All posts by robert.kaplan

Metal Facia Installation Process

Once you have finished all your bracing,tie down and batterns get two brackets and place them on each end on the tails of your trusses or block work.  You have to fold the brackets in order to fix them to the block work. Use a straight edge or level and place it over a few batters running down towards the edge of the truss tails. Place your brackets at that height this is very important. Below is a photo to give you an idea.



Once you have done that place a string line on the notches provided in the brackets top and bottom. I use one roll of string line looping it back. Make sure the line is tight.

facia bracket installation

Now that the string line is in place get your brackets and fix them into place at the end of your truss tails. Most installers use common screws but I prefer to use 6 to 8mm gauge hex gal screws. It is easier to screw or reverse them out. Make sure you put in at least three screws to line the top and bottom and one just to secure. Also make sure that you don’t push out onto the string line just be short of it by a few millimetres. This will keep the line true.

Metal facia installation


Now all you have to do is clip your facia in. Clip it on the top over the whole run with the bottom of the facia kicked away from the trusses.   Then bring the bottom in pulling it down past the clip and letting it spring back and lock into place. And there you go. If you follow the steps and replicate them on the other side everything should tie in and match.

Control joint dowels for masonry walls

When constructing masonry walls, standards and codes need to be meet. Usually these standards will be supplied in the engineered plans for site works accompanied with the building plans.

When building or constructing without plans make sure you comply with these standards. Below are  examples of dowels used in masonry wall construction.

greasing steel dowels

Steel dowels greased then inserted into plastic dowel socks.

Dowels at control joints


Dowels located every second course where horizontal bracing is installed. The steel dowels are tied with wire to the horizontal reo bars.



We were booked by the client one year in advance to do works at their residence. The client wanted to be hands on with the job as much as possible but conceded that he needed trades people when it came to technical facets in building. We had to remove the existing roof structure at the rear of the house and build a new structure. This was to have the same pitch as the middle of the house.

existing roof clay


The client arranged the scaffolding through one of my clients and made the site as safe as possible. As well as installing new trusses and a roof the sides of the house were to be recladded because new powder coated double hung aluminium windows were installed.


The Process

Once the trusses were made we fixed all the top plates to the steel bearers with bolts. We marked out our spacings then started installing the trusses one by one.


It is important to brace your first truss well once it is in position and plumb. If you do that every thing just falls into place. Once we got to the old trusses we pulled them out one by one.  Note : where you have a girder truss make sure your connection points into the old part of the house are as solid as the new. Sometimes joist hangers need to be used with extra fixing points.


At the same time as I was sheeting the roof the windows were installed by a carpenter. Once the windows were placed in and fixed the two sides of the house were re cladded with new pine weather boards. Another subcontractor primed and painted everything.



There was one last thing that had to happen and that was to put in commercial glass stacker doors. The client wanted a seamless look where the track was hidden in the ceiling. So when the installers came in we had to pack out in-between the trusses so that the tracks had fixing points. I always fix ceiling battens but if we wanted uniformity with the old and new we had to fix straight to the bottom cords of the trusses.





I was asked if I could get involved with the building works as the owner builders didn’t know where to start because the scope of the works was too overwhelming. The old part of the house was to remain and then a two storey structure to be added on with a carport and landscaping.

First of all we had to demolish the old additions to the house. The owners were happy to do that but when it came to breaking up a few layers of concrete, disposing it and earthworks they knew that machinery was the only way to do it. Actually we ended up disposing around 50 plus tonnes of concrete.







We were recommended by a friend of the client whom was a previous client of mine. What was required was to do rectification works from a previous builder who had built the structure about ten years ago. Jobs like this are really challenging for everyone involved. First of all the clients feel ripped off and need to undo what they had paid a lot of money for.

This costs twice as much because you need to investigate and pull apart any suspected sub standard work as well as rectify works along with building new structures and incorporating it all into one package so that the final result looks and feels like a first time build only. So when you build it’s not a smooth run initially till you get all the logistics done with tie in connection points footings and many more to mention. Sometimes you can’t touch one item until you removed and supported it braced it or added extra members.

Below is a photo of where we were contracted to do the works.

Annerley start






As a cost saving measure I suggested to the clients to demolish as much as they could to pull down clean up etc. Once things were more visible regarding the structure we consulted with the engineer to work out a building solution and the most cost effective way to move forward on the project.

The Process

It was decided that parts of the besser block walls in the garage area had to be demolished as there was no structural steel bracing or core filling in certain sections. Not only that no external waterproofing had been done to a required wall and water and moisture was coming through the blocks.

We had to dig and remove soil as well. This was because we needed room to waterproof and re-fill in with 20mm drainage gravel wrapped in geo fabric and a 100mm socked aggi pipe below.

The other task we had was to dig footings by hand for the new post deck locations. We made up cages and put them into position. It made our job so much easier when we had to put 140 kg post into position on multi levelled ground by crane. You can bolt up straight away as well as level the posts with the bolts.

Crane posts

At the same time we also decided to do the block laying and core filling. Tip if you are doing any in ground work it is best to finish it off in one go. That way if it rains, weather will not delay your works.

Block laying

A two storey steel deck was to be fabricated wrapping itself along two sides of the house. This is all hot dipped gal so it needs to be pre fabricated and go together like a big Mecano set. New connections had to be made to be able to connect the pole plates. Once that was done the brick layers bricked around the penetration fixing points.

connection points


Pole plates were then bolted to the structure to also work as a brace when the steel rigging was in place. This makes the build and erection safer.



Once the house structural steel work was in place we placed all the load bearing beams in for the suspended concrete deck. We allowed a couple of months for adequate curing to reach its optumim strength normally no less then 28 days.




Once the Bondek was placed we then built the alfresco or pool house. With the trusses built and the roof on it was now ready for the deck pour.

2015-04-29 08.20.43

The clients also wanted the pool coping made by us so we did all the form works and did that pour before the slab pour. The reason we did that was because we had to have control joints between both and it was best to do the coping first. As it is all exposed polished concrete we only had one shot at it and as anyone in the building game knows with concrete is not forgiving. I have a good crew of concrete ors and I always take their advice if they have any to give.

2015-06-04 08.25.27


2015-05-19 13.43.03

2015-05-20 09.43.29

2015-06-04 08.22.55

2015-06-04 09.30.33 HDR

Vibration is critical very important for two reasons. First if makes the concrete flow to small crevasses corners and settles it well. The other reason all air pockets are minimised and so when boxing/ formwork is removed you are left with a good finished edge.

2015-06-04 08.38.17




I was asked by the client to extend the main bedroom above the garage. A walk in robe cavity was to be built it was actually the replication of the existing building only extended by 3200 mm. The downstairs supports had to be altered to make it open plan with no posts. This meant that engineering had to be done in order to work out this building solution. PFC Beams were to be used and tied into the existing members of the building to disperse the load.




The steel posts and the LGL had to be removed.


The Process

I had to get plates and beams cut close to size by my metal fabricator then I transported all the material on my truck to the work site.





Once the steel beams/posts were welded, bolted and chemically  set into place we had to place struts into the webbing of the existing trusses as the load points shifted.



Here we are double platting a floor joist which will be tucked on the outside underside of the floor. We are laminating and leaving space for three tie down rods. Below is the start of our framing.





Tie down, speed bracing, roof insullation and facia installed.