• Matty painting the undercoat
    The Nest

    Plaster and paint, oh my I might faint…

    Since the last coat of render, Cooinda’s Nest has been going through a slow and steady transformation. Who knew painting the plasterboard walls and ceilings could make the house look more like a home?  Well I didn’t, but it is my first time building, so let’s excuse my ignorance. Matty and I have to keep reminding ourselves that there is yet more work to be done, till we can truly call it a day… or a year really. Plastering joy Matty used to be a plasterer for about 12 years, so this phase of the project ran pretty smoothly; albeit the frustrations of simply doing it. Within a week, Matty completed…

  • The Nest

    Mask up, bog down, render right around…

    Exactly a week ago, the third (and final) coat of render took place on the eve of the Leo new moon. Matty and I woke up at 5:40 am on Saturday July 22nd, worried for the upcoming day; little did we know then that we were to be blessed in almost every way.  Sipping our morning coffee half an hour later,  we spotted a silvery crescent moon sitting atop the house, a position of the moon we had never witnessed whilst living on the property for over a year.  To us this was a blessing, and it lifted our spirits to no end. Render prep Matty and I spent a…

  • Winter warming sunlight streaming through the front door
    The Nest

    Winter is here

    Without trying to sound all negative and stuff, but it is winter.. and I can’t shake the cold off. The time has come for when the world slows down and allows you to recuperate and reenergise, just through simple rest; something that I feel we may have forgotten how to do. Thankfully the build stage agrees with this seasonal change, and gives us a chance to slow it down and go with the flow. The last few months have been a whirlwind of major structural work, and the tasks were all BIG! Now, as winter settles in, the attention goes inwards. The open fireplace One new addition of Cooinda’s Nest…

  • Dad and Matt talking builder talk
    The Nest

    It runs in the family

    It has been an inspirational and exciting four weeks since the last post, getting so much done and being fortunate enough to receive much-needed (and appreciated) help from family. Matty’s father and his partner, Di flew from New Zealand to give us a hand with cabinetry and other timber related features of the house, like the breakfast bar and the bathroom vanity. Both Matty and Dad got to play their talents whilst spending quality father-son time, which was really what it was all about :)  Dad used to be a builder/carpenter back in the day, and Matty had wanted his help even before we bought Cooinda. To top off all the achievements with Dad…

  • The morning after the second coat
    The Nest

    Second skin

    The house got to bathe in the Libra full moonlight with its freshly covered second coat on April 11th and 12th. Mark and his assistant (the professional render team) arrived on the morning of April 11th, along with our friends Val, Charlotte and Benny Boy to help us with the second coat. Matty had envisaged the whole task taking about 8 hours each day, but thankfully we finished up around 1 pm on the second day; giving Matty and I time to celebrate this special milestone. The second coat had to be followed by someone trowelling by hand after the render pump (unlike the first coat), and this trowelling started to give the…

  • West side - round 1 complete
    The Nest

    First skin

    The house finally got its first layer of skin yesterday, thus marking the beginning of the longest milestone. The third and final coat of render will not be applied till all the internal fit-out is complete, which we estimate to be late winter/early spring. To say that this past week has been hard is an understatement. Thankfully everything went smoothly on the day, and all the hard work was worth it all, especially for the view of the house from the driveway.  As the Grand Design peeps love to say: “it blends into the environment”, and for once Matty and I seem to think so too! Render prep Prior to the…

  • All bales are in, strapped up and braces removed!
    The Nest

    House of straw

    Two and a half weeks ago the first round of strawbales were delivered, and then four days later, the second batch.  All up we have 350 bales in our possession, and they are more than enough for the house… a few will be leftover which will get used in the chook pen, much to the chooks’ delight I’m sure! Laying it all down When building the strawbale walls, it may seem simple enough to plonk the bales on the bottom boxing and then layer them as you build height, but there’s more to it than that.  Here’s a list of things to consider: side of the bale facing the inside…

  • The Nest

    Battens, cables and bales

    It is nearly time for the house’s most distinguishing feature to be delivered. Matty and I went to inspect the bales this morning, and they are mighty fine. I ain’t any bale connoisseur but these bales definitely looked like they could be the muscles of our house (the render will be the skin, the frames are the bones….important to get these anatomical details correct :D :D). Each of these wheat straw bales measure 965mm(W) x 450mm(D) x 375mm(H), making the walls quite thick and insulated. 350 of these bad bales will be delivered next week, and the remaining 100 a fortnight after. Last week we completed putting up all the roof…

  • The Nest

    A roof over our heads

    The last day of January marked another milestone on Cooinda, the roof sheets were put up!  Three days later, Matty secured the flashing around the edges as well. Tim, the plumber assisted Matty on the day.  As the skillion roof is on a 6 degree single pitch, the gutter will only be on the south side of the house, where eventually a downpipe will feed a 10,000 litre rainwater tank. We then started work on the roof battens this weekend; this is the timber on the inside portion of the roof that holds up the ceiling plaster as well as the roof insulation bats. Alongside the roof extravaganza, I managed to finish…

  • First fascia board is up
    The Nest

    The first quarter

    And so we are close to our first quarter since the slab pour; 3 months, oh how you’ve whizzed by!  We’re on the precipice of the roof inauguration (yes, I used that word with intent). Last weekend we had hired help from our local Benny Boy, a quirky character who we buy firewood from during the colder months.  He has the strength that I lack, and he lacks the fear of heights that I have, so it worked out for the better :D  He helped Matty put up the smart roof joists (as opposed to the intellectually challenged type).   In case you were wondering (like I was)… smart joists refer to a…