Building, Structural

Filling in the floor structure gap

Things have been moving onwards which has been great. With the brick piers all up, we organised Termseal to come by and add the last of the ant capping. Although it required an installer, it was a quick and easy process and the installer done the job within 20 minutes. Our LVL arrived nice and early on Friday morning from Canterbury Timbers as well so we were all set to go for this weekend.

After fulfilling parenting duties and taking our son to his Saturday soccer game, Anthony made a start on the brick wall holding up the beam and used the grinder to make straight cuts to tidy it up. We also had a steel fabricator visit the site as we require custom steel c sections to wrap around the brick wall to deal with bowing under the beam.

Once he completed that, he moved on to adding the bearers. We have been really lucky as our builder friend has been lending his tools like the air compressor and nail gun, as well as getting us prepared for the floor boards by letting us borrow some floor clamps. Armed with the tools, Anthony was able to then bolt the new bearers to the other bearers. He then removed some concrete and bricks to expose the joists in the kitchen. The day ended with him positioning the joists in place but not pinning them down yet. It does look like the joists do not line up to the old joists, with a 30mm difference in height. We aren't really panicking over this just yet, as we can keep going with removing the internal walls next weekend, but it is a problem that Anthony will have to solve.

Now that the bearers and joists are in place, we will start focusing on packing up our kitchen. There'll be a lot of boxes to pack, but also dismantling the cabinetry is a job we'll have to do during the work week so that by the following weekend we will be ready to knock the internal walls down to open up the space. We have a plumber coming by to look at our kitchen and we will be ordering a 6 tonne skip at the end of the week.

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Building, Structural

Brick piers

Now that the concrete is set, we ordered in 250 extruded common bricks and some yellow brick sand to build up the 11 piers required to support the bearers and joists. We ordered the materials from MBS this time and came under budget which was good, especially since there are a lot more expenses to go. Saturday we had visitors over, so the only time we had on the house was to receive the brick and sand delivery. This Sunday was a better day to start on the brick piers, but before Anthony did, it was noted yesterday that the brick wall holding up the lengthy steel beam had a bulge. The bulge was minor and believed to be pre-existing, but it didn't sit comfortably with us, so we decided to get some advice and were told to place some acrow props under the beam temporarily, while we fix the brick wall and secure it. With this news I was worried that we were up for not only a huge cost, but also further delay to our already tight schedule. But it looks like we need to get a c channel and that should be enough to secure the wall and prevent it from splaying even further away from the other wall. In the mean time, Anthony has got the acrow props in and has finished 4 brick piers so far. It looks like a job that will need to be completed through the week. We have allocated another weekend for it, but then after this we need to get antcapping installed by a licensed trade, then we can get the bearers and joists on the weekend after.


If we are on schedule with the piers and floor structure, then we are looking at knocking walls down during the week of Anthony's birthday, so early August. As Anthony has said, when the walls are down, it will feel like we are on the home stretch. I know there will still be a lot more work to do after the kitchen is in, but we should at least be moving ourselves to the back of the house by the end of this year if all goes to plan.

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Building, External, Structural

The shed has a roof

Sunday was more of a shed day, we got stuck into it, continuing to add sheets on the roof. It was nerve wracking for me standing on a scaffold, trying to drill…its not something I’m keen on doing again, being 2.7m high on a wobbly platform.

The rain held off luckily and we kept at it. The shed finally has a roof on and just as we finished, an hour later the rain and a small amount of hail showed up. This weekend we plan to really finish it up. The sooner we get this thing up, the sooner we can move all the old contents back in and really focus on our house.

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Building, External, Structural

Goodbye old shed

Our old asbestos laidened shed has finally been put to rest, dismantled and now a pile of old smelly timbers and metal. Whilst we worked during the day the asbestos removalist arrived nice and early, backed their truck into the driveway and the last that I saw were putting up plastic.

After a long work day, my husband picked me up from the station and we did our usual dash to Bunnings, this time to pick up the remaining cabinetry for the laundry. It was at sunset when we got home and I got to see the shed piled up neatly in one heap. The removalist kept the studs aside for us which we are keeping for our builder friend.

I was so amazed by the space, but I know that this will soon be taken up by a new garage. I know that the hubby needs his man cave and a place to store all the tools he has accumulated, not to mention the 3 kayaks and bicycles.

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Day 2 of asbestos removal was just the removal of the pile of leftover timber and steel. The removalist turned up the same time as the day before, loaded everything on the truck, washed down the slab and waited patiently for his pay. It was all a very quick and easy process.


