Building A New House
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria41
Apr 12, 2019 7:11 pm
ADDITIONAL AIR SEALING WORK
Although our builder already tapes the windows externally, we wanted to better insulate/seal them internally so after some discussions with both our chippy and site supervisor we basically agreed I wouldn't use any expanding foam!
So we came up with standard wall insulation and closed cell foam 'backing rod' in front to better air seal the frames to the window reveals. It's not perfect by any means but it will still reduce air flow around the windows a bit more. It only took an hour or two to cover all the windows and doors.
This is the basic process we used. I know of others who have used expanding foam and also silicon and this is probably a better seal but it also would cause our chippy issues when they make tweaks before putting in the architraves.
This pic shows how we did it, so pretty straightforward!:
Here is a 'before' photo showing the standard 10-30mm gaps between the reveal<>frame:
This is a window after we sealed it with the insulation batts and foam backing rod:
Next we attacked the air return for the central heater. This is supposedly a common weak point in the average house in terms of energy efficiency. I guess we just want to reduce air being sucked in from the roof or other unconditioned rooms.
So we sealed up the frame joins with silicon, but we still have to fill in the top plate holes the sparkies drilled for cables. We are probably going to just use silicon in these holes but want to check with the builder first:
Next pic is the bottom plate area of the air return:
Next stop was the garage and sealed the bottom plates internally and also taped the wall wrap that was internal wall adjoining the house entry area. We also sealed up the joins in the yellow tongue we got installed along the back garage wall:
Yesterday we also finally completed lagging the hot water pipes. We have quite long runs to both bathrooms unfortunately, so I really wanted to ensure we don't lose too much heat in transit: (have since added cable ties as insurance against the tape letting go!)
I think we used a total of 56 meters of 1/2 inch pipe insulation @$2.50 per meter roughly. Plus two rolls of insulation tape and a bag of cable ties.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria42
Apr 13, 2019 12:27 am
Very consistent approach towards sealing and insulating a house I witness here.
Many people don't realise that it is not only about which windows you install but more about HOW you install them.
Although, personally, I would still prefer radiant heater to air ducted heating, if you ask me
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria43
Apr 13, 2019 8:27 am
I know some of this extra sealing work is arguably only making minor improvements, but it’s all relatively cheap and easy plus it gives me a feeling that I’m having some involvement in the building process! Our builder give us access to the site to do this type of thing which we are grateful for.
Re: heating....we actually discussed removing the central heating completely partly because we have 3 split systems going in and with good design we hope we don’t need that ducted system. The credit back wasn’t that much $$, and also in this cold Ballarat climate we also discussed what potential future buyers might think with no central system....as they are considered standard in this area. So we left it in, but added zones and temp sensors in those main areas so we can run any zone independently.
But I agree Alexp I also prefer non-ducted heating. We considered heat pumps and on-wall radiators too and I even got a quote but the whole system was very expensive so just went with the 3 splits at around $7.5k installed (1 x 7kw in the main living, 1 x 3.5kw for the rumpus and 1 x 2.5kw for our bedroom....kids can suck it up! ).
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria44
Apr 13, 2019 12:59 pm
What I found interesting those days are wall mounted far infrared panel heaters which can be also used as the artwork/pictures frames and at the same time very quick and far more energy efficient than any of the heating sources available, i.e. they convert up to 98% of the energy into healthy radiating heat and at the same time consume 3-4 times less energy than ducted heaters, e.g. 1.1kW is enough to heat up 12-15 sqm insulated room.
Some of them are also manufactured as a mirrors for bathrooms.
In comparison to ducted heaters, they cost peanuts (less than $100).
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria45
Apr 16, 2019 8:45 pm
I’ve had a couple of conversations last few days with our builder’s insulation contractor. We’ve been discussing the pros & cons of ‘blow-in’ vs ceiling batts. We have R4.0 batts in our contract, but I’m now going to run batts around the perimeter of the house (over top plate and in about 600mm) and then go with R5 level blown-in for the rest.
