Building a Home | Page 7 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Building a Home

exceladdict

Established Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
2,552
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Gold
Flights
My Map
Jumping on this thread! We are almost finished our floor plans for a design on a very small square block and look forward to learning from everyone who is going through a build!

It has definitely been mentioned, but I concur; future proof with a bunch of Cat6 cable runs. Our new build (should be ready in September) has just shy of 1km of Cat6 all running back to my server room. That is also mandatory - a server room... I have spent the last 12 months convincing my wife that it is, anyway...
Mrs Excel and I are having similar conversations! Would love to see your network topology or some sort of wiring plan if you're comfortable sharing - also what you'll be using for networking devices. I'm thinking a ubiquiti system.

Smart Stuff
I've dabbled with a few Philips hue globes in our current rental and am trying to consider a balance between smart switches (lifx) / dumb LED fixtures (due to cost), and smart fixtures throughout. Has anyone done something similar?

Would also love to hear about any smart devices you have that you now couldn't live without - be it blinds, wifi connected air con, or anything else.

Thanks for starting the thread @samh004
 

travelislife

Established Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
2,305
Jumping on this thread! We are almost finished our floor plans for a design on a very small square block and look forward to learning from everyone who is going through a build!


Mrs Excel and I are having similar conversations! Would love to see your network topology or some sort of wiring plan if you're comfortable sharing - also what you'll be using for networking devices. I'm thinking a ubiquiti system.

Smart Stuff
I've dabbled with a few Philips hue globes in our current rental and am trying to consider a balance between smart switches (lifx) / dumb LED fixtures (due to cost), and smart fixtures throughout. Has anyone done something similar?

Would also love to hear about any smart devices you have that you now couldn't live without - be it blinds, wifi connected air con, or anything else.

Thanks for starting the thread @samh004
I looked in to doing full Z-wave ecosystem but it was always a luxury and I didn't go ahead with it in the end.

But do have the following, all of them stand alone apps, nothing linked.

- Google Nest thermostat for our hydronic heating. It's awesome, wifi enabled and easy to programme on your phone.
- Yale Assure SL Connected by August door lock. This is the one thing I couldn't live without now. Don't carry keys at all. Phone stays in the pocked and once you are within 10m of the door it auto unlocks, then auto locks. Bloody brilliant. Also easy to give access to trades, etc. Don't need to be home or be hiding keys, etc.
- HikVision stand alone camera system. Cameras PoE. Has a great app. Can check from anywhere.
- Electric Somfy electric blinds in our main living areas.
- Bhyve wifi enabled irrigation controller.

Nothing with lights or our AC at this stage.
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
2,777
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Yale Assure SL Connected by August door lock
I would love this type of solution - I live in an apartment and thus the solution must be a certified product for use on a fire rated door and approved by the Owners Corp. Just wondering if you sourced any info on that sort of certification for locks of this type.

Presume these locks need a source of power? Are they connected to electricity grid or just batteries. If just batteries, how long do they last/rechargeable??
 

Vic

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
824
Outdoor gas point for BBQ
My, fairly superficial, investigation of outdoor gas points suggests LPG BBQ can run off them with a different regulator. I think that's what an uncle did...

Having recently switched to induction, it will be a shame to now switch to gas, but I'm told it's not a step backwards, perhaps just to the side. Something new for me to learn.

We had toyed with this idea over just having an LPG bottle, as we will have mains gas.

As you have a gas cooktop and outdoor gas for a BBQ, does this mean you also have gas hot water? I read a few websites on it and it certainly sounds like if offered I should switch to gas hot water over electric, but wouldn't mind more input on this. In particular, I see there are instantaneous systems that promise to save even more costs. Anyone have advice?
Instantaneous gas hot water is great. my one has a small storage tank. Again a few (many) years ago when investigating this stuff, I got the impression gas backed up solar hot water was available and a good option.

I'm not too bothered about pollution from gas cooking in the home. Australian house have pretty good ventilation, you should have a range hood as well and I've never measured much pollution in my house. But each to their own



(I had the have the plumber dig a hole in the concrete slab oto
Mine was luckily beneath the slab, about 50 mm. I was shocked about the thickness of the slab only being about 500, but investigation suggests that's about right.
 
