Building A New House
Feb 03, 2019 3:50 pm
Because we have found this forum so useful during our building design & 'admin' stages we thought we would contribute back to the homeone community with our own building thread. Hopefully some of you now and in the future may find some of our experiences useful to your own building projects. This is just our second build, and my wife and I are in our early 40's with two kids in early secondary school.
We have chosen to build with a smaller 'local' builder - Bryan & Petersen. We built several years ago with a larger volume builder and a couple of our neighbours who were building with Bryan & Petersen (from their Warrnambool operation) at the same time seemed to have far fewer issues than ourselves....so I always said to my wife if we ever built again it would hopefully be with them. Now that we have relocated from the coast to Ballarat, we are building with their Ballarat team, and to my knowledge they operate fairly independently.
We purchased the block of land in a new estate in late January 2018. The lot is just over 700 m² in size, is a corner block and its 'rear' faces north roughly. Our plan was to always find a corner block so would could have double driveways/crossovers with a rear shed in addition to the attached 2 car garage. We also were keen on a better orientation than our last build which had the street frontage facing north, and in winter our main front bedroom was always so much warmer than the rest of the house!
Here is a view of our block not long after we purchased it:
The builder we are using are fairly flexible (probably too much for us....as I seem to have a thing for changing my mind!). Anyhow it has been a fairly lengthy and exhausting planning/admin phase, but we are now finally starting construction. Our slab is due to be poured this week hopefully.
The house plan started off life as one of their standard plans (Barwon 214), but over several months had evolved a few times and now I guess you could say parts of it are from the original house design, but most rooms have been shuffled around...mostly to suit the orientation and our lifestyles. For example we wanted the rumpus room more separated from the main living room, and also wanted more natural light and warmth into the whole living area.
We have realised though that designing a new house is about compromises, and in some aspects we would have possibly changed a few things (eg. made the hallway wider than 1200mm), but in the end we just had to stop playing with the design and let the builder get us through to construction. They were very accommodating to us, particularly me as I have been a bit painful in changing things around a few times.
Anyhow here is their standard Barwon 214 plan:
...and here is our final plan:
So you can see we changed quite a few things including:
- Rotated main living area to get more exposure to northern winter sun (with 600mm eaves)
- Added a study adjacent to living room
- Ran the WIP lengthwise behind the kitchen
- Had to delete the alfresco
- Moved the Rumpus to opposite the kids bedrooms (Bed2/3)
- Created a 2nd WIL, that will possibly double up as a study nook (2 WILs is probably overkill!)
- Changed the access to the ensuite via the WIR - I really didn't want the door right next to where I sleep!
- Made the garage 700mm or so longer
- We also changed the layout of the ensuite and WIR, and made a 1m high nib wall b/w shower & vanity in main bathroom
Here is our site plan:
Some of the other things we upgraded/changed:
- Windows are all awnings & double glazed
- Main living room & bedrooms are all clear laminated double glazed to reduce noise & block UV
- West/East/South windows are grey toned to reduce sun glare and/or privacy
- We changed the ceiling insulation from blown-in to R4.0 batts
- We are also insulating all internal walls with R2.5HD (for sound and thermal benefits)
- Zoned central heating unit, in addition to 3 x separate split systems (we'll use the splits during the day with solar PV)
- Kept many of the specs fairly basic to reduce some costs (eg. laminate benchtops etc)
We've already picked most of our selections and will post them up soon. I am away with work most of next week but hopefully next weekend I can post up some pics of our new slab!
I hope all your own building projects are travelling along smoothly, and will update with more stuff soon.
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria2
Feb 03, 2019 6:21 pm
Here are some of our external selections...
