ICF house build in Adelaide

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  1. #1
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default ICF house build in Adelaide

    G'day everyone.
    I am an owner builder in Adelaide, building a large ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) house, using a system from Danish Constructions Insulbrick
    After seeing sundancewfs ICF extension project thread I thought I better start my own rather than hijack his.
    I will start with a few pictures of the work to date and go from there.
    If anyone has any comments or questions I will be happy to discuss them with you.
    So here goes.

    elevations.jpg


    The start of the first slab, sewer trench cut and mid level main beam (27/8/2007)


    Bottom level slab (2/10/2007)


    First two beams in place, formwork stripped off drop piers, first row of blocks started


    Walls up to row 5 ready to be poured (6/6/2008)


    Ready for pour to full height (2/10/2008)


    Veranda columns and beams up (3/11/2008)


    Dwarf walls, ready for Bondek between slab on ground and suspended slab.


    I am true owner builder and I am doing as much of the construction myself as I can. These are the braces I made (50 of them) to hold the ICF in place until the concrete has been poured and set. They have already be hired out to 3 other jobs since my pour, so they are now paying for themselves. The material cost to make them was less than the hire cost in the first place so I think the time was well spent.


    Lifting steel beams using a 2 tonne chain block and a gantry frame that will eventually be cut down into veranda columns.

  2. #2
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Good pics looks like another interesting build why ICF?

    I'm making an assumption due to the lack of service penertrations that it will be two storey, 3 levels?

    How did you go with council and explaining your build as you seem to be in the Adelaide hills and I know some of their councils are OTT about fire, not that concrete is flammable but ...their (councils) lack of knowledge of your chosen building method?

  3. #3
    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    love the ICF prop's. very pro, better than the ones i have seen guys in the USA use

  4. #4
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    G'day Jago
    Thanks for looking and for your questions.
    I chose ICF because it is a good system for an owner builder, the blocks are big and light so easy to handle and build with. No special skills needed and I can get as good a job as (if not better than) a professional ICF builder. This probably would not be the case for a solid brick construction, although I guess I would have been a rather good bricklayer at the end of the project.
    It is around the same cost as brick vernier but as it is load bearing it can support concrete slab suspended floors (read thermal mass). It has good insulation properties, so hopefully will result in an energy efficient house.
    You are right, three levels but only two stories at any point. The lower lever is my workshop (~128m2 of it) so only has a toilet which is a P trap through the wall. The middle level has a toilet, kitchen and laundry, so a few more penetrations there. Most of the plumbing will be in the upper level.
    The council were more concerned with the number of trees I planned to cut down during the planning consent. I used an independent certifier for the building rules consent and thus avoided some of the OTT attitudes of the council. It did take two and a half years to finally get development approval though!!

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    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    love the ICF prop's. very pro, better than the ones i have seen guys in the USA use
    Thanks Gaza,
    I was never really happy with the "unistrut" style bracing where the scaffold support is cantilevered from the brace which introduces a bending moment. On top of that the upright doesn't have much strength and difficult adjustment.
    I have used 50 x 75 x 2.5 RHS for my upright and the load from the scaffold support is directed down the upright without any bending moment. I have also used a differential screw arrangement on the brace rod to allow precise and easy adjustment.

  6. #6
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    This is the current state of play. Middle level slab on ground and suspended slab over the lower level. The structural steel is ready to erect and then a start can me made on the ICF walls. All the walls in the middle level will be ICF where as only the outer and a dividing wall will be ICF in the upper level.

  7. #7
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Your blocks look as yellow as mine

    Looks great. I too love the braces

  8. #8
    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post

    This is the current state of play. Middle level slab on ground and suspended slab over the lower level. The structural steel is ready to erect and then a start can me made on the ICF walls. All the walls in the middle level will be ICF where as only the outer and a dividing wall will be ICF in the upper level.
    did you DIY the formwork for the suspened slab?

    there is a lot of step downs on that slab, there has been a lot of thinking going into this project.

  9. #9
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    did you DIY the formwork for the suspened slab?

    there is a lot of step downs on that slab, there has been a lot of thinking going into this project.
    Yes Gaza, I did all the formwork for the suspended slab and there was a lot of work to get the 100mm overhang with drip groove around the edge.


    This is the formwork for the key joint between the slab on ground and the suspended slab. It sat on top of the ICF wall and formed the male tongue of the slab on ground. The slots are for the starter bars that come from the wall below into the wall above.