After spending some time lately lagging our hot water pipes in the roof I’ve realised with all the services now running through that lower part of the roof (water, electrical, heating ducts, network and solar panel wiring) it will be hard to get all the gaps filled with batts. The insulation installer also pointed out that because blown-in is done right at the end we don’t have to worry about various trades moving batts around.
Anyhow there was no pressure and he said it’s obviously my choice, but when I suggested I didn’t want the blown-in stuff to push past the wall top plates into the brick cavity etc.....we came to the option of running normal batts around the perimeter. This then allows them to blow the cellulose up high using the batts as a back-stop.
We’re going to install the batts ourselves and he suggested using the 430mm wide R4 versions, as we can cut them in half and the two halves will fit snug in between our 900mm truss centres supposedly. I’ve got some Bunnings R2 18m 580mm rolls so will likely run them over the top, so I guess R6 total on the perimeter and then we’ll go R5 for the blown-in. He reckons it should only take 3 bags and maybe 2 hours work to run the perimeter batts.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria46
Apr 19, 2019 7:52 pm
WALL INSULATION COMPLETED
We've had all our external and internal walls insulation now installed, with the Knauf Earthwool R2.5 'Sound Shield'. The highest they go with this type of stuff is R2.7 in this brand, but we were told the plasterers prefer the R2.5 because is supposedly doesn't push so far out of the 90mm stud bays.
Anyhow the young guy that installed it was fairly pedantic about it, and did a really good job. The main boss of the insulation business had called me a couple of times to discuss options for the ceiling among other things. He said he wished more clients took more interest in their energy efficiency setup as us. He is going to assist us getting out ceiling 'perimeter' batts installed prior to the blow-in process which happens late in the build.
We have only found very minor gaps in a few spots so we have been onsite filling those in last couple of days, in addition to some more silicon and taping work.
Next pic shows the bottom the air return for the central gas heating. We decided in the end to box it up fully with 6mm board. This way we could also retain the insulation the guy had put around it, with the plaster obviously going around the outside. Had to put some more silicon in, but we reckon we now have one of the most air tight air returns going around!...
We also taped up all the external penetrations to the wall wrap. Partly because we will be getting plaster before the bricking is completed (or even started?!)....so want it water tight. But also it will reduce air movement around the external wall insulation:
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria47
Apr 19, 2019 10:39 pm
Nice detail insulation work there. Have you seen these garage door edge sealing systems? The garage can really stuff up our home insulation performance. Hearing good things about them and, apparently, they are not overly expensive.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria48
Apr 20, 2019 8:28 am
Nice detail insulation work there. Have you seen these garage door edge sealing systems? The garage can really stuff up our home insulation performance. Hearing good things about them and, apparently, they are not overly expensive.
Thanks for that idea. It reminded me when we originally designed the floor plan we had a BAL12.5 rating and the builder was planning on some sort of garage door 'fire/ember' seal system. But this was removed once we went to BAL Low later on.
Anyhow it would be great if we could include some sort of garage seal into our build, so will talk to the builder about it. We haven't upgraded the door itself as yet, so currently planning on just a simple roller door....wonder if these seals work only with a sectional/panel lift type door?
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria49
Apr 21, 2019 6:24 pm
Apart from getting some plaster ceiling battens delivered (for installation this week....then plaster the following), we've just been doing some minor jobs internally ourselves, like installing some conduit for a possible extra solar system. Figured it would help out the electricians especially with all our walls filled with insulation.
Anyhow thought I would put up some various shots of the house externals and yard...
Looking from the SW corner
SW corner again looking towards the back (North) Back of block looking from north Looking from NW corner at back of house
Side of house (HWS, water tank will go down here)
NW corner of house looking at rear yard
Front of the house looking towards West
We found the wall wrap the builder uses works well for sketching/measuring up our nogging locations. These two sections are for our solar inverters. We'll start with a 6kw system (3 phase) and possibly expand to another 6kw+ system down the track if needed:
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria50
Apr 22, 2019 6:37 pm
BATH 'PROTECTION DEVICE'??
