It has been a bit quiet here lately – a trip to Melbourne and other distractions got in the way of keeping things up to date on the blog. But we haven’t been idle!

Since laying down the yellow tongue flooring we began on the walls. All timber stud frames the external walls came first starting at one wing and slowly moving our way around the perimeter. At this stage all window and door openings are finalised, building in the appropriate jamb studs (vertical members beside openings) and placing the correct lintels in over the openings. Things such as lintels are specified in engineers notes – type of timber needed to support the opening and distribute the load from the roof evenly down varies dramatically depending on the span covered. Also the stud spacing is determined at 450mm, a standard size that then will accomodate insulation and provide correct spacing for attaching internal lining. So with these constraints it is a matter of reading up on the Australian Standards and building each panel as required.

first wall
laying out

We built the wall panels by laying them on the floor, adding all relevant members in before standing them up and positioning with temporary bracing and nails through into the edge joists and floor.

Ross came down for a week to help and working a few days solid with 3 people definitely helped move things along quickly. Walls met and closed in spaces, window and door openings are visible to frame the views giving the first impressions of what the house be like to live in.

A few mistakes were made but the beauty of timber framing is that a few swings with the mallet, a bit of chiseling and re-nailing can fix most errors.

Incorporating the slope of the roof into the perimeter wall heights got the better of us all at various points where cutting 1 or 2 degree angles on lengths left us scratching our heads – usually a little patience and deep breaths saw it all come together.

changing views from the main bedroom… sunny
first curved section ready to go in!

As external walls were completed we also moved onto the internal walls – with only a few and some that needed to work around the steel beams and column we got these up sooner rather than later.

The steel also went in during the walls as the columns are hidden within the pantry/kitchen wall and dining/ensuite wall. These columns support the middle of two steel beams which in turn support the roof structure. Because of the Y shape the distance between the two external walls at the longest section nears 14m no timber rafter can span that without being incredibly beefy. So to keep the rafters the same throughout these steel beams help support the shorter lengths.

With the columns welded up by a guy in the neighbouring road and the beams delivered the next task was to position it all and lift the 200-odd kg beams into place. Given the walls and other obstacles in the way it was tricky and hard work positioning them ready to be hoisted up by a make shift pulley system devised by Steve. Everything fit together smoothly, no injuries and no need to hire any cranes or other machinery!

Rafters have started going on after Steve methodically worked his way around the structure fine tuning everything to be as true, square, level and plumb as can be. A tedious task what involves lots of tweaking and measuring to bring everything inline and uniform in relation to everything else! The LVL rafters going on help stiffen the structure further and we’re almost finished with a just a few holes to fill and a million nails to hammer through fixing brackets…

Next up: finish off the LVL rafters, more framing for the deck and a building inspection before we can finally add some weather protection and lay the roof! 2018 we’ll keep the momentum going and we will also try and keep this more up to date!

Happy Holidays x


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