Owner Builder Forum
Re: EcoStay building project61
Jan 31, 2019 2:45 pm
We're building a wall in the downstairs bedroom. This particular wall will be mudbrick and about 3m long. It has no windows or other features.
So, we've decided to put some timber slabs in it. In the build and on the property we have three main eucalyptus species of timber so we've cleaned up three slabs (offcuts from milling) of these and will install them into this wall.
The three bits of offcuts. (Before)
After cleaning them up.
Re: EcoStay building project62
Feb 15, 2019 11:22 am
One of the walls will be curved. This was originally planned to be a straight square corner however the idea of curving it instead stuck with us. Now it's becoming a reality.
Tricky work keeping everything straight and level as I can't work to string lines on the curve Each mudbrick has to be checked with a spirit level back to a reference point.
Re: EcoStay building project64
Mar 10, 2019 7:25 am
All the downstairs walls are now up to the floor of the upper level. Time to catch up on some wiring and plumbing jobs. This work takes time but shows no visible progress so the site looks like nothing has happened for the past week.
Meanwhile we got some more white clay for rendering the stairwell walls.
A friends place where they have a dam with white clay.
Sifting out the lumps.
36 buckets of fine white clay ready to be made into plaster.
Re: EcoStay building project65
Mar 27, 2019 12:48 pm
So is there anything you won’t turn your hand to?
Can you tell us how much work and specialised knowledge is involved in the polished concrete? Is it just the top surface of the slab, ground and polished, or is there an added layer of concrete with special properties?
Re: EcoStay building project66
Mar 27, 2019 6:31 pm
I'm no expert in polished concrete. This will be our first floor in polished concrete. We've already done a test sample and we like the look.
We polished this with an angle grinder down to 3000 grit. Even without any sealer it has a sheen.
We poured the floor with 32Mpa concrete containing 20mm aggregate then sprinkled crushed glass over the surface before the initial floating. Within the first week we hired a commercial concrete grinding machine and ground the surface back with 40, 80 and then 120 grit diamond discs.
Since then we ran a slurry of cement and acrylic sealer over the surface to fill any voids created by the initial grinding. We'll leave this grout layer in place until the build is complete then we'll come back with the grinder again and successively grind the surface back until we get the finish we're after...probably 3000 grit. Not sure yet how we'll seal the surface so the concrete doesn't absorb any spills but we're looking at using an oil product rather than epoxy or acrylic as that will not scratch or yellow.
There's plenty of information out there on this topic or you can approach your local friendly concrete polisher hire place for some local knowledge.
Re: EcoStay building project67
Mar 27, 2019 6:36 pm
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Re: EcoStay building project68
Mar 27, 2019 7:28 pm
This is awesome! Why are you not on Grand Designs Australia?!
Re: EcoStay building project69
Mar 27, 2019 9:46 pm
Thanks for the reply.
More questions if I may.
How long would it take to do a room, say an average size bedroom?
Would you say it’s the type of job that a reasonably experienced DIYer would be able to get right first time, or does it take a fair bit of experience to get a nice flat level surface?
Re: EcoStay building project70
Mar 28, 2019 10:19 am
I reckon you'd have no trouble getting a room done with one days hire of the equipment. A whole house might take two days. Cost is around $500 including the vacuum dust control. We had no problem keeping the surface flat and even.
Maybe ring around the hire places (avoid the big chains and look for someone whose only business is hiring concrete finishing gear) and have a conversation with them about your needs. They're the ones with the real knowledge gained from experience.
Polished concrete is an attractive, low maintenance and durable finish, good luck.
Re: EcoStay building project71
Apr 19, 2019 6:55 am
We got all the flashing installed last week and that's really tidied the roofing up nicely.
Now for the guttering. We've chosen a 150mm half round gutter. The gutter clips offered to us by the gutter manufacturer are designed to attach to the rafters or the underside of the roof sheeting while the weight of the gutter rests on the rafters bird-mouthed to suit.
These clips go over the top of the gutter and I hate anything that could cause a blockage (with debris) or restrict cleaning. So, these were deemed unsuitable and returned.
We have no rafters or facia board to attach to as we have used structural insulated panels (coolroom panels) for the roofing. So we have designed our own custom gutter supports.
We spent the morning cutting, grinding, drilling. welding and painting to make 37 brackets.
Then installing them all. One support every meter. 1:300 fall (3mm per meter).
I can't show photos of the completed installation as it got dark as we were finishing up but it has rained since and my 3am torchlight inspection looked good.
Front and rear gutters drain into small (2,800 litre) tanks. These tanks are interconnected and the lower tank has a float switch installed that operates a pump to transfer the water up the hill to the large storage tanks.We had 8mm of rainfall and when I checked, the pump was running. I'll have to wait for daylight to check if there is any pooling in the gutters.
Re: EcoStay building project72
May 05, 2019 12:00 pm
We're at the point now where we need to order the large double sliding doors for the front of the house that will lead onto the verandah. These doors will sit inside a 350mm thick mudbrick wall. So we'll need to make a timber surround to fit the frame into.
Off to the paddock to find a decent sized jarrah.
This one's been down for 10+ years. Should do for the the two uprights of 350mm x 150mm.
I'm off to sharpen the chainsaw!
Re: EcoStay building project73
May 10, 2019 9:23 pm
We put the tree through the sawmill.
And produced some fantastic timber. The two uprights are 350 x 150 at 2.4m long and the head timber is 350 x 100 and 4m long.
Gut bustingly heavy, but we ran them through the thicknesser and they came up a treat.
Now we have an amazing surround for the big sliding glass doors. An exciting step that gives the room a new dimension.
We can now resume building the abutting mudbrick walls.
Re: EcoStay building project74
May 15, 2019 3:09 pm
That's a beautiful tree and the wood is so vibrant. It's going to have a beautiful place in your home now. I am wondering if you kept scraps for anything or what else you have intended for the rest of the wood. It would be nice to have a little bit of extra bits of it to play with or make something else for the home once it's fully done up! I'm really impressed by the foresight you had to turn it into something!
Re: EcoStay building project75
May 17, 2019 1:02 pm
Yes, we have stacks of off-cuts.
We've been using it for all kinds of things.
Here at the back door we've made a little bench seat so I can sit to put on my boots in the morning.
We've made various cheese boards and cutting boards for the kitchen.
And there's still plenty to keep us warm.
Re: EcoStay building project76
May 17, 2019 1:19 pm
That wood is absolutely beautiful,full of colour with character,so deep in colour, reminds me of a platter we had made from a old bloke in a old black Smith shop in country Melbourne,used lid of old French wine barrel that was 100,s years old,wood had been dyed by wine over decades,well done on a quality build.
Re: EcoStay building project78
May 27, 2019 10:43 pm
We've got the kitchen walls up to window height now
We've also made the window frames and installed the windows. They're double glazed thermally broken aluminium & PVC. The frames we made from our own Jarrah.
We also found this old stained glass semi circular window. It was missing a pane but we've restored it. Now we've just got to make up a Jarrah frame for it. It'll have to the 250mm wide to match the walls.
We'll install it above a servery that leads out onto the deck...all solid Jarrah of course.
Re: EcoStay building project79
Jun 08, 2019 9:03 am
So, I made up some curved formwork from scrap MDF and put together a Jarrah frame for this old window.
And I must say that I'm really pleased with the results.
That framework is 250mm wide and will support the mudbrick wall over the top.
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