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Adam.M
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Adam.M
19 April 2017
4
Apr 19, 2017 7:48 am
The fact that they went out to look for it means that they will get a contractor (usually very experienced as they do it everyday) and seal the cracks from the inside. This is a huge cost to them of which they will strive to do it right the first time. It costs the builder $100 per hour to inspect and $2,400 or so to seal, plus material.

1. Is it normal? Normal, No - Common, Yes
2. should I be concerned with it? if yes, should I get another independent company to check the breaks are fixed?
The fact that they have spotted it, you should have 95% less of a concern. It took our builder 6 years to find our cracked pipes. Over the years, water will get to the soil below your foundation and cause all issues. Until they did the checks, we had no idea that there were cracked pipes. So the fact they spotted em, you are in a better position.
3. what kind of company should I call if I want to reassure myself and how much would it cost?
You can get a plumber that specializes in pipe inspection and repair.... at $100 per hour (that's builders rate) and it takes half to a day to check your whole house

One think I would insist and this is something the supervisor would be fully aware of is if the roof trusses are "free" from the walls. What this means is that when the chippy nails in the movement plate, it allows the trusses to move up and down freely to the walls. If they nail it in too hard or don't let enough "play" in the plate, it could pull up your walls.
The fact that they went out to look for it means that they will get a contractor (usually very experienced as they do it everyday) and seal the cracks from the inside. This is a huge cost to them of which they will strive to do it right the first time. It costs the builder $100 per hour to inspect and $2,400 or so to seal, plus material.

1. Is it normal? Normal, No - Common, Yes
2. should I be concerned with it? if yes, should I get another independent company to check the breaks are fixed?
The fact that they have spotted it, you should have 95% less of a concern. It took our builder 6 years to find our cracked pipes. Over the years, water will get to the soil below your foundation and cause all issues. Until they did the checks, we had no idea that there were cracked pipes. So the fact they spotted em, you are in a better position.
3. what kind of company should I call if I want to reassure myself and how much would it cost?
You can get a plumber that specializes in pipe inspection and repair.... at $100 per hour (that's builders rate) and it takes half to a day to check your whole house

One think I would insist and this is something the supervisor would be fully aware of is if the roof trusses are "free" from the walls. What this means is that when the chippy nails in the movement plate, it allows the trusses to move up and down freely to the walls. If they nail it in too hard or don't let enough "play" in the plate, it could pull up your walls.
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Adam.M
19 December 2016
2
Dec 19, 2016 8:53 am
Hi Perry

If you do end up getting a new stud finder, I highly recommend the Franklin ProSensor 710 Stud Finder. Not cheap at $99 but oh so worth it.
Hi Perry

If you do end up getting a new stud finder, I highly recommend the Franklin ProSensor 710 Stud Finder. Not cheap at $99 but oh so worth it.
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Adam.M
13 December 2016
2
Dec 13, 2016 10:23 am
You can try getting a man with a dingo/excavator. You will pay for min 4 hrs at around $400 but they are good at what they do. They will excavate your land, remove it (at an additional cost), replace with any soil that you provide and level the whole lot.

As for your questions, a) yes 50mm thick sleepers preferred as it will warp and bend under over time. b) depends what you want to do in that area, grass you'd dig down 150mm and replace with lawn soil, pavers same again dig down and replace with B grade crush rock c) max 190mm min 115mm to be precise but that all depends as we will need to see photos!

As for photos, check out tips and hints on this forum.
You can try getting a man with a dingo/excavator. You will pay for min 4 hrs at around $400 but they are good at what they do. They will excavate your land, remove it (at an additional cost), replace with any soil that you provide and level the whole lot.

As for your questions, a) yes 50mm thick sleepers preferred as it will warp and bend under over time. b) depends what you want to do in that area, grass you'd dig down 150mm and replace with lawn soil, pavers same again dig down and replace with B grade crush rock c) max 190mm min 115mm to be precise but that all depends as we will need to see photos!

As for photos, check out tips and hints on this forum.
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Adam.M
13 December 2016
2
Dec 13, 2016 10:07 am
Hi. 3 meters is excessive and I am guessing that they used 90x45 pine? Generally you would want to keep it at 2m max or 1.5m which would be better.

Some options, you could screw into the existing joist a hardwood joist that will make it rigid. You would only need to use batten screws every 30-60cm.

