I am currently designing and building a house in the Southern Flinders Ranges.
This house is quite modest as I want to build it myself so a large 2 storey house would not be practical.
It will be used as a weekender. The house has been rated at 7.6 stars.
I designed the house to be solar passive, optimised for Autumn - Winter -Spring (as I will not be spending much time in it during summer).
The main living areas are double brick to provide some thermal storage as there are usually large temperature variations between day and night. The remaining rooms are insulated timber framed.
The site is in a high fire risk area - BAL 29.
I had previously designed and built a house near Adelaide 35 years ago,so I thought this present build would be relatively straight forward, especially considering the current house is much smaller and simpler to that I built in the 1970's
However I did not factor in the difficulty in building is a relatively remote and isolated location.
Building also needs to be planned around farming activities. For example labour is not available at harvest time and outside work is not practical during summer, in particular concrete cannot be placed at this time.
Sourcing building materials and arranging deliveries is a challenge. None of the local sands are suitable for bricklaying so my brick sand came all the way from Adelaide.
My first obstacle was to get an all weather track constructed that satisfies Country Fire Service Requirements.
As I am building 600m from the nearest public road this involves providing passing lanes and turning circles that suit a fire truck,
Next, I needed a level building site. A considerable amount of dozer work was required as my property is steep and undulating with no level areas.
I chose the flattest part on the spur of a hill but hit bedrock at only one metre.
As I hit bedrock, it would not have been practical to excavate any further for sewer pipes or foundations so I built up a building platform using about 500 ton of quarry stones.
We also need fire fighting water as the house is in a high risk bushfire area.
This is the building platform ready for excavation where I marked out the walls with Roundup (as I did not have any spray paint and there are no shops nearby).
Digging last pier (I hope)
Enough digging. Time for a glass of wine or two.
This is the excavations completed for the slab.
This went perfectly due to careful site preparation.
Reo placed & formwork installed ready for concrete.
Waiting for concrete.
There was a significant delay as some of the trucks made several return trips to the concrete batching plant with a round trip of about 2 hours.
Only issue was that there were only 4 concrete trucks available.
I needed 8, so there was a significant delay waiting for some of the trucks to make several return trips to the concrete batching plant with a round trip of about 2 hours.
Only finished trowelling at sunset.
Day One of framing.
Cutting first Stud
Day One of framing.
Laying out timber for first of the wall frames.
Another beautiful day in the office.
Day Two of framing. First wall erected.
This was a bit tricky working by myself. The rest should be easier as I will have an existing wall to clamp onto.
External wall frames up. Now to order roof trusses & install them. Then I can get onto making and erecting internal wall frames.
Internal brick walls going up.
Note the extensive propping. Glad I did this as a few days later there were 130km/hr winds.
Several of my neighbours came around to check on the house to see if it was still standing
View of the house taken for the other side of my property.
External walls up
Scissor roof trusses delivered.
Roof Trusses Up! Now I can complete the internal walls.
Roof Trusses Up. Internal wall frames finished.
Septic Tank Installed. After a lot of digging through rock we now have a working toilet. Just need a bucket of water to flush it.
Temporarily lined the toilet walls with foil sarking for privacy, but this does obstruct the views.