Archive for May, 2011

Weather and timelines

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Quite frankly the long range weather outlook is rather bleak with plenty of rain affected days to come over the next few months. In view of this I’ve just ordered enough steel and formply to double the current mould system shutters.

Since the dividers can be removed without actually exposing any of the drying earth mix these will not need duplicating, but the dividers they sit within will also need duplicating. This way when the sun shines I will be able to “make hay” (40 or so metres of wall) over 2 days and still allow the 2 day drying time that seems to have worked with the power room when we were experimenting with method.

Perfect weather would see us have the walls finished in under 9 weeks using the time per block we achieved with the power room during our testing. Since we can’t control the weather we’ll just do all we can to use fine conditions to our advantage instead.

Update on costs

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Been a while so this is a largish update:
Bunnings for everything from fibre cement planking to insulation and tank fittings – $1560.70
Stratco for roofing materials and timber battens for ceiling and roofing to be fixed to – $552.12
Ebay to various sellers for a steel fire door and the wood for the framing of the power room – $300
Mitre10 for external flashings – $30.47
Bushmans for the tank – $688

Total project spend is now at $291,038.33
House only is now $77,085.83
Cost per square metre is now $267.66

From here I can confidently predict the house will reach lockup at around $390 per square metre.
The house will be habitable and pass council occupancy standards at roughly $560 per square metre including the off-grid power setup and a 150kL water tank.

Finally on to the house!

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Power room is now complete externally with the flashings, guttering and rainwater tank now in place. Extreme angle on the gutter is an experiment in capturing water as the overnight conditions are regularly dropping below 0C apparent temp causing moisture to condense on and drip off the steel roof and I’m curious to see how much we can get in the tank. Not much point having it drip and sit in the gutter if I can make it pool towards the pop end of the gutter and capture it.

I’m not sure just how much if any water can be captured this way but it’s worth a measure seeing this shed is 2% the roof size size of the finished house/shed/pergola/verandahs. That or I’m mad.

First and second pic show the tank after we levelled the ground and dropped it off the trailer into place. The genset in the little trailer has proved to be a winner and I have even managed to run a 15amp inverter welder off it with no hassles at all.

We have the insulation and plasterboard for the internal fitout that we will fix into place the first day the weather prevents us from working outside. Painting can also wait until we have a day where all moulds have been filled and we have a spare hour or two……

We set up the layout hurdles before we called it a day so we now have a simple job of stringing a line between hurdles to give us something to run the moulds against for nice straight walls.

Finishing off the power room

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Easter provided me with 3 days off instead of the usual Sunday each week and we were able to get a fair amount accomplished in that time. I had made all the wall frames and roof trusses at home from some extra cheap timber I picked up off ebay. We trailered them up and simply lifted them into place and squared and fixed them in place.

You may notice the frames are doubled up, this was so the weatherboards and the internal linings would overhang the earthen walls to keep water externally and dust internally from sitting on the lip that would have been created had I used a single frame.

No bracing was used as the Hardi Plank weatherboards are able to be used as a structural brace.

We used a breathable barrier as per Hardi Plank installation instructions. Roof has a 75mm breathable blanket under the tin.

Door and window have been fitted, all I have left to do is flash the corners and give it a couple of coats of paint. Internally the fitout can be done as rain and wind make working outdoors too difficult.