Finally the mystery timber box that appeared a few weeks ago onsite has been explained! My wife and I were both a bit puzzled as to what this box thing was for, but now that the bath tub has been put in, it all makes sense. Actually quite clever by the builder to keep the tub protected. During our last build 10 years back our tub was actually damaged by trades so good to see some forward thinking for once.
With plastering booked over the next fortnight, I'm guessing they won't be able to sheet up the bath area yet?. We have some bags of mortar in the garage so assuming this is for building up a bed for the tub to sit on? Also needs to be obviously plumbed in, although I would have thought this would be done prior to plaster?
One tip I read a while back here on HomeOne was to put in a power point and noggings into a broom cupboard for the stick vac. Great idea and below is a pic of the rough-in for it:
One of the thoughts we had while doing the design was for the spare room to allow some flexibility for the bed position. The room is quite narrow (2950mm wide x 4740mm long) so we measured our spare bed head and decided about a 900mm tall window should work ok:
One thing I probably would change if I had my time again would be to make the main section of hallway slightly wider (image below). Currently 1200mm (entry is 1770mm), so another 100mm would have been good I think. Anyhow we did manage to get a decent glass door (WIN21) 1020mm wide and 2340mm tall at the end of that hall leading into the main living area....and having decent natural light in that end living area will hopefully make it not too dark. Will have to wait and see on this one....
We are considering buying one of those Ilume solar 'sky' lights. Will wait until the build is completed though, as they are supposedly simple to retrofit. (https://illumeskylights.com.au/illume-skylight-alternative-retail/)
Anyhow today we finished off the sealing of the slab to frame areas around the garage. Because the garage is stepped down there is always a decent gap to the internal framing. We figured this could turn into a rodent/insect 'highway' so completely filled it with several runs of expanding foam. Then finished off with some silicon today to ensure no air gaps.
I was amazed how much the foam does expand, but luckily for me it was easy to saw back and sand. Was a bit nervous when it was initially pouring out everywhere!
These areas adjacent to the garage are the entrance/hallway and one of the bedroom walls. Below is a pic of the entry area adjacent to the garage:
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria51
Apr 29, 2019 9:07 pm
READY FOR PLASTER
Because we asked for a specific plasterer for our build, we've had to wait a week or two for them to finish another couple of jobs, but it's been a useful break for us to get in and do some jobs like extra insulation and extra network cabling etc. We're expecting the plaster to be hung next week.
The insulation contractor suggested we wait for the ceiling plaster battens to be installed before we put up our perimeter batts as it would assist in keeping them in position. Anyhow the SS did well to get the plasterer's in early to get the battens up for us and gave us a week or so to get then get everything sorted.
Here are some pics of the metal battens, not sure this is standard on all builds but I recall a conversation I had with the plasterer many months ago that if they glue/screw them directly onto the roof truss (bottom chords?) it can lead to more movement and potential cracking. Somehow the battens help with that?
Ceiling battens in the main living area
They look fairly straight to me?!
I've been planning on a decent solar system for years, and our last house we built had a really challenging orientation and messy roof so I never bothered with it. Anyhow this time around the house has been purposely designed to take up to around 40+ solar panels on both north, east and west aspects.
Because we are only getting one system installed initially (6 kw of panels with a 5kw Fronius 3 phase inverter), I have put all the conduit and network cables in to hopefully help if we ever put in the 2nd system.
It took a fair bit of research because I wasnt quite sure how the two systems would work with each other, but finally I found some information on how to 'daisy chain' two Fronius inverters and also decided we may as well hard-wire them both to the computer network (instead of typical wireless connections).