Bricks: Selkirk Dawnbreak (with natural rolled mortar finish)
We had originally chosen Austral 'Ash', but then the lovely lady who was handling our project allowed us to view one of their other houses under construction and we straight away switched bricks to dawnbreak.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Ash vs Dawnbreak bricks. I think we liked the variation of the Dawnbreak:
Roof: Colorbond Wallaby
Downpipes & eave lining: Surfmist
Garage Door: Wallaby
Water tank & meter box: Surfmist
Entrance Door: Corinthian WIN21 (full glass) door with sidelights (stained)
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria3
Feb 03, 2019 6:32 pm
Our elevation plans:
We tried hard to allocate as much glazing to the north aspect as we could. Then reduced some of the window sizes on both east & west sides to help with solar control (morning & afternoon sun during summer).
The north roof has been designed to carry two rows of solar PV panels, so we should get around a 5kw system there. In the future we have also allowed for a further 5-10kw of panels over the east & west roof sections if required (eg. for electric car charging)
Ceiling heights we set at 2550mm internally, as a good compromise we thought on spaciousness & costs. Our first house we bought years ago had 2400mm ceiling heights and our next place we built was @2550mm which we felt worked better.
Our facade is fairly basic! We considered something fancy but with price estimates coming in around $10-$15k we decided to keep it basic and use that money elsewhere....like windows/doors! (more on this later).
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria4
Feb 03, 2019 9:22 pm
This is a more traditional 'raft' slab that our builder mostly use. We are on reactive clay soil (H2), so we specifically were wanting this type of foundation that is dug into the soil quite deep. We have blinding concrete already poured into the deepened edge beams, and then I think the main beams are around 600mm deep on top of that.
Just after plumbing & initial excavation:
Under slab membrane & some steel has gone in at the bottom of the 'beams':
Most of the steel is in, I think we just need pipes lagged and few finishing touches before the pour this week:
The weather is supposed to be cooler and fairly dry this week, so should be good for the concrete pour. Hopefully by the weekend we'll have some proper slab photos to show.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria5
Feb 10, 2019 7:07 pm
While I was away working this week, my wife drove past a few times and took some pics of the slab pour. Although she wasn't too happy with me, I convinced her to take a hose and water the concrete for a day or two afterwards as well!
Our builder is pretty cool and although I know this is probably over the top our construction manager said 'no worries' when I asked him if it was ok. So far we have no surface cracks at all and it all looks pretty smooth & level, so happy with our project so far.
Our frame & windows I believe have been ordered, and should arrive in about a week or so I have been told.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria6
Feb 10, 2019 7:49 pm
This is likely not something many people will bother to change much? but I did want to improve on what we had been living with from our last volume built house with basic sliding windows and 3mm glazing. They were pretty terrible, rattly and inefficient windows and we were comfortable in spending some more money on this part of the house. I think from our initial base plan, we probably spent around $13k for our final schedule. But we went to what I would call our builder's 'premium' supplier, double glazed everything, upgraded to their semi-commercial series for the living areas and also used laminated glass for the majority of the house. The hardware was also upgraded & colour-coded to our Surf Mist frame selection.
Anyhow initially we simply asked for double glazed awnings, hinged door (opening outwards) for Laundry and a 3 panel sliding door (only one panel sliding & 2 fixed). I then started researching windows and glazing and that is when it also became hard to decide what to do. It felt like we went around in circles for a while, but this Housing Manual really helped me working out things like glazing ratios etc:
My main things were:
We chose this supplier mostly because they offered 'asymmetric glazing' that I wanted to help with noise control (basically one glass panel is thicker than the 2nd panel in the same glazing unit or IGU). We are on a corner, plus have a noisy dog next door!
We probably should have upgraded the standard 6.38mm laminate to 6.5mm 'hush' glass, but the budget was already getting stretched. We also found out that clear laminate blocks 99% of UV, so that was a nice bonus. The idea of having one thicker glass pane in the double glazed unit (IGU) is it supposedly reduces noise at different sound waves so is more effective than simply having the glass the same thickness. It seemed like a cheaper alternative than going with full 'hush' glass etc.
So we ended up with:
This is a sample from our window schedule:
Here is a sample of our awning windows, they have quite chunky profiles:
Here is the Sliding Door sample: (we opted for the large D-pull stainless handle with mortice lock)
Anyhow we put in a lot of effort on the windows & doors, and only time will tell if it was worth it. But I hope other people might benefit from some of what we discovered. I also realise most people may not worry about it too much, but I figured for a few thousand dollars more we could possibly get a much better setup than just the standard 'double glazed' offering.
