Kithomebasics Gallery

Shown is a collection of graphics, pictures and links from the kithomebasics site.

Kit home building time lapse

Kit home delivery was the end of a 3 month process of buying land, choosing plans, fire, water and termite plans, owner builder course, finances and insurances.

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Building a raised floor using piers instead of a slab was a better solution for owner building. Working off the ground is better too.

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Standing wall frames was relatively easy, although lots of 'plumbing' is required to get and keep them straight.

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A straight through gable roof is the simple way. Installing a truss roof took some thought, but there's lots of systems that can assist the process.

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Truss bracing and gable ends were the last tasks in the roof framing process. The verandah skillion roof frame and decking were then added.

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Installing metal roofing proved a challenging task. Here are some good tips to get a lid on your kit.

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Flat pack kitchens are a great option for the owner builder. Great outcomes and good looks and nowhere near as difficult as it looks.

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There are many ways a bathroom can be designed, and in kit homes, small bathroom design is crucial. Supplied PC items are usually easy to install, as a rule.

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External wall cladding for owner builders means weather-board or fibro-cement, rather than brick or block.

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This style of kit is the most commonly erected, but there are many types of kits available including yurts, a-frame, modular, octagonal, pole, cabins, barns, domes or steel frame.

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Steel wall frame construction for the kit home owner builder, from delivery to completion. More info....

New steel home construction requires 4 or 5 sets of plans: a floor plan, framing plan, ceiling frame plan, roof support and roof panel plans as well as tie down specifications.

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Building a steel framed roof requires ceiling, roof support and roof panels installed, all pre-fabricated by the kit home builder.

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An ebook describing the complete journey of my owner building a steel building kit. Included is an itemised account of submitting a development application as well as material inventories, plans, designs and graphics.

From land purchase to move in, this is an owner builder 'must read'.

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Foundation graphics

Setting out foundations can be done by the owner builder, with a little research. Seeing it done does help but the basics can be learnt.

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Digging pier holes for raised floor footings required a few basics, a good excavation operator and simple tools.

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Pier footings on a slope require some good soil testing and pier support design.

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Slabs on a slope need cut and fill setups.

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Tying a stud wall to a concrete slab, careful excavation, reinforcing, tie down bolts, compacted earth: all part of concrete footing design.

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Constructing slab formwork for a kit home is not for the feint hearted and, depending on your background, may require specific assistance. 

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There have been many types of piers used over the years including those made on site: brick or block. But modern galvanised piers can now have a threaded spigot to adjust up and down to get them exactly right.

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Here is a concrete slab construction pictorial from setout through formwork, pouring and finishing.

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Raised floor

A raised floor system is a great option for the owner builder. Setting bearers on piers is the next step.

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Laying floor joists on bearers requires a floor joist span table.

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Once joist spans are set they can be installed on top of bearers or with joist hangers. Bridging nogs are used to stablise.

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Easy design floor sheeting is now available. They are tongue and groove, waterproof and pest resistant.

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Installing floor sheeting requires a two or three important tasks, but is a relatively simple task.

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Wall Framing

Kit home frames come ready to stand. It takes a few tricks like stop blocks on the edge to begin though.

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It's really a one person operation to stand wall frames. One of the easiest tasks really.

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Anchoring the frames to the bearers holds them down and requires galvanised threaded rods, washers and nuts.

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Understanding how a frame is constructed is useful for the owner builder, especially if minor alterations need to be made.

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Standing steel wall frames, especially the exterior ones, is difficult due to their size: some are up to 6 metres.

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Roof Framing

Standing trusses on wall frames requires solid propping and temporary bracing ties. A truss gauging rod is useful to.

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Roof trusses need to be be attached to internal wall frames with sliding brackets to allow some vertical movement. 

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After the trusses are settled onto the wall frames, galvanised cyclone ties secure them to the top plates.

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One of the last tasks of roof framing is the gable end studs.

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Lastly, speed bracing set diagonally along the trusses connects the roofing frame to the wall frames and locks the roof together.

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Steel frame roofing is a completely different animal. Roof support panels and lay over roof frames. 

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Roofing

Selecting insulation for installation under the roof revolves around maximum thickness, reflective value and gap-less fitment.

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Gutter systems are very easy to install and have 'click to fit' galvanised and color-bonded components.Edging  sections make it easy to make neat corners.

Guttering profiles range from contemporary  square forms to classic colonial styles.   

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Galvanised roof batons come in 6 meter lengths and have a lip on both sides to screw them down to the truss top chords.

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Battens need to be spaced no greater than 900 mm apart along the truss top chords, starting 100 mm from the apex.