    Setdown formwork for the toilet, slab on ground pour. Note, this is on the Bondek that spans the gap between the ground and the wall. It was dropped in place once the concrete for the setdown had been poured and the surrounding concrete poured the extra 30mm. The reinforcing has been dropped by the same amount at this place also.


    Slab on ground pour showing edgeform and setdown for the veranda.


    Edgeform along the parallel flanged channel beam of the veranda balcony, held on by numerous F and G clamps. I bought 80 acro props from Sydney on eBay and drove a hired truck over to get them. Again cheaper than hiring and I can sell them after I am finished and recover all my costs.


    Yours truly fixing a half round strip to the top of the overhang edgeform to form the drip groove. Stubs for fixing the veranda columns to have been bolted to the top of the wall ready to be encased in concrete. So many sheets of formply reduced to strips but all reused multiple times before they eventually become too small.

  10. #10
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    Wow! This looks amazing. The location looks spectacular too. Can't wait to see the progression of this.

  11. #11
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    I've a feeling that only freaks like you and Sundance do ICF projects....lol

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    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    jago, your just jealous! There is still time, you could knock over all those bricks and replace them with ICF.

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    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancewfs View Post
    jago, your just jealous! There is still time, you could knock over all those bricks and replace them with ICF.

    The problem with iphones fat fingers and being blind and this wensite is typos galore I meant to say NEAT FREAKS my apologies!

    I will build an ICF project in the furture I am sure ...I was captivated by a round building on Grand designs, you can probably tell I dont like normal.

    Nice work Belair_boy especially making and renting out your own profiles.

  14. #14
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Jago,
    I seem to recall you "had to move 6 thousand bricks down stairs (6 meters drop) and the other 4 thousand you carried out on to scaffold"
    I bet at the end of that lot you wished you were building in ICF

    Beginners ICF - straight walls right angle corners and intersections
    Advanced ICF - straight walls variable angles and intersections
    Master ICF - curved walls and round buildings (easier if you had special curved blocks)

  15. #15
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post
    Jago,
    I seem to recall you "had to move 6 thousand bricks down stairs (6 meters drop) and the other 4 thousand you carried out on to scaffold"
    I bet at the end of that lot you wished you were building in ICF

    Beginners ICF - straight walls right angle corners and intersections
    Advanced ICF - straight walls variable angles and intersections
    Master ICF - curved walls and round buildings (easier if you had special curved blocks)
    Too true ....I wished I was a kid again using Leggo!

    Could ICF be used to build a large retaining wall 18 metres wide by 2 metres high to hold the garden back ? It would save my back...and quick to erect.

  16. #16
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Yes it can be used as a retaining wall. Normal rules of drainage, waterproofing and footings apply. It has even been used to build below ground swimming pools.

  17. #17
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jago View Post
    Too true ....I wished I was a kid again using Leggo!

    Could ICF be used to build a large retaining wall 18 metres wide by 2 metres high to hold the garden back ? It would save my back...and quick to erect.
    ICF is good for a retaining wall. The South wall of my lower level is a retaining wall 10.7m long x 3 m high.
    As for all retaining walls over 1m in height, engineering design would be needed and there would be a fair sized footing required.

    My bracing was hired out on a job where a ICF swimming pool was being built OVER an ICF basement room!! Expert waterproofing required here.

  18. #18
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default Time for an update

    Well I have been busy working away on the house but don't appear to be getting anywhere fast. I am itching to get on with the middle level walls but have been trying to tie up some loose ends before getting too carried away.
    The main project this year has been the laying in of the services (power, water, sewer and phone) and what appeared to be a relatively quick job on paper has taken months to get near completion.

    With 165m from the fence line at the street to the house site, it was a long trench to dig plus there was additional trenching for the sewer run on the middle level to the laundry and kitchen. I opted to jack hammer the mid level trench by hand as it relatively close to the house slab and I wanted to keep it as neat and narrow as possible. The excavator with rock breaker is not a precision tool and after a depth of about 600 mm the trench needs to be widened out to accommodate the head of the rock breaker.
    The excavator made short work (two days) of the main trench, bedding sand laid and the sewer pipes, power conduit and blue line placed.

    Murphy then stepped in and we had a record amount of rain!! All the bedding sand in the trench was washed down hill and most ended up down on the street and round the corner. A morning was spent with the bobcat and shovels recovering what sand was left from the road and cleaning up the mess.
    All the pipes were now sitting on rock and the trench had partly collapsed in numerous places. Many days were spent manually replacing the bedding sand and repositioning the pipes.
    I was very happy to eventually backfill the trench and finally have access up the drive again.