Last edited:

blackcat20

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
11,714
Flights
My Map
Instantaneous gas hot water is great. my one has a small storage tank. Again a few (many) years ago when investigating this stuff, I got the impression gas backed up solar hot water was available and a good option.
We have gas-boosted solar continuous flow hot water. Great when you don't want to hurry out of the shower.
 

Vic

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
824
'industrial' amperage …

requires three phases.. not doable for domestic and compatibility issues with solar panels
I know a couple of people that have 3 phase install at their house, mostly into the shed...
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
2,777
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Solid core doors (and reinforced door jambs) for all external entrances are a good idea for extra security as they can't be kicked in like hollow core ones can.
Triple lock flyscreen doors for catching the evening breezes without exposing your security

.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
8,386
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map
I have a couple of Crimsafe covered windows too so that strategic windows can be left open at night for cross ventilation.

Triple lock flyscreen doors for catching the evening breezes without exposing your security

.
 
Get paid up to 25% in real cash from your everyday purchases from leading companies such as Virgin Australia, Booking.com, Woolworths, Coles, Apple, Microsoft and much more. Free to join and no catches!

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

jb747

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
9,631
Flights
My Map
Mrs Excel and I are having similar conversations! Would love to see your network topology or some sort of wiring plan if you're comfortable sharing - also what you'll be using for networking devices. I'm thinking a ubiquiti system.
I've got a complete Ubiquiti system. It works very well. Some of the switches can have appreciable fan noise, so you might need to consider this when locating them. My 24 port POE switch was too noisy, until I found some replacement cooling fans, which dropped it back to acceptable. The new switches don't have fans, so are a good way to go if you are going to locate the switch in your home office.

Because of the way we insulated my house, it is effectively four faraday cages, so I ended up putting access points on the ceiling in most of the areas. Also used an in- wall access point in one room, and that can be a very useful option where you want both wifi and hard wired connections, with POE.

I use the POE to drive a number of Unifi cameras. They record on site, have remote access, and do not have any form of on going fee.

I've dabbled with a few Philips hue globes in our current rental and am trying to consider a balance between smart switches (lifx) / dumb LED fixtures (due to cost), and smart fixtures throughout. Has anyone done something similar?

Would also love to hear about any smart devices you have that you now couldn't live without - be it blinds, wifi connected air con, or anything else.
This was all pretty new when we built, but we used a bunch of wall light fittings, with E27 screws, for Hue lights. I ended up with over 60 of them. The Hue hub is advertised as maxing out at 50 connections, but in reality the max is 63. But, it becomes flakier as you load it up. Now I have two Hue bridges, with the system distributed across them. Note that some devices, for instance the Hue motion sensors, take up three places, as they actually include motion, temperature, and light sensing. This integrates nicely with Apple Homekit and Siri. It works pretty well with the current software, but it has been quite a journey to get here.

I use an add-on controller for my garage door. Ismartgate. Works well, and is very simple. Integrates with Android and Apple.

We've tried a few systems for power points. Wemo came, and went. Rubbish. A simple power point that I use from TP-Link (KASA), handles some items around the house. They also have globes that are cheaper than Hue, actually have better colour, and don't need a bridge. They aren't Homekit compatible though.

There is a workaround for Siri for items that aren't directly Homekit compatible. Siri Shortcuts in IOS. Quite useful.

Failures. I originally bought around 50 Hue globes. Of that group, about 20 have failed over the 6.5 years of use. Later purchases have been much more reliable, as well as both brighter and more colourful. Sadly they have not come down in price, though you can find the occasional bargain. I got a starter kit yesterday, that gave me 3 globes and an LED strip for an effective price of about $45 each. Sadly the shop only had one.

My, fairly superficial, investigation of outdoor gas points suggests LPG BBQ can run off them with a different regulator. I think that's what an uncle did...
Different burners too. But it's an easy job to swap them.

Instantaneous gas hot water is great. my one has a small storage tank. Again a few (many) years ago when investigating this stuff, I got the impression gas backed up solar hot water was available and a good option.
I have three systems. One is instant gas, the other gas/solar storage, and the third is electrical storage. The gas/solar system has given us a few issues lately, so I expect that I'll have it replaced with another instant system soon. The outbuilding with the electrical system is rarely turned on, so cost is not an issue.

