The site changed dramatically during the last few months. After pouring the concrete slab, David and his team moved onto building the structural frame before capping their efforts with the roof. Video footage from Ben’s DJI drone shows the transition from bare earth to the skeleton of a new house.
Up goes the frame.
As soon as the frame rose from the slab, we saw the plans literally taking shape before our eyes.
Looking at the front of the house shows the curved wall leading to the entrance way on the left. The roof extends over the curved wall on the right hand side of house.
At the back, a high ceiling allows light to flood into the open-plan family area.
Our placement of the tall, vertical window in the kitchen is spot-on. Don’t worry about the view being spoiled by the old garage because it will be dismantled before Unit 2 construction begins. Imagine looking at the mature Swamp Gum after the development is finished.
With its curves and angles, this frame is definitely not stock-standard. Building it on site by hand requires numerous calculations to get everything correct. What better place to do those calculations than right where they’re needed? David and the team calculated and scribbled their way through this complex frame construction. Everything had to be just right for a perfect finish.
Adding the painted fascia boards provides the first splash of colour on the structure.
No roof means puddles on the floor.
After a long stretch of dry weather, rain arrived before the roof. The level of the bedroom floor is lower than the family room to allow space for the recycled timber floorboards. When it rained, these areas filled with water.
Removing water became our after hours job to avoid the builders sloshing around in deep puddles the next day.
How could we remove the water? We immediately discarded the idea of bailing with small buckets. What about using a siphon? Not bragging, but I’m a bit of a dab hand at siphoning water using a garden hose. My brothers and I developed this skill many years ago through regularly emptying a Clark above ground swimming pool at the family home in Brisbane. There was that time we quickly emptied (and refilled) a neighbour’s above ground pool after shooting an arrow through the metal side.
Starting a siphon through a long garden hose doesn’t mean sucking on one end. Who’s got that lung capacity? Imagine a mouthful of dirty water! What you need is another person and a water tap. Fill the hose with water from the tap, then disconnect and keep all the water in the hose by plugging each end with a finger. One person puts an end in the pool of water while the other person goes to a low point. Unplug the hose and voila! Water flows out of the hose and starts the siphoning effect.
Libby spotted the best place to put the siphon hose inlet.
I placed the other end of the hose as far downhill as possible and the siphon removed almost all the water overnight.
Adding the roof.
After David finished the structural frame, Gavin and his team from Highland Plumbing and Heating arrived to install the roof.
With the roof in place, it’s easy to see how the curved wall sections nestle under the roof line. This is a fascinating mixture of straight lines and curves. There is a section of roof missing over the front door and entrance hall. The last section goes on after the brickies build the garage walls next to the entrance.
At the back of the house, the extended eaves shade the family room and kitchen from the hot summer’s sun.
Best of all, having a roof meant no more siphoning water out of the house after rain.
Wondering how a metal roof is a good idea for a sustainable home? Will we fry in summer and freeze in winter? Rest assured there is insulation. A layer of AIR-CELL 65 under the roof acts as a thermal break and insulator. Next comes a layer of R6 thermal/acoustic insulation batts above the rooms in the house. The silver colour of the roof also helps because it reflects summer sunlight, meaning the metal absorbs less energy.
Adding the roof prompted a flurry of activity. The plumbers installed the tubing for various water systems while David wrapped the frame in preparation for the windows and cladding.
What’s happening next?
The design’s distinctive character has emerged for all to see. We look forward to watching the cladding going on and the interior coming to life.