Took us around 2 days (way too pedantic!), but we finally finished off the perimeter ceiling batts earlier today. This came about after some discussions with the insulator. They typically use blown-in type for our builder and recommend it over normal batts because they reckon they can get it into all the small gaps etc. Anyhow my main concern was with how they get up to the edges and how to stop it falling into the brick-stud cavity. So the idea we came up with was to use normal batts just on the perimeter of the house.
We first put up Knauf Earthwool R4.0 (430mm wide) batts....cut in half so covering roughly 600mm including the top plate. Then we added a layer of Knauf Earthwool R2.0 (530mm wide) batt rolls from Bunnings over the top running perpendicular to make sure we covered the timber and small gaps. Because one side has 600mm cantilevered eaves and we were still a fair way off touching the sarking I added another 200mm wide strip of R2.0 on the outer edge....mostly to block more noise coming in from the neighbours on that side of the house. To stop the batts coming out we then went outside and stapled wall wrap to the bottom of the eaves all the way around.
Right before hand-over the insulator crew will come in and blow somewhere close to R5.0 depth of cellulose material over the whole ceiling with the perimeter batts acting as a 'back-stop'. Should work fairly well we hope. We'll end of with around R5+ on the ceiling and R2.5 (acoustic) in all external and internal walls.
Putting in the ceiling perimeter batts took longer than we expected!
We're just going to check over all our electrical and plumbing rough-in and do a clean-up during the week so it's all set for the plastering hopefully next week.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria52
May 01, 2019 3:34 pm
UPGRADING OUR SKIRTING BOARDS
We already had chosen 'Half Splayed', but instead of the standard 67mm we have now upgraded them to 92mm. For the full house was a little over $200 but we're thinking it will look a bit better having chunkier skirts.
Has anyone else used this profile skirt before?
CONSIDERING A CORNICE CHANGE?
Also considering changing our cornice from 55mm 'Code' to 50mm 'StepLook2'?
I like that it isn't too large in profile, but still something a bit different to standard cove. Not sure if anyone else has used this profile and is happy to give some feedback before we make the decision?
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria53
May 02, 2019 7:57 pm
PLASTER STARTED & BRICKS ARRIVED
Our small plastering team have started hanging the plasterboard (just standard 10mm). From chatting to one of them yesterday I now know what the metal battens on the ceiling are for....purely to get the ceilings straight and level. They've also been very careful so far not to disturb the insulation that we have everywhere.....actually it must be frustrating for them not being able to just run the large sheets through wall cavities....sorry boys!
Actually pretty much all the tradies who have worked on our house have been friendly and helpful. The plastering guys had some good suggestions for us today regarding our cornice options and have offered to nail up some samples so we can get a proper look at a couple of different options.
I will say though the plumber person I spoke to today on the phone wasn't that helpful (nor friendly!), suggesting they will refuse to do anything directly with the owners outside of the contract. The electrician boss also hasn't returned my message about getting a couple of minor things done prior to plaster. I understand they're all busy, but it's not like I can just go and source my own trades to do extra things....and lets face it we all do forget stuff during the planning stages.
Anyhow that's my minor whinge out of the way....here are some pics from today:
Ceiling installed in the main living area
The main bathroom and ensuite were also completed today
One of the plasterers suggested we put out leftover insulation around the bathtub. Awesome idea!
When we dropped by today the delivery truck arrived with our bricks! They are Selkirk Dawnbreak. A fairly light cream colour with some variation which we have seen on a house and liked it. Originally had chosen Austral 'Ash', but once we saw a house done with this particular brick (Dawnbreak) we switched.
Delivery guy bringing in another pallet for the garage section
A few more pallets for the side of the house
Closer view of the Selkirk Dawnbreak brick
Brickies are on another house still but should be over to our place next week with a bit of luck. It will be good to finally seal up the externals. Plastering should be completed next week but we're not in any hurry, I would rather the trades take their time and do a good job so we're not pushing too hard.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria54
May 03, 2019 7:31 pm
Plasterer nailed up some cornice samples for me today. Both CSR products - “Aria” is the angled version and the 3 step alongside. Both classified as 75mm.
