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Decking Oil Application

Why is it not recommended that a lambswool roller not be used to apply decking oil. This method should get better coverage as the deck we are going to apply it to is outside and even after sanding will not be fully flat.

Question by Brian Roche

Party wall

We have a party wall between the 2 town house. This wall or building was fully constructed at end of November 2012. We have realised that the sound of someone walking down the staircase could be heard from otherside. We also realised that the the plaster board is put on directly to the brickwork of the partywall. After carefully checking our plans, it is clear to me that the builder did not build according to the plans recommendation.
How can I prove that the builder has cut corners? and what can i do from here? how can I hold the builder liable?

Question by si vincent


We are having a deck built and I am enquiring as to whether we are able to have horizontal tensioned wire around the area. The maximum height of the finished deck is about 1.5 metres at the highest coming down to ground level. The builder we are looking to use said that we can only have vertical below the handrail with no climbable elements. Can you please let me know about the regulations.

Question by Karen Ruddy

Toilet pan installation

Can a toilet pan be installed using silicon as opposed to a cement bed? What are the regulations regarding this?

Question by William Thomson

Bringing a Canadian made Fireplace back to Australia

Hi There, I am an Australian living temporarily in the US. Normally I live in NSW (Murrumbateman) just outside of Canberra. I want to put a fireplace into my home in Murrumbateman when I return to Australia and I have been looking at different types over here. I was wondering if the Pellet systems are being used in Australia yet? They are very popular here in the US. They are also a lot cheaper to buy here and if they meet Australian standards I was thinking of bringing one back with me to be installed in my Aussie home.

Question by Sandra Cohayney

Waffle Slabs?

Are waffle slabs any good or are they a disaster waiting to happen? Should I invest more money in my build to get a stiffened raft slab?

Question by Elise Jacoby

Lighting Requirements

Hi, just wondering about rules/regs on lighting such as down lights in cupboards. I'm changing half of my daughters clothes cupboard into a desk study area. looking at putting lights of some kind in. Downlights in the ceiling have to be isolated from insulation. Or are they ok because they are only running off 12volts. Don't know.

Question by Chicky

Decking - Permit requirements

Hi, I want to have a small deck built onto the side of our house, and we want it to adhere to the requirements of our local council (Darebin) so that our application will be granted a permit, but I am unable to find out what the can do's/can't do's are. Ie distance from boundary fence. Is there a resource for this information? I can't find it on any local council websites in Victoria.

Question by Charlotte Tizzard

Minimum door width

What are the minimum widths for habitable areas or in my case the bathroom entrance door minimum width?

Awaiting reply

Oven installation

Installing free standing oven with stainless steel splash back. Guide states that the wall behind must be "fire resistant". Is there an AS on that? If so where can I source materials? Or, is the current Masonite wall with the stainless steel splash back enough?

Question by Tk

Double glazed or laminate glass windows

Hi, we are building a new house and thinking of double glazed doors and windows for energy efficiency and noise control. I have also heard of laminate glass. Can I have some feedback on these glass options?

Question by Doris Chua

Can I install a hot water system under my house?

What are the rules in Brisbane around the location of a typical gas hot water cylinder. I need to move mine and I was wondering can I put it under the house (Queenslander on piles)?

Question by kirsty macpherson

Front verandah wall

We have just recently done some renovations on our beach house and the verandah has a 1m high retaining wall at the front.
My query is... Does it class as a normal wall and so requires a balustrade/handrail, or is it still deemed a retaining wall and therefore doesn't come under that ruling?

Question by Dalveen Giles

Underground basement for car parking


I am going to build a new house and want to have an underground car park.

Can anyone tell me where to find companies that does it in Melbourne.

Also my budget for the underground car park is around $150K, is this a realistic amount?



Question by Achmore

Aluminium balustrading


I'm hoping to use aluminium pool fencing (vertical poles as sold by Bunnings) for deck railing (approx 2 metres off the ground) with a horizontal timber railing above it.

Can you please confirm this material is legal to use for this.

Question by Chris Thamm

Electric oven clearance and heat

how much heat comes off the side of a oven, I want to know how close can I have timber to the side of the oven ,thank cheers chris

Question by chris cassar

North facing block placements of living areas

hi there,

I have a land/block that is North/Slight East facing.
Details below.
Size 839m2
Width: 26m
East Depth: 26m
West Depth: 39m

I am in process of rebuild on this block of land a double storey home.

I would like to get the orientation as best as i can to get the most of of winter sun largely as this is in canberra and we get almost 6 months of winter and only a couple of months of real hot summer.

Question by sumant gupta

Ceiling recessed cassette type AC unit

Is it possible to just replace the outdoor unit if that is the only problem and still use the existing indoor unit?

Question by Jaymes Nakahara

Restumping Process

Contractors have just begun restumping my weatherboard house (in Victoria) and requested I sign off on the level of the house. This will be after one day of installing the stumps and before the concrete footing being poured.
My question is, how am I to know weather the house is level, and shouldn't this be done by a building inspector before the concrete footing is poured? At what stage is the building inspector involved in the process?
Cheers - Matt

Question by Matt Scully

Gas meter Victoria

We are converting an old factory to be our home and the gas meter is on the inside of the building high on a wall. Not too far from where the oven will go. Do we need to move this outside or can we contain it in a cupboard?

Question by Sue Dight