Author Topic: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Home  (Read 22509 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

glenn-k

  • Guest
Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Home
« on: February 26, 2006, 04:11:26 PM »
Jonesy sent me a link to a wonderful project in Australia.  I checked it out and received permission to post it here to inspire others. :)  

I have included pictures and Cecilia's  comments from their website.  For the whole story and lots more pictures check out their site and let them know what you think.

http://www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond/index.htm

First here are excerpts from our email's.  Lots of valuable info here so am posting it.


----- Original Message -----
From: Cecilia Sharpley
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: Our garage

Hello Glenn

> My friend, Jonesy from Hay NSW sent me a link to your site and info on
> radial sawn lumber.  I assume that the boards taper to a point or
> wedge in the center so they separate?



The boards are delivered as a whole tree, still whole at each end, with
a thin steel band circling the ends in case of weak spots. All that
needs to be done then is to chain saw through each end, and the boards
come free. There whould be some photos of our frame builder Erik
performing this 'trick' with the logs we used to clad the upper storey
of the main house.

> I don't know the species you used but I have some Eucalyptus over here
> - seems it needs to be nailed while wet or may not get nailed.

I'm not sure of the exact species, but it would be some sort of
eucalypt. Also don't know how green it was but the garage has been up
about three years now and doesn't seem to show much shrinkage.



And Jonni made a splendid door for the small doorway
(which I think weighs even more than the roller door!)



It looks even more beautiful once the timber had been oiled.



The end next to the grass bed was finally finished.

> Thanks for taking time to post the pictures and stories.  I'll check
> the rest of the site out as I get time.

I'm hoping to put up more photos in the next week or so as we've been
quite busy inside with the finishing off jobs - things like making the
blackwood bench tops, tiling, building cupboards etc.

Having running water in all the tops, and working power points is quite
a novelty. Now we just need working lights and overhead fans and we'll
be able to move into the main part of the house and I can use the single
storey part as my papermaking/bookbinding studio.



> Do you mind if I post links and pictures from your site in our forum?

Please feel free to go ahead and post links. I know people like to see
work in progress, and I hope that our house may inspire those who are
not in the first flush of youth (65 to be precise) that it's a wonderful
thing to do.



> Here is a link to my stuff on Countryplans - the site owner designs
> small cabins but lets me show my stuff too.  In exchange I help take
> care of the site.

I had a look at the site - took far too long actually, when I should be
upstairs grouting in my bathroom tiles! I love your cob stairs! We have
to put in a few stairs from the drive down to our front door and that
sort of look would be perfect.

I might have to join the forum as it looks as if there are some
interesting projects going on.

I have to say I am VERY envious of all your heavy equipment. I love
bobcats and small dingo diggers. When I win the lottery I'm going to buy
a dingo with all the bells and whistles. In the meantime I love my
rideon mower with its tipper trailer! Probably the best I'll be able to
manage.

Your friend Jonesy in Hay has not been sitting on his hands either, has he?

All the best from downunder

--
***********************************
www.cecilia-letteringart.com
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

***********************************
Cecilia Sharpley
Healesville, Victoria, Australia


Hi Cecilia, Me again.
 
Sorry if you just got half a message - hit the wrong key and it was gone---
 
As I was saying -- if using the cob outside add 4 to 7% Portland cement - Asphalt emulsion or both  same of each but both not necessary- Portland cement stabilizes it so it won't wash away with water easily - asphalt emulsion waterproofs it.  Freezing can still break the top loose if water gets into it.  The ideal ratio is 30% clay 70% sand and aggregate including what may be in the clay -- add short cut straw to taste - it is the reinforcement -- cut the bale with a chain saw along the strings before taking the strings off.  About 4 coats of linseed oil over the top makes a surface like linoleum.  I understand urethane will work too.  Also Styrofoam dissolved in lacquer thinner makes a clear sealed surface -per Shelley on the forum - I haven't tried it yet.  Try to keep the major amounts of water draining away from it at all times.  Loose gravel underneath will also help drain moisture away.
 
A simple roof over the cob even if you don't stabilize it will almost totally protect it.  If you don't have enough clay or sand use what you have - add more straw.  A lot of this information is from Becky Bee's book on cob.  I've done most of it.  Please feel free to ask any question.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 03:37:41 AM by glenn-k »

jraabe

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 04:57:20 PM »
Beautiful bit of framing there... and the pop-apart tree that was radially cut for the clapboards is very inventive and handsome when finished off.


glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 06:11:01 PM »
I posted the last picture showing an excellent way of putting insulation over a solid wood ceiling with metal roof over it or any other material for that matter.

