Renovation and Home Design

Roman Bricks

Roman Brick

Do you like the look of the brickwork in this photograph?

It’s known as Roman brickwork as it gives a similar look to the brickwork that was used in Roman Times.

The look also emphasises the horizontal lines in a structure.

A modern Australian Roman Brick is based on the standard brick dimensions (see this [read more…]

Concrete – Importance of Vibration

honeycomb concrete

Have you ever seen concrete that looks like this on a vertical face?

Its called ‘Honey combed’

Sometimes its in large areas like this, sometimes in smaller patches.

This concrete is obviously weaker and more porous than dense concrete.

The odd small hole isn’t a problem but when it gets like this it is [read more…]

Regulations Failing Public

Excavation Collapse Waverley

Over the last couple of months there have been a couple of separate News Items which are really connected.

Excavation Collapse Puts House On Edge!

The photo shows a house hanging over the edge of an excavation in a Melbourne suburb.

This in spite of the builders excavation proposals being approved by a Building [read more…]

Protecting the Footpath

timber mat

An issue that can result in grief from the Local Council and additional costs to you is damage to the footpath.


The last time I built any damage was covered by the Clause which says “The Builder must indemnify the Owner in respect of, and insure against liability for personal injury, death, property loss [read more…]

Reinforcement In Slabs

Slab on Ground reinforcement

Where should the reinforcement mesh go in slabs?


Understanding The Materials

Concrete – Strong in Compression, but weak in tension.

Steel Reinforcement– Strong in Tension, and strong in compression if the concrete can stop it bowing.

Myth Busting

Lots of concretors will tell you “We put steel the reinforcement close to the bottom of [read more…]

Electrical Abbrevations

electrical drawing

Looking at an electrical plan, or reading an electrical specification, and wondering what all the abbreviations are?

Well here are some of the more common ones you may encounter, many with links to other posts:

3ph – Three Phase Power AC – Alternating Current ACU – Air Conditioning Unit CB – Circuit Breaker [read more…]



What’s that white powdery stuff that can appear on brickwork?

Well the technical name is Efflorecence

It can also appear on concrete!

What Is Efflorescence, & How Is It Caused?

Basically it is caused by water soluble salts contained in either the mortar, or the bricks.

When any water in the wall (that has dissolved [read more…]

Construction – Holes In Timber Frames

Hole in timber frame

The house frame has all been completed, and inspected . . . . and then some idiot plumber drills holes in the frame like this!

Right through the bottom plate, and the top plate, of both storeys of the house!

Holes are often drilled in:

Studs* Plates* Beams /Joists

* see Basic Timber Frame for [read more…]