26 January 2013 Lock Up...

A house is to "lock up" when the frame and trusses have been completed, the exterior walls are up, windows and doors are fitted and roof has been completed. Literally when you can lock the house up and no-one can enter from any given point i.e. through the roof, windows or doorways.

With the preparation of the 2nd floor slab underway, the countdown to lock us is around the corner. Lock up is a major phase in construction for the pure reason of being able to get to a stage where weather will no longer be a big issue prone to delay a construction and therefore affect holding costs and overall budget. The house structure, preliminary plumbing and electrical work completed and other major structural works completed. The focus will then turn to interior finishes as well as external treatments like render, paint and landscaping etc.



With the formwork complete, the concreters arrive to pour the second slab. In the next couple of days with the good fortune of good weather the bricklayers can commence.


On the 2nd level we have 4 bedroomsooms and 3bathrooms. The 2nd floor aslo has the most commanding views.


I personally like having all the family sleeping on the one level. But sometimes depending on the house, the land and the families’ requirements it also works well having a wing or separate zone for kids and separate zone for adults. This works best when you have a lot ofland and you can build on just one level. Sometimes, especially if the kids are older (teenagers) they may require more flexibility with their movements and study patterns and it may work better in this case to have there bedroom positioned on another level maybe with their own access in and out of the house. Bearing in mind always the view to appeal to the broadest market, having the bedrooms together on one level is assumed the most desirable especially given this particular demographic being young to growing families. For this reason when renovating, knowing your buyer is crucial.

Again, the bricklayers start with the external skin and work there way around. They work off the plans they have been given, however adjustments are often made with door opening sizes and direction, positioning and size of laundry shoots and internal layouts especially once the bricks start going up. As its only when you can physically see it in reality that all the potential errors become clear. Hence, why its so important that daily if not twice daily site visits are made during this time.

The weather is good to us and we progress quickly. The windows and doors chosen for this project are commercial grade aluminium in a powder coated black finish. A commercial grade system was chosen over a standard residential not only for aesthetic reasons, but given the position of the house and its exposure to southerly breezes and strong winds, the windows and doors are large spanning and need to be made of stronger and thicker sections. During this time, as the bricklaying of the 2nd and final floor near completion the window company will come and do their site measure to get manufacturing started. The windows were quoted and materials ordered off the architectural plans. The site measure will ensure that all the dimensions and specifications are correct. This is also the final opportunity to ensure all the window types selected are correct, for instance the direction the windows and doors are to open and the style of window/door for each room. The time given to manufacture and start installation of windows and doors is 3 weeks from date of site measure.

Once the 2nd floor brickwork is complete, the carpenters are called in to start on the roof timbers. The roof design for this house is a conventional clip lock colourbond flat roof. Given height restrictions especially in an area where views and protection of outlooks are important a flat roof with a very slight 3 degree pitch was designed.

During this time, the skylights for the 2 storey void are installed as well as the skylight in the ensuite. Considerable time was given to the design of the skylight roof for the massive void area. Everything from a custom made glass roof to a retractable sky roof were considered. However, it is decided due to practicality, budget and also for its ventilation qualities that 6 Velux skylights are installed side by side spanning the entire opening. This will not only be a great focal point as you enter the house but also something that will bring much needed light to all 3 levels.

Soon enough the windows installation begins. This is a big job that will take up to 2-3 weeks to finish. During this time the roofer starts to install the colourbond sheeting and the carpenter upon completion finishes the construction of the eaves.


The house takes shape and the scale of the development is now evident from the street.


With the house at lockup apart from some finishing touches like the installation of the gutters etc…we are essentially now looking at getting started on the finishes. The scaffolding will stay up for the renderers and painters. And we still have the construction of the garage and retaining walls in the front.


Please keep following the blog and stay in tune with all the fun stuff still to come.


Love TinaC