below. As a result there is now a dip on our patio, which has to be patched. We intend to tile on top, but it means extra cost in materials to fix this. I’m also surprised that the engineer hadn’t checked to see if the bondek was supported, but later I found out that the engineer’s job is just to check the steel.


Bondek beginning to sag – quickly had to add some posts underneath to stop it from completely caving in


The view from above…concrete is not level


Stairs looking good though

There was some potential to get into an argument over payment and who was at fault, and despite the quality of work, A1 Concrete Works were very reasonable about it. The job was discounted so we can then put up with the cost to fix the problem. The solution now means we will have to use concrete and put the tiles in place, rather than using a tile glue.