Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 86: Doors in, and brickies started early! Plus: Cooling discussion

We were a bit rushed tonight as there was a dinner seminar to get to - but getting to our house, we were a bit surprised to see.... heaps had been done!

Let's start with the chippies - they were a little busy today! Front doorframe & temp front door, internal access doorframe, rear birpart frame was all installed. Also many issues detected at Tuesday's frame inspection were fixed up today: missing noggin from study, home theater door height corrected, bed 4 to bathroom door relocated, master bed doorframe secured. Well done boys!

This pic shows our front door - love the sidelights! The temporary front door is hanging open, the final door is 2340mm high, 1020mm wide - plenty big! But now more and more of the house is coming together, I'm realising there's a few things that I might have changed - though we put in hours and hours into planning this house, you can't always get everything in! One thing might have been to get a quote on upsizing the front door to 2340x1200mm - the front door would be 18cm wider, but then each sidelight would get 9cm narrower. Anyway, can't change it now, and the current door is already massive! Another thing might have been to upsize the internal access door - it's a standard 820mm door, but making it a little bigger might be useful as I tend to go in & out with big things a lot to the garage.

Here's a pic of the rear bipart door - this was part of the promotional package, upgraded from the standard aluminium bipart door. This one is a standard door height, 2140mm I think (so is the laundry sliding door), whereas every other door is 2340mm high. Not sure this timber bipart comes in a taller door size; pretty sure we checked this with our CSC at preliminary contract, otherwise we would have got the taller one. The two sliding doors haven't been installed yet.

Now here's a question for everyone out there - if you look at the bottom of the bipart, the aluminium rails for the sliding doors are on the outside - should it be this way? It just looks like it should be inside as there's a line of black felt you can just see in the photo, but so far the chippies seem to know what they're doing :)

The other big surprise was that quite a lot of bricking had been done - one one side of the house only 1-2 layers of bricks had been put down, but on the other side quite a bit more of the wall had been done already.

This shows the home theatre room from the backyard, and looking up towards the front of the house you can see quite a bit of bricking has been done today. This was a real treat, as Monique mentioned they'd start next Monday, or maybe Friday (tomorrow) if they could! When we inspected closer, all the mortar widths were pretty consistent, and the flush finish seem to be quite even all the way around. We picked off-white mortar, which looks quite dark now because it's still fresh, but as it dries out, we should see it lighten considerably!

We're very happy to see bricking start ahead of schedule, and to see the minor issues seen in the frame to be fixed up so quickly, testament to our SS paying attention to our concerns and passing on words to the tradies to get them fixed promptly - top marks there! Let's hope the good run continues!

Finally, to respond to Glenn who asked about cooling, in our prelim contract M won't put evaporative cooling ducts to downstairs in the build (but I've heard that in NSW they will?). If you add in refrigerated cooling however, then that would include ducting to downstairs. Our plan is to install a big evaporative cooler upstairs (we added "evaporative cooling provision" to our contract which gives reinforced roof trusses, powerpoint and water point for cooling), and later add a split system AC to the downstairs open area. My parents have this setup in their 2 storey house, and it works very well - especially being able to leave the evaporative cooling on low overnight during the hot humid nights, makes it a "breeze" to stay cool! We decided to add the evaporative cooling after handover, as you'll get a more powerful, capable system with more ducts for the same price.



  1. Great progress, you must be thrilled. Dug out the photos of our doors and there are 2 tracks - the one on the inside has the felt and that is where the doors are, then there is a 2nd track on the outside without felt for when we put in the screen doors later.

  2. Thanks for the detailed response, and congrats on the progress with the construction, looks great! We were stuck on Hawthorn bricks as well for a long time, but finally decided on Ironstone from Selkirk due to the popularity of Hawthorn (they're popular for a reason). My wife went to Coldflow today who advised on a similar set-up to your proposal (evap upstairs and splits downstairs). I think we will be going the same way.

  3. Looks very interesting. We are getting ready to build the Nolan 45 at Uni Hill. Your blog is very helpful, thank you. Whats the reason for no evap cooling downstairs.

  4. SarahV: Did a little bit more investigating just then and apparently our particular doors are meant to have the sliding sections on the outside as they have installed it - guess sometimes I should just let the pros get on with it! The only thing I see as a potential issue will be dirt getting into the track on the outside, will have to keep it clean I guess. Plus there's this link to the same topic on homeone:

    Glenn: Ironstone is a nice brick; did you get a list of houses with Ironstone from Selkirk? You should be able to get it by calling them or dropping into one of their showrooms. Austral were great in giving us a huge list of houses with their bricks to check out, helps a lot more than just looking at 1 or 2 bricks in a showroom!

  5. Dogan: I think M won't provide evaporative cooling downstairs as then they have to get the heating ducts downstairs, then separate cooling ducts downstairs - not enough space in the roof area to get them all through. But since refrigerated cooling combines both heating & cooling into the one duct, it doesn't make a difference in terms of how many ducts they have to fit into downstairs.

  6. Hi. Thanks for the reply that really clears things up. We will be getting Hydronic Heating, so i hope then there will room to get evaporative downstairs as well.

  7. Tim: Yes we got a list of houses with Ironstone and also a list of houses with Hawthorn, all the brick companies were very good with providing recently built homes using their bricks - It was definitely the right way to choose bricks, as they can look very different when seeing a whole house done, this is how we ruled out the Boral Mocha, they just did not look good on most of the houses we saw

  8. Have a nolan 45 (albeit an older one) in Greensborough. Evap cooling provision is a great idea, we did it, as the bonairs only just work. The breezair we put in was much stronger and less money than metricon were going to charge. They did put the provision on the side of the house where all the sewer breather pipes come up, so we had our installer move them to the other side. With a huge open stairwell and a vent above that, as soon as you open a downstairs window the rush of air through cools the house down a treat. The media room is still a little difficult to get good air flow through, because of the doors, but works OK. Master bedroom faces west on our house, so if it's a hot day the afternoon sun can warm it up quite a lot, again one opened windown and the evaporative up and 30 minutes later the whole house is cool.




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