I'm not too bothered about pollution from gas cooking in the home. Australian house have pretty good ventilation, you should have a range hood as well and I've never measured much pollution in my house. But each to their own
Most range hoods are rubbish. Do some research on Quasair.

I know a couple of people that have 3 phase install at their house, mostly into the shed...
If you have 3 phase installed, then you can have more solar. It is normally limited to 5 kw per phase.
 

travelislife

Established Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
2,305
Solid core doors (and reinforced door jambs) for all external entrances are a good idea for extra security as they can't be kicked in like hollow core ones can.
Solid doors internally is the way to go as well for noise transmission. Hate hollow core doors with a passion! Being MDF these days the solid internals aren't that expensive anyway.
Post automatically merged:

I would love this type of solution - I live in an apartment and thus the solution must be a certified product for use on a fire rated door and approved by the Owners Corp. Just wondering if you sourced any info on that sort of certification for locks of this type.

Presume these locks need a source of power? Are they connected to electricity grid or just batteries. If just batteries, how long do they last/rechargeable??
Runs on battery. Haven't had to change it yet...! They have the ability to plug in a 9V battery externally at the base of it if it did run out and you were external. Otherwise is meant to give you plenty of warning to change it.

Sorry didn't look at any kind of certification as am in a free standing house.
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
2,777
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Sorry didn't look at any kind of certification as am in a free standing house.
Thanks for the response.

For the information of other apartment owners: In the meantime I have made an enquiry to a major supplier, at present there are no fire rated bluetooth locks available in Australia from any manufacturer (but they are hopeful of plans to produce/supply for 2021).
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
18,997
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
Firstly, I admit I haven't read the full thread so it may have already been commented on, but one thing I picked up from the floorplan that you might want to reconsider is having any cupboards at all in the kitchen or elsewhere. Soft close drawers are infinitely more useful because you have access to the full space and nothing gets lost at the back.
I assume you mean below waist high, as I can't imagine using a drawer above shoulder height :p either way, it's a mix of the two.
Looking at the layout of the "entertainment" room I think it will be too small for a projector and you will be too close to the screen for anymore than a 50" tv.
I was waiting for someone with experience to weigh in on this as I wasn't really sure. It does look like 3.4m might not be far enough away to sit. That said, I would disagree about moving to a 50" TV for the room. We already have a 55" TV in our current house in a smaller room and have no troubles. I couldn't see myself wanting anything smaller in a bigger room.
As others have said pre- install coduits for speakers hdmi, cat6, etc.
Not necessary if we're not doing the projector as the only thing my wireless speakers need is power, and that will be specified.
I do love the idea of having a cellar in the middle of the house. Could even convert that home office with a window from the pantry. However I think I've caught myself dreaming here and will likely source a frame from Australian Wine Cellar Racks, as that's who @blackcat20 used for their solution and I think they look quite good. The location still needs to be decided, but the room that is billed as the activities room near the 3 bedrooms might work nicely for some shelving.
Not sure if this one was mentioned; bulkheads above kitchen cabinets or even cabinets to the ceiling to avoid horizontal surfaces that are hard to clean... It gets pretty gross up there when fats and oils are able to settle out of the way.
This is standard luckily.
It has definitely been mentioned, but I concur; future proof with a bunch of Cat6 cable runs. Our new build (should be ready in September) has just shy of 1km of Cat6 all running back to my server room. That is also mandatory - a server room... I have spent the last 12 months convincing my wife that it is, anyway...
I'm coming round to the idea of a single cable run from the garage to the home office. But I wouldn't call running 1km of cat6 cable around the house future proofing when wireless technologies seem to be outpacing cable these days. As far as streaming goes, I can safely say I wont notice nor need the difference afforded by a cable.

As for the server... we actually ran one here for a while and even hosted websites on it with a static IP. We invested considerable time into the system from Synology, before it decided to not turn on one day – turns out it's a known issue they refuse to acknowledge. Having been burnt, we moved on. My backups now run to a tiny USB3-connected SSD at a fraction of the time it used to take wirelessly to the server.

