Renovation and Home Design

Safe Stairs – Fail

Scary Stairs

How would you like to use these Stairs?

I wouldn’t be too keen without a climbing rope!

With no handrail or balustrade this wouldn’t get through Australian Building Regulations.

I found this, and several other scary stairs on the Apartment Therapy website.  

For more Fails, and unusual houses go to What the………………….?


[read more…]

Building On Fill – Concrete Piers

concrete piers

Its not unusual for the Site Investigation for your new house to reveal fill materials on top of the more stable clay or rock.

Even if there is no fill the builder may need to level a sloping site using ‘Cut and Fill’ methods, or the top layers of soil are generally poor.

To deal [read more…]

What’s The Side View Of Your House?


When most people look at a house they look at two things:

The Floor Plan. The Front Elevation. (the Facade)

Sometimes that works fine when all the houses are in a line, and the same size…….but what about when the side of the house is on show?

For example:

Houses on corner blocks. Double [read more…]

Toilet House

Toilet House

Yes this house really has been built to look like a toilet.

It was built in 2007 by Mr Sim Jae-Duck, Chairman of the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association.

The 400 sq m building originally featured four deluxe toilets but has now been adapted to a toilet museum so there should [read more…]

Contracts – Contract Period

In your house building contract it will quote a Building Period. This starts when the contractor actually starts work (Site Clearance)

The period will be in days. (Calendar days not working days)

The time should allow for any expected loss of productivity due to:

None working days including Weekends. Public Holidays. Rostered Days Off. Christmas [read more…]

Travel Issues

Traffic Issues

It’s a Saturday and your partner says “Why don’t we go and look at some blocks that have been advertised in the paper?”

So you jump in the car and in no time at all you are at the Site.

“That was easy!” you say………….but how realistic is Saturday traffic compared with a weekday [read more…]

Coin Floor – What The……..?

One cent floor

I found this ‘WTF’ idea on a site called White Trash Repairs

For any Australians wanting to use this idea the cheapest way with current coins would be to use 5cent coins.

You would need 2757 coins per square metre at a cost of $137.85.


For more unusual house ideas, and Fails go [read more…]

Contracts – Provisional Sums

Provisional Sum Rock

All new house building contracts will have a section for Provisional Sums.

These are used for work that MAY be required, but the builder can’t provide an accurate estimate at the time of signing of the Contract.

The main area for provisional sums is related to foundations where the limited information obtained during the [read more…]