Met our site supervisor on-site this afternoon and it's great to see that our house is almost fully clad. The whole ground floor is clad as is most of the first floor. The hebel looks good and you can now clearly see how they are installed and how each block interacts with both the house frame and the other blocks.
We're told the next stage is to complete the carpentry for the eaves and then to render the hebel to the first floor. Then all the scaffolding will come down at the end of this week. With the scaffolding dismantled, the roof trusses to the remaining areas of the ground floor under the roof-line (includes the garage) will be installed, the roof completed and the ground floor hebel rendered. This should all be complete by the end of next week and we presume this will essentially get us to lock-up stage.
We didn't comb through the house today to check off the schedule of building defects, as it's difficult to move freely through the home with all the scaffolding around the site. Once the scaffolding is down and the site cleaned, we will meet again with our site supervisor on Nov 2 to go through the schedule and to ensure everything is order before proceeding to the next stage. We imagine that the pre-plaster inspection will occur at this point too.
We had a friend on-site late this afternoon (who's father is a builder) too. He picked up a few areas where questions may need to be asked. Again, if you've never been exposed to building before, you'd never even know to ask the question(s).
Friday, 12 October 2012
Not much progress made on the actual house this week. As mentioned previously, the hebel to ground floor is almost complete. The bulk of the work this week has been to erect the scaffolding, which has proved to be quite a job in itself, around the perimeter of the house. This scaffolding will be used to install the hebel to the first floor. It must be quite a job as the hebel blocks are certainly not light. We hope now the scaffolding is up, that the hebel installation will complete next week. Looking forward to seeing this home fully clad. Once this happens, our understanding is that the next stage is to render the hebel cladding.
The slab rectification works have also been completed. See photo below. Our site supervisor is happy with the rectification works, which have also been signed off on by the relevant building surveyor. The edge of the slab certainly looks much better now, and we hope these works ensure the long-term performance of the slab and the house.
While on-site we also noticed that the faulty concrete slab beneath the steel post at the front right of garage entrance had again been worked on. It looks much better now. The concrete does not appear honeycombed. It looks more solid with complete coverage. A length of timber has been added to the inner side of the steel post. The post itself and the timber frame no longer overhang the concrete. We hope that it will now comply with the standards and satisfy our building inspector when he returns for the pre-plaster inspection. See the photo below.
Sunday, 7 October 2012
These photos were taken on the weekend. It's great to see the ground floor hebel has almost been finished. Only some of the walls facing east remain to be completed. We really like hebel as a product. It should look clean, sharp and modern when fully rendered.
Hebel is lightweight steel-reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete. The hebel is supplied in large blocks which are attached to metal studs with bolts. The photo below shows two of these metal studs (running horizontal underneath the window). Hebel as an external cladding is supposedly easier to work with than bricks and therefore much quicker to install than laying bricks. We are told that using hebel as our external cladding will shorten the overall build period. Coupled with the other documented benefits of hebel (highly fire resistant, high acoustic absorption, excellent insulative properties), we are very glad CG use hebel as a standard inclusion rather than a paid upgrade.
CSR Building Products Limited manufacturers Hebel. They produce a Design & Installation Guide that describes the benefits, design approach and considerations when using hebel (and specifically hebel powerblocks) for your home. If you are using or considering to use hebel for your home, we would recommend being familiar with this guide.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Yesterday we noticed the hebel had been delivered to site and that various works had been done in preparation for installing the hebel. A material (like foil, could be insulation) is attached to the house frame to create the sensation of walls surrounding the house. The material is silver from the inside, and green (branded Carter Grange) from the outside. We're told the guys will start installing the hebel tomorrow and that ground floor is done first, then scaffolding erected before the hebel is installed to the first floor. It takes about 3 weeks to complete the hebel. We're interested to see how it's installed.
Our site supervisor has confirmed that the relevant building surveyor has inspected these works and that now, everything is ready for repair. See photos below.