    Sewer pipe laid and power conduit ready to go in (prior to the rain)


    Trench down slope


    Trench on lower level adjacent to the house. Note how wide the trench is at the top to permit the rock breaker to get down the ~ 1.6m at the deepest point.


    100 tonne of Bitumate (recycled bitumen) to re surface the drive.


    After spreading out and a good roll, the drive has never looked so good.

  19. #19
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default Where does the time go

    It has been nearly 3 months since my last update so I thought I better make it look like I have been doing some work on the house.
    After the Christmas festivities, having the power connected was number one priority. On the 25th of January the switch was thrown, the generator could be retired and a fridge was bought! The first big mile stone of the year.


    Stand alone meter box down at the shed.

    Now I had power, some proper running water and a toilet made the top of the list.


    Some brackets were welded up and sent off for hot dip galvanizing. More of them later.

    As part of the plumbing, a fire hose reel was to be mounted to the side of the house. Here is one of the ways I have got around fixing things to the ICF walls.


    The black dots indicate the position of the bracket to be fixed to the wall. Under the 35mm of polystyrene hides reinforced concrete.


    The bracket for securing the fire hose pipe, to be fixed to the wall. I was not happy with the bent bit of metal supplied so I made my own.


    The tools: A 16mm spade bit, not your best one, any blunt bit of metal will do. 6.5mm masonry bit. Two Power Fasteners "Vertigo" fixings, 4 x M10 stainless steel nuts and 2 x M10 stainless steel studs (cut from a length of all thread).


    6.5 mm holes drilled through the foam into the concrete.


    The hole in the foam opened out to 16 mm with the spade bit.


    The resulting hole.


    Installing the Vertigo fixing. OK a socket wrench is also a required tool (or an impact driver)


    The Vertigo secured to the concrete core of the ICF wall.


    A stud is screwed in and a backing nut put on.


    The bracket in place waiting for the wall to be rendered. A small amount of expanding foam will fill the small void behind the backing nuts before the render is applied.

  20. #20
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Very nice Belair.
    An excellent way of attaching things to the wall!
    I also love your steel work, very slick.

  21. #21
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    I love the meter box actually sculptural ...

    I wondered how you were going when I was driving through Blackwood 2 weeks ago, beautiful part of the world you've got yourself there looking forward to seeing the finished article.

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    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Thanks Sundance, probably overkill with most of what I do but it brings me satisfaction in doing a job well.

    Jago, I am still thinking about putting a small roof over the meter box to "finish it off".
    You should have messaged me while you were in the area and I could have give you a personal tour of the site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post
    Thanks Sundance, probably overkill with most of what I do but it brings me satisfaction in doing a job well.

    Jago, I am still thinking about putting a small roof over the meter box to "finish it off".
    You should have messaged me while you were in the area and I could have give you a personal tour of the site.
    G'day!I'm a newbie here but love your work...I can never remember to stop mid process and document! Kudos.
    I'm in Belair quite often and would love a site tour.

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Awesome work mate, really first class.

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    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyracer View Post
    I'm in Belair quite often and would love a site tour.
    Thanks for the Kudos
    I am contagious with bronchitis, so probably not a good idea for a site visit at the moment but would be happy to show you the work in progress in a couple of weeks or so. Send me a message and we can arrange something.

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    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Awesome work mate, really first class.
    Thanks for the complement, it is good to know that I must be doing something right.

  27. #27
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing and such things.

    Well I have been busy preparing the workshop toilet for lining with fiber cement sheet and will be doing my first lot of direct stick next week.


    The vanity basin requires hot and cold water connections so I fixed the Rehau lugged elbows to a steel plate to give a solid mounting to the concrete core. I like things being solid and secure, especially when they are fixed inside a wall and covered over.


    The water connections mounted in position and the pipes chased into the foam.


    I made my own hot wire cutter for chasing the foam. It is a variable safety extra low voltage supply and a block for mounting the cutting wire. Not ready for sale in Bunnings but quite usable for a MK:1 proof of concept. If I get the time (read not likely) I will make a better cutting head but will probably fit a handle to this one for now.


