Sunday 27 May 2012

Electricity Connected, Frame Ordered and Mixer Purchased

Last Friday my excavator dug the trench down the battleaxe driveway to run the electricity and water connections. Unfortunately I could not be on site on that day, but having waited a little while for the excavator and there being a run of good weather I was not going to give up the opportunity to get the job done. Len my plumber had left the water pipe on site ready to be laid and I lined up FAW Electrical to arrive on site to put the electrical cabling in when it was anticipated that the excavator would have the trench ready. Brummy, my excavator reported that digging was tougher than expected due to more tree roots, but the trench was dug and the electricity and telstra cables and water pipe were laid.

FAW were back on Monday to hook up the pole and the flying fox to the wires in the street. The electricians set up the meter box on a temporary post right were it will be placed on the house, so it can be easily placed on the house. The pole from the street is much taller than I expected, but it looks like it was necessary so as not to interfere with the neighbours connection. Finally we have power on site.


Last week I ordered the frame from Truss-T-Frames and spent a couple of days this week ironing out a few problems. I drew the plans but they needed a few adjustments and Colin from Truss-T-Frames was very patient with me as we spent several phone calls discussing wall heights and roof pitches. I redrew the plans to match the adjustments made and they all fitted perfectly, except the roof pitch over the front bathroom was less than the minimum 5 degrees. The interconnection of various aspects of the roof and awning made it difficult to change too much as each change had flow on effects. Finally Colin came up with a cleaver idea to raise the pitch without altering the awning height or the gutter height, by moving the ridge on that section back slightly and trimming the corner off the top rafter.

However the changes to plans that have been made will increase the wall volume, so I have had to make a small increase to hemp and binder I am ordering to ensure that I will have enough walling material.

To get ready for the hemp walling. I bought a 111L mortar mixer (which I call a pan mixer, but it is the same thing) from Aardwolf Australia. It was made in Vietnam and came all wrapped up and in its own crate. When unwrapped we tried it out, the first appliance to use our electricity connection. The mixer was beautifully quiet, a great benefit since we will probably spend many hours working with it. However we tested it out empty, I just hope it is as quiet when it is full of hemp walling mix.

Mixer all packed

Mixer unwrapped

Back on site we covered the polished slab with black builders plastic then some of the sheets of OSB we had that were not good enough to use as formwork. We moved 3/4 of the mulch pile, using it to cover up the area beside the drive that had been dug up for the electricity and water. This was to make more room for the frame that will be delivered next week. In further preparation for the hemp walls I bought two boxes of M8 100mm hex head coach screws and cut up some scraps of conduit I had in the shed and was given by my father into 55mm sections to use as spacers for the formwork for the walls. The walls will be a total of 200mm thick (plus 10mm render each side) formed up using the sheets of OSB I have attached with a 55mm spacer and a coach screw into the 90mm frame, the same will happen on the other side giving a total wall depth of 200mm.

Covered slab ready for the frame

Once was conduit now are spacers

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