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2006, 06:16:52 PM »
Very nice site.

Nice house too.

cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2006, 08:06:39 PM »
Hello Everyone

After visiting your forum this morning, after receiving Glenn's request to post some of our photos, I couldn't resist joining you here.

Thank you to all those who visited our website, and of course we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We have been trying to build our house following guidelines we set ourselves.
1. Use as much recycled, salvaged materials as possible.
2. Design for energy efficiency.
3. Avoid any carcinogenic finishes or glues.
4. Use local resources wherever possible.

I'm sure there's more, but that's probably the main aims.

I should mention that the choice of radially sawn cladding boards for our garage and the upper storey of the house was not only because we loved the wobbly look of them (after all, ours is a sort of wobbly house right through!), but with this system of cutting the logs, there is hardly any wastage. Once the boards are freed you are left with just the central core of the trunk - and this can always be used for something as well.

that's it for now.
cecilia
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond


glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 04:05:56 AM »

Hi Cecilia,  glad to see you made it aboard.  Now we can easily start bugging you with questions about your project. :)

When you get time I was wondering if you could tell us more about your mud bricks, mortar and rendering since you seem to be the rendering pro. In particular I was wondering about the materials and processes used in the makeup and use of each.  Formulas etc.  Below I have included some of your photo's and comments from this part of the job.  I hate to think how many hours you spent documenting all of this but really appreciate your top quality work.  



Fortunately Peter had a better idea of what to wear and his rows of bricks are beautifully straight,
despite his frustration at finding no two bricks the same size or shape



In the meantime Jonni and I carried on with the wall
which Adam and Tim began on our first bricklaying day
The courses of red bricks are necessary as they are below ground level
with the greenhouse behind. The inside walls will eventually be rendered and the lower part
of this wall will be obscured by furniture.



The rendering is one of my jobs, but before I begin, Jonni makes sure he's masked
all that's in danger of my enthusiastic use of the broomhead!

cecilia

  • Guest
Mud Bricks and Render
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 11:46:32 AM »
I've been enjoying reading a heap of threads on this forum - what a fabulous collection of passion and wisdom!

Now - our mudbricks. We didn't make them ourselves as it would have delayed the start of our building for a couple of years - and we wanted to get the house built in our lifetime! Also, until we built the garage we had nowhere to store anything, and the garage was needed to store all my mother's furniture when she moved in with Jonni and I.

There are several makers of mudbricks in Victoria and they all seem to use different materials and methods. We decided we didn't want pressed bricks as they look too neat and tidy for us. Also we were always hearing them referred to as 'Weetbix' (a breakfast cereal that falls apart when wet). So we bought bricks from 'Mudlark' which are puddled bricks. They consist of mainly clay, some chopped straw, fine grit, but have no asphalt or stabiliser added. The mixture is dumped into molds, left to dry until the molds can be lifted off without distorting the shape of the brick. They are turned until completely dry, before being stacked on palets.

As far as the render goes, the traditional render in this district is cow manure and river silt. We had a nice little herd of cows lined up, but the river silt was a problem, and in the end we used a mixture of sand, cement and a specially formulated latex additive. It is applied with the head of a broom.

I was working completely by instinct when I began the rendering, and the first wall was an utter nightmare, with the broomhead getting heavier and heavier with every scoop of render, as it clogged up the bristles. It wasn't until I was on the second wall that I realised I had to keep dipping the broomhead into a bucket of water to rinse out the excess. Also the render needed to be quite sloppy and the wall dampened first.

The render is left at least a month before the colour coat is added.

We have a man in Victoria, Alan Grimes, who makes earth pigment colour coats, the mudbrick additives, timber preservative and all that sort of thing. We've found his products very good - even if his rendering advice was no help at all -

Question "How thick do I mix the render?"
Answer "As thick or as thin as you want"

Q. "How many coats of render to I put on?"
A. "As many as you want, depending on how smooth you want the finish"

Q. "What do a use to put it on with?"
A. "Use anything you like - a broomhead is the normal thing"

I could have coped with all that, if only he'd divulged the secret of keeping my broomhead clean!

Well that's probably enough of me for the moment.
cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 03:41:41 AM »
Cecilia, I noticed that the wood you are using -Macro Carpa -(hope that's right - please correct me if not- on dial up today -not enough time to check) is originally a California tree called Monterey Cypress.  I hadn't heard of it before so looked it up.

