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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Height Above Ground

Height above ground

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 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 you need [read more...]

Drop Edge Beams


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...]

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Building On Rock

Rock excavation 2

Based on the Soil Classification rock is considered one of the best surfaces to build a house foundation.

It comes under the Classification Class A.

That doesn’t mean its going to be cheap especially for a conventional raft or waffle pod slab.

Any excavation such as leveling the site and excavation for sewerage and [read more...]

Building on Fill – Screw Piles

steelpile-screw simple

I have previously posted about building on fill using Concrete Piers.

Well one alternative to constructing concrete piers is to use Screw Piles such as the one to the right.

These are made from a steel tube with:

A cutting edge on the bottom. A spiral plate close to the bottom. A keyway at [read more...]

Conventional Raft Slab

conventional raft

A ‘Conventional’ Raft Slab is a concrete base with thickened beams laid directly on the base.

This photo shows the base covered in poly and with reinforcement in position ready for placing of concrete.

Advantages Better thermal mass, and incorporates thermal mass of ground so better suited to passive solar design. Less susceptible to bad [read more...]

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Waffle Pod Raft Slab

waffle pod slab

A ‘Waffle Pod’ slab is now probably the most common Concrete ‘Raft’ House base. Its generally taken over from the Conventional Raft Foundation.

It’s an example of composite construction with polystyrene pods forming voids in the underside of the concrete ‘Waffle’.

This photo shows the pods, with the reinforcement placed over them, prior to placing [read more...]