The other option is as you described, propping up the middle point and resting the base on a large paver. If it is large enough then this shouldn't sink that much but of course it depends on your soil. You would want to get a car jack under there to increase the height by 30-50mm to allow for settling.
Hi. 3 meters is excessive and I am guessing that they used 90x45 pine? Generally you would want to keep it at 2m max or 1.5m which would be better.

Some options, you could screw into the existing joist a hardwood joist that will make it rigid. You would only need to use batten screws every 30-60cm.

The other option is as you described, propping up the middle point and resting the base on a large paver. If it is large enough then this shouldn't sink that much but of course it depends on your soil. You would want to get a car jack under there to increase the height by 30-50mm to allow for settling.
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Adam.M
13 December 2016
2
Dec 13, 2016 9:59 am
Hi. I had a similar issue with water leaking out the side of the shower. It was a relatively easy fix by using clear silicone along the inner and outter edges of where the glass sits on the tiles.

That fixed that issue. The second issue was a leak coming out of the tiles outside of the shower itself. Water was trickling out of one of the grout lines onto the plaster board. I stopped the issue by going over the niche that we had installed with a led light and siliconing where ever I saw even the smallest of holes/cracks/gaps. The issue was is that water was pooling inside of the niche and found a small enough hole to get into and make it's way out the shower area through groutlines.
Hi. I had a similar issue with water leaking out the side of the shower. It was a relatively easy fix by using clear silicone along the inner and outter edges of where the glass sits on the tiles.

That fixed that issue. The second issue was a leak coming out of the tiles outside of the shower itself. Water was trickling out of one of the grout lines onto the plaster board. I stopped the issue by going over the niche that we had installed with a led light and siliconing where ever I saw even the smallest of holes/cracks/gaps. The issue was is that water was pooling inside of the niche and found a small enough hole to get into and make it's way out the shower area through groutlines.
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Adam.M
17 October 2016
2
Oct 17, 2016 10:33 am
Hi, welcome to the forum.

I can only answer for the 30sqm shelter/sunroof. Which ever way you built it, pergola or roofed, anything above 20sqm requires a permit. It is really hard to get around that one. Only structures 20sqm or under that is unroofed such as a pergola doe not require a permit.

Good luck!
Hi, welcome to the forum.

I can only answer for the 30sqm shelter/sunroof. Which ever way you built it, pergola or roofed, anything above 20sqm requires a permit. It is really hard to get around that one. Only structures 20sqm or under that is unroofed such as a pergola doe not require a permit.

Good luck!
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Adam.M
17 October 2016
2
Oct 17, 2016 10:28 am
Hi,

I had a similar issue with a Colorbond verandah that I actually built (so I only had myself to blame). The issue was the flashing at one end was lifting up at one end ever so slightly when a gust came by. Effectively I created a wind tunnel and had not screwed in the flashing enough. My containment (usually at some ungodly hour) was to shove some rags in there till I properly screwed everything in.

The only way, and hence my suggestion is to wait until a windy night/day and try and locate the sound. Your problem sounds like is to be able to do this safely. My gut feel is that there is one or two screws missing in a small area that happens to be freakishly picking up wind.
Hi,

I had a similar issue with a Colorbond verandah that I actually built (so I only had myself to blame). The issue was the flashing at one end was lifting up at one end ever so slightly when a gust came by. Effectively I created a wind tunnel and had not screwed in the flashing enough. My containment (usually at some ungodly hour) was to shove some rags in there till I properly screwed everything in.

The only way, and hence my suggestion is to wait until a windy night/day and try and locate the sound. Your problem sounds like is to be able to do this safely. My gut feel is that there is one or two screws missing in a small area that happens to be freakishly picking up wind.
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Adam.M
15 August 2016
2
Aug 15, 2016 11:05 am
Highly unlikely as the house frame/ walls would take the weight. The weight of the structure is spread roughly 50/50 across the posts at one and and right along the fascia board.

Does your house have eaves? If so, they would have sagged long before your doors jamming.

I would think your house slab has moved over time with the winters rain causing the door to jam.

Maybe take a picture?
Highly unlikely as the house frame/ walls would take the weight. The weight of the structure is spread roughly 50/50 across the posts at one and and right along the fascia board.

Does your house have eaves? If so, they would have sagged long before your doors jamming.

I would think your house slab has moved over time with the winters rain causing the door to jam.

