Most builders carry out extensive excavate on sloping sites and build Bessa or wooden sleeper retaining walls behind and down both sides of the site. These walls are extremely expensive, they look atrocious and have constant ongoing maintenance problems. These builders then plonk the traditional concrete slab down and build in brick vineer. The house looks like its berried into the slope.
Pole homes, however, are designed to sit a conformable height off the ground and fit naturally into the slope of the site. The only excavation needed is for a flat carport pad under the house and the site is left, naturall.
Square Hollow Steel (SHS) posts
Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) posts
Steel poles 76mm or 100mm. Some home owners claim that steel is a cleaner and possess a more modern look than timber. These poles rely on stability by extensive crisscross steel bracing between the poles. The crisscross bracing tends to restrict access under the house and does nothing for the house aesthetically. Many claim that steel is far more environmentally friendly than timber however statistics state that far more energy is used in creating a metre of steel than producing a metre of regrowth forestry timber.
CCA pine timber poles are supplied by Koppers Australia. The CCA treatment does 2 things. It preserves the pole from rot and mildew and termites will not eat it. The poles are light green in colour. (Can be painted) Termites cannot secretly eat their way inside the pole and gain access into the house. The only way into the house for them is by building hollow brownish mud tubes on the outside of a pole which are very visible. There are many stages of CCA treatments. The H1 treatment is seen everywhere, in council parks, play grounds, hand rails, fences and garden sleepers etc. We use H6 treated poles which are specifically produced for house supports. (See Koppers internet link) www.koppers.com.au H6 can be immersed in water as they are also used for pontoon and jetty construction.
The depth the poles are berried in the ground is determined by the builder's soil test. 450 mm diameter holes are drilled into the ground, usually around 1200mm deep. The poles are positioned into the holes and then filled with concrete. Naturally the poles are extremely rigid and minimizers the need for metal crisscross bracing under the floor between the poles which makes for added open space. We have used this solid method of construction successfully in homes we have constructed in cyclone areas like Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.
Heavy chunky 200mm square hardwood poles can also be utilized.
All frame work includes T2 termite treatment. In addition termite treatment is also applied to rafters, beams, bearers, floor joists with CCA treated house supports.
Other termite treatments like LOSP treatment can also be included in the builders pricing.
There are additional measures that you can include to protect your home from termites.
The external presentation of your home is most important and the choice of external cladding materials is endless. Cement rendering, Vertical or horizontal natural timber planking. James Hardy fibre cement (FC) Vertical or horizontal weatherboard. Scyon, Stria, Axon, Matrix are just a few of the innovative external products produced by James Hardy and they are all low maintenance. Go to www.jameshardie.com.au
Corrugated metal wall cladding nicknamed "wriggly tin" is another cladding used quiet often as a feature panel on external walls. It's best if you don’t use too much, otherwise the house can end up looking like a garden shed.
Colorbond metal roofing materials are used extensively. Normal concrete roof tiles are rarely used as they look very old hat and require a minimum pitch of 22 degrees. Some of our modern skillion roof designs are pitched as low as 5 degrees. We also use Colorbond for guttering barge boards and downpipes as the material is very long lasting, maintenance free and comes in a multitude of colours.
Go to www.colorbond.com for more information.
The cost of suppling, sanding and polishing timber flooring has become very expensive. This flooring method is still available however we have found that laminated flooring is by far the better alternative. I can guess what you're thinking. "Is this the stuff that looks and feels like lino" No it's not the flooring comes in 12mm or more thickness and sits on a special underlay. The product is made in Germany and comes in an extensive number of finishes. Cedar, Pine, Maple etc etc. The flooring even comes with a 25 year warranty.
Tiles can also be successfully fixed to the particle board flooring while carpet is usually included in bedroom areas.