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria7
Feb 22, 2019 10:17 pm
Wall Frames Are Up!
Well our builder has been very well organised and after our slab sat quietly for a couple of weeks to cure we now have a frame up! It is exciting to be able to walk around and get a feel for rooms sizes and window placements etc.
Because we spent so much time working out some of the design stuff ourselves we pretty much know this house to the millimetre, and straight away we picked up some minor things that will need sorting out. Nothing serious, and it was likely caused by a couple of late changes on the plan. E.g. an internal robe door height is 2040mm instead of 2340mm. The flush-to-jamb Cavity Slider frames also need to be an extra 50mm wider than the standard CSDs. Anyhow easy fixes I'm sure, and have already spoken to our site supervisor who sounds very switched on.
Here are some pics of the frame being delivered and after being erected. Not finished yet, but we should have the roof trusses up by mid next week by the sound of it. Progressing really well.
The delivery guy was real character & great bloke:
We had the draftee shift our garage door across to the right so that it opened up a nice space on the left side of the garage internal wall. We plan to have some things stored along there, so made sense to us and also centered the door better once the brick pillars are in the place:
This pic shows the north facing main living area (from left - WIP > KIT > DINING > LIVING > STUDY):
Inside the Open Living, looking towards the north (3.6m sliding door in the middle)
Looking from the front portico through the 1770mm wide entrance (around 5m long) into the 1200mm wide hallway (around 9.5m long):
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria8
Feb 22, 2019 10:56 pm
This has probably been our biggest headache and still not 100% finalised, but with the help of a great staff member at the tile shop we have nailed down most of our internal colours now.
Floor tile (entrance, hallway, kitchen, WIP, Dining & bathrooms and laundry etc) we wanted something that was like concrete but some warmth. We also are trying to stick to our voucher allowance so were fairly restricted, but found this one at National Tiles and it had some nice vein lines and a colour variation which we both liked:
For internal wall paint (Dulux) we were going with 'Lyttelton Quarter' but it seemed a bit pink on this colour chart so we chose something similar in 'Silver Aura'. We will be using Summer Cloud Quarter (or maybe Lexicon Quarter?) for the skirts, archs and doors:
So below is a pic showing the main floor tile with our kitchen selections:
For the laundry we are planning on:
For the bathrooms:
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria9
Feb 23, 2019 8:07 am
Wow, so much thought has gone into the planning stage.
Your plans look great and it should be very thermally efficient.
It seems most people on here, dont think about orientation etc but rather how many ensuites they can fit.
So its refreshing to see a house that is well thought out. I’m sure you will benefit in the long run from all the planning.
Colours look great.
Look forward to seeing the end result!
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria10
Feb 23, 2019 12:11 pm
Thanks for the kind words. After building our first house 10 years ago, and not thinking at all about the performance of the house (eg. orientation, glazing) it turns out it doesn’t take much more effort or cost to make significant improvements.
This time around we didn’t rush in, and did things like:
- Looked for a block with either side or rear north (with at least 5-6m clear space on the north side wall)
- Windows were a big thing, but in the end simple enough (Awnings, double glazed & max. North and limit all other aspects, particularly west)
- 600mm eaves, particularly on north aspect
- Good insulation, but more importantly making sure it will be installed properly (we will be checking everything prior to plastering)
- Keep the roof design simple to allow good areas for installing solar panels
- Hot water: we personally haven’t had a good run with solar/gas boosted, so will initially just go with an instant gas system
- Flooring will be tiles particularly in areas receiving direct sunlight
- Adding an extra internal door or two is fairly cheap and should help a lot with zoning the house for temp control
- Lighter brick colour is another simple and no-cost option
- Extra powered whirly bird will assist with keeping the roof space cooler
Anyhow this is just some the things that come to mind. Lots of reading, including here on HomeOne was invaluable because unless you’re informed about this stuff it won’t happen. The builders (even if they are considered good operators like ours) don’t seem to focus too much on sustainable design. I also think it’s up to us as consumers to push harder on building performance to create that demand in the market. If we don’t ask these questions of our builders then I can’t blame them totally, as they are realistically there to make profits primarily. We are the ones living in the house and paying the utility bills after all.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria11
Feb 23, 2019 1:36 pm
You won’t go wrong with Bryan Peterson. We were so close to going with them but due to some things out of everyone’s control it didn’t happen, but I’d still recommend them to anyone.