Maybe take a picture?
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Adam.M
25 July 2016
2
Jul 25, 2016 11:20 am
Was there any damage to the bedroom e.g. discoloured carpet?

Reason why I mention is that unless you can pin them to a problem (as a result of error on their behalf) Eg damage to the carpet caused by incorrect fall.... you will be fighting them for an incorrect install to a standard. Eg, the slab was laid incorrectly, hence why my house is falling apart. It's harder to fight a builder on the premise, the slab was laid incorrectly hence my house "might" fall apart.

I know it's not the answer you want but that is how they play.

As an example, we fought with our builder over some structural issue as there was some cracking around the house. On the advise of a lawyer we moved in and (contrary to our independent engineer that the house was going to fall apart in 6 mths) 6 years later, called the builder to say that the door jambs had all moved up. I think they are up to $6k (still going) fixing cracked water pipes etc.
Was there any damage to the bedroom e.g. discoloured carpet?

Reason why I mention is that unless you can pin them to a problem (as a result of error on their behalf) Eg damage to the carpet caused by incorrect fall.... you will be fighting them for an incorrect install to a standard. Eg, the slab was laid incorrectly, hence why my house is falling apart. It's harder to fight a builder on the premise, the slab was laid incorrectly hence my house "might" fall apart.

I know it's not the answer you want but that is how they play.

As an example, we fought with our builder over some structural issue as there was some cracking around the house. On the advise of a lawyer we moved in and (contrary to our independent engineer that the house was going to fall apart in 6 mths) 6 years later, called the builder to say that the door jambs had all moved up. I think they are up to $6k (still going) fixing cracked water pipes etc.
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Adam.M
30 May 2016
844
May 30, 2016 12:47 pm
building-expert building-expert
Over the last few years I have seen about a dozen swimming pools built in highly reactive clay


I have seen 2 pools in the last 3 months being built around me... West of Melbourne... highest reactive clay rating. Makes me shiver even thinking about it.
building-expert building-expert
Over the last few years I have seen about a dozen swimming pools built in highly reactive clay


I have seen 2 pools in the last 3 months being built around me... West of Melbourne... highest reactive clay rating. Makes me shiver even thinking about it.
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Adam.M
26 May 2016
826
May 26, 2016 10:21 am
SaveH2O SaveH2O
When getting expert assessment, the first call should be to a geotechnical engineer who will do soil moisture samples at different depths and the second call should be to arrange a forensic plumbing inspection. There are too many 'experts' getting called on who are simply guessing and wasting people's money.


This is one point that is am relying on the builder's experience of such situations. The builder has insisted that this is a cracked pipe issue coupled with the truss brackets being "maxed out" which is pulling up the internal walls and door jambs. Although when someone says "I'm 95% sure!" I get a bit jittery. If I was doing it myself and was prepared to bare the costs, I would have done the geotechnical > plumbing inspection etc.
SaveH2O SaveH2O
When getting expert assessment, the first call should be to a geotechnical engineer who will do soil moisture samples at different depths and the second call should be to arrange a forensic plumbing inspection. There are too many 'experts' getting called on who are simply guessing and wasting people's money.


This is one point that is am relying on the builder's experience of such situations. The builder has insisted that this is a cracked pipe issue coupled with the truss brackets being "maxed out" which is pulling up the internal walls and door jambs. Although when someone says "I'm 95% sure!" I get a bit jittery. If I was doing it myself and was prepared to bare the costs, I would have done the geotechnical > plumbing inspection etc.
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Adam.M
26 May 2016
825
May 26, 2016 9:59 am
building-expert building-expert
I have seen more cases than I care to remember that could have been dealt with much better if owner got second opinion.


Inadvertently that is my point and thanks for stressing it building-expert. We took the structural engineers word as gospel but luckily we didn't do the same with the lawyer. Everyone took an emotional approach to the situation except for the second lawyer who was extremely rational (the second lawyer did not have as vested interest and albeit he seemed an a-hole, smacked some sense into us). We took the same approach and I have been an advocate of being pragmatic ever since and hence why I wrote this piece.
building-expert building-expert
I have seen more cases than I care to remember that could have been dealt with much better if owner got second opinion.