There may certainly be a future use case for a server again in my house, but I anticipate buying a far better system that has improved many more times over the current state of technology before I do, and probably wont require 1km of cat6 to function well.
I actually did this in our build with multiple points to TV locations, but not actually using many of them. Good for PoE for security cameras too. Saying that, wasted a whole heap of cash getting foxtel hardwired to 6 different areas back to central location that will likely never get used due to it all going to internet streaming!
Exactly why I am loathe to install hardware I can't see myself using. I don't want it there for a 'what if' scenario, as my goal is to take a different path that is already doing quite well (wireless).
Our beach apartment now has flood sensors fitted and they are hooked up to our wifi system.
I'm sure I have seen flood sensors by other companies. Could be useful in some key areas. So could many other tupes of smart sensors though. It's an exciting space, the smart home.
Smart Stuff
I've dabbled with a few Philips hue globes in our current rental and am trying to consider a balance between smart switches (lifx) / dumb LED fixtures (due to cost), and smart fixtures throughout. Has anyone done something similar?
Our currently property is predominantly Hue, as that was what was available when we started. Some rooms are LIFX as they came on the market later. My mothers house is almost entirely LIFX GU10's (we pulled out the LED down lights and replaced them all with user-replaceable GU10's). When she gets home she just speaks to her phone – we can even use geo-location, but don't – and her lights come on. At night she (and we) will say 'good night' to Siri and the lights go off, except a few night lights to allow easy access to the fridge or the bathroom – nothing worse than needing to get up in the middle of the night, having to turn on a standard bulb and blinding yourself.

Our view is, if you can do it, you should, and we might eventually do so at this build, but as it is not offered as an option when building the LED's will have to be the way to go first.
Would also love to hear about any smart devices you have that you now couldn't live without - be it blinds, wifi connected air con, or anything else.
Many 'smart devices' are built for 'dumb homes'. For instance, where we currently live (and also my mother) are standard reverse-cycle aircon units. They work great, but unless you've bought one recently that's top of the range, it needs a remote that only works when stood in front of it. To counteract this, we use the Sensibo (one for each unit), that acts as a remote control but is connected to the internet so you can control it from anywhere. It also reveals current temperature and humidity, to help better choose when you need it.

Ultimately, I think the biggest thing to consider when designing 'smart' is to have parts that can all be operated through one system. There are many things we would like to install, but their lack of HomeKit support means we don't. I like having an app on all my devices to control each bit of the puzzle. Having multiple systems that don't interoperate is not fun.
Thanks for starting the thread @samh004
Mainly started it to detail my progress to be honest, like the other two: TomCat's new digs! & Housewatch: Drake Edition but inevitably interesting points are raised that I can take back to my build.
I'm not too bothered about pollution from gas cooking in the home. Australian house have pretty good ventilation, you should have a range hood as well and I've never measured much pollution in my house. But each to their own
We feel the same.
Solid core doors (and reinforced door jambs) for all external entrances are a good idea for extra security as they can't be kicked in like hollow core ones can.
Triple lock flyscreen doors for catching the evening breezes without exposing your security
I have a couple of Crimsafe covered windows too so that strategic windows can be left open at night for cross ventilation.
I'll look into this, but we were already planning on getting a crimsafe flyscreen installed.
I use the POE to drive a number of Unifi cameras. They record on site, have remote access, and do not have any form of on going fee.
POE seems to be a good buzzword in this thread. I certainly can see the value for some people. However, I have no issues with battery life, remote access, recording on-site or ongoing fees, so it's certainly not needed in my case. I get that every home is different, especially if you have 4 faraday cages, but careful research eventually lead us to a system that isn't ripping us off with a subscription or transmitting our data to third parties.
 

vetrade

Established Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2011
Messages
1,518
"I assume you mean below waist high, as I can't imagine using a drawer above shoulder height :p either way, it's a mix of the two."

Yes, my bad. Vertically opening cupboard doors above bench height
 

moa999

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
11,331
Flights
My Map

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
2,777
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Walks 20m down the hall.
A neighbour has a Schlage lock on what I believe is a fire rated door and passed recent inspection

Thanks for the feedback. May be installed there. Does not mean it is fire rated, nor certified under the relevant code, nor that the apartment owner’s or Owners corp insurance will pay out on following an event in a Victorian building. But on your suggestion i will enquire further.

BTW: our owners corp manager is an absolute demon for minutiae.
 
