Termites

photo from Wickipaedia

Did you know Australia has around 15 species of termite which can damage the timbers in your new house.

Although some species of timber are resistant to termites none are termite-proof. In practice any structure containing wood can be attacked, unless protective measures are taken.

Even if you have got a steel framed house, or [read more...]

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Build A Sustainable House & Save Money

House shapes

When the stricter energy standards came in the big builders all complained that it would make houses more expensive.

Well a recent CSIRO report The Evaluation of the 5-Star Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential Buildings has found it can actually be cheaper to build a sustainable house.

Here are three reasons why a more sustainable [read more...]

Stormwater – Kerb Discharge

Stormwater Outlet - kerb

If you are going to build on an existing block you will probably have a planning permit condition that stormwater must discharge to an approved point.

If there is no surface water system one option can be to discharge to the street.

This is normally by constructing a proper kerb outlet like the photo below:

[read more...]

What Are Brick Articulation Joints?

articulation joint

When you are looking round your new home build you may think ”What’s that gap between the window and the brickwork?” . . . . . . .or even “Why is there a vertical gap between the bricks in the middle of the wall?”

Before you panic it might be worth checking if it is [read more...]

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Bushfire Reserve – Volume

Bushfire spray

I have previously talked about Bushfire reserve supplies. . . . But how much?

I see various minimum water volumes put forward for bush fire reserves. For example in early 2014 the following applied.

Victoria, regulations for new builds require 10,000Litres. South Australia the country fire service suggests 22,000Litres.

Just because there is a minimum [read more...]

Bushfire Water Storage

Having a bushfire water storage is important . . . . . . Even if you have mains water supply!

Public water mains only have limited capacity. . . . . . . . In a bush fire situation Fire Trucks will be sucking water out of the mains and your neighbours will want to [read more...]

Is Modern Kitchen Design Making Us Fat

Kitchen snacks

When I was young (about 50 years ago) obesity wasn’t really an issue.

In those days most houses had a small kitchen where a meal was cooked. We either ate in the kitchen or a small dining room. The rest of the time indoors was spent in the living room.

Since then there has been [read more...]

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The Risk Of Too Much Security

Window Grill

As I visit lots of houses I often wonder if some houses have too much security.

I see lots of houses with roller shutters or even steel gratings over the windows like these.

Quite often when I ring the bell the owner seems to spend ages unlocking the various locks and bolt on the front [read more...]