Inadvertently that is my point and thanks for stressing it building-expert. We took the structural engineers word as gospel but luckily we didn't do the same with the lawyer. Everyone took an emotional approach to the situation except for the second lawyer who was extremely rational (the second lawyer did not have as vested interest and albeit he seemed an a-hole, smacked some sense into us). We took the same approach and I have been an advocate of being pragmatic ever since and hence why I wrote this piece.
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Adam.M
24 May 2016
816
May 24, 2016 11:47 am
Hi all

I have been following this thread for ages now. In fact I was on of the first to reply! I thought I was a "slab heave recipient: until recently.

I also went through a phase where i thought that my slab was incorrectly installed etc. I'll try to explain it as abbreviated as possible.

We built our house in 2010 and found cracking along the side. We enlisted a structural engineer who swore black and blue that the slab was incorrectly laid and that the house will fall apart in 6 months. After a long and protracted to and fro with the builder, 2 lawyers and a lot of stress, we moved into our house. We received probably one of the best advise ever from the second lawyer... "right now you have some cracks along the house... so what? What leg do you have to stand on... your house "maybe" will fall apart? Move in, come back to me in 12 months". Well we never did. 6 years later we decided to go back to the builder and say that we were not happy about the door jambs moving up. The same builder that we had so much hate for came back a week later, released the brackets in the roof that was causing the door jambs to lift, did a full inspection of the sewer and stormwater and found three severed stormwater pipes that would have occurred during construction. A week after that they came back and patched the pipes at great expenses, were not happy with the first inspection on the sewer and ordered another round. Found that there was a hard to get to leak occurring and have promised to fix that.

All in the, the slab heave as such was not the issue due to incorrect installation, but more so water build up from cracked pipes. I asked the builders Maintenance guy why wasn't this picked up 6 years ago? He replied saying that they have have gotten wiser over the years identifying such issues.

What I am trying to get at is if I would have gone with the first lawyer and engineer which both said "sue sue sue!!!" I think I would be white haired and $80k in debt by now.
Hi all

I have been following this thread for ages now. In fact I was on of the first to reply! I thought I was a "slab heave recipient: until recently.

I also went through a phase where i thought that my slab was incorrectly installed etc. I'll try to explain it as abbreviated as possible.

We built our house in 2010 and found cracking along the side. We enlisted a structural engineer who swore black and blue that the slab was incorrectly laid and that the house will fall apart in 6 months. After a long and protracted to and fro with the builder, 2 lawyers and a lot of stress, we moved into our house. We received probably one of the best advise ever from the second lawyer... "right now you have some cracks along the house... so what? What leg do you have to stand on... your house "maybe" will fall apart? Move in, come back to me in 12 months". Well we never did. 6 years later we decided to go back to the builder and say that we were not happy about the door jambs moving up. The same builder that we had so much hate for came back a week later, released the brackets in the roof that was causing the door jambs to lift, did a full inspection of the sewer and stormwater and found three severed stormwater pipes that would have occurred during construction. A week after that they came back and patched the pipes at great expenses, were not happy with the first inspection on the sewer and ordered another round. Found that there was a hard to get to leak occurring and have promised to fix that.

All in the, the slab heave as such was not the issue due to incorrect installation, but more so water build up from cracked pipes. I asked the builders Maintenance guy why wasn't this picked up 6 years ago? He replied saying that they have have gotten wiser over the years identifying such issues.

What I am trying to get at is if I would have gone with the first lawyer and engineer which both said "sue sue sue!!!" I think I would be white haired and $80k in debt by now.
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Adam.M
12 May 2016
2
May 12, 2016 1:47 pm
Some of my thoughts:

Most likely the concrete base did not have reinforcement and a compressed road base so it wouldn't take much to crack. The tree roots could have led to the crack by sucking all of the water around it and leaving the rest of the soil with moisture. The dry soil would have contracted and the moisture laden soil would have expanded the soil. This is made easier if there wasn't a decent road base under the concrete. Concrete doesn't like this and therefore cracks.

The same can happen to the house as there would be little moisture in one area vs the rest of the house. Most importantly, you do not want to be in that situation. Look up on Google methods to eliminate the root and source.

If the source is the neighbour, I would kindly inform them of the issue and how close it is to their house (being civil and all). Even if you pour glyphosate in the crack it might only delay the process as the roots will always want to hunt moisture especially if the tree is under stress..

