Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Will this Hebel ever end!?

Truth be told I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but damn if it isn't taking the enthusiasm out of me!

Hebel is a fascinating building material, but as a solo builder it's still concrete: heavy, dusty and cumbersome. But on top of that it's incredibly fragile, and the panels in my stockpile which haven't been damaged in transit and storage are very, very easily broken when cut or placed on the ground to rest briefly. The end result is that there are very few panels in the entire building which don't have a little damage, requiring patching.

At one point I thought I'd have enough (155 panels can you believe!?) to build both the garage+unit and the house, but...

... only three and a half full packs left, and a few damaged panels in there too!


After a couple of weeks away from the site I re-energised in time for the Easter long weekend, and with my brother Gareth and his family visiting from Sydney again we managed to finish off most of the remaining full size panels which I'd have been unable to do by myself. And there were a couple there which we were barely able to do two-up:

The right-most panel in this pic was an absolute bastard to install. What we should have done was install it and its neighbour (which still isn't in place and I don't know how I'll do it either) first, moving right to left. In fact, I think Gareth said as much before we started this section but I didn't "get it" until we came to it and so we had to lift the roof iron and flashing, then try and "wiggle" the panel down between the garage roof and the wall. Easier said than done with an 80kg concrete panel... and it's still not right as it's too tall and is pushing the roof iron up slightly.

The other major section we got done was the pump room...

... although I forgot to get a photo of it with the Hebel on!

So although I had hoped to get all of the Hebel finished over the 4-day weekend, we didn't really get close. All of the gable end sections are still bare, largely because the panels take ages to move and cut so we were pretty much unable to get a good workflow going. That said, thanks to Gareth's help we were able to get a shedload more done than I could have managed by myself. Thanks Gareth!!

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