With the December break upon us, I finally have some time to catch up on the progress of the new build. While I have been able to manage the build process in between a very busy few months of work (sometimes I was only able to get home for one or two days between trips), something had to give and that was the documentation of the build. Thankfully, our builder is amazing and of course there is the internet and mobile phones for communication. Miraculously with all this to-ing and fro-ing, there has only been one or two errors of any significance (more on that later) which has been a real blessing.
Early September the second storey framework went up.
To allow the office to be constructed over the carport the concrete floor had to be poured. At this point the outline of the office roof could be seen and the house shape was clearly defined. The different angles of the house could also be seen.
Scaffolding was erected mid September to allow the block layers to complete their work on the two storey high firewall on the boundary between the two houses. The scaffolding also allowed the roofing to go on, the solar panels to be installed and the cladding to be fixed. The painter was also able to access the upper levels of the house while the scaffolding was in place.
For a while there it looked like a real mess, the scaffolding hid the house and there were building materials everywhere. It was just as well I was busy with work and away most of the time!
An early error that we were unable to remedy was the rear doors. As can be seen in the above picture these are bifold doors instead of the requested sliding doors. The window / door manufacturers had been given an early version of the plans where the architect had drawn bi-fold doors. As we were aiming for a zero step entrance we had amended these to sliding doors which additionally allow the easy installation of insect screens. Unfortunately the salesman from the manufacturing company insisted he had not been informed of this change and, short of making our builder wear the cost of replacing these doors, we were stuck with them. Yes, we could have insisted on the change, and yes it will make screening these doors more expensive and difficult, but we decided to keep the build process as amicable as possible and not sweat the small stuff – it’s a house after all and we can work around the issue.
The house is clad in cement sheeting. Yes, the cladding has a fancier name than that, but essentially that is what it is. Three different profiles have been used and after it was installed I could see the benefit in using an architect to design the overall look of the house. The office, with its weatherboard profile blends into the streetscape. The house, set to the rear of the office, uses two different profiles both a wide horizontal style and a vertical sheeting on sections. We have also used matrix board on the walkway to the front door; these large square sheets give the house a modern edge.
Wrapping around one side of the carport wall and office roof is Longline sheeting, an expensive cladding but I love the look. This is where the second major error occurred. A misinterpretation of the colour consultant’s instructions meant that one section of the roof has been clad in the wrong colour. To most people this would not be noticeable however I was fairly upset when I first saw the mistake as I had my heart set on a particular look. It was not possible to change the roofing at this point so we needed to come up with a way to address this error. To do this we changed the colour of the decorative shade screens over the windows to complement the roof. Thankfully the screens had not been powder coated so a colour change was possible. While I still would have preferred the original colour scheme, the overall appearance of the roofline is ok with the modification; again it is just a house so no use stressing over what can’t be changed. At least the screens came up well, their leafy pattern throws lovely shadows on the internal walls in the late afternoon sunlight.
The scaffolding came down in early November and when I last saw the house in early December the exterior of the house was being painted and the interior fixing was progressing, more of that in the next instalment.
Happy New Year!