Here is a quick outline of the process for my last building.
Kirrah and I first discussed her ideas for the building on the 10th of November.
She told me that she wanted a weather-proof place that was screened from mosquitoes for her clients to rest after their sessions. It also had to be beautiful and made of wood.
I had free reign with the design from there.
This back and forth process can take a while if the client wants creative control of the building or isn't clear with exactly what they want.
I went to the site I wanted to build on and finger sketched a design on my iPad.

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I then took those ideas and made a scale model in google sketchup.
This was a simple building. The process to get the scale building plan and itemised building materials list took about 7 hours.
My rate for this work is $35/hour, so this would cost a client about $250.
Kirrahs daybed2
Kirrahs daybed north elevation
Kirrahs daybed west elevation
Most of the materials that I needed were sourced on site.
I harvested round poles, removed the bark and dragged them up the hill:
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I couldn't be bothered with mixing and pouring concrete foundations for such a small building.
I sourced some recycled concrete pads from a friend that had salvaged them from a house restumping.
First Steps:
  • measured out the site,
  • squared up the corners
  • dug out the topsoil
  • poured a layer of compacted gravel
  • dropped the pads on top
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The floor frame was going to be independent of the roof. So I laid that out and squared it too.
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The weather was fine and this was going to be a quick build, so I took the unusual step of laying the floor before the roof.
This isn't normally recommend.
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I used a ply wood for ease and affordability. If this was to be a more lived in structure I would have got to the extra effort and expense of using hardwood floor boards.
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The first posts went up easily.
I drove in a star picket first and had my impact driver ready so that I could single handedly use a roofing screw to hold it up once in place. Then I drove the other axis star picket in and did the same.
The post was now secure at the middle, but not yet tied to the foundation.
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I dynabolted a gal bracket to the foundation and batten screwed it into the post. This should stop the bottom from sliding out.
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The next milestone, all the posts are up and it's starting to look like something.I didn't cut them exactly to size yet.
Next time around I would do this on the ground first, operating the chainsaw up on the ladder is tricky and probably unnecessarily dangerous.
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There can be variation on the ground level though, so this way I can use a water level to make sure the tops of the posts are in exactly the right spot.
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I built some wall frames on the floor to support the centre beam. These needed to be braced later to take the wiggle out.
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Next step was the round beams and roof rafters. The rain beat me after all so I had to cover the floor with the bits of colour bond roofing.


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I needed help lifting up the round hardwood beams.
I made a cradle shape in the top of the posts with the chainsaw so they would sit nicely.
Then I drove a long 150 mm batten screw down through a predrilled hole tying them together.
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The rafters were cut on the ground. I measured the distance from the top beam to the bottom beam.
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I cut them so that they sat flush and then attached them to the beam with 100 mm batten screws.
I used my new 18v Dewalt cordless drill and impact driver for this.  They make climbing around on a roof a lot easier without getting tangled up with power cords.
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I then cut off the rafter overhang and screwed down the clay painted ply ceiling.  
This was covered with sisalation to protect it from condensation and if it rained again before I got the roof on.
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Then I laid the battens out and got to work attaching the roof.
I've wondered in hindsight if the whole timber roof frame was really necessary. 
Perhaps I could have just attached the roofing directly to the beams. 
I will experiment with this in a future building project.
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The roof is up!
With all the extra weight of the steel and timber, I had to make some bush bracing out of some timber poles I had lying around.
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The next step was to attach the fly-screen. I have previously bought a long roll of aluminium fly screen, so we used this.
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I also began to attach the hardwood wall lining boards.
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These are held on with 50 mm batten screws.With the walls up, it's deemed completed!
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All up the building took a week of 7 hour days.
I am a deliberately slow builder. I take the time to breath with my movements, listen to birds, stretch my body, take photos and think about things.
Because this isn't very economic for a client and I don't like the process of building without these things, I haven't ever built for money.
The bill of materials so far is:
$100 – floor
$180 – 1/2 the roof
$180 – roof battons
$40 – foundation pads
$20 – wood oil
~$100 – misc  (fasteners/bolts/screws/sanding pads/chainsaw fuel)
$300 – Wall lining
= ~$620
The 2×4 frame and rafters was made from a sling of wood that I already had here – so it was a sunk cost and good to turn it into something.  Probably worth about $500.
The wall lining was a lot more expensive than I expected. $7.70 a meter for 1" x 8" dressed hardwood boards.
So all up it's cost about $1420.


The building was complete by 20th of December.


Credit to Kirrah Holborn from Traditional Wisdom for some of the photos.


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