Tuesday 5 March 2013

Windows Installed

A mini tornado lashed parts of the south coast the previous weekend and upon our arrival at Culburra we were greeted with a big Eucalypt branch on our back gate and garage.
Fallen branch
We had arranged for our windows to be delivered Friday, with an estimated time for arrival of 1.30pm. It was raining Friday morning and a 7am call from Rylock gave us the opportunity to cancel the window delivery. I took a gamble that the rain would stop and had the windows delivered.

We spent the morning covering up the polished concrete floor. While we had been away from the site, Henry and Adrian from the Dayman Group came in and gave the concrete floor a further grind and applied a water based acrylic finish. The finish was more reflective than we expected, so it is a good thing we only chose the satin finish. We did not want to damage the finished floor and so covered it with black plastic and some sheets of OSB to protect it while we did the internal linings and rendering.
Polished concrete floor
Close up of the aggregate in the floor
I was expecting a call advising that the windows were leaving Sydney as I had arranged for Rodney, my window installer to be on site at 1.30pm to unload the windows. I had to delay them about 1 hour after I called up Rylock at 11.45 to see where the windows were only to find out they were to leave Sydney in about 1/2 an hour. Then with news that the truck left Sydney at 1pm. I arranged for Rodney to be on site at 3.30pm, as the trip from Sydney is about 2 1/2 hours. Rodney arrived on time, but no windows. We waited, made phone calls and waited some more and at 5.15pm the windows turned up. Rodney, Joe and Tom worked until 6.15pm on Friday night unloading the windows. The window installers plan to start installing the windows on Friday afternoon was not to be.

Unloading the windows
Sliding door stacked in the house ready for installation
Rod and Joe started early Saturday morning and by late on Saturday all the windows and sliding doors were in. The integral hardwood timber reveal in the Rylock windows made it easy to install the windows in the hemp walls, as they could be screwed to the timber frame in the centre of the walls through the reveal. The installers used plastic shims in different millimetre thicknesses to level the windows. The doors were a little trickier as they were set down in the concrete which was not always perfectly level. The doors ended up having the tracks a few millimetres above the concrete, but this will work out well as it is not big enough to trip over but enough to stop the dust and dirt falling straight into the sliding door tracks.

Sliding doors fill the big empty holes
Windows make the building look more like a house
The windows are a mid grey colour called Windspray, however in the photos the windows still have protective black tape on them from the factory. The windows have about a 20mm gap all around, which was required to be left to install them. We will probably fill this before we finish the walls with 10mm of lime render. The window installers recommended creating a small groove between the render and the windows and filling with Sikaflex to prevent cracking at the joint as the Aluminium windows will expand and contract with changes in temperature.  They also recommended filling the small gap on the inside between the polished concrete slab and the sliding doors with black silicone sealant so that it does not show up against the floor.

Upper windows match sliding doors
Diagonal windows in hallway
Double horizontal windows in the bathroom
While the windows were being installed we started on the ceiling. The ceiling will be made of plywood with the joints between the sheets expressed with a 9mm shadow line. The long end of the sheets goes across the joists and the joints are all on the joists, but in the opposite direction I had to add timber noggin behind each of the joints. I offset the joints and painted the timber behind them black using Resent VOC free paint. This gave a nice matt black finish. We then started installing the sheep's wool insulation.

Rafters and noggins behind joints painted black
Insulation being installed



  1. I love that you went with sliding doors! It’ll be nice to let natural lighting in, and at the same time give the whole living room a sunroom feel. It’s good that the window installers advised you on how to prevent damages due to weather, especially the ones caused by the change of temperature. We don’t really notice that one often because it’s not as drastic as a storm or high winds, but it can do a number on your windows and doors.

    Maricela Milum

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  3. I love the sliding doors, but you might need to consider blinds for it for privacy. Other than that, the layout of the living room is quite ideal, plus it opens up to the yard, which is good for when you’re planning an event at home, as you can just open the doors wide and use the yard along with the living room for entertaining guests.

    Terry Arnold @ Integrity Alaska

  4. This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!
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  7. did you have to wait for hempcrete to dry before installing windows?