In the lead up to the new shed delivery, we have plumbers in on Saturday to do the last install. Monday we are expecting the shed to arrive, which will be built over the next few days after, possibly longer. We have got our old builder friend to help us piece together the jigsaw puzzle in hopes that we can get this shed built in no time. There are a lot of items taking up space on our patio right now making it difficult to move around.

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Building, Structural

Batten up! Ceiling battens, insulation and completion of rainwater tank install.

We had family from Adelaide come to visit this weekend. It was nice of them to offer to help Anthony out even though they were visiting Sydney for other reasons, so was really grateful that they would fit in time in their schedule to lend a helping hand.

Anthony and his Uncle rearranged the pillars of insulation batts and moved them into the laundry to make room for ladders in the master bedroom. They spent most of the day adding the battens to the ceiling and finished of the master bedroom.

Tomorrow’s plan is to finish off the ensuite and bathroom ceilings. Followed by the laundry ceiling next weekend and adding in the insulation.


So far we are aiming to be tiling our bathrooms during our Christmas break.

Our plumber has been a very busy man and hasn’t been able to finish off our job. He has some down pipes to install and to connect to the water tank. Hopefully he gets to it tomorrow as promised.

Plumber arrived and finished off the job today (Sunday) down pipes in, water tank connected and a new tap installed to the water tank so that we can use rainwater to water the garden.

Today we spent time finishing off screwing in the ceiling battens for our master, ensuite and bathroom. I have to say my husband and I work well together as a team (most of the time). I also think I’m getting the hang of climbing up ladders and working at heights. We both marked, drilled and screwed on brackets and clicked in the channels. While I as usual, multi-tasked between renovating and looking after the kids, Anthony then finished off the battens on his own and made a start on adding the insulation batts to the front of the house and partly through our master bedroom ceiling.


We then made our way to Bunnings to grab some cavity units, because we’re hoping in 2 weeks time to get started on the plaster sheets!! Super excited!!

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Building, External, Structural

Day 1 Rendering

It always feels great when I see people working on the house, because I know that we are that one step closer.

The renderers came by yesterday to prepare the windows and drop off some equipment. Although some areas inside of the house are quite dark now since they have placed plastic sheeting over the windows, I don’t mind so much knowing that there is work being done.

Today seems to have been a really productive day and a nice and sunny one too. The first coat of render has been added to the back wall and the patio area. I am so happy with how straight and flush the render looks. Makes me laugh at our rendering job in the other bedroom…guess that’s why you hire the pro’s. This was one area we definitely didn’t want to do ourselves.

I’m not only impressed with the render itself, but the guys doing the work have been on site on time and leaving late, keeping to their expected turn around time. I highly recommend them and will be adding them to my list of recommendations soon. Price wise it was in the middle range and considering how they have gone so far, we are getting more than what we paid.

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Building, External, Structural

Day 18 Bricks to lock-up…Complete!

The brick laying has been such an arduous task to say the least! It was a big call to make the decision to do it ourselves, but looking back we can’t help but feel proud of our achievements. I guess this is why some take on challenges like this – self bragging rights maybe? Haha.

There were a remaining measley 6 bricks to go and just like that they were set in place. Although I wish I could say we won’t be seeing bricks and mortar again, we still have to finish the gaping hole in the small bedroom and also the front fence, which when we eventually get to, will also be rendered brick. But to at least get to this point and officially say that our house is “locked up” is worth popping open a bottle of champers!

The final 6 bricks to lock up!

The last batch of mortar

Aidan holds the final brick, we are all a little bit excited!!

Filling up the hole

The other task for today does involve more bricks, but what’s another 270 right? Because we had to remove an old window in one of the smaller bedrooms, it of course left a large hole that needed to be bricked up. We had cleaned up all the dust left from the removal and installation of the new window, only to put down some more plastic sheets over the floor so that we could use the old bricks to build up the patch.

A great tip that Kurt from Lifestyle Building & Maintenance told us was that we had to soak the old bricks in water. Being quite porous, the older style bricks act like a sponge, which was interesting when you see the bricks bubbling away in the water. So this little bit of advice has probably saved us a lot of hassle.

Once dry, we will have to render the wall and repaint.

I think our son will appreciate getting back into his room since the couch is getting a little uncomfortable to sleep on.

Hole cleaned up, bricks moved across…lets do more bricklaying…

Almost there!!

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