As for a fix, I have roughly the same issue (minus roots) of which my plan is to fill the gap with either concrete, cement or sand. Then rolling a meter wides worth of builders plastic and no nail glue down to the concrete. Then re-sand and re-pave. It might only be a temp fix and I am happy to hear other peoples ideas.
Some of my thoughts:

Most likely the concrete base did not have reinforcement and a compressed road base so it wouldn't take much to crack. The tree roots could have led to the crack by sucking all of the water around it and leaving the rest of the soil with moisture. The dry soil would have contracted and the moisture laden soil would have expanded the soil. This is made easier if there wasn't a decent road base under the concrete. Concrete doesn't like this and therefore cracks.

The same can happen to the house as there would be little moisture in one area vs the rest of the house. Most importantly, you do not want to be in that situation. Look up on Google methods to eliminate the root and source.

If the source is the neighbour, I would kindly inform them of the issue and how close it is to their house (being civil and all). Even if you pour glyphosate in the crack it might only delay the process as the roots will always want to hunt moisture especially if the tree is under stress..

As for a fix, I have roughly the same issue (minus roots) of which my plan is to fill the gap with either concrete, cement or sand. Then rolling a meter wides worth of builders plastic and no nail glue down to the concrete. Then re-sand and re-pave. It might only be a temp fix and I am happy to hear other peoples ideas.
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Adam.M
18 February 2016
2
Feb 18, 2016 8:43 am
My thoughts on mod decking in general. I haven’t used ekodeck as such. If you want total maintenance free, opt for the darkest colour eg. Slate grey as this colour will not show marks, dust, pot marks as easy as the colour Redwood. This is a proviso you are not concerned about the sheer heat of full exposed flooring to the sun which will make it as hot as walking on the road.

Otherwise, installation is relatively easy, try keep to complete length boards so you don’t have warp or shrinkage issues at butt joins.
My thoughts on mod decking in general. I haven’t used ekodeck as such. If you want total maintenance free, opt for the darkest colour eg. Slate grey as this colour will not show marks, dust, pot marks as easy as the colour Redwood. This is a proviso you are not concerned about the sheer heat of full exposed flooring to the sun which will make it as hot as walking on the road.

Otherwise, installation is relatively easy, try keep to complete length boards so you don’t have warp or shrinkage issues at butt joins.
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Adam.M
21 January 2016
2
Jan 21, 2016 10:57 pm
Built not building. Does that help?
Built not building. Does that help?
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Adam.M
11 January 2016
8
Jan 11, 2016 10:45 pm
dkun0457 dkun0457
- have you had any experience with cardboard tubes for making concrete footings? I am thinking of going your second option for making footings and these tubes look like an error free way of making level footings.

Good to hear you are in "acceptance stage"! Cardboard tubes are only required for sandy situations where there is a risk of the hole collapsing. You have a decent amount of time to level off the concrete and you wouldn't need any more than a small spirit level and a trowel. It doesn't have to be absolute dead straight. Just make sure you will have enough space to fit the small post you will chuck in there or make the top of the footing almost right underneath your bearer so all you will need to do is to bolt the bearer direct to the adjustable stirrup.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- I don't quite understand your 10 footings. I can understand four under each bearer, that's what I put in the drawings, but what do you mean by the 'two at the ends'.

That's my mistake. You will have 1 ledger and two bearers. 4 supports under each bearer and the bearer furthest from the wall will have each end attached to the verandah posts which means you only have to dig 4 + 2 =6 holes. That's if you are attaching it to the verandah still.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- how deep would you dig your footings? Does it depend on when you hit solid ground/clay? In that case it would be like 150mm for me.
Minimum according to AS 1684 is 300diam x 650deep (the area each post will be supporting less than 5m2). It's the sheer mass of the footing/concrete that supports your deck. But also good to go bigger than smaller to avoid issues in the future.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- I am definitely planning to use the offcuts to make up the difference, my question was more to do with the inevitable but joints. I have to screw down the decking screws 20mm from the end of each board and you say 5mm between board ends. This would make 45mm between screws at a butt joint. Is that not the width of a joist? Do I just angle the screws to grab the joist or put two joists next to each other?

If I read the installation guide right, 20mm is from the edges of the board and 15mm is the min spacing between the end of the board at the fastener. The 5mm I am stating is the gap you need to leave between two boards butting each other. Yes the biggest detractors of mod wood. I have seen the gaps filled with same coloured silicone to cover it up. You'd have to ask yourself if it's a deal breaker. A good practice when screwing a butt join is to angle the screw into the middle of the joist by a few degrees to ensure you get a good grip.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- last question, how would you transport 5.4m lengths of decking from store to home?? I only have a RAV4! I know it's a silly question but I just need confirmation that I need to hire a truck or ute or something?

