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 recently relocated to a large regional town in Victoria and are building 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 at the same time (they have offices in two regional towns) 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.
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 to the their team's credit 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.
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)
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).
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 (AWS), double glazed everything, upgraded to their 'magnum' 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 the AWS 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 Magnum awning windows, they have quite chunky profiles:
Here is the Magnum 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.
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