As far as orientation and passive solar design etc. goes, I think a lot of builders don’t push it because the average client has no idea and once their mind is made up on a design they just won’t listen. Going by so many builds even on this forum, maybe 1 in 5 has good passive solar design as its number 1 priority, whereas the other 4 the focus seems to be on how many pendant lights can be crammed into the entry or the colour of the laundry tiles, or as mentioned above, how many en-suites can be fitted.
And you are spot on that it doesn’t really cost anything to site the living areas North to take advantage of the sun, just some thought and awareness of how the sun moves throughout the seasons. You’ll definitely have a more comfortable home and nothing better than the sun streaming into your living areas on a cold winters day and not needing to have lights on or heater blazing away!
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria12
Feb 23, 2019 2:40 pm
Choosing the builder was tough in some ways for us, as we are on a budget and there are certainly some value oriented builders out there to choose from.
I won't go into naming others, but we did hear decent reports on some of the other local or 'local franchise' builders. So around the Ballarat region there are some good building options. We did consider (& speak to) a couple of other builders ourselves, but stuck with B&P mostly because:
I think though going with a larger company would have some advantages including some seriously impressive colour selection centres! Larger range of selections and sometimes some really good house plans.
Because our builder was quite flexible, they allowed us to customise one of their plans which allowed us to implement many of the things we have researched on sustainable design. But this also slowed up our process to get to construction. All up we spent nearly 12 months in the planning and design stages.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria13
Mar 04, 2019 9:00 pm
FRAME & TRUSSES
Well our chippy team have finished off the framing including trusses. We took them some cold drinks one arvo when it was fairly hot....never hurts to keep in sweet with your tradies I don't think! We are supposedly due for a frame inspection this Wednesday. We just opted to go with the builders normal person.....I spoke to a Municipal Surveyor who knows him and got a decent report.
We found a few minor issues ourselves, mostly things that got missed from some late changes to our floor plan. Includes some cavity sliders that we changed to 'flush-to-jamb' where the frames were about 50mm too short, also the laundry sliding doors to linen were set @2040mm instead of 2340mm. Anyhow looks like most of this stuff is already fixed, so our supervisor seems fairly switched on.
The fascia/gutter and then roofing crew might be starting later this week, and we're going with a Wallaby roof/gutter and Surf Mist fascia. Roof pitch is standard 22.5 deg, and we are still in discussions on what type of sarking/anticon blanket we might be getting. Will report on this once we know for sure.
We are also removing the standard whirly bird, and going to buy ourselves a CSR Edmonds AiroMatic (https://www.edmonds.com.au/home-ventilation/roof-space/airomatic). These units reportedly do the same job as about 6 whirly birds, and have an in-built temp and humidity sensor. They run on standard 240v, so I just need a powerpoint installed in the roof nearby. We have asked for it to be installed roughly on the opposite end of the house (so side-front) to where most of the eave vents will be located. The theory being that air will then be drawn across most of the roof area and hopefully deal with excess heat and condensation issues. They also provide some additional light into the roof space. I might end up installing 2, but will see how we go initially with just the one unit.
Anyhow here are some pics of the framing and trusses. Not sure if it is standard for all builders, but we have 35mm purlins between the main 45mm purlins. I am told it's a safety thing, but should also hopefully help when we install our solar panels?..maybe not because they are thinner? Anyhow more timber over the roof can't hurt I guess...
