Blog #21: The Deck.

Hope everyone is refreshed after their week away from the blog. I will keep this one short and sharp as we are moving out of our rental this weekend. I will have plenty of time to write blogs whilst I am homeless.

Two weeks to cover so I will skim over the developments. One realization is that building a house is a mammoth task that we all underestimate. It is not until you see it up close that you get an appreciation for the level of detail and coordination required.

The main items for the first week were the glazing and straightening of the wall frames. Timber stud walls are generally slightly bowed so time is spent either planing them or packing them to get them perfectly straight ready for plasterboard. The red LVL studs were nice and straight so this task was competed quicker than usual.

Whilst the window frames and openable sashes were already in, Maher’s Glassworks were back onsite last Thursday to glaze the fixed panels and install the sliding door panels for our two large stacker door units. They glaze onsite to make the windows easier to handle and install.

The decking also arrived on the Thursday and along with the glazing gave us a nice boost.

Delays are inevitable and we have had a few over the last couple of weeks. I fully understand, as all trades around here are super busy, and suppliers can take some time to fill orders. There will be highs and lows and last week I felt that we were spinning our wheels but not getting far. But rocking up to the site on Thursday, seeing the glazing, and taking the decking out of the pack restored my enthusiasm.

We were back at the site on the weekend and gave it a good clean after a couple weekends away. The site was spotless once again which made us happy, but more importantly made the builders happy. They really appreciate this and ultimately it saves us money. Kristian runs a pretty tight ship and will not let the site get out of control, so a weekend clean up saves their time and makes for a pleasant work environment.

Clean site.

The main items this week have been the installation of the air conditioning system, and the building of our back deck😍.

The ducting finally arrived on Monday and Berry refrigeration were into it. It was a bit tricky to fit all the ducting in our tight roof space, but they got it done. The ducting ranges from 300 to 450mm in diameter and is insulated making it much bigger that you expect, and there is a lot of it – see pic below. Roof space and air conditioning needs to be considered when designing lower profile roofs.

Ducting in roof.
Insulated duct.

The builders set about building our lower deck frame and preparing for the decking boards to be laid. We are using composite decking rather than timber and this is consistent with the low maintenance theme of the house. You can’t beat the look and feel of natural timber, and the composite decking is a lot more expensive, however our deck is on the north side and a lot of it will be exposed, so I wanted something that didn’t require ongoing oiling. We were impressed by the range available and are very happy with our selection.

The set-out of the boards required a lot of thought. They come in 5.4m lengths and cannot not be butt joined because they expand and contract with varying temperature. The main part of our deck is 8m x 6m and then we have a narrow section and a lower section, and some angles. We also wanted to avoid wastage due to the cost of the boards. This all made the set-out complicated and I spent a bit of time modelling the various options. By option 5 we had it sorted and the builders ran with this. Thursday night some boards where down and Jess and I sat on it and enjoyed 2 of the best beers I have every had (in peace without the children). Friday most of the boards on the top section went on and we are looking forward to a mini deck party tonight (Saturday).

3D model of deck set out.

That is all for now, hopefully some significant developments in our next blog…

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