    The mounting block is a couple of brass terminal blocks fixed to a piece of tufnol insulation. The cutting wire itself is a piece of old wire coat hanger. It is ridged enough to keep it's shape when hot and provides enough resistance for my power supply. I bent up different shapes for the various size pipes and cutouts.


    The pipes push firmly into the chase and don't require any other fixing. I ended up using three horizontal battens recessed into the foam to allow some screw fixings as well as the adhesive. The battens are screwed directly to the concrete so should provide a positive fixing for the sheets while the adhesive sets.
    I can sympathise with Sundance, the truing of the walls ready for direct stick took some doing and my walls were not as bad as his. Luckily these walls were the worst in terms of out of level so the next lot should be faster.


    The position for the light switch mounting box. I have settled for 1350 mm above the floor as it felt right when reaching for the switch.


    The hole for the mounting box was only a moments work with the hot wire cutter.
    For those wondering why there are two holes in the timber batten, I hit a reo bar with the first one.


    Switch mounting box in position and the conduit chased up to the ceiling. A little expanding foam will hold it all in position (although it is quite firm without it)

  28. #28
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Dude, your a freak ( in a good way ). Funny how there is always reo in the way

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    Came across this post by accident. I really enjoyed reading it. Excellent work and well documented. Looking forward to further installments.

  30. #30
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default Shipping container

    G'day all

    It has been a while since I posted here and about the same time since any real work was done on the house.
    My father lost his battle with cancer mid May and my time has been spent on family matters for the last couple of months.

    It is amazing how much stuff a 20 month old can accumulate and as space where we are currently living is at a premium something had to give. One room has been used as a store room since we bought the place and the decision was made to reclaim it as living space. The only question was where to put a room full of stuff?

    I thought about a 15 square metre shed but it required time to erect and a concrete floor placed, not to mention the permanency of such a structure on a block we hope to develop in the future.
    The solution came in the form of a 20 foot shipping container. It is sealed much better than a steel shed, it comes on a truck and is ready to fill straight away and can be moved to the new house when required (will make a good wood store).
    It cost about the same as the shed would have and is much more secure (probably more than the house in fact).

    shipping-01.jpgshipping-02.jpgshipping-03.jpg

    Delivery was on the back of a 6m tilt tray truck, $150
    It just fitted between the house and the fence so a good use of space. I had a bobcat come round for half a day to level the site and place a bed of road base, 11.5 tonnes disappears very quickly. Just the process of leveling resulted in 3 small trucks of dirt to be removed. Luckily I have plenty of space at the new house to dump it.
    I built some shelving down one side to help organise the boxes before starting to fill it. $250 in materials in contrast to $600 for steel shelving (I couldn't find any at auction at a good price in the short time available)

    The container is nearly full and the room just about empty so hopefully it will be back to house soon.

  31. #31
    PLU.MBR.BL.DR. bricks's Avatar
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    "I fixed the Rehau lugged elbows to a steel plate"

    Hey mate, awesome build.
    Working in Adelaide construction I see some pretty messy work - especially when it comes to hidden items like reo and sub structures.

    One tip I'd like to give is on the fixing of the Rehau fittings to steel plates. The fittings are DZR brass, meaning that given the right circumstances you could have de-zincification of the fitting leading to leaks at a later date. This is due to dissimilar metals and all that jazz.
    It is the industry standard to mount the brass fittings on timber to provide an insulator between the fitting and and metal or concrete items.

    Could you not fix the w45's to a timber batten?
    If you dont play it, it's not an instrument!

  32. #32
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Default Good news eveyone

    GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: We are expecting our second child late January.

    Not so good is that between my wife's morning sickness and her staring a new job, my child minding duties have taken even more construction time away.

    There has been a little progress however and I hope to start the big push with the middle level very soon.


    The Rehau plumbing and electrical conduit were foamed in plus some holes and gaps filled.


    The foam cut back and walls ready for the direct stick of fibre cement sheet.

    Thanks for the comments Bricks, much appreciated. In regard to the fixing of the Rehau fittings to steel plates, there are rubber gaskets provided to insulate the brass fitting from the fixing surface to combat the very problem you spoke about. I used brass screws as well, so hopefully there will be no problems with de-zincification.

    The workshop toilet has been lined with fibre cement sheet and flushing started. Unfortunately I have been unable to have the floor tiles laid yet as rain keeps working its way onto the toilet floor and flooding the setdown. This is one of the biggest problems with trying to jump ahead with the lower level construction before the main house and roof is in place.