This next pic shows our 'cantilevered' 600mm eaves around the north, east and part of the west. The cantilevering helps in a few ways, including when installing ceiling insulation batts you can more easily cover the top plates of the external walls & beyond without touching (& therefore compressing) the insulation against the roof itself. It also gives you more bricks above the windows & doors as it retains the ceiling height to the external walls.
We positioned our meter box within the portico, which is a bit different I think! Anyhow we had no space beside the garage and I didn't want this thing buzzing next to our heads along the BED1 wall. Also the builder said they could install our switch panel inside the garage (so behind the meter box) which I think is also a good idea to give internal access. Our NBN NTD box will also be installed nearby inside the garage.
This next pic shows our bathroom window frame. On our plans it is supposed to be centered, but it got missed somehow. It isn't a massive job to shift it over, but it will also mean the brickies will have to cut more bricks etc. We decided to be 'nice' to our builder on this one and will let it go. Not sure whether it will annoy me later on, but I guess its the main bathroom so I might just avoid going in there too often! I think it's about 90mm off centre.
We've also been re-selecting our flooring and colours, so will update them once locked down.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria14
Mar 06, 2019 4:59 pm
FASCIA/GUTTER HAS ARRIVED ONSITE
Dropped by today on our way back from the local shopping centre, and spotted some new arrivals onsite!. Looks like all the guttering, fascia and valley flashing are there ready to go on.
Anyhow progress is great, I assume we might be getting a proper roof on sometime next week going by what our SS suggested the other day.
We are going with a 'Wallaby' roof/gutter, with Surf Mist for the fascia, downpipes and window frames etc. We previously had 'Woodland Grey' on our last house and although we still like it we wanted something different this time around....not much different mind you.
Our bricks for this house will be Selkirk 'Dawnbreak', which are a fairly light creamy colour. Our last house had darker brown bricks, and we accented window frames and downpipes etc with 'Paperbark'.
Here are some exciting pics of colorbond products sitting on the ground!
Next one shows some new roof truss brackets we noticed have gone in last day or so. We already had the big green one installed with the main truss sections, but must have been some additional support needed. This is over our main living section which has fairly long truss sections. Not sure how common this type of bracket setup is?
Noticed there are a few sections of internal wall bracing that are not yet nailed off. Obviously an easy job but curious how we go getting the frame inspection ticked off if it's not all 100% complete? I can't imagine the inspector would come back again for another frame check? I have no doubt our builder will get it sorted, but more interested in how the whole inspection and approval process works in this regard??
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria15
Mar 07, 2019 12:24 am
NEED HELP WITH SOME SHED OPTIONS
We're still working on a couple of shed ideas. We have a corner block and always planned for dual crossovers and having a decent sized shed at the rear of the property.
We want to store at least one vehicle plus lawn mowers and maybe a small trailer in the locked up section.
The other idea is because we don't have an alfresco attached to the house (we will likely just build a deck in front of the dining sliding door), therefore this shed could also double up as a good BBQ area?
Anyhow interested in any opinions on the best way to go about this shed/outdoor BBQ setup.
We've been playing around with SketchUp, and just did a basic drawing of the house/roof with rear north facing glazing and shed outlines. ** I've checked the sun angles and both options with at least 6m offset shouldn't impact the passive heating in the house over the cooler months.
Option#1 - This gives us a 9m long x 3.6m wide enclosed shed with a 3m lean-to on the side facing the house. It would also give potential for additional car parking if needed under the open section as well. It would be fully concreted.
Option#2 - This would be a cheaper option and gives us a 5m wide x 7.2m long enclosed shed with a 3.6m long open section at the rear. This option wouldn't give the extra car parking potential, but it will be cheaper and open up more rear yard (7.5m instead of 6m) It would also be fully concreted.
Hoping to get some opinions as we're not sure what way to go on this.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria16
Mar 09, 2019 8:08 pm
FASCIA & GUTTER INSTALLED
Drove by yesterday and the roofing crew were installing our Colorbond fascia & gutter. First thing I spotted was someone actually using a spirit level...I joked to my wife as our previous builder (from 10 yrs ago) we were fairly certain didn't even own one!