Think we might go with the Aria, but it is priced around $17 per 4.8m compared to basic 55mm cove @$10....so not exactly a cheap upgrade.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria55
May 03, 2019 8:01 pm
You could do one style in some areas and the cheaper option in others. We did a nicer cornice in our main areas and then the basic Cove cornice in bedrooms, etc to keep the cost down.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria56
May 03, 2019 8:14 pm
Yeah thanks, good to know this idea does work ok. The plasterer suggested maybe to only run it in main areas, including hallway but I wasn’t sure to be honest. I think we will likely go this way, run in the main entrance, hallway, rumpus and open living.
Out of curiosity what feature cornice did you choose. I realise it’s all personal preference. It also think because our ceiling height isn’t that tall (2.55m) maybe we should avoid cornice that looks too ‘bulky’?
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria57
May 03, 2019 8:24 pm
We have quite tall ceilings (34 course which is about 2950) so you don’t really notice it unless you look closely. Probably could have done without now that we’ve done it.
We have 75mm cove in alfresco, bedrooms, back hallway, bathrooms and theatre (recessed ceiling). We changed to GTek Esperance (which is the same as Gyprock Symphony) in our entrance and living area (open plan kitchen, dining and living room). Was a $400 upgrade.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria58
May 04, 2019 7:32 pm
We put trio cornice throughout the house. And two yrs on I still love it it looks really good on external walls/corners in particular.
It all comes down to personal preference.
I prefer the same cornice in all rooms.
And feel like trip cornice is more modern then splayed cornice.
Definitely money well spent.
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria59
May 08, 2019 4:28 pm
Thanks thme & Craigasaurus, in the end we decided to simply upgrade to 75mm cove instead of 55mm. The plasterers (who have been super helpful BTW) suggested sometimes with 55mm you can see the small rebate that is just a standard 'feature' on the edge of most plasterboard sheets.
One thing I find frustrating is in our search for a different cornice style it becomes challenging when your builder uses just one supplier (ie. not CSR!...who make the Aria and Alto that we liked) and has trouble sourcing and pricing the options. Then you begin to feel like you are indecisive when you are missing one of the key bits of information....PRICE! Yeah we are mostly on budgets and there is no way I am going to order a product upgrade without know the actual cost.
Here is the cornice we were thinking of using in the main living areas:
This is the 'Alto' 75mm cornice we liked
Anyhow it was just easier to stick with standard Cove cornice, but go with the mid sized 75mm.
Decided to go with basic 75mm cove cornice
Re: Bryan & Petersen Build in Regional Victoria60
May 08, 2019 4:51 pm
PLASTERING GETTING CLOSE TO COMPLETION
The plasterers have been awesome and really taken their time to get us a great looking job (so far!). We were a bit nervous about all our wall insulation getting knocked around but the two main workers onsite have been really careful with it thankfully.
It's taken a number of days but all the plaster is now 'hung', taped and stopped (think this is correct term?!). They still have a couple of days to go I think, including putting up the cornice when it arrives and more sanding and coats on the joints/corners etc.
When I was talking late yesterday to one of the guys he said it was great when customers can appreciate the difference between a good and 'not-so-good' plastering job. I guess the effort they put in now will show up in the final product once all painted.
Main Living Room looking from kitchen area
Main Living looking back the other way
Standing near entry door looking towards living at end of hallway
Looking from hallway into Laundry
....oh and our painter (well....his father actually!) came earlier one morning and stained our front door (see image below). It is a Dulux InterGrain stain called 'Silver Fir'. It is still to get another coat and 2 coats of clear I think, but we just wanted a light greyish tone to match our other colours and we like it.
Stained door with translucent glass w/sidelights
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