Friday, May 9, 2014

House building in Brisbane

Welcome to our blog, Menfranco general blog 
and this post, House building in Brisbane; 
A house brick base and columns for a long and narrow house under construction.

House building in Brisbane
In this post we are going to talk about; House building in Brisbane in the sixties; Brick bases under houses and other things about buildings.
Now, what we are going to talk about next might seem strange to people that live in the old continent of Europe as over there most houses are made of masonry, as the timber over there is more expansive that in Australia. There might also be other reasons why they are made of masonry because of the colder climate, you see thick walls of masonry would absorb the heat during summer and act as storage of this heat by releasing it slowly during the colder months, and perhaps also for other reasons, anyhow houses over there would be built mostly from masons bricklayer and concreter, and the carpenters would play a smaller part that in Australia, as the carpenters would be building the roofs only, when the roofs were made of timber, because even the roofs sometimes are/were made of concrete.
But when I came to Australia, it was the carpenter that usually played the role of builders, when houses were built, because most houses here were still made of timber, I am saying this here just to compare houses building, between the old continent and Australia in those times, because as we will see later on even this sort of building houses is slowly changing here. Now that we have made this comparison, let me go back to what I was doing myself in helping to build these houses. Therefore let me talk about how we were building houses in South East Queensland in the sixties.

House building in the sixties

House building in Brisbane in the sixties
In the sixties and seventies most houses building were done from teams of subcontractors, who had their own team of building workers, even if they were only a small team of two or three people, like the team I was working with, which had two tradesman and one labour as myself, as I have already explained in the previous hub. Now let me go over very briefly what sort of teams were there; first of all there would be the concreters and bricklayer, which usually could be the same team, then the carpenter team, then the roof, the electrician and the plumber and the plasters. The work of the builder, which most times was the leading carpenter was; not only to build the timber frame work of the house, but also to organise all the teams in a way that would be appropriate, so that they were not in each other way while they were working and finally do all the finishing work required.
In those times to be a builder of these stand alone houses on an approved block of land was easy, as long as you were a building tradesman and had some knowledge of building and you had the money to build them, or you had a lender that would give you money to build, of course there were local authority inspections to be had while we were building and at the end of it, but if you know what you were doing it was easy to pass. So there were so many house builders around that would hire these teams of building workers as we were.
We need to say here that there are good reasons to believe that the building industry in Australia is one of the main driving forces of the economy, since it employs lots of new comers that are willing to do some hard physical work to earn their living, you see you don’t need to be a very learned person to work on the building, all you need is some common knowledge of things and enough English to understand what is wanted from you if you know what you are doing, or you work with some people that speak your native language and they explain to you what you need to do.
I believe that in the sixties and seventies there were very good opportunities to work on building houses in the building industry, because the price of the houses were more affordable than today, and therefore those builders that were building them were able to sell their houses soon enough at a decent profit that would enable them to build other houses.
As we all know everything changes with the passing of time and there are usually good reasons for them to change, as we usually become aware when we look back at the changes that have taken place. So let us look at what has taken place in the houses and other accommodations in building industry.
You see in the beginning houses in Brisbane were mostly made of timber and they were set on timber stumps, then in the sixties because the timber stumps would rot or they would be attacked by white ants they gave way to concrete stumps, and also some brick walls under the house. Then from just a brick wall in front of the house they changed to a full brick base and some concrete stumps or steel posts, then came the era of the brick veneer and finally concrete and cavity bricks.
Now that we have said a few things about the history of house building in Brisbane, let us talk about my contribution in the building industry and what I did during the earlier part of my working with this builder building houses. If I remember right in my last hub I was talking about how we were concreting the stumps for a new house, and we also had laid the foundations for some brickwork, therefore now, let us talk about the brickwork that form the base under the house.
Anyhow, I think I have said enough in this post, so, we will talk about this brick base in next post, see you there.

Menfranco general blog
House building in Brisbane
Next time with, another building post  
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