I'm working in Carmel today -- the town where the working man sits in the back of the restaurant-  It is at the original groves of it --I may try to see one.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 08:17:59 PM by glenn-k »

jonseyhay

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2006, 11:43:28 AM »
That's it Glenn you can find some information here. http://www.bowerbirdtimber.com/tech_info.htm
There is also a Eucalyptus macrocarpa, information on that can be found here. http://farrer.riv.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/e-macro.html
There are a number of Eucalyptus types in Australia; this site will give you a look at them You can also get a look at some of the native plants in Australia

Macrocarpa is also used for building in New Zealand. It was once considered a rubbish tree, used mostly for firewood. With the crackdown on the cutting of native timber over there it is now used widely.

Common Name(s): Macrocarpa, Macro
Botanical Name: Cupressus macrocarpa

DISTRIBUTION
The species originates in California.
In New Zealand, the species is grown throughout the country, primarily as shelterbelts on farms. There are no specific forests of Macrocarpa, and there have not been any commercial planting's.

QUALITY STANDARDS AND GENERAL PROPERTIES
In New Zealand, the timber is graded into Clear grade, Dressing grade, and a Utility grade.
The timber machines and sands well and is suitable for end use applications requiring a high quality finish.

TYPICAL END USE APPLICATIONS
Macrocarpa performs well in furniture manufacture, joinery manufacture, panelling, and flooring. The Utility grade is a general-purpose grade suitable for a diverse range of low-grade applications.


cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2006, 11:53:11 AM »
Hi Glenn

How strange that you should have Australian Eucalypts (which particular one is the most common?) while we had so many of your Monterey Pines.

When the Yarra Valley was established in the late 1800s early 1900s, the winds swept through the valley and farmers planted windbreaks of cypress trees to create windbreaks for the sheep and cattle.

In the past ten or fifteen years, the sheep and cattle have gradually been replaced by vineyards and the windrows were pulled out to allow free airways once again - I guess to minimise disease and give maximum exposure to the sun on the vines.

In this area our local species of eucalypts are E.viminalis (manna gum) and E.rubida (candlebark). I probably have about twenty other varieties of eucalyptus growing in our garden. Some drop bark and others drop branches!! The ironbarks, with their corky black trunks and drooping grey leaves and pink or white flowers are probably my favourites.

Still enjoying reading all the threads - will be a long time before I get through them all - and sometimes I still have to work on the house.

all the best from downunder
cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 08:17:32 PM »
Off work for the day -  

The eucalyptus I planted on my place in 1983 were E. Rostrata -common name is River Red Gum.  Many are about 60 feet tall now and some are over 2 feet in diameter.  They average 12 feet growth per year when young.

There are lots of other types in California also.

I guess I messed up the state tree - it is Redwood-- I think the article I read just said the Eucalyptus was very important to the state.  There have been several firewood and paper get rich quick schemes over the years.  It does make good firewood and is used for windbreaks - trees along roads and property lines etc.  I planted them to keep the canal company from stealing my land.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 08:29:12 PM by glenn-k »

cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2006, 09:34:49 PM »
Hi Glenn

Just make sure you don't set up your tent underneath the canopy of the River Red Gum - notious for dropping large branches, with no need of a breath of wind to do it.

cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 09:45:57 PM »
I'll remind my son of that - he has been pruning some - they are close to his mobile home.

jonseyhay

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2006, 11:27:13 PM »
Cecilia is bang on the money with that one. The River red gum is the common tree in our area. It grows all along the Murrumbidgee River and was milled mostly for railway sleepers (you can still find old dumps of off cuts in the river bends). I think it was also used on the river steamers to fire the boilers. The tree can grow quite large but older trees tend to be hollow, the termites eat the softer centre out. It requires periodic flooding to maintain good healthy stands, so since the river has been altered for irrigation purposes a lot of it is dieing off. The timber is real hard when dry and it's almost impossible to get a nail into, even drilling it is hard. It has a beautiful red colour when polished but because it is so hard to work it's not used much for building. Deaths from limb fall are not uncommon in this area. On hot calm days the tree takes up large amounts of water into the leaves and branches making them extremely heavy, it is best to stay clear of them on those sort of days as they will lose large branches without warning
« Last Edit: March 02, 2006, 12:32:14 AM by jonseyhay »


glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2006, 05:21:13 AM »
Ours are near an irrigation canal and a vineyard that is irrigated regularly.  I guess we better get to cutting them back more --one of them in 23 years is probably 4' dia.  I know the thing about nails - green OK - dry I have bent 6" spikes without getting them to go through.