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Installing metal roofing on a truss roof is straight forward, as long as the roof is a gabled style. If it has valleys and more complex roofing styles, get a roofer.

Lots of profiles and all can be color-bonded. Ridge capping and barge capping edges and finishes the roofing. 

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It's good to gain knowledge of gable end profiles before you start. The barge capping completes the waterproofing of the last roofing panel.

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Cladding

House wrap or vapor lock  sarking prevents moisture movement behind the cladding.

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External wall cladding for owner builders means weather-board or fibro-cement, rather than brick or block.

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Another option is external Blueboard cladding, a 7mm thick fibro product designed to give a monolithic look to your house. Have a look at how I installed mine.

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Applying render for novices: my complete description of sourcing, mixing, applying and finishing external cladding render.

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External & Internal Doors

Exterior door installation requires the standing and securing of pre-hung door-jambs and doors. The joist requires some checking out but really a good challenging owner builder task.

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Interior doors are also relatively easy to install with the supply of pre-hung doors. They arrive with hinges installed on the stiles and doors. 

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Gyprock/Drywall

Internal ceiling battens look similar to roofing battens and are secured to the bottom chords of the trusses with roofing screws.

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Drywalling, plastering, gyprocking, call it what you like, it is a complicated and laborious task for the owner builder.

A full 3 bedroom house can be completely drywalled (inclusing the ceiling) in a few days by professionals. Add two weeks for the owner builder.

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Jointing and plastering compounds are fun to apply but it takes time to perfect,  feather and finish the joints and corners and get straight walls.

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Kitchen

Kitchen balance describes a kitchen that allows ready and convenient access to the key facilities.

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Small kitchen design can be challenging, but achievable with today's options.

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A flatpack kitchen arrives, you unpack it and then you sort it out. The beginning of a great adventure.

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Kitchen carcases are pre-drilled and ready to assemble. Good plans come with the pack.

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Flatpacks don't have to be boring. Large drawer units, pantries, trash units and corner carousels are now the norm.

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Creating a line of cabinets requires a few basic tools and plans.

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Kitchen counter tops come in standard melomine right through to stone and marble.

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A kit home kitchen can have all the attributes of a standard built home kitchen, and look just as good.

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Bathroom

Designing bathroom layouts is usually the domain of professional planners, but with a list of planning criteria at your fingertips, your bathroom floor plans can become a fully functional and practical bathroom.

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The professional application of wet sealing compounds to bathroom floors, shower walls and edges, gives a secure moisture barrier for wet areas.

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Setting out a bathroom for tiling requires a number of preliminary measuring tasks to begin and stay straight.

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Tiling a shower with a hob is achievable for the owner builder.

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Hobs add style and function to showers and framed and frameless shower doors modernise bathroom areas. Shower door specialists can create the effect you desire.

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There are many tile floor patterns you can use, if you are game, and the outcomes can be excellent. It requires constant attention to lines and angles and a keen eye as well.

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Checking out studs to fit a solid shower base allows base tiling to cover the lip of the shower base, increasing waterproofing.

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Solid shower bases feel like tiled concrete, only better. They are easy to install and look great.

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A Walk in Shower is a great addition to a bathroom and this series will show you how to create a shower floor and design your dream shower.

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Toilets

Knowing how to install a toilet will assist you as an owner builder, whether you install it yourself or get the plumber to do it.

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Composting toilet systems are aerobic processes that treat human waste, without water, using decomposition. Systems are mostly purchased in kit form.

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DIY Projects

I built this ladder clothes dryer after finding my oregon pine ladder in storage and wondered if I should throw it out or use it. More info....

Re-purposing ladders for shelving is a great way to use old stuff in the shed.

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A ground level deck doesn't have foundations, so by design, can be mobile, even portable. With the changing of the seasons, a mobile setup can work well.

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Trying to find decent jewellery organizers is a common problem of today's be-jeweled woman as most require a bench, shelf or table to stand on.How about window shutters?

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An ugly duckling home renovation appears on our TV screens a couple of times a week, but I took on a unique challenge when I bought this almost dead kit home in Gympie. 

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How about these platform stairs built from pine sleepers. The are very practical and relatively easy to built. The complete build is described. 

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Pergolas

Rafter brackets assist pergolas to attach to flimsy modern fascias.

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Attaching pergola joists to the top plates with joist stirrups is the best setup.

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Installing a  colorbond roof, gutters and downpipes onto the pergola finishes it nicely.

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A wooden pergola finishes a house beautifully.

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A finishing touch to my steel frame kit home was a wood heater installation.

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