Modern ‘Castle’

parish Lane Castle from GOOGLE Maps

Parish Lane Castle from GOOGLE Maps

Here is an interesting ‘Castle’ in Perth.

It seems a bit of a mixed architecture with a Gothic Castle Tower added to what looks to be a Roman Style Villa.

Although its not to my taste, one of the things I like about Australian Planning is it does allow people to put up different houses like this.

Thanks to SaveH2o for spotting this one!


For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?



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Do You Need A Home Theatre?

theatre roomI keep reading articles about issues with the affordability of Australian houses. . . . . but then find lot’s of you want a ‘Media Room’ in your new houses!

So how much is a basic Home Theatre going to add to the cost of your new house?

Room Size

Room size if you are going to get a big screen tv say 75″ or a projector the experts say you really need to be around 3m away from the screen.

That means you are talking about a 4m x 4m room.

At ‘say’ $1,500/m2 the room alone is going to cost you around $24,000.

Fit Out

Again looking at a fairly basic system I have allowed the following:

  • $6,000 – TV and sound system, cabling, etc
  • $3,000 – Furniture, carpets, and lighting.

Of course if you really want to go to town you could spend Millions!

Overall Costs

So your basic home theatre is going to cost around $31,000!

Assuming you borrow the money the payments, at a  long term average of 7% over 25 years, amounts to:

  • $54 per week.
  • $240 pr month.
  • $2,880 per year.
  • or $72,000 over the full term.

Don’t forget all this is going to be in addition to a large TV in the family room, and probably another couple of TVs around the house!

In Conclusion

Well it’s up to you but, I’ve got to 60 and don’t feel that I have missed out by not having a home theatre.

In fact instead of over committing on houses  I was able to put more into my Super means I am now semi retired!


Don’t Agree? . . . Leave a Comment!


See Size for more posts


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Bridal Expo – Free Wedding

Getting Married Soon?

Live in Melbourne’s West?

Would you like a Free Wedding?


Bridal fair photo

Visit the Bridal Fair at Point Cook on Sunday 3 May 2015


D’Olive Reception Centre

454 Point Cook Road

Point Cook

Vic 3056


Here is a chance to meet with over 40 suppliers of wedding services:

Celebrants, Photographers,Cakes,  Stationery,  Bridal Shops, Florists, Reception Centres and much more.


Entry by Gold Coin Donation


One Lucky Bride will win a FREE WEDDING for 40 guests

 For more information. . . click on this link: Hoppers Crossing Rotary Club Bridal Fair


All funds raised go to assist with Hoppers Crossing Rotary Club’s work in the Community

Disclosure: Brian Ashworth, Author of this Blog, is a member of Hoppers Crossing Rotary Club

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Timber Frames – Packing

An issue with timber frames is making sure that the frame is bedded securely on the floor slab. . . . You don’t want movement of the frame when the house is completed!

Flatness of the Slab

You may think the building slab looks flat but in practice very few slabs are perfectly level.

The Guide to Standards and Tolerances states “Generally the floor shall be within + or- 10mm of the finished floor level in any room and within +or- 5mm in a 3m length.”

So when the frame is put on the floor it could look something like the exaggerated sketch below.

Packing timber Frames

Making Sure The Frame Is Stable

The key issue is to make sure that the frame is fully supported under the stud positions otherwise the studs can move vertically.

That means that packing will need to be fixed under the bottom plate at the locations shown by the red arrows above.

Packing can be made from hardboard, MDF, Plywood, metal, formica, or specialised plastic packers (sometimes called shims).

It is important that the packers should be secure and non compressible.

They should also not project beyond the bottom plate, otherwise they may affect the later secure fastening of plasterboard and skirting boards.


See Structural Frame for more posts


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Home Of The Tooth Fairy? – Win!

Tooth Fairy House

I recently spotted this interesting fence on my travels.

No it’s not the Tooth Fairy, but it is a dentist in Aspendale Gardens, a suburb of Melbourne.

Definitely a Win for an eye catching way of advertising his practice!

If you have seen an interesting, or strange, house let me know and we can feature it.


For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?


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Temporary Downspout

Temporary downspoutA great way to stop the building site from becoming water logged is for the builder to install temporary downspouts as soon as the roof has been covered.

Although this is generally good practice it is really important if you are building on Reactive Clay as it will minimise the occurrence of Soil Heave damaging the slab.

Basically the temporary downspouts are a polythene tube (see photo) which is taped to the gutter outlet and the pipe that the final downspout will be connected to.

As you can see the temporary downspouts aren’t going to cost much.

If I was looking round a large development area at the houses being constructed seeing temporary downspouts in place would certainly make me think that the builder was more committed to quality


For Similar Posts see Getting it Right



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Delaying Progress Payments

Delayed Payment
So your builder has just made a claim for a Progress Payment . . . . . but you are not happy with the workmanship, or don’t agree that the Construction Stage is finished.

What can you do?

A lot of people would say “Don’t make the payment!”  but it’s not quite as simple as that!

What The Contract Says

Here are some of the relevant sections from the HIA contract used in my last build.

  • A time limit for payment in days (Schedule 1.7* Will typically range from 7 to 10 days).
  • A rate for penalty interest if the payment is not made by the due date. (Schedule 1.8* Typically minimum of 15% per annum, calculated daily, but can be up to 25%)
  • The Builder has the right to Suspend the Works if not paid. (Clause 35*)

* In your contract documents the numbers may be different but you should find similar sections.

As you can see just not paying the payment could have considerable consequences.

Suggested Action

In my opinion it is better to try and avoid, or minimise, the above consequences.

Also in the event of future legal issues it is also best to be seen to be ‘Reasonable’.

My suggested actions would be to write to the builder (Not phone) as soon as possible stating:

  1. That I did not believe that all the works comprising the stage had been satisfactorily completed.
  2. Why I believed the works had not been completed.
  3. Offering to pay 80-90% of the amount by the due date.

This approach is more likely to maintain a cordial approach to your relationship with the builder while making sure they are aware that they need to ‘Lift their Game’.


See Payments for more posts


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$6 Million Home Theatre

Yes you saw it right! $6 million dollar theatre

This price of the home theatre is $6,000,000! The rest of the house is extra!

The sound system includes 72 speakers each powered by its own $8,000 analogue amplifier paired with a $18,000 digital amplifier.

To deliver the 150,000watts of amplification means the room requires its own power supply from the mains including a separate transformer.

To find out more see the TV Antenna Blog.


For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?


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