Your easiest bet is to go to Masters (if you have one close) and hire their ute for a daily rate +100km for $65. It'll be cheaper than most methods. Noone is going to pull you up for driving a masters ute into a Bunnings Yard. I have done it heaps of time.

No such thing as a silly question... all questions lead to enlightenment - Dr Karl
dkun0457 dkun0457
- have you had any experience with cardboard tubes for making concrete footings? I am thinking of going your second option for making footings and these tubes look like an error free way of making level footings.

Good to hear you are in "acceptance stage"! Cardboard tubes are only required for sandy situations where there is a risk of the hole collapsing. You have a decent amount of time to level off the concrete and you wouldn't need any more than a small spirit level and a trowel. It doesn't have to be absolute dead straight. Just make sure you will have enough space to fit the small post you will chuck in there or make the top of the footing almost right underneath your bearer so all you will need to do is to bolt the bearer direct to the adjustable stirrup.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- I don't quite understand your 10 footings. I can understand four under each bearer, that's what I put in the drawings, but what do you mean by the 'two at the ends'.

That's my mistake. You will have 1 ledger and two bearers. 4 supports under each bearer and the bearer furthest from the wall will have each end attached to the verandah posts which means you only have to dig 4 + 2 =6 holes. That's if you are attaching it to the verandah still.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- how deep would you dig your footings? Does it depend on when you hit solid ground/clay? In that case it would be like 150mm for me.
Minimum according to AS 1684 is 300diam x 650deep (the area each post will be supporting less than 5m2). It's the sheer mass of the footing/concrete that supports your deck. But also good to go bigger than smaller to avoid issues in the future.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- I am definitely planning to use the offcuts to make up the difference, my question was more to do with the inevitable but joints. I have to screw down the decking screws 20mm from the end of each board and you say 5mm between board ends. This would make 45mm between screws at a butt joint. Is that not the width of a joist? Do I just angle the screws to grab the joist or put two joists next to each other?

If I read the installation guide right, 20mm is from the edges of the board and 15mm is the min spacing between the end of the board at the fastener. The 5mm I am stating is the gap you need to leave between two boards butting each other. Yes the biggest detractors of mod wood. I have seen the gaps filled with same coloured silicone to cover it up. You'd have to ask yourself if it's a deal breaker. A good practice when screwing a butt join is to angle the screw into the middle of the joist by a few degrees to ensure you get a good grip.

dkun0457 dkun0457
- last question, how would you transport 5.4m lengths of decking from store to home?? I only have a RAV4! I know it's a silly question but I just need confirmation that I need to hire a truck or ute or something?

Your easiest bet is to go to Masters (if you have one close) and hire their ute for a daily rate +100km for $65. It'll be cheaper than most methods. Noone is going to pull you up for driving a masters ute into a Bunnings Yard. I have done it heaps of time.

No such thing as a silly question... all questions lead to enlightenment - Dr Karl
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Adam.M
11 January 2016
5
Jan 11, 2016 11:17 am
dkun0457 dkun0457
I didn't think of voiding the warranty by attaching the deck to the posts. Great tip!

As a side note... It’s only two holes but I would insist to see the holes once they are dug to confirm they are against the spec. I am not sure what they are but I am guessing they would have to be greater than 300diam by 600deep.
dkun0457 dkun0457
The reason I ask so many questions about the footings is that I see this to be one of the messiest parts of the project. Wood I am fine with. Concrete, and particularly having to pour it around stirrups that need to be in an exact location, exact height and plumb, is a bit daunting. And I'll have to do 15-25!! Any tips in this area?

Like “The 5 Stages of grief”, so goes “The 5 Stage of drawing your deck plans”. Step 1… “Denial” that you have to dig so many holes. Step 2… “Anger” that it can’t be done any other way. Step 3… “Bargaining” that you could increase the bearer widths Step 4… “Depression” that you will have to dig so many holes. Step 5 “Acceptance” that you just need to pucker up and do it. Why do I know these stages?? Because I went through it when I built my first deck.
First, get yourself a $120 laser level. Best thing under the sun and you’ll be using it more than often for other projects. Then you dig your holes, screw the bearers to your stirrups, sit them in and brace the whole lot so it doesn’t move. Carefully pour the holes and adjust accordingly.
Or, pour your holes with concrete and level off flat. Use adjustable stirrups that sit on a flat surface and use a bit of 90x90 timber to attach the stirrup to the post.
With 1 ledger and 2 bearers, you’d need 4 supports per bearer minus the two at the ends. So only 10 holes. I checked against AS 1684 and all will comply with 140mm deep joists and bearers.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Lastly, you mention 5mm butt joins. How does this look when I am screwing the boards 20mm from the end? Would I need two joists? Or could both end screw into one joist?

