Why should commercial buildings have all the fun?

After a full on, two-week block of work out bush I have managed to fit in a weekend at home; enough time to wash the clothes, bake some healthy biscuits and muesli and say hello to my family, along with checking on the build progress.

The most obvious change was the finished paint job on the walkway – it looks great.

Why should commercial buildings have all the fun, use opportunities for individualising your entrance areas after all these are the wow factor areas of your home and can make a difference to the ultimate value placed on it by prospective buyers or valuers.

When we were considering what to use on the inside of the walkway that leads to the front door, we saw a great architectural product from James Hardy called Matrix board. This product has been appearing on new build homes in the area and gives a edgy, contemporary look, much better than the old blue board and render finish. 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

End of year round up for 2015

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.

The new build progresses

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Oh no, the rooms look too small!

Why is it that putting up the framework makes the floor area of a house look smaller than it is? Now, I know the house can’t actually be that small because it takes up a huge chunk of the site, it just appears that way. So I asked a friend – Google, and found out that this is a common optical illusion that has many people freaking out over. One of the forum sites said that the illusion was due to comparing the outdoor space with that inside the house, it was also recommended that people didn’t visit the site too often when the build was going on – obviously most people don’t live next door to their build site.


Having no walls creates the optical illusion that the area within the house is smaller than it really is. Once the walls are clad this illusion will disappear however it can be disconcerting at the time.

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Raising of the walls – and oops, knocking down some as well!

It was all hands on deck for the raising of the block wall. Orange and yellow shirts everywhere.I returned from my last trip to find I had a couple of walls raised on the building site, the start of the garage. After a week at home I had three walls, all concrete block, all different colours, and the jury is still out on those almond coloured ones. I do like the large boundary wall however, it is a brown-grey and tones in nicely with the old Queenslander, which is just as well as that is the side you will actually see the colour.

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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

Commencing the new build – Base Stage

Exciting news, the builder has started working on the new build. They actually commenced a couple of weeks ago but the inclement weather we have been experiencing has put a dampener on getting things moving, oh and I forgot to get onto the utilities organisation to get an access point on the new lot, more on that later.

It's so exciting once you see the first holes dug in the ground or trenches being dug, the building work is finally starting after a couple of years planning.

Currently we have a lot of holes in the ground – with quite a bit of water in the bottom of them, I don’t dare let the dog run around the block at the moment, as the holes are two meters deep. The excavating team have been been back and forth, attempting to dig the holes. Initially the block didn’t dry out fast enough though and the site was becoming a bit of a mud bath. They decided to wait an extra week for it to clear up and then of course it would rain again. They were able to dig some trenches for the block walls and the concrete footings for these were poured some weeks ago now.

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So just how much does it cost to renovate a Queenslander?

How much does it cost to renovate a Queenslander? A lot more than I thought.


Six months ago we had a two bedroom, one bathroom, one living room house. Admittedly there was also a sleep-out and an office that had been created by filling in the verandah, while these gave us extra rooms they effectively closed off the house from any breezes (not good in a Queensland summer) and made the living area very dark. The kitchen was at the rear of the house and there was a lovely rear deck however, there was no flow between the living room and the deck. Our average sized dining table dwarfed the small dining area and blocked access to the bathroom.

The original Queenslander home, all the beautiful features hidden, just waiting to be revealed.

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Moving back in – finally!

Work life has been pretty full on lately. I’ve been on the road for a few weeks now and only had a brief stop at home mid month for a week’s break. Even that week was full on with business meetings with the accountant and my wonderful business partner, training sessions on new programs we are trialling and starting the move back into the renovated house. Yes it’s finally at the move in stage.

The house is finally finished. A beautiful Queenslander with a few modern touches.

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