Friday, April 29, 2016

Our House Build - Shed Plans, Retaining Wall

I received my shed plans through today from Chris Rodda from Westvic Sheds and Garages in Colac.

Chris supplies Fair Dinkum colourbond sheds; Ideally I'd be buying the kit only and assembling myself but for the sake of simplicity and ease of funding/building permits/etc we will be getting it assembled by his sub contractors; the great thing about this is it will be done at the same time as the house - allowing us to move shed stuff directly to the shed rather than the house when it comes time to move out of our rental and into our new home.

I also received the quote for the retaining wall, which has been done to meet engineering requirements (a necessity as we're building it 200mm off the boundary (cut will be done to the boundary then backfilled) and it'll be over 1200mm for a portion and 18m long. It's been quoted as galvanised posts with concrete sleepers which sounds good to me - but it's not cheap at around $5,300.

That said, it's got to hold our neighbours house back from falling on top of ours; so it's got a pretty important job to do - and being concrete/galvanised steel we shouldn't need to worry about maintaining it in the future assuming we stay in this house for a long time. Being 18m long means from my guess it will come back to at least the dining room - maybe even to the rear of the house - depending on where it begins (I'm not sure that it needs to start at the front boundary)

I think now that means we're waiting on very little before we can get things underway!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our House Build - Waiting

Have been back and forth with the builders about getting a price for 3 phase power; apparently I needed permission from powercor and I emailed them a few weeks back (to a couple of different email addresses) - one response was to send off a form requesting a connection and they'll quote it (but it costs $500ish even for a rough estimate) and then I sorta gave up and late last week I got a phone call in response to the other email I sent; to say that the pits (we have underground power) have 3 phase available to it's as simple as the electrician emailing powercor before connecting and then it's all good - so I've gone back to the builder and asked for a price - it might mean we can run a larger AC unit for similar cost to the single phase unit we've been looking at, as well as potential to connect 3 phase machines in the shed (which can often be purchased very cheaply ex machining workshops via grays online)

It's much cheaper/easier to connect 3 phase at this point than later, as the whole house would need to be re-circuited to allow the load to be balanced on each phase (or so my understanding of the phone call from powercor goes) - adding it later would also mean we'd need to replace a single phase power meter with a 3 phase one, and replace single phase wiring to the shed sub board with 3 phase wiring.

So it's a bit of a waiting game now - waiting for the builder to give us the retaining wall engineering information so we can organise our site cut/fill, waiting for a final price for the HVAC, waiting for a price on 3 phase power, and waiting for all of that to combine to a final fixed price quote so we can apply for unconditional finance with the bank.

We've also had to re-order our birth certificates as we can't work out where we've put them. I'm sure they'll turn up when we're packing the contents of the house to move. We need the birth certificates to apply for the first home builders grant.

I swung by the block today (I do most days, mainly to make sure nobody is dumping any rubbish/concrete etc on our block) - this is the house over the road from us - construction fencing is down and it looks like it's going to be lightweight cladding all round perhaps? I don't mind the look of it; which is a good thing since 3 of our bedrooms will look at it when the foliage dies off the shade trees in winter! I was intially worried that since it is built up a fair way it might look a little imposing; it certainly doesn't look that way now.

The road continuation has been hotmixed and the formwork is down for the footpath - this is of particular interest because this is actually still out the front of our block - the white peg near the pipe cover/access 1/4 of the way down is actually the bottom corner of our block.

This is looking from that peg - you can see to the extreme right of the image two more pegs - the middle one is the dividing line between our two south side neighbouring properties - the furthest is the rear / south-east corner of our block.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Our House Builds - External Render - From Shed Door

Here's a render from the shed door, this is showing my hopes for basic future landscaping structure - it could turn out to just be rolling hills of dirt for a year or so yet!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our House Build - Theatre Layout

After rendering the theatre room step, I realised I need to work out where I want the speakers and screen positioned so I have a plan ready to go when I want to run speaker and RCA cables (otherwise we'll get to that point of the build where we have to do our data cables and potentially run out of time without getting what we need done!)