I’m guessing you are going to use the offcut of the last length to make up the difference of the next length? Eg. Like a traditional way of laying a deck rather than have all the boards nicely side by side and include a middle board?
By the way, nice work on the plans.
dkun0457 dkun0457
I didn't think of voiding the warranty by attaching the deck to the posts. Great tip!

As a side note... It’s only two holes but I would insist to see the holes once they are dug to confirm they are against the spec. I am not sure what they are but I am guessing they would have to be greater than 300diam by 600deep.
dkun0457 dkun0457
The reason I ask so many questions about the footings is that I see this to be one of the messiest parts of the project. Wood I am fine with. Concrete, and particularly having to pour it around stirrups that need to be in an exact location, exact height and plumb, is a bit daunting. And I'll have to do 15-25!! Any tips in this area?

Like “The 5 Stages of grief”, so goes “The 5 Stage of drawing your deck plans”. Step 1… “Denial” that you have to dig so many holes. Step 2… “Anger” that it can’t be done any other way. Step 3… “Bargaining” that you could increase the bearer widths Step 4… “Depression” that you will have to dig so many holes. Step 5 “Acceptance” that you just need to pucker up and do it. Why do I know these stages?? Because I went through it when I built my first deck.
First, get yourself a $120 laser level. Best thing under the sun and you’ll be using it more than often for other projects. Then you dig your holes, screw the bearers to your stirrups, sit them in and brace the whole lot so it doesn’t move. Carefully pour the holes and adjust accordingly.
Or, pour your holes with concrete and level off flat. Use adjustable stirrups that sit on a flat surface and use a bit of 90x90 timber to attach the stirrup to the post.
With 1 ledger and 2 bearers, you’d need 4 supports per bearer minus the two at the ends. So only 10 holes. I checked against AS 1684 and all will comply with 140mm deep joists and bearers.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Lastly, you mention 5mm butt joins. How does this look when I am screwing the boards 20mm from the end? Would I need two joists? Or could both end screw into one joist?

I’m guessing you are going to use the offcut of the last length to make up the difference of the next length? Eg. Like a traditional way of laying a deck rather than have all the boards nicely side by side and include a middle board?
By the way, nice work on the plans.
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Adam.M
8 January 2016
2
Jan 08, 2016 10:34 am
dkun0457 dkun0457
I am getting a steel pergola installed (via 'Amazing Home Improvements') with posts (90x90mm) at each corner of my proposed 3500x6800mm rectangle. Can I fix a bearer directly to these pergola posts?

Technically yes. The footings of the posts if done properly should be sufficient to support the bearer. Albeit a.) you'd need to attach the bearers after the inspector has signed off everything and b.) you don't need a permit for the decking. You might void warranties on any issues of the pergola due to structural integrity which will need to be kept in mind.
dkun0457 dkun0457
If so, my research suggests that a timber bearer is unlikely to span this distance (6800mm), would I be best to use a steel joist or add an extra footing?

You'd need something really magical to support a deck with a 6800mm beam span. Also, your pergola footings would then definitely not be able to support the intended footprint. It is not uncommon to have footings for bearers every 1200mm to 2400mm (depending on the depth of your timber/steel bearer so you'd only be avoiding the digging of 2 footings in your equation).
dkun0457 dkun0457
Can I then attach the joists from the ledger directly to the pergola posts and bearer (which is fixed to the posts)?Daniel

You'd need a bearer in between the house and the pergola. Maybe two.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Would I need additional footings anywhere else under this structure?

Yes!!! You'd be looking at potentially digging 15-25 footings to support a deck of that size. All depends of course on the depth of your bearers, joists and how much room you have from the top of your deck to the ground.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Also, please let me know anything I have not considered or will need to consider. I don't go into projects without researching as much as I can but sometimes there is just things I don't even think about.

