Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And Who is in the detail?

The end (or beginning, depending on how positive/negative we're feeling) is near.

So as we near the end, the details (or lack thereof) are creeping up everywhere...

Ikea of course reigns supreme.

If you're cool and poor, well what else is there really?

Render on corners.

already installed and started using the new washing machine....
and yes - the old apple tree from the scarbs rental is bearing fruit in its new top spot...

65% of External Straw Walls + 100% of Ground Floor Walls Are Final-Coat Rendered

Phil and his boys have done a great job on the final coat. the final texture of lime+white sand will be slightly rough, but looking at them now, its impossible to imagine that these walls are in fact straw. Expecially relevant since there is no cement in any of the render coats.

windows reveals to be finished...
(and yes the downpipe will be put back on)

The C channel (which is our electrical duct) which was used as the formwork to the slab now being cleaned out ready for the electrician.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Discovery of a 'heritage listed' soakwell on site!!

Cuong, our super neat mate came over on Saturday and decided that something had to be done about the mess on site. He helped us all of Sunday to clean up around the site, and separate all the building materials from the waste materials. (Some might think this would be a clever thing to do on a building site....) hmmm.

Here is a nearmap image of the site as of Oct 23rd. Note the 'perfectly ordered' materials distributed across the future garden.

As the cleanup progressed, and a bit of digging ensued to clean some lime off the future vegetable garden, the boys hit a concrete pad where the red dot is on the map above. They noticed a little slit along the pad.

. We all peered into it curiously and with much anticipation, wondering what mass grave or ancient potty hole may lie within.... We poked a rod through and it went in quite deep......

[A bit of background on the site - The site was the backyard for our west neightbour's house - this was subdivided 10 years ago. No building has ever been built on this plot, except for a small shed which was demolished a long time ago. ]

So - Upon further investigation, and more digging, a brick well was seen....

The two pipes leading into it are terracotta on the west side (Pre 60's) and concrete on our side. It certainly looks like a very old soakwell. (I have been told they stopped building brick soakwells over 40-50 years ago...) Or a very ancient sewage well. (Didnt smell though....)

Further investigations were conducted.

We are not quite sure what to do with this hole. A few ideas are:

1. Garden Sculptural Element.

2. Pond for breeding tadpoles.

3. Rainwater harvesting tank. (No need to dig another hole!)

4. Wine Cellar.

5. Guest Bedroom.

6. Guest Toilet.

Anyone else have a suggestion? :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The last straw – the render pump + a very visible milestone!

Dave Morris rendered the last visible straw bales – first floor and mezzanine with a lime render pump. Fantastic progress – extremely even spread in comparision to our hand rendered first coat downstairs!
Now for a 4 week wait for this to cure slowly, and two more coats on these walls.

smoothing over with a hand trowel

render as it oozes out the pump.................

ray of light from west gable...

Bathrooms Showoff

Featured here are the nearly finished bathrooms.

I (D) am showing off the vanity "block" I designed and built out of 6 offcuts of our timber glue-lam column after my initial displeasure at the tiny round impractically beautiful "pebble" basin selected by C.
This, my friends, is an example of a compromise that worked out well . (Not too many of those around....!)

ps: big thanks to Kris for his help...

last minute change of grout colour to black when we saw that Juergen our German tiler had a margin of error of about +/- 0.0001mm!! perfect workmanship.


the sore backs
the bruised fingers
the lime that eats into everything.
the metal lathe (blood lathe) cuts - occupational hazard, that stuff...
the fact that no matter how many times you use a hammer, you will still whack your fingers at the steady rate of twice a week – usually the same finger.
the fights and The Nagging Wife syndrome, also The Nagging Husband Syndrome, the latter less frequent than the former...

This image makes it all worth it.
(no Photoshopping involved at all...)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

North Windows, West Gable, and a few more stories...

Our North windows are in. These were done here in WA by Pappas Glass. (Not ordered from Germany like the timber windows.) They are also double glazed. Bifold and slider + the hinged front door.
The glazing to the gable is also finally in.
Very exiting :-)

(above) the final lime render coat on the centre wall is still standing firm!

view from hancock street

view from munro reserve

kiwi kris and the city reflect on the east gable glazing...

still the first coat on the ground floor walls.
these joists will be exposed, but the straw board flooring will be painted white where visible as the ceiling here.
deck joists are up...