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Building a new house from scratch

Super Contributor

Building a new house from scratch

Well here goes, as suggested by Jason and Isobel, I'm starting a discussion/gallery of our dream home.

I've posted a few photo's of the build process and I'm happy to continue to include photo's of other stages of our build if anyone is interested in a particular process and perhaps how we went about doing it, given the entire home so far has been built by just the brains of the outfit, hubby and the site manager, myself ha-ha

I drew up the plans to scale and then sent them off to be professionally drawn up by an architect.

The home we are building is in Victoria, about 45km west of Geelong. It is approx 30 sqrs including an indoor pool. The cladding is Mt Gambier limestone blocks.

First photo shows the pool hole being dug, something that had to be done well before much else could be done with the construction.

Second photo shows standard clay bricks used to build up the foundations to the required height for both the house and veranda.

We decided early on, that we would not have timber veranda's for maintenence reasons, so the 3rd picture shows 90mm poly pipe at 5mtr intervals for ventilation under the home.

Fourth pic shows the stumps and we used LVL bearers that were 6mtrs long and the 5th photo shows the LVL's that were 12.5 mtrs long.

Last photo shows pool placement.

I'll leave it at that now so as not to bore anyone wih my project but feel free to ask questions and if I can help with answers, I have plenty more photo's.


BarbaraPool Hole no 1.JPG



Brick Founds no 1.JPGVeranda Vents no 1.JPG

Bearers #1.jpg

Foil Board.jpg

Pool Placement no 1.JPG

Well thought I'd add a little more to this topic, pretty cold day here today as I think it is almost everywhere with predicted hailstones.

Next photo in the build I have attached, shows completed pool prior to framing with my  offsider site manager Pipi checking the process as usual!

Next photo is a notherly view from the pool with framing going up.Pool Concrete Finished no 5.jpg

Internal view of Pool #2.JPG

Frame South Side.JPG

Picture above shows framing in full swing and then came the trusses in the picture below. This part of the project was in my opinion the most challenging of anything else we've done on the home thus far.

The trusses were 12.5m wide with only the slightest overhang on the top plates of I think was only about 10cm or so. To pick the trusses up, we fastened two 8" x2" timbers in old measurements, in the main triangle section of the trusses so as not to compromise the gangnails, we then lifted them up with the trusty front end loader and sat the truss on the east end of the house. Then we fastened a rope at either end of the trusses and we dragged the it from the east to the west, some 17 mtrs initially, lifting or jumping it over the odd gangnail that was in the top plate here and there, until it was right up the west end and ready to stand up. Then we used a long board to start to lift the truss and took up the slack with two ropes fastened at the centre or top of the truss, one rope pulling east and the other west. Slowly aand painstakingly, we loosened one rope and tightened the other rope and mostly we succeeded with each truss, although the odd one slipped off the top plate and we had to re lower the truss, lift it back up onto the top plate by hand and start the lift again. To get the truss back up on the top plate, we had to completely skew the truss, even though we only had to gain that small amount of 10cm.

Fourteen trusses later and we had them up and then there were the smaller hip trusses but they seemed rather easy compared to the main trusses!!!Trusses no 1.JPG

Next photo shows the pool roof. The picture can be a bit hard to make out but we actually have two roofs, the cathedral ceiling sitting under under the main roof of the home thus avoiding valleys. Gosh I hope there's no OHS workshop member analysing our makeshift scaffolding that we were working on ha-ha

If you look at the next photo, you can just make out the cathedral ceiling roof under the main roof.Pool Roof #5.JPG

Frame showing all openings.JPG

Finished Roof.JPG

The photo above shows the colourbond roof finally on and the brickwork on the go on the right hand side of the photo.

Last image below shows the brickwork on the south side almost finished and as I type we are now only about 80 blocks away from completion. Five windows on the east side of the home means lots of cutting, easy with a 9" grinder but very dusty. Limestone is very good to work with being able to fashion it very easily.