Best to draw up your plans and post the diagram. Also, the mod wood does not like butt joins as you are required by the manufacturer to leave a gap of 5mm due to expansion/shrinking. As I am assuming you will have the decking going pergola post to post and the max length of mod wood these days is 5400mm, you'll have a join in there somewhere. Also, mod wood required 350mm joist centers rather than the conventional wood decking which is 400mm-450mm.

Another one, depending on your desire to clean the decking, choose a darker colour for less frequent cleaning. Refer to the Ekodeck website for "Cleaning Chart".
dkun0457 dkun0457
I am getting a steel pergola installed (via 'Amazing Home Improvements') with posts (90x90mm) at each corner of my proposed 3500x6800mm rectangle. Can I fix a bearer directly to these pergola posts?

Technically yes. The footings of the posts if done properly should be sufficient to support the bearer. Albeit a.) you'd need to attach the bearers after the inspector has signed off everything and b.) you don't need a permit for the decking. You might void warranties on any issues of the pergola due to structural integrity which will need to be kept in mind.
dkun0457 dkun0457
If so, my research suggests that a timber bearer is unlikely to span this distance (6800mm), would I be best to use a steel joist or add an extra footing?

You'd need something really magical to support a deck with a 6800mm beam span. Also, your pergola footings would then definitely not be able to support the intended footprint. It is not uncommon to have footings for bearers every 1200mm to 2400mm (depending on the depth of your timber/steel bearer so you'd only be avoiding the digging of 2 footings in your equation).
dkun0457 dkun0457
Can I then attach the joists from the ledger directly to the pergola posts and bearer (which is fixed to the posts)?Daniel

You'd need a bearer in between the house and the pergola. Maybe two.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Would I need additional footings anywhere else under this structure?

Yes!!! You'd be looking at potentially digging 15-25 footings to support a deck of that size. All depends of course on the depth of your bearers, joists and how much room you have from the top of your deck to the ground.
dkun0457 dkun0457
Also, please let me know anything I have not considered or will need to consider. I don't go into projects without researching as much as I can but sometimes there is just things I don't even think about.

Best to draw up your plans and post the diagram. Also, the mod wood does not like butt joins as you are required by the manufacturer to leave a gap of 5mm due to expansion/shrinking. As I am assuming you will have the decking going pergola post to post and the max length of mod wood these days is 5400mm, you'll have a join in there somewhere. Also, mod wood required 350mm joist centers rather than the conventional wood decking which is 400mm-450mm.

Another one, depending on your desire to clean the decking, choose a darker colour for less frequent cleaning. Refer to the Ekodeck website for "Cleaning Chart".
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Adam.M
23 October 2015
2
Oct 23, 2015 9:34 am
Truth be told there is an art to it. A $50k bathroom reno might add $200k to the house. Cutting a few trees and improving the front yard might add $20k to the place. Who knows! The people who have perfected the art of “buy, improve and sell” usually stick to hard fast rules like, only aesthetically improve the house with what purely adds value, eg. Pergola, bathroom, kitchen, removal of wall, white pavers out the back etc. They try and avoid anything that unnecessarily adds costs such as those expensive shower taps or soft close draws in the wardrobe. Next, they live in the house for 2 years, doing most of the reno’s themselves and avoiding a hefty capital gains tax. Another big point, they try and sell in Sept when the trees are blossoming with white or pink flowers and there is a buzz in the air.

Then again, all it takes is two potential buyers going nuts over that bathroom reno and you’re in the money. Or a 5 townhouse apartment block starts building next door and you’re up creek without a paddle.
Truth be told there is an art to it. A $50k bathroom reno might add $200k to the house. Cutting a few trees and improving the front yard might add $20k to the place. Who knows! The people who have perfected the art of “buy, improve and sell” usually stick to hard fast rules like, only aesthetically improve the house with what purely adds value, eg. Pergola, bathroom, kitchen, removal of wall, white pavers out the back etc. They try and avoid anything that unnecessarily adds costs such as those expensive shower taps or soft close draws in the wardrobe. Next, they live in the house for 2 years, doing most of the reno’s themselves and avoiding a hefty capital gains tax. Another big point, they try and sell in Sept when the trees are blossoming with white or pink flowers and there is a buzz in the air.

Then again, all it takes is two potential buyers going nuts over that bathroom reno and you’re in the money. Or a 5 townhouse apartment block starts building next door and you’re up creek without a paddle.
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