Tiles, tiles and more tiles

Do you know how many tiles there are to be considered in a new home? We have three full bathrooms as well as the kitchen, office kitchenette and the laundry. That’s a lot of wet area to cover.

Beautiful big 900 x 300 tiles can be used as an alternative to a glass splashback

While it appeared fairly daunting at first, I have to commend the sales staff at Beaumont Tiles in Brendale QLD, for their assistance in explaining the different types of tiles to us and helping us narrow down the final choices. They also have a great in-store computer program that allowed us to see how the tiles might look installed using various laying patterns. Read more

Timber Flooring

An exciting stage was reached two weeks ago  with the installation of the timber floor in the downstairs areas.(yes, sorry for the delay, I’m out on the road again and this is the first chance I have had to write about it).

Solid Timber flooring, Queensland Spotted Gum

We decided early on in the planning phase, to have a suspended floor rather than concrete slab to allow the house to sit lightly on the land. What I hadn’t realised at the time was that the new, energy efficiency standards meant that we had to first install yellow tongue sheets to form the subfloor. Over the top of this the solid timber floorboards are glued and nailed down. While this design increases resources and hence cost, there are some benefits. To start with it minimises the problems older timber floors had with gaps opening up between boards creating squeaky boards and drafts. The floor should also be warmer in winter as the yellow tongue forms an insulating layer. Read more

Base stage completed

My last visit home between community visits was a short one, enough time to throw my clothes into the washing machine before repacking back into my bag and a quick confab with hubby and the builder over building issues.

It was pleasing to see the stumps were all in as well as the bearers and joists down as well as some of the structural posts for the garage and main house, now it really looks like the house takes up the full block.

The house is now at base stage. All the stumps,bearers and joists are in. Also some of the posts for the carport and house structure.

The builder had a bit of trouble with the concrete pour for the stumps. Due to our unseasonably high rainfall this year, the holes kept filling with water. When they pumped in the concrete the water of course was displaced but as it overflowed it brought with it some of the concrete, hence we have a thin slurry of concrete under the entire house area. Correction – when handy hubby went to clear up the overflow around the house site he found it wasn’t quite so thin in places, hmmm we may have to consider putting in some alkaline loving plants in those areas. We will also need to punch some holes in the overflow under the house to make sure we don’t get water pooling and creating water traps for mosquitos. Read more

Deciding on Door Furniture.

I decided to talk about door handles this week, partly because it is an important aspect to consider when building or renovating, and partly because I’m a little disappointed to return home (very briefly) and find the vinyl still hasn’t been laid in the house and therefore we can’t move in. Mind you with only a day at home that is probably a blessing in disguise.

It's important to choose the right door handles for your houseOn the up-side we now have running water and operational toilets, very important. The painter has also completed the internal and external paint job including varnishing the internal staircase – it looks great.

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Decorative Finishes

Decorative FinishesHow often do you drive around the suburbs and see one boring brick or rendered house after another? I know this is probably a bit of a blanket observation and some areas avoid this uninspiring view. Those that do are often the older suburbs with a range of building styles and rooflines. There is also a new area near us that has been dedicated to Queenslander style homes, the homes display a lot of variety and of course the Queenslander decorative finishes. We have reached that part of the renovation where we get to add in some of the decorative features that will define the style of the home and personalise it. So what have we done?

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Thinking about roofing

Since we are renovating and building a new home and have the opportunity to see what else is available in other regions of the world, I have been keeping an eye open for ideas from the northern hemisphere that might translate across to Australia, as well as checking out the differences.

Tar paper roofing tiles with shallow metal guttering both assist in the management of snow and water in this climate.

Tar paper roofing tiles with shallow metal guttering both assist in the management of snow and water in this climate.

One area that has interested me in particular is the varying roofing and cladding materials used over here in colder Scandinavian regions. For example, in Tromso, the chalets we stayed in had tar paper roofing tiles; that wouldn’t translate well to Queensland – the tar would drip off the roof in 40 degree heat, I am guessing. I asked someone how the roofing was constructed using this material. The process it seems is to lay down the ceiling timbers on top of the rafters first then add a layer of waterproofing material followed by plywood, insulation, plywood, waterproofing material and finally the tar paper, keeping everything snug and dry.

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