Will update again later in the week.Back of House with Ramp.JPG

Super Contributor

Re: From Scratch

Looks like you have chosen a beautiful and serene place to build your dream home, keep the pics coming.
Wood Working with Wayne
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: From Scratch

Many thanks for sharing Barbara. I'm keen to see more and I'm sure many others in the Workshop community would feel the same.

Well done.

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Junior Contributor

Re: From Scratch

@Baretta11 This is going to be a great thread to watch. Bore away Barbara.

Super Contributor

Re: From Scratch

Also looking forward to seeing more.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: From Scratch

Hi @Baretta11,


Hope all is well. Thanks again for sharing your story. It would be great if you could provide an update - keen to see interior shots! 


Thanks again,



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Super Contributor

Re: From Scratch

Hi Jason,

You must have been reading my mind, as you wouldn't believe how much I've been hanging out to get back to the forum with photo updates but I was determined to wait until the brickwork was finally complete and that happened yesterday, yay!!!.....anyway, was so chuffed that I could finally take photo's of every side of the home.


Spent the afternoon tidying up the veranda, moved everything off, actually truth is everything went into the house, so you won't be getting interior pics anytime soon ha-ha.....but there's not allot to report for the inside, albeit we have almost completed all the plastering, so that is another major milestone.

We are getting a local professional plasterer to "stop and sand"  not prepared to do it myself, had both shoulders reconstructed and don't think I'd be doing myself any favours to be trying to sand an entire home at the age of 60.


I almost fell through one spot in the ceiling whilst laying insulation in the roof though, lucky a plaster baton and truss stopped me from falling to the floor but "ouch"  there was some swearing etc... and waiting for a few anxious moments to see if I'd done any serious damage, as I'd hit both my knees, had several bruises on my thighs and even found a single bruise on my chest a few days later, have no idea where that one came from!!

Was feeling like I'd been in a road accident for a few days ha-ha.....but laid the rest of the insulation that I could do where the ceilings were complete with no further mishaps.


We have double insulation in the roof, so no visual timbers to see to walk on, so I have devised a cunning plan.....I've used fluro spray paint and placed accurate pink lines on the insulation over every truss and baton to depict safe walking areas and I've used other colours to show where the  down lights, fans and smoke detectors are and I'll have a mud map in the roof for anyone that needs to go up there.

Fortunately our sparky installed fluro's in the roof cavity, his signature he told us, as you only need to have to access the roof just once he said for whatever reason to be thankful for light so that you don't have to wear a mining light on your head or hold a torch in your mouth, I call these lights my marijuana lights ha-ha-ha-ha


We also installed an attic ladder instead of a standard manhole, gosh it's so easy to walk up a ladder at the right angle and with plenty of room to walk through right up into the roof, instead of trying to get up into a small hole at an almost vertical angle that's the size of a dog kennel hole ha-ha!!


Of course there's still heaps to do, almost 40 eave sheets to still put up and the sill tiles as well but hopefully we'll at last have the tiles done within the week. The eave sheets will be a much longer process but we do have a plaster lifter and it is invaluable in taking the "lift and hold above your head" out of the equation. We already have about 25 sheets in place however, all up there's about 70 sheets. Who was the idiot that wanted 360* veranda's??? only kidding, love the look and how cool the house will be in the summer months!!

Well here are some photo's.

First is the north side of the home, can't get a panoramic of the whole area, little camera won't do it at the house is 26.1mtrs long but it's almost all there together with the dog in the process of killing her rope toy as she regularly does by rolling on it, after attempting to shake it to death and not being successful ha-ha

North side # 9.JPG

Next two photo's show the south side of the home, first one is taken more to the west showing the glass brick windows in the indoor pool room, back door, lounge window and the all important invalid access ramp having been mindful during the build to make provision for such access both into the home with minimal height door sills and also including interior features such as a stepless shower, full sized invalid toilet and 870mm doorways.

South side #2.JPG

Next photo shows the south side photo taken more to the east showing laundry door and bathroom with the glass bricks.