Last edited:

Matt_01

Established Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,418
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
These ideas may not be that new but I will post anyway. When it come to your kitchen cabinetry I would ask if you can have all the front edging matched to your door edges. This is easily done and will often be provided free of charge by most kitchen cabinet makers. It is not that necessary but it my opinion looks better finished than the standard white.
IMG_2411.jpg IMG_2409.jpg
I also detest magnets on fridge doors, there are magnetic paint products on the market that that can be painted as an undercoat and then top coated with your wall colour. Apologies for the poor picture quality.
IMG_2408.jpg IMG_2409.jpg

These are only suggestions.
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
18,997
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
I also detest magnets on fridge doors, there are magnetic paint products on the market that that can be painted as an undercoat and then top coated with your wall colour. Apologies for the poor picture quality.
Quite cool. I think we're getting a tiled splash back, but something we could consider in a few other areas in the future.
 

exceladdict

Established Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
2,552
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Gold
Flights
My Map
I looked in to doing full Z-wave ecosystem but it was always a luxury and I didn't go ahead with it in the end.

But do have the following, all of them stand alone apps, nothing linked.

- Google Nest thermostat for our hydronic heating. It's awesome, wifi enabled and easy to programme on your phone.
- Yale Assure SL Connected by August door lock. This is the one thing I couldn't live without now. Don't carry keys at all. Phone stays in the pocked and once you are within 10m of the door it auto unlocks, then auto locks. Bloody brilliant. Also easy to give access to trades, etc. Don't need to be home or be hiding keys, etc.
- HikVision stand alone camera system. Cameras PoE. Has a great app. Can check from anywhere.
- Electric Somfy electric blinds in our main living areas.
- Bhyve wifi enabled irrigation controller.

Nothing with lights or our AC at this stage.
Some great things to check out, thanks.

I've got a complete Ubiquiti system. It works very well. Some of the switches can have appreciable fan noise, so you might need to consider this when locating them. My 24 port POE switch was too noisy, until I found some replacement cooling fans, which dropped it back to acceptable. The new switches don't have fans, so are a good way to go if you are going to locate the switch in your home office.

Because of the way we insulated my house, it is effectively four faraday cages, so I ended up putting access points on the ceiling in most of the areas. Also used an in- wall access point in one room, and that can be a very useful option where you want both wifi and hard wired connections, with POE.

I use the POE to drive a number of Unifi cameras. They record on site, have remote access, and do not have any form of on going fee.
This is great insight, thanks.

What's the real-life range on your in wall APs? Was considering those as a downstairs (bedrooms) option with a nano-HD or flex-HD upstairs (mostly open space). But ideally would have some spill from those bedrooms to adjacent bathrooms/garage.

And would you be driving this with a UDM-Pro? How is the NVR software in practice?

This was all pretty new when we built, but we used a bunch of wall light fittings, with E27 screws, for Hue lights. I ended up with over 60 of them. The Hue hub is advertised as maxing out at 50 connections, but in reality the max is 63. But, it becomes flakier as you load it up. Now I have two Hue bridges, with the system distributed across them. Note that some devices, for instance the Hue motion sensors, take up three places, as they actually include motion, temperature, and light sensing. This integrates nicely with Apple Homekit and Siri. It works pretty well with the current software, but it has been quite a journey to get here.

Failures. I originally bought around 50 Hue globes. Of that group, about 20 have failed over the 6.5 years of use. Later purchases have been much more reliable, as well as both brighter and more colourful. Sadly they have not come down in price, though you can find the occasional bargain. I got a starter kit yesterday, that gave me 3 globes and an LED strip for an effective price of about $45 each. Sadly the shop only had one.
Good to hear the reliability seems to have increased. I think I will have to price up just going hue/lifx throughout for simplicity.

I use an add-on controller for my garage door. Ismartgate. Works well, and is very simple. Integrates with Android and Apple.
Interesting, could consider that as a gate controller too for the battleaxe walkway. Do you have a not-phone-based way of opening/closing still? Would want some sort of 'normal' override i imagine.

Most range hoods are rubbish. Do some research on Quasair.
Will check them out.
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,117
Messages
2,064,525
Members
53,446
Latest member
Carrie Walker
Top