Monday, December 1, 2014

Issues with Render & Contractors

We had big issues with the 'contractor' that rendered our internal straw bale walls.

As a client I have never felt so pressured into a corner from bullish behaviour!

The follow up work was also non-existent.

We sent 3x render samples to a lab in Sydney for analysis that stated 'growths are organic' & ' mould/fungus growths'

We were left with a house full of mould/fungus growth, cracked render falling away from window sills and absolutely no help from the employed contractor. It was literary on every internal wall in the house.

We had to get another 3rd party in and scrap back all the walls and re-do all the render on every internal wall of the house. This took extra time and money.

Don't have your dream ruined by poor workmanship / quality! Research anyone you employ and get references before they carry out any work, especially for this specialised straw bale work.

We did put a case into the Fair Trading Department and won. We received a full refund for 'work' carried out by this contractor. Details of this case is available on the government web site.

This was not the only issue we had and not the only contractor. Please contact me to discuss.

If you would like more information, please contact me and I can provide a full lab report on render samples, our solutions to solving this issue and any other information you need.

Mould / Growth Markings on Walls

Mould / Growth Markings on Walls

 Render Falling Off Walls / Sills

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kitchen Progression

Kitchen Before Removal
In Storage
Build in Progress
Build in Progress
Kitchen Complete
Kitchen Complete

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Well, the kitchen has been the big transformation. I bought this off eBay as a second hand kitchen last year. Took it apart with Dad & transported it to the house where it sat in the shed for about 8 months.
Now with new solid timber bench tops, a few new cupboards, butler sink, some new handles and some great people to help me put it all together, this is what it looks like. A big kitchen with 12 meters of bench space. All the old doors fit great & just need a touch up at some stage.

- $700 for old kitchen
- $800 on some new cupboards
- $1,300 for new bench tops
- $200 for handles & hinges
- Some sweat, blood and swearing

= $3,000 for a great kitchen

Might take a little more effort but would be over $30,000 if we had someone do it. I Love it!

Slowly Putting It Together
Kitchen Left / Laundry Right

An Almost Finished, Functional Kitchen

Kitchen Finished in June 2015

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sitting & Dinning

Awesome furniture and these areas are now finished. Great view from dinning table to out door area we also finished with BBQ, Seating and Fire Pit.

Monday, December 17, 2012


The Bathroom is now done. Looks great with the travertine tiles and restored vanity. Great to sit in the bath and soak up the views over the valley. Many more nights here I'm sure.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Its Been a Long Time!

Its been along time from when we started. Allot has happened. From my last post many moons ago, we have had the following happen;

- Our worm farm (sewage) put into operation.
- The last of the lights and power hooked up.
- Our Bathroom tiles laid, then pulled up then laid again (They did not get the fall right).
- Kitchen going in well, looks a mess but at least its all there.
- I had my first hot shower down there, good after a big days work!
- Back area is underway and hope to be soaking in the sunsets soon.
- All the painting has been done.
- Carpets going in next week.

Heading down mid December to finish off. Not to long to go. Just finish off the kitchen. Put everything in the bathrooms and then relax.


Been a long road and good to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm hoping my next entry will be of the finished rooms. Fingers X


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AAMI for Strawbale House Insurance

I thought this part was going to be hard. Was trying not to think about it but it had to be done. But one call to AAMI and 5 minutes later and our strawbale house was fully covered. I could not believe it. They were really easy to deal with and did not even make a deal about our house being Strawbale. Thanks AAMI, your help has had a massive load off my mind.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Solar Hot Water

We had the plumber come in and install our solar hot water and connect up the cold water too. Be good to know that the the next time we go down we might be able to have a shower or go to the toilet!

The solar water in an Evacuated Tube System which collects the suns heat better than a flat system because the tubes in the system create a better surface area.

Ahh the simple pleasures.

More Painting

We did some touch up work on the skirting boards around the straw bale walls before the painter started. Chris from Chris Simos Painting & Decorating is a great bloke and did an amazing job painting all the ceilings in the house, our eaves, skirting and walls down the hallway. Looks amazing.

Thanks Chris!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Poo Pipes

We had Greg Cameron from Merimbula Plumbing Services in to start the install of our new sewage system. Had all the pipes laid which had a bit of work involved. Greg just made it look easy. Next step - Install the tank!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our New Sewage System

We are just about to have delivery of our new sewage system. I can't wait after Biolytix failed us so miserably. 

Thanks to Tony at Wormsmart, (03) 59665613, for helping us out so very quickly with his very advanced system.

The Wormsmart System works so much better than the Biolytix System as it also separates Grey and Black Water as well. Still uses worms as the main medium for breaking down solids too.

We already have our plumber, Greg Cameron, doing the ground work and the system should be getting delivered by the end of the week for install. Will keep you filled in with all the details and photos along the way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Fire Place

We have also had our fire place installed as well. It works great and looks amazing. We used recycled bricks on the base, then got the fire place surround that I had salvaged from me Grandfathers place. Secured some mini-orb tin behind it and then in goes the fire place. Makes the place nice and cozy now. Not like we don't have acres & acres of timber to burn.

Thanks to Darren for Heatworks for all the work installing the fire place! Looks amazing.

Grandfathers Old Fire Surround

Recycled Bricks Down

Monday, June 4, 2012

We Have Light

Mel's Uncle Frank came down to install our light fittings and power outlets this weekend. Its amazing to see the lights going in. Stops us living in the dark ages too having to use torches and running out extension cords so we can see. Thanks Frank.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Tiles

We had our tiler come and put in our Travertine Tiles in our bathroom. They look just as good as the slate tiles in the main areas, they look amazing! Just have to seal them and we can start both bathrooms final fit out with screens, taps & accessories ready to go in.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Internal Walls Finally Complete

The stripping back of the discoloured and rather soft internal walls has finally been completed. Its taken about 3 months to scrap back the last render coat and re-do the final coat again. It has taken allot of time and money but we are there now ready to go full steam ahead to getting the house finished. Next step, LIGHTING & Electricity.
From This
And This

To This 
And This