    Here is one of the brackets seen earlier fixed to the "outside" of the toilet wall. The Rehau fitting is fixed to the bracket and a length of running nipple passed through the wall for the connection to the cistern.


    This is the other bracket for the hot and cold supply to the sink in the workshop. This wall is set away (approx 1m) from the rock bank and so I have permanent access to the plumbing and other services located here.


    We had a couple of dry days recently, so the foam gun out came again and all the gaps and holes in the retaining wall were filled. Probably overkill (again) but as I only get the one chance to waterproof this wall I want it to be perfect. On a friends ICF job the paint on waterproofing membrane had a tendency to draw into gaps and form cracks which required reinforcing tape to fix. I am hoping to avoid this issue although I will reinforce all the joints with tape to be sure.


    I have cut back and sanded about half of the wall so far and hopefully we will get a few more dry days this week to allow me to finish and start waterproofing. I am using an air powered Shinano 8" angled head polisher with a sanding disc to even out the foam blocks.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails professor-farnsworth.jpg  

  33. #33
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Looking good Belair! I'm glad I don't have to do any waterproofing like yours, on my walls ( other than the rendering)
    Congratulations of the coming addition, and the increased child minding duties.Cue the lilting strains of Jim Reeves......Welcome to my world.....


    At least our youngest is nearly 3

  34. #34
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    I started to apply the waterproofing to the retaining wall last week but only managed to apply 70% of the priming coat before the rain came.

    Sunday saw the delivery of the remaining ICF blocks for the middle and upper level of the house, 275 square metres (752 blocks) plus 42 metres of lintel block.


    Had to unload the trailer at the road as we can't get it up the drive but this is the third delivery and we have the process finely tuned. Thanks to Tim and Preben from Insulbrick.

    All I need now is some dry days and there is no excuse for some serious progress.

  35. #35
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Time for another update.
    Since my last posting my daughters childcare days have been changed to coincide with the days my wife works so I now have five days a week to work on the house.
    Coupled with better weather in September and things are staring to move forward again.


    35 litres of the Gripset 51 waterproof membrane has been applied to the retaining wall. The foam filling of the gaps has done its job and there has been no need to tape the joints between the blocks. The joint between the wall and the slab, plus the corner joints have been taped however. There is still another 15 litres to be applied to give the required 1.5 litres per square metre.

    The workshop toilet has been tiled, grouted and hopefully the toilet will be installed this week, plumber pending.


    Nearly all of the 150 starter bars have been drilled and "hammered" into place. The Ozito rotary hammer has made light work of the drilling and surprisingly few reinforcing bars in the slab have been hit. Holes cleared with the air duster and a 10lb sledge hammer used to persuade the reinforcing starter bar into place.

    p8170163.jpgp8250170.jpgp8250172.jpgp8250173.jpg
    When I bought my 10hp 3 phase air compressor at auction the air filters were missing. After finding out 2 new filters from the manufacturer would cost me near to $160 I had to come up with a cheaper solution. Two pod filters from an auto store at $13 each and a collection of pvc pipe fittings to make a couple of adapters and I had myself a solution.

    After a few more starter bars and a bit of precise laying out of the wall positions, the structural steel will be erected ........ stay tuned.

  36. #36
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Ha! Love the filters Belair. My stationary compressor has an oil bath filter off a VW on it.
    The job is looking good and the extra time you have to put into will be great.
    Where did you get the switch boxes for the electrical that you showed a few posts back? They look like a much better idea than insulation shrouds and metal plasterboard plates.

  37. #37
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    Love this thread, especially the photos in exactly the same spot.

    Not sure where you find the time to post us the updates!!

    A real demonstration of a skilled and resourceful DIYer at work

    Cheers
    Pulse

  38. #38
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancewfs View Post
    Where did you get the switch boxes for the electrical that you showed a few posts back? They look like a much better idea than insulation shrouds and metal plasterboard plates.
    G'day Sundance
    The plastic wall boxes are Clipsal 157/1P bought from the local P&R electrical. Most electrical wholesalers should carry them although I couldn't find them on Sparkydirect. They are designed for mounting into solid masonry walls so may need some ingenuity to use them in a stud wall.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse View Post
    Love this thread, A real demonstration of a skilled and resourceful DIYer at work
    Thanks Pulse, the complements are much appreciated.