So far the trades all look switched on, and yesterday our neighbours came over to introduce themselves and were suggesting to their daughter she should consider building with Bryan & Petersen. They were curious how we were finding it so far, and from what they had seen of the tradies on our site they were fairly impressed so far.
Anyhow we are going with a Surf Mist fascia and Wallaby gutter. We did consider changing the gutter from 'quad' shape to 'half round - flat back' (I think this is what it's called?), because the half round is supposedly better at self-cleaning and handles greater volumes of water. Though we weren't sure how it would look, and we haven't actually seen any houses with the half round, so we chickened out and stuck with the standard quad.
Here is a pic of the roofers doing their thing with the fascia initially. Hung around for five minutes or so, and pleased to see them cleaning up all the plastic wrap as they went. Some other build sites in our area are fairly messy and I think it sends a good signal to the trades if the site is generally tidy when they arrive....hopefully they all will leave it that way!
Went back today to tidy up a bit more and took a few pics of the finished product...still got the valley flashing on the roof to go on but the fascia and gutters are all on by the look of it.
Our roof will also be Wallaby colour, and so far I like the look of it. I know from checking out other Homeone posts, the Wallaby does lighten significantly under different lighting and viewing angles.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria17
Mar 09, 2019 8:31 pm
One minor thing we did change from our first building project was to keep the gutter the same colour as the roof.
Previously we went with a Woodland Grey Roof, and then Paperbark pretty much everywhere else....Gutter, Fascia, Downpipes, windows & doors etc.
We just reckon the gutter and roof being the same colour works a bit better. My wife actually wanted us this time around to run Wallaby through Roof, Gutter and Fascia, but I think having the Fascia different separates the roof from the lower part of the house. I also think we would have had to use Wallaby on the downpipes and with a light brick worried it would be too much.
Anyhow here is our previous house with Woodland Grey & Paperbark combo:
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria18
Mar 10, 2019 5:26 pm
Thought I might post up some random pics of the wall frames and roof trusses. Next stages are roof, wall wrap and windows/doors. Should be done in the next week or so I think.
The first one shows why I'm happy we have a decent chippy (& apprentice!) doing our frame...I have no idea how they manage to get those truss sections sorted out? (this is from inside garage looking towards portico/entrance):
This next pic shows where I am hoping to insulate as the wall wrap is going on. The builder's energy rater suggested a few areas I could improve the energy performance of the house, and insulating these external frame voids was one of them. But the trick will be to get there just before the walls are wrapped:
This pic is from front of garage looking down the east side of the house (towards the north). I think I am going to have subsurface 'aggi' drains installed along here to protect the slab:
Moving down that same East side (1.76m from boundary):
Slightly different view of East section of house, standing inside the garage looking towards the north (rear of house):
Here are those 'cantilevered' roof trusses again, creating 600mm eaves:
Our builder told us earlier on that they use a reasonably deep brick rebate on the slab...they weren't kidding! That looks like 3-4 bricks until it hits floor level?:
Standing on the rear (north) side now, looking at dividing wall of Study<>Living room. Lots of studs in a small area....assuming this is due to the large 2.7m window to the left, plus another 850mm wide window in the study?:
Standing on the north side of house still, looking towards the South-West. Cool how they write up each door size/type on the frames:
Moving along and standing inside the rumpus room looking towards the South-West:
Looking back towards north again, still in the rumpus room:
That's probably enough frame 'spam' for now!
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria19
Mar 10, 2019 8:38 pm
Your build looks excellent quality,one good sign of a quality builder is using raft slabs,and your windows are very noticeable to someone looking at a quality home,chunky windows are generally of higher quality just as mine are,your structure looks clean ,and we'll done, more People need to value high build quality over eye candy,as structure is for ever and eye candy can change and be done later, glad you didn't fall for the deceptive poor volume build home,well done it's good to see a good quality building experience.
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