Welcome to our New House...

Hello and welcome to our blog.
It's exciting times as we are going to build a new home!

Starting this month, we will put the plans, drawn up by our designer Jason Kerr, of Black Peak Design, Wanaka, into action.

profiles set up to mark the foundation

digging the footings with Murray on the digger

steel reinforcing is placed into the footing trenches

Next, we'll have to pour concrete into the trenches, then the blocklayer, Dave Harwood and his crew, will come and lay two rows of blocks to form the outside of the footing.

Pumping the concrete into the blocks to fill all voids

troweled off to make a clean connection to the floor slab


we'have been busy in the meanwhile:

drains and sewer pipes were laid under the hardfill to what will be toilettes, showers, sinks, ..

Polythene foil is then laid over the compacted hardfill to prevent moisture being soaked up by the concrete slab/floor 

50mm Polystyrene foam insulates the floor throughout the house

here a detail of the garage door entrance

exactly 25cubic metres of concrete have formed the actual floor, you see the drain- and freshwater pipes and electrical conduits sticking up.

all still fairly wet concrete

The slab had been ponded with a little dam on PU sprayfoam to keep it hydrated while curing for the first 48h. Here now the drain are bing laid outside, a good thing to do early before cladding can get damaged etc.

power and gas lines


Great day - the frames are here!!!

Trusstech, our frames and trusses manufacturer, has made it possible and delivered the frames a few weeks earlier then scheduled. So we're steaming full speed ahead again.

offloading from the truck, 8 stacks in total

17/03: very first frame standing, calm, no wind - all on its own.

We managed to get all frames stood this Saturday, these were 140mm thick on all outside walls, 90mm (which is the usual standard throughout) on all interior walls.
Last photo here is the lounge corner giving an idea of  the vaulted ceiling to come.

Trusses shall arrive in about ten days, after we have put on a double top plate and bolted all ext. frames to the concrete slab with 12mm bolts.

1st truss

all 50odd of them up!!

Scaffold up, purlins on and ready for roofing iron.

First though we have to install the steel portal that extends the lounge wing and provides some shelter and sunshade in the summer.

Now the metal fascia will be installed by the roofers from About Roofing.

Before we order the windows I have to change the lintle heights on the two lounge windows: 

For some reason, the height accidentally changed in the plans at some stage. These windows always should've been taller than the rest to take advantage of the bigger wall height at this end .
left is old and wrong height, right is now correct.


The roof is now partially on, but it's been raining for two days, so no progress this weekend. 
As soon as the roof is finished, the scaffold will come down and we can start RAB boarding the house. That is a Ridgid Air Barrier. Contrary to older, more traditionally built houses that get wrapped in building-"paper" , ours get wrapped in a fibre cement sheet which will make the house stronger and warmer by eliminating the pumping effect paper wrapped houses suffer from. The pumping effect exchanges more air in the insulation cavity and so the house looses heat.

Meanwhile we've filed for a minor variation of our building consent to allow us to install a skylight which was originally not on the plans.

Natuerlich ein Velux!

Unfortunately, we've been waiting now for 2 weeks for this Minor Variation to be approved.
I don't know why our Building Consent Authority, our local council, outsources this minor work to a private processor. Last time i had to do one and I handed it in in paper copy to one of our building inspectors, it got approved within the week. Now I don't even know how long it could take cause apparently there is no timelimit on this. 

Well, it'll be there one day and the skylight will be in.

07 May 2018

So the roof is nearly finished and we've started working on the Ridgid Air Barrier.
We are using 4.5mm thick James Hardies cement fibre board, which isn't too nice to work with as it's heavy compared to 7mm ply, but doesn't contain copper/chrome/arsenic preservatives. Instead though it obviously containes silica and respiratory protection is needed when cutting. :-(

These will also provide for bracing and will make the house stronger.

Why RAB? Because a house with paper instead suffers airloss from a pumping effect of the paper and is therefore colder.