Saline Ground Conditions

"Valley of Salt" - Salinity in the Western Australian wheatbelt near Bruce Rock, WA.

“Valley of Salt” – Salinity in the Western Australian wheatbelt near Bruce Rock, WA. photo by CSIRO

Salinity doesn’t have to be as bad as in this photograph to cause problems in new homes.

It’s also quite common for land that has not got salinity issues to develop salinity over several years.

Building Problems [read more…]

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Under Slab Membranes

This photo shows a plastic membrane underneath a slab. . . . but what sort of membrane?

Vapour Barrier

The Building Code of Australia requires the installation of a Vapour Barrier with the following characteristics

Medium Impact Resistant Polyethylene Film 0.2mm thick, under slab and up sides to ground level. 200mm Overlaps at joints. All [read more…]

Pre-Wetting A New House Block

sprinkler

Reason For Pre-Wetting

If you are Building On Clay that is dry there is a risk of Soil Heave.

This is due to expansion of the clay if the moisture level increases with particular risk factors being:

Building after a long period of very dry weather when large cracks in the surface are visible. [read more…]

Placing Fill

vibrating plate compactor

Of so you want to place some fill. . . .perhaps behind a retaining wall to level a garden . . . So what do you need to understand?

Here are some things to consider.

Final Volume – Loose Volume

Most people underestimate the volume of material they need because they measure the volume they [read more…]

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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…]

Height Above Ground

Height above ground 2

For the typical modern house with slab on ground base there are two minimum heights above ground level that need to be considered:

Next to the building. Distance of 1m away.

The reason for these minimums is to keep water out of the building, including the structure and foundations.

Next To The House

Floor [read more…]

Different Soil Classification Results

When you look at a new house block its always worth asking the Developer’s Agent what the Soil Classification is ……….. Only don’t take what you are told too seriously!

Usually the developers opinion is going to be that the site is going to be better (lower site costs) than your builder.

To understand why [read more…]

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Drop Edge Beams

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

If you want to build your new home on a slope you may need to have the additional cost of needing drop edge beams on the low side of the slabs.

These are a sort of retaining wall to hold the fill under the house slab as shown in the drawing below.

[read more…]