South side #1.JPG

Next photo is the east side with master bedroom to the right of the photo, 2nd bedroom to the left and toilet in the middle with glass bricks again to create a nice look of what is effectively the toilet, as I hate the usual windows that are used in toilets that cannot be mistaken for anything else. Allows for this side of the house to still be attractive!!

Note the manhole for underhouse access, again my idea instead of having to have a floor trap somewhere in the home and imagine having to take a length of pipe under there for a repair or addition for example. This manhole when the area is complete will have an access door and with the house running longways on entry, access with anything will be a breeze.

East side #3.JPG

First photo below is the west side or pool side with the carport just out of view but to the right of the photo and the second pic shows the front of the indoor pool on the north west corner with the front doors just to the left of the photo.

West side #4.JPG


North side #8.JPG

Hope these photo's are to everybody's liking??

It's taken 9 years to get to this stage, doing all the construction ourselves, very proud indeed.

Hubby and I live on a farm and we are hay contractors, so everything will come to a halt pretty soon as we start the new season and hope it's allot better than the last.

Thanks Jason for asking about the progress.



Former Community Member

Re: From Scratch

Well done @Baretta11, thanks for the update pics, as you know, I'm super interested.


I love that you've built with thought of what the latter years can throw at you, hopefully it turns out to be only precautionary & won't be needed, but it's good planning to've accounted for it.


Good thinking to've marked the bulky insulation which's obscured where the beams are, I should do that too.


Not happy that you took a fall, but glad that you've come out of it in one piece.


Fingers crossed for a good hay season, & a happy outcome for your hard work & years to come.

Re: From Scratch

Thanks for the positive spin John.

Agree that we both hope we won't have to use the invalid facilities but being our last home, it's more than possible but at least we're somewhat prepared and won't have to make expensive changes or additions to the existing home.

You're not happy I took a fall, can't say I was either LOL

I laugh about it now how I sat up in the roof space for a bit to see what was hurting  and if I could get back down the ladder ha-ha

Gosh I hope we do get a good hay season, as contractors, we earn almost 90% of our annual income in just 3 months and last year we were down 50%, so I think we've done pretty well to get to Sept still able to pay the bills and eat ha-ha

Actually I've been milking cows for a neighbour since Xmas and even though it's only about 5 actualy milkings a week usually, I've earned almost $9,000 and it's helped buy the HWS and the plaster without dipping into the already low bank account, so low it's a perfect height for mice ha-ha



Re: From Scratch

Hi all,
Well not too much to report as hubby and I are just entering our busy or harvest season as hay and silage contractors but thought I'd at least provide a bit of an update.
Since the last post, all sill tiles were completed, so once again another milestone, it is so easy to tick something off a list but the process of that completion can be quite detailed and frustrating too at times, anyway, they are now finished!!
The big project being attacked at present, is the veranda eave sheets. Approximately 70 sheets in total, 1.8 x 1.2. As we've been going along, I jokingly asked hubby who was the bright spark who thought a 360* veranda was a great idea ha-ha.

Some sheets are easy but then there's the cut out for veranda poles, not to mention the corners of the veranda but I'm pleased to say we are on the last side, about 21 sheets to go. I pre-primed and top coated all the sheets first to make it easy not to have to paint once up but the truth is, even with a you beaut plaster lifter, the boards and still getting a little scuffed, so I'm painting the sheets yet AGAIN but at at last being painted already, I'm only having to cut in close to the edges with a brush and then use the roller to scoot across the scuffs and cover the nails, looks a treat, all nice and white. This process of touching up means the sheets will have been painted a total of four times so effectively, I have painted 280 single sheets ha-ha.....not a "happy Jan" moment thinking about that too much ha-ha.....will post some photo's soon.
Inside still nothing much, everything is sitting idol, as we still have some plaster and villaboard to buy but in the interim, I have now been trying to find a suitable wall and trim colour to match my tiles and am onto my 11th tin of sample paint!!
One was too apricot, one too pink, one too grey a few too nothing etc...BUT I think I have found the "one" however, I will get our daughter to see what she thinks, as she has a good eye for colour and can pick up on the little sutble differences in the undertone which I'm not so good at!!
Well best be off.

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