    I am going to go one further with the "photos in exactly the same spot" and have made a time delay remote trigger for my digital camera. The idea is to take a time lapse 'video' of the next stage of construction. I just have to decide on the camera placement and construct a permanent mount, and I will be ready for a test run.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post
    Is that a 1-tonner they're using?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draffa View Post
    Is that a 1-tonner they're using?
    It's a Ford F250. A trailer load of blocks only weighs about 800 kg so it is more volume than weight.

  42. #42
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    come on Belair...... you've had those blocks since the beginning of September....
    Where are the pics of the second story?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancewfs View Post
    come on Belair...... you've had those blocks since the beginning of September....
    Where are the pics of the second story?
    Yeah. Where are all the Go To Whoa-ers these days??? Been quiet in here lately.

  44. #44
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    Given the size of this project I can't see the bring any whoa for some time yet.

    An awesome project though, the attention to detail is amazing. looking forward to more pictures.

  45. #45
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    Hi, I randomly found this & found it very interesting. thank you! Do u mind if I ask why you chose insulbrick over the various other similar products available?

    also whilst I was hunting around I found this link which looks like they are taking credit for your work:
    Danish Constructions

  46. #46
    Owner Builder Belair_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancewfs View Post
    come on Belair...... you've had those blocks since the beginning of September....
    Where are the pics of the second story?
    Hey Sundance, who do you think you are, my wife.

    As usual there have been many things getting in the way of exciting progress but we have just achieved another milestone, we have a flushing toilet!!

    With the start of the bushfire season approaching, I have been brush cutting my boundaries and burning off to clear things up a bit.

    All the starter bars are in and all the vertical reo bars cut to length (over 150 of them). I am all but ready to start erecting the structural steel and laying block again but I want to back fill some sewer trenches first. We have already had one sewer pipe damaged before the hole was filled so I want to avoid a repeat performance.
    I have added another 20 shore frames and extensions to my inventory of scaffolding so I now have all I need for the rest of the project without having to resort to hiring anything.

    Now to buy that mini excavator !

  47. #47
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    Thanks for the comments SlowMick and Jase.
    Is there really any end to building or renovations or is there always a new project to be started?

    I started the owner builder journey many years ago and when Insulbrick (Danish Constructions) came to a home show in Adelaide and I met Tim and Preben, I was very interested in the system. It met all of the criteria I was looking for, and as there were only a couple of companies selling ICF in Australia, I was happy with Insulbrick, the rest they say, is history.

    I have got along well with Tim and Preben over the years and have become a bit of an "Insulbrick ambassador" in Adelaide. I am happy for Insulbrick to use photos of my build on their web site but I will have to get "owner builder" in there on the next update as I can't have people thinking it is a Danish Constructions project.

  48. #48
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    I think it is time for a few more pictures.



    We had a sewer connection open in preparation for connecting an overflow relief gully but due to rain and the plumbers other commitments, it was an open hole for a while. As Murphy would have it, a vehicle drove over the temporary riser and smashed the pipe. Fortunately when I dug down to inspect the damage it was only the 45 deg elbow that had been broken and the main sewer run was still OK. I cut the pipe off at the Y junction branch and using a slab repair fitting was able to get a socket again. The blue line at the top of the picture is the 40mm main water supply while the 32mm at the bottom is a run down the hill again to a tap by the shed. I can isolate all outside "garden" taps from the water supply with a ball valve.



    The new plumbing in place ready to backfill and protect the sewer for good. The 2 blue line pipes on the left are the outside tap in and then out, while the one on the right is a 40mm supply to a wall mounted fire hose.



    The polly to brass connections are bought to just under the surface making them easy to get to in case there is ever a leak.



    The reinforcing rods for the walls have been sitting out in the weather for a long time now and have developed a layer of rust. Some rust is good to help the bar bond to the concrete but a lot or flaky rust is bad, so I needed to give the bars a bit of a clean. I made a jig to hold an angle grinder with a twisted wire cup brush over the rod. The grinder pivots on a support arm and some tube guides the reo rod under the brush. The four rods in the foreground have had the treatment while the four behind are yet to be cleaned.



    I did a trial standing of the garage door mullions on Friday to work out the hole positions for the fixing studs and the reo bars to be chemset into the slab. It was good to see something finally going up on the middle level slab at last. On the next dry day I will chemset the reo bars for the fireplace, front door walls and the garage door mullions.

  49. #49
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Speaking as your wife.... "well done! Take a week off, go to the beach and relax."

  50. #50
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    any pics of the reo / wire brush thing in use?

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