In which I present a fully illustrated timeline of our build so far, I go back to resume my apprehenticeship with some real actual building, I dabble in acoustics, Purchase Man goes international, and two dramatic time-lapses show the building process in action!
This is the 30th week of this blog, telling the story of Gemma and me building a house in Three Kings. To celebrate the 30th I'm going to pull out all the stops for your bloggy pleasure, and dazzle you with not one but TWO new sorts of hi-tech blogging hardware. First the illustrated timeline, then the stop-motion time-lapse that, like a government budget, is not underwhelming at all. Prepare yourself.
Sometimes commensters ask questions that indicate to me they haven't been reading this blog from the very start. Being a customer-oriented blogster I operate a full-service blog, so today I aim to remedy this lack of readster committment by taking it back oldschool with a timeline of our build. Here's what you've missed so far:
It's a project that to us is as massive as it is exciting - and it's very exciting. We have chosen a builder who manages the project for us, and still there are 848 received emails in my Three Kings Build folder. I've even read some of them.
Let's catch up with progress on site.
I hate noises a lot. Except the ones I'm directly listening to. It's just a thing. So I found a website from the US that outlines soundproofing basics in a really clear way. As well as waterproof and future proof, I also want to make the place soundproof. In fact I want to make it as many proofs as possible. Bulletproof? 100% Proof?
The first step in soundproofing is to identify problem areas. In our new place there are just a few: 1. Our ensuite is directly next to our bedroom (works best that way) so we want the wall between the shower and our bed to be as quiet as possible. 2. We have wooden floors in the kitchen/dining area upstairs so we want as little noise transferring below to the midfloor as possible. And 3. Generally speaking we'd like as little noise transference between rooms and between outside and inside as possible.
To achieve 3 we've got double glazing and there will be insulation in all the walls - internal and external - that will provide warmth and some soundproofing. After quite a bit of research (Googling) we're getting our insulation from Greenstuf from a New Zealand company called Autex who make all sorts of Greenstuf including acoustic Greenstuf.
To achieve 1. there are lots of tricks including making the wall thicker, putting more material weight in it, putting a double layer of gib glued with special acoustic glue, and "decoupling" which means making sure there is no direct contact from one side of the wall to the other by using staggered studs. I'm not sure how silly we should go with all this. Any thoughts, anyone?
Standard residential builds do a ceiling/floor arrangement with gib for the ceiling, then the joists which have insulation between them, then subfloor is glued and screwed (or nailed) to the joists and finally the flooring (carpet/wood) is laid on top of the subfloor. I found a product made by a company called Norton. It's a 3.2mm thick tape that you stick to the joists that provides a thermal and acoustic break. It worked out to be only a bit more expensive than glue, so I bought it - from Australia. Once the postage and duty (which I forgot about) had been paid it was twice as expensive as the glue (about $800 vs $350 for glue). And then it had to be laid... (I hope you are looking forward to my time-lapses, which, as I said, are not at all anticlimactic).
The build has been going great guns since my apprehenticeship began with the crucial and skilled building tasks of taking wood off concrete and denailing were completed. Since my first two days of helping out, Sam and Deek have stepped up to the top floor and brought the joists.
Gemma, Darcy, Kelly and Ava stand in the kitchen on Sunday.
Monday afternoon and the joists are all done.
Meanwhile the blockies got stuck in building the retaining wall for our small, high lawn area on top of the concrete footings Sam and Deek had dug a trench for. The amazing fortress of blocks in the second picture was the result at the end of Monday.
Before wood removal and blockwork
While all this hard work was going on I had a big day doing nothing with some old pals.
You may write your own smart-arsed caption.
So on Tuesday afternoon I turned up with two boxes of joist tape, still with that lovely "Australia" smell on them, you know, just like a brand new wallaby. I began to stick the tape to the joists. And at first, I'm not afraid to tell you, I was a little bit afraid to walk on the joists. But I made myself a little platform which I moved around to sit on.
Here's the tape in super hi-tech closeup action cam.
As well as soundproofing, the tape is also supposed to eliminate squeaks, but if anything I was squeakier afterwards than I had been before.
It was easy and rewarding being up there sticking tape down. I had a great view, including a great moment when I looked below me and saw Deek doing this.
How the mighty have fallen.
I was working alongside the blockies who were building the back wall of the house including the kitchen window. Working as a team, they've done a brilliant job of our house and I was glad to get to meet them.
Jesse, Paul, Brent and Rob of Wegner bricklayers are the best blockie team in NZ.
By the end of the day I had some of the tape on.
"Sunset and Tape" Bridges et al. Colour print on artboard. 1 of 150. $1800.
The next morning I showed up at the crack of dawn at 10am to finish the joist taping while the blockies finished the block wall. They had a 1pm deadline because the concrete to fill the walls was due then. That afternoon Sam, Deek and I laid the subfloor on top of my joist tape. I decided to tell this whole day in pictures, because a picture tells a thousand words, and a thousand pictures tell a million words, which is longer than all the Harry Potters joined together.
I therefore present to you, the latest in blogposting technology, the time-lapse (in no way a letdown). In the first one, shot from the southeast corner of the section, the blockwork is finished while I lay the joist tape. Notice the three men who turned up in a Firth ute and hi-vis vests to check some anomalies the blockies found in the blocks. Notice also the time where everyone else takes smoko while no-mates Bridges, like the diddle that he is, keeps working.
In the second of the time-lapses, which fully live up to their hype, the concrete is piped into the block wall while Deek, Sam and I screw the plywood subfloor to the joists. This job was made possible by my favourite tool of all time - the screw gun which is an attachment that goes on to the end of a normal drill:
Notice during this time-lapse the engineer visits to inspect the blockwork and the steel reinforcing within it before concrete is poured inside, to make sure it will withstand impacts such as an asteroid falling from outside our galaxy.
Bruce reacts sceptically when Sam tells him that site rules state he must wear a black cap turned backwards.
Here then is the second time-lapse (which also is not a disappointment).
This was easily the most rewarding day of the whole building a house process so far, and I came home tired and happy.
If you are new to the blog and want to see some of the other videos I've uploaded, they are all here. Don't get too excited, there are only a few.
Meanwhile our house continues to be for sale with an auction date set for a Wednesday in the near future.
I invite you to buy this affordable Edwardian gem on a full section, bursting with character and featuring fully transparent glass windows throughout.
I hope you enjoyed the technology I brought to you today. It used to be that anybody could blog but now it seems like you need a bloody degree in rocket bloody science to get involved.
I remain as always,
As usual please feel free to "Like" this blog's page on Faceingbook, which will bring you all the joy of an alert when a new posting is blogged. And email me whenever you feel like it for no reason at all. And now I'm proud to present another page of the amazing kids' book that sowed the seed of building in my young mind - The House that Beebo Built.
What's happened here is that Beebo has been screwed by Bill English's Budget policy to solve housing unaffordability, which allows central government to overrule local councils (may their mysterious grandeur never wane) and remove fantastical houses to make way for apartment blocks.