Jared

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2006, 10:22:16 AM »
Is it rude to ask how much this house has cost so far? Specifically, the framing and bricks. I'm not really wondering about cabinets and flooring and such.
Jared Drake

cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2006, 12:37:34 PM »
Hi Jaren

No - it's not rude at all to ask about the cost of our home.

I'm not able to tell you right at this moment as my husband Jonni is the numbers man (thankfully) and has all the details on his computer. At the moment he's escaped early as we're trying to finish lining the last timber walls in the kitchen in time for our first family roast dinner at The Duckpond on Wednesday evening. We need to line and oil the walls before we can push the fridge into place and switch it on.

When I can hogtie Jonni to his computer chair I'll see if I can get him to do a breakdown of the costs so far.

You have to realise though that the home we're building was originally sort of two homes in one. A single storey part for my mother and the double storey part for Jonni and I, with a greenhouse and entrance hall joining the two sections. As Mum died suddenly when we were two far to change plans (slab laid and frame already built), we had no option but to continue to completion. Of course I will have no problem utilising all the extra space, but we both wish Mum could be here to enjoy living in this idyllic place.

Will get back to you soon.
cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2006, 11:48:14 AM »
Hello Jared

I've finally managed to get Jonni to sit still long enough to give me a few figures about the cost of the house.

First, I'd better mention that all figures are in Australian dollars. Secondly, the size of the house is about 30 square (300 square feet) counting both sections and including the joining greenhouse and entrance hall. The double storey section is about 20 squares and the single one about 10.

At this (almost finished stage) it has cost about $250,000.

Of this amount, about $180,000 has been spent on the two storey section and $70,000 on the single storey section.

To break it down a bit:
The total concrete slab and the frame cost $97,000.

The mudbricks cost $7,000.  (we have about 200 left over)

Windows (openable plus flyscreens) cost $11,000.

The amount of $250,000 includes all materials and also any outside labour employed, but of course doesn't allow for our own labour.

Jonni and I have done all the bricklaying, carpentry (except the frame, upstairs floor, and a part of the upstairs cladding), tiling, plastering, etc.,

Well that's about all I can think of, so I hope it's of some help.

Feel free to ask for anything else you want to know.

all the best from downunder
cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2006, 03:27:11 PM »
Wouldn't that be around 300 square meters or 3000 square feet, Cecilia?  Just guessing something may be lost in the conversion.

BTW, here is a pix of the Macro Carpa -Monterey Cypress in it's home environment behind the frames past my welding truck.


jonseyhay

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2006, 04:34:52 PM »
Glenn,
In the old system, before metric, floor area of houses in Australia was measured in 'squares' (one square is 100 square feet, or 9.29 square metres) 30 squares in Cecilia's case is about 3000 sq ft or in metric 278.7 sq meters. Some folk still use that system, my house for example; living area only, not including deck and carport is around 12.5 squares or 1250 sq ft.


glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2006, 04:46:52 PM »
Thanks Jonesy.

cecilia

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2007, 12:37:14 PM »
It's been a while since I've managed to post here for you good people - but I do visit at least once a week.

Finally managed to update the website which chronicles our building adventure.
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond

I've been busy papermaking (from wombat poo) and plants, but Jonni has embarked on the making of our new bed - basically from salvaged branches. So I hope to have slightly more frequent updates of the website from now on. (fingers crossed).
cecilia
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond
www.cecilia-letteringart.com

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2007, 02:31:20 PM »
I love your house.

Looking forward to seeing the bed.

jwv

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2007, 04:10:06 PM »
OK, I vote we go to Cecilia's for a workshop on....anything!
It's beautiful and I especially like your copper door.  What does the surface feel like?

Judy

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Jonni And Cecilia's Timber Framed Mud Brick Ho
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2007, 06:00:15 PM »
Nice to hear from you again Cecilia.  Your house and place is looking great.  You and Jonni always do a great job on everything.

Please feel free to pop in whenever you have time.


 

Templates: 4: index (default), Ads (default), Display (default), GenericControls (default).
Sub templates: 10: init, html_above, adsheaders_above, body_above, adsindex_above, main, adsindex_below, body_below, adsheaders_below, html_below.
Language files: 2: index+Modifications.english (default), Ads.english (default).
Style sheets: 0: .
Files included: 32 - 867KB. (show)
Cache hits: 13: 0.00156s for 40,834 bytes (show)
Queries used: 26.

[Show Queries]