This great guide has a handy list of speaker locations/angles etc.

First was to determine the size screen we want- 110" sounds a suitable size for the space, then to work out primary seating position and head height. I measured my ear height in our current lounge suite and applied that height about the center of the theatre raised platform, then created a cylinder and marked out the recommended angles for the speakers from that position.

The guide recommends around ear height, so that's where I'll put wall plates - if the speakers need to be mounted higher to clear the furniture then they can be wall mounted above the plates and still look neat as they'll only just be popping above the edge of the seating.

Screen position has center just a touch above eye height; this supposedly gives a bit of a theatre-esque feel and also allows a bit of height between any entertainment unit we choose to use and the center speaker - it also allows the center speaker to be closer to ear level where centering the screen to eye height may have caused it to be a little too far off axis.

The next drama was projector distance from the screen. In discussions and electrical plans with the builders I'd specified the center of the room for projector location. A quick spot of research shows that standard projectors are around 3.5-4.5m to acheive a 110" image. Whoops, better revise that! Height is recommended above the screen by no more than around .5x the height of the screen which I've shown as centerline of the wall plates on the wall above the posters below:

Emailed the image below to the builder- we need to move the ceiling powerpoint to about 300mm from the wall adjoining the bedroom.

We haven't organised a projector yet (and in fact it'll be one of the later things we do once we're moved in) but LED/Laser 1080P looks to be the way to go - no lamps to worry about!

At least now when it comes time to run the cables I'll know where on the walls I need to run speaker and RCA cables to!

I guess next will be data points!

Our House Build - SketchUp - Theatre Room - Step and LED Strip

Here's the step in the theatre room (or an approximation of it, since it only exists so far on a hand-marked version of the selection documents) as well as our timeless grey walls and three movie posters (I plan to put something similar if not this exact set of posters on the wall - they're reasonably affordable and a nice touch I think for a theatre room.)

This room will have four downlights and no ceiling fan as I've provisioned a powerpoint in the center of the ceiling for a data projector. I'm going to run some conduit with a draw wire up to the same point when I do the data cabling to allow future connection methods (in case HDMI goes out of fashion down the track)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Our House Build - New Kitchen Render

I got the cornice right this time!

(You can click the image to enlarge, as with most on here)

In other news, we paid the deposit for the shed kit today, so the shed plans can be prepared for submission to the council by our builder. Exciting times!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Our House Build - Kitchen View Render

The worst thing about rendering something is not noticing when you've made a mistake until it's been way too long. 35 Hours in and whoops, the cornice on the bulkhead is Dieskau not Vivid White.

Oh well, a different angle next time.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Our House Build - Wide Angle Kitchen Render

Here's a new render of the kitchen. I think I need to re-add the view image to the background and render it again

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our House Build - Laundry Render

Here's a render of the Laundry including basin, although the tap location isn't likely to be where it'll actually end up. Also the handles on some of the bathroom cabinetry will be 196mm instead of 256mm long (I think the laundry ones will stay full size though)

I've compiled a list of things we will need to organise during or post-build:

  • Ceiling Fans
  • Pendant Lighting
  • Letter Box
  • Street Number Sign (thinking of a laser cut corten steel placade or number on the wide rendered section at to the left of the entryway)
  • Clothes Line
  • Fencing
  • Rear Driveway (between garage and shed)
  • Data Cabling (approx 2x 305m boxes of Cat6, jacks, wall plates and a 24 port patch panel)
As well as this I've now got a list of items i'm waiting for or need to update before we can get our mortgage broker to kick things into gear with the bank:
  • Builders fixed price contract/quote (we've confirmed a lot with the builder including our selections although we're waiting for a few bits and pieces)
  • Shed concrete quote - I have one I'm happy with although it will need to be adjusted as we will be getting the area levelled prior which will save around $500.
  • Shed & Assembly quote - we need to pay a deposit (10% of the shed kit) for this ASAP as this is how we get the plans, which need to be submitted to council by the builder with their plans and engineering for the retaining wall to all be done under one approval.
  • Air Conditioning system plan and quote - this is being done by my father; my brother will be installing as he's a qualified refrigeration mechanic - we look like going a dual zone central reverse cycle inverter air conditioning system - this is working out only negligibly more expensive than a gas central heating system and a single 7kw split system a/c - so well worth doing!
Some other things I'm not sure if I've already mentioned on here that we're doing:
  • Rebating the stacker doors in the living/dining area; this will help the living areas to flow outside when the doors are opened.
  • Double glazing all windows of the house - the ones we HAVE to do for 6 star energy rating (7 of the windows) added approx $6k to the cost of the house. To do the remainder only added around $3.5k more - so worth doing for the savings it will return over the life of the home. I also anticipate that even if we sell in 10 years that things like double glazing and electric powered HVAC will be a much bigger deal than they are now due to global warming and a bigger focus on alternative energy sources.
  • Raised step to the theatre room including LED light strip to illuminate the underside of the step
  • CSR Soundscreen acoustic batts to following walls:
    • Two walls between master bedroom and living room/entry way
    • All three internal walls of the theatre
    • Wall between bedroom and bathroom at rear of house
That's all I can think of for now, but as I think of more I'll document them here (as I've mentioned before, this is as much for my own timeline/record/purpose as for anyone elses!)

I've got another render (of the kitchen) cooking up in SketchUp!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Our House Build - Powder Room Render

Here's a render of the powder room, sans toilet roll holder.

We've signed our colour selection papers today (at last!)

Good to have that part over and done with.

We're upgrading the solar hot water system from Rinnai's 1XL system (standard with our builder) to their system 4 (suits our household requirements with the two baths, three showerheads etc a bit better)

We're also putting acoustic batts in the walls between the bathroom and bed 4, all internal walls of the theatre, and in the two walls between the master bedroom and the living area/entry way. The other two bedrooms are separated acoustically by their built in robes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Our House Build - SketchUp - More Renders

Here's a render of the kids bathroom. I've also drawn up the powder room and laundry basins which I will render and post up when they're done; because I've gone for the accurate mirror these renders are taking a day or more to complete.

We've changed the window to Scarlett's bedroom to save $200 and because it matches the window in the bathroom a bit better (you'll see them side-on from the kitchen splashback)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Our House Build - Driveway Clearance

I've got a project car that I have another blog for over at - a 1979 BMW E21 323i... with a few changes.

I asked the builder if it were possible to hold off concreting the driveway until we could do a trial run with the E21 to make sure it was going to clear in case we needed to change the shape of the slope.

They say the driveway needs engineering so they wanted some dimensions.

I measured the wheelbase (2500mm) and the lowest points on the car - the sump at the front 65mm at 450mm foreward of the front axle center, the swaybar at 80mm off the ground 550mm from the front axle,

an exhaust flange 55mm about 1/4 of the way back and a flex join/general exhaust tubing at 65mm to about mid way on the car (After this the footwell area of the car tucks up under the rear seat position where the factory fuel tanks normally sit)

I sent these dimensions to the builder then put them into a rough sketchup model to try them out myself

So far so good, if I stick to the left hand side of the driveway, and the driveway is just a straight slope, the sump and swaybar will just clear.

Once it's on the driveway, it's fine too.

Still looking OK, the suspension would take up this droop and it has a locked rear end so getting a wheel in the air won't actually stop its progress.

Just enough clearance roughly where the flange is.

Not so good when we get to the middle of the car...

This is roughly where the flex join is in the exhaust, which does have SOME give, but not enough to take the full weight of the car, I wouldn't think.

This is also with the front wheels.... in the air... so in this situation it'd be supported by the exhaust. Not ideal.

Re-measured the car - the majority of the sills etc are 100mm from the ground. The exhaust is currently tucked up as high to the floor as it can go. OK lets imagine we can fix that... changed the model to 100mm:

...and it clears. Looks like I'll be adjusting the real car too. Plan is to cut a channel out of the floor and run the exhaust high enough that it clears underneath to the same height as the sills - then weld a hump above it using a larger diameter pipe cut in half length ways.

That's a job for another day!

Our House Build - Sketchup Render - Ensuite