Owner Builder Forum
Re: EcoStay building project22
Apr 18, 2018 10:52 pm
We finally have an actual BUILDING PERMIT.
Now the real work can begin.
We'll be out there tomorrow marking out the site and working out exact heights, retaining walls, excavations etc. The site is on a slope and there's about a 3m difference between the NE and SW corners so the more we can go down, the less we'll have to build up. However the site is mostly solid bedrock.
Re: EcoStay building project24
Apr 22, 2018 12:51 pm
Building two houses at the same time is as easy as building one....right? Well, that's our theory. Ordering materials, milling of timber, mudbrick making, hire of equipment, organising helpers etc. Benefiting from economies of scale...albeit on a very small scale.
The main building is a two storey mudbrick house built on a slope. It also has two large studios at the back. We're calling this one the "Eco-stay".
The second building is a tiny house of 20 square meters floor space. This one is on flat ground and also from mudbrick. This one we call the "Cottage".
To simplify things for those that might read this blog, I'll start a new thread for the Cottage build here.
Re: EcoStay building project25
May 20, 2018 10:09 pm
Well, we haven't been idle.
Our site slopes by about five degrees. That works out to about 3.5m height difference between the south west corner and the north east corner. The back half of the building is actually two studios and will be on a concrete slab. So this area needs to be made level. The ground here is solid rock with a light covering of gravel so that precludes cutting into the slope. (unless we had buckets of money and access to huge machines) And we'd rather go up than down anyway.
We have plenty of stone on our property so we're building retaining walls from the stuff. The walls are as thick at the base as they are high, forming a 45 degree slope at the back. So, from the front you see what looks like a nice rock wall, but behind that are tonnes and tonnes of rocks. Each morning we go out with the ute and bring back a tonne of rocks, then build a little more retaining wall.
Re: EcoStay building project26
Jun 04, 2018 4:40 am
We've got a lot of these stone retaining walls to build, starting at 300mm high and some going up over head height as they go downhill. We found some very cheap concrete leach drain modules (new) so we're going to include these in the wall. They will serve as storage "nooks" for storing firewood etc. They also replace a lot of stone work. We stand them on their end and pour a concrete floor inside. We've made up some form work and cast reinforced concrete for use as a lid.
Re: EcoStay building project27
Aug 01, 2018 2:31 pm
Between winter storms and outside (off property) commitments, work on constructing the retaining walls continues.
We're also preparing for the lower level slab to be poured. This includes positioning all the steel poles that help support the upper level. These steel poles will eventually be completely encased inside the mudbrick walls.
Re: EcoStay building project28
Aug 20, 2018 3:09 pm
Preparation for our concrete pour in 3 days. There will be 2 pours for this build; downstairs and then the studio.
Weather looks like it will be good.
Re: EcoStay building project30
Aug 24, 2018 8:21 am
The concrete pour went perfectly.
In the bedroom we will have polished concrete so we crushed about 100 bottles and added the glass to the wet concrete.
We'll hire a concrete grinder next week and grind the surface back to reveal the glass.
Re: EcoStay building project31
Aug 29, 2018 7:44 pm
So, while waiting for the concrete to harden we cranked up the homemade sawmill and milled some jarrah for the stairs. Solid steps, 350 x 180mm. Not quite sure how to dress them down to their eventual size yet as they are too large to fit through our thicknesser machine.
Re: EcoStay building project32
Aug 31, 2018 5:05 pm
Concrete grinding went well. First run with 40 grit then 70 and lastly 120. Only took me a few hours. We'll come back after we've finished building and work our way up to 1500 grit to hopefully get a nice polish.
Re: EcoStay building project33
Sep 10, 2018 8:13 pm
I've always wanted a cellar. The back end on the house is 2 meters high and will be back filled with soil before we build a studio on it. Seems like a great spot to build a cellar!...will save on fill soil too.
So, we got hold of some very cheap concrete blocks and over the course of six days constructed the walls. The blocks were filled with concrete and a 10mm rebar runs up the centre of every second one.
And now I'm constructing the formwork to pour a concrete roof.
Hope to get that done in the next week or two.
Re: EcoStay building project35
Sep 11, 2018 10:46 pm
No, haven't done. The entire structure will be underneath our building and above the natural ground level. The site is also extremely well drained, we don't even get puddles during heavy downpours. I did consider it but felt it would be better to have the cellar "breathe" with the underground environment around it.
Re: EcoStay building project36
Sep 13, 2018 1:50 pm
Few questions to you:
1) How are you planning to insulate those walls?
2) How are you handling the blocks when it gets to door/window openings? Besser blocks are not easy to cut as far as I know.
3) What are your thoughts on the ventilation system? Besser/concrete walls won't be offering much of breath-ability and vapor permeance.
Re: EcoStay building project37
Sep 13, 2018 4:07 pm
We are only using the concrete blocks for building the cellar. We wanted something that was cheap, easy and quick and would (when filled with concrete & rebar) hold the load of the building above. The actual house will be from mudbrick.
1). We will not insulate the cellar walls.The mudbrick walls will be 350mm thick. Some walls will have extra insulation in the form of a stud wall and bats. These walls will be out of sight ie; under benches behind cupboards etc.
2). Cutting the blocks was easy with an angle grinder and diamond coated blade.
3). We've put two ventilation openings in the cellar, at opposite ends, one at the top and the other lower down.
Re: EcoStay building project38
Sep 17, 2018 5:49 pm
20 bags of cement, a couple of ute loads of stone, a load of sand from the bag paddock, two cement mixers and a couple of hours.
We now have a roof on our cellar. All went really well. I'll keep the surface wet for the first week and then pull out the formwork the week after.
Re: EcoStay building project40
Oct 07, 2018 7:29 am
With the cellar done and the stone retaining walls all but finished we have been working on putting up poles. Poles for the verandahs and some internal. Those that will end up being inside mudbrick walls are steel and those that will be visible are timber (Jarrah or Wandoo).
We cut all the timber from our own property.
This is the longest at just over 6m....I'm glad that wasn't a windy day!
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