Some close up shots of the R9wa panel we are using for the build.
3rd of December 2013. Site clean in preparation for the R9 panel tracks to be laid on the slab. The wall panels slot into metal tracks around the perimeter of the slab.
23RD of December 2013. The track system that the R9 panels slot into has started to be put in place on the slab. After this everything slows down after Christmas for a few weeks.
20TH of January 2014. Ready to unload the panels from the truck but a minor setback of the forklift getting bogged holds us up for a day. Oops.
21ST January 2014. The panels have been unloaded and the first panels are up! all in the same day. I have never seen a build this quick, the crew are fantastic, seriously hardworking blokes. Our house has it’s first walls, happy days.
22ND January 2014. By the end of the second day there are more walls to the lower floor.
On 12 November 2013 we commenced site works, with the compaction test done we had the levels finalized ready for concrete. We are one street back from the beach so soil is quite sandy. The house is a two story 5 bedroom with majority of the bedrooms upstairs. The block had a wide frontage so we have a 3 car garage across the front to the right of the house.
The 14th of November, footings down ready to box up lower slab, plumbing pre lay done.
16TH November, concrete pour starts for the ground floor slab.
The process for having the plans drawn up was pretty straight forward. Our architect based on photographs we had given him, drew up the design. He then liased with R9WA for the panel drawings, and within a few months of back and forth we had our plans.
Council approval turned out to be a bigger issue. The vast majority of plans that they approve are project homes that use same design, so its pretty much a no brainer for them to rubber stamp something that has been previously approved. Our plans, although designed to the building regulations imposed by the council, were not as easily passed.
The reality was this was a one off design and for us it took longer than in the past when we had used a project builder.
We had weeks and weeks of back and forth adjusting small things on the plan and each time we submitted the changes we were given another list of things to address, frustrating was an understatement.
Finally we caught a break when the person we were dealing with at the council went on holidays and someone else took over his duties, low and behold within a day we had approval! go figure.
So we had plans ready to go and we could start…
I guess I should start this blog off by saying that my husband and I have built a few times before now but always through project builders in the past.
We are now embarking on our first owner builder project as we thought we have done it a few times previously and are not complete rookies to the building process, only time will tell if this will be of an advantage or not.
Living in Western Australia the preferred building product here is double brick, and having built two storey houses in the past we have had an average build time of 12-18 months. This time around we did some investigating alternatives and we came across a W.A. developed insulated panel called R9 greenwall which has a fibre cement outer skin and a high density urethane foam core that provides a high level of insulation ( the details of the product can be found by clicking the R9 link to the right of the blog) and the ability of the panels to be cut to size and detailed prior to them coming to site allow for a quick build time.
The style of house we had been thinking about for a while is based around an American coastal style, weatherboard character house. I’m loath to say Hampton’s style because that term is over used a lot at the moment, but below are a few pics of the style we are going for.
All images from Houzz.com