Residential Building Construction

The main methods of residential building construction in Melbourne are as follows:

 Timber frame with weatherboard walls

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Dressed pine is used to build frame fixed together using airgun nailers with diagonal bracing providing stability to the frame.

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The walls are attached to the floor, which is supported by stumps or a concrete slab.

After the walls are fixed, the roof is constructed either by using prefabricated roof trusses or 'pitching' it on site. 

Finally, the frame is covered with a cladding of pine weatherboard, or boards/sheets of cement or similar products.

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Some walls are load bearing supporting the roof structure, others (usually internal walls) are not.

  Timber frame with brick veneer walls

The timber frame is constructed in a similar way to those of weatherboard houses and supports the roof. The non structural brick walls are attached to the frame for stability with a cavity separating the timber frame and the brick wall, acting as a moisture barrier. These brick walls require solid concrete foundations.

 Cavity or double brick walls

This method uses two single brick walls built close together and joined with metal ties. Ths double brick wall is load bearing, supporting itself and the roof, and requires engineer-designed concrete foundations. The floor may be a concrete slab or wooden floor supported by the walls and isolated piers of brick, concrete or steel. 

  Hollow concrete block walls

In place of a double brick wall, a single layer of precast concrete blocks are used to provide the load bearing structure and cladding for the building. The flooring can be of timber or concrete slab. The walls can be rendered externally and internally with a cement finish, or they may be lined with plasterboard over battens attached to the block wall on the inside.

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