Page 1


November 2013 Volume 25 No. 10


B Bulletin

The Changing

Shape of Melbourne John Bowen explains more on pg 2

New product

KlevaKlip Adjustable Joist Hanger

INSPIRATION Master Builder Of The Year


Can You Trust Your Recycled Timber Supplier? The Builders Choice

A Word From John Bowen

The Changing Shape of Melbourne

In October’s edition of the Bowens Builders Bulletin my father wrote about his and the company’s need to understand and accept change; I would like to continue the theme, focussing this time on the shifting built landscape of Melbourne. For Bowens’ customers a potential game changer was announced by the Napthine Government in the early days of October, when their ambitious and wide-ranging metropolitan planning strategy draft, Plan Melbourne, was finally announced – it will replace the previous Government’s version, Melbourne 2030. ‘Ambitious’, because the strategy seeks to determine the form of Melbourne’s growth up to 2050. ‘Wide-ranging’, because the plan at once establishes essential restriction and expansion policies. The strategy resets permanent urban growth boundaries to prevent further urban sprawl, while continuing to preserve the green wedges instigated by the Hamer government four decades ago. At the same time, the plan earmarks six areas - Ballan, Bacchus Marsh, Broadford, Kilmore, Warragul-Drouin and Wonthaggi - as major population and employment growth areas. This proposed decentralisation of the state, while theoretically sound, will, in practice, require long-term commitment and investment to enable the proper transport, infrastructure and job opportunities to tempt the migration of enough people to make it all viable. An enormous task.

While the Plan Melbourne strategy acknowledges the need for an extra 1 million CBD dwellings by 2050, they should not all consist of soulless, high-rise apartments. However our city might grow, I believe there is a need to respect the balances that make it individual and human. Progress has as much to do with people as property and infrastructure. To this end, I feel like the citizens of Melbourne are being brainwashed into believing the only sustainable future we can provide requires the greater majority to live in airless, spaceless, side-by-side apartments, while those who chose to remain in the suburbs are to be demonised. “The rest of the world lives this way”, or so the argument goes. The word “McMansion” was coined to label our supposedly extravagant, inefficient and environment destroying preference for large, detached homes. While it stretches the truth, the campaign has been consistent and difficult to avoid. I would like to argue the alternate point of view. Our choice to live in an inner city apartment or in a larger home should be just that, a choice, not a decision forcibly applied by bureaucrats. Small apartments might well be the preference of childless couples or single occupants; however they, and growing families, should be able to decide what is best for their needs without a cloud of guilt impinging their decision. There are good reasons to promote increased densities in established suburbs without resorting to the fictional notion of inner city redevelopment being the only way. For some, the option of a more accessible location close to the city is fine; however the suggestion of it being more affordable is a Furphy.

Plan Melbourne shares at least one fundamental assumption with Melbourne 2030; the idea of additional high rise apartment living for Melburnians appears to be set in stone. Over twenty years ago our state capital began its journey of transformation with the establishment of the Melbourne City Council’s 1992 Postcode 3000 Plan – a proposal to increase apartments from 800 to 8,000 in the CBD. It is fair to say their estimate fell a little shy. In the past three years alone 22,000 apartments have been delivered, dramatically altering the way Melbourne’s burgeoning population resides.

When it comes to apartment living, value is difficult to find. According to Alan Davies, writing in the Urbanist, May 2013, the entry-level median price for newly built two-bedroom apartments is around $530,000. Corresponding prices for 50 m2 one-bedroom and 34 m2 studio apartments are $379,000 and $302,500 respectively.

Another report, released in May by Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, estimates 39,000 new apartments will be completed in the greater Melbourne area (suburbs and CBD) over the next two years. While the numbers seem to vary, depending on who is producing them, one point is clear. Our journey towards high rise living is moving at a breakneck speed.

In contrast, the median house and land package in Melbourne’s outer suburban growth areas is $383,500 and the median dwelling size is 219m2, with some external garden areas thrown in for good measure. It’s even cheaper in many outer suburban growth areas. Once again, depending on which publication you read the numbers adjust up or down, however the gap remains.


(Remember too, in the new world of apartment living one small car space is begrudgingly provided. Heaven forbid those awful types who dare to own a second vehicle!) At this point it would be timely, and appropriate, to jump to the defence of Bowens’ customers. By channelling a major proportion of housing growth into strategic urban renewal sites and regional cities, the Government is locking out opportunities for domestic builders who currently fulfil the demand for detached and small to medium density developments in and around Melbourne. Large and small builders should continue to provide an affordable housing product in these areas for growing families, young people and older Victorians who wish to downsize and stay in the area they know. For Mr Napthine and Mr Guy, the role of government and councils is more than assessment and approval; it is about ensuring coherent development with a view to amenity and liveability for all. For Bowens and Victoria’s builders, whether we like it or not, Melbourne’s streetscape is changing – to safeguard our futures we need to change too.

Source ABS8752





John Bowen, Managing Director

Whats New?


Quickshot SELF DRILLING DECKING SCREWS FOR SCREWING DOWN TREATED PINE AND HARDWOOD DECKING TO TIMBER JOIST. NO PREDRILLING REQUIRED. • Suitable for use in treated pine & hardwood decking • No pre-drilling or countersinking required in treated pine or most common hardwood decking, translating to significant time saving across the entire project • Flat head provides a clean flush finish • Available in 50mm & 65mm for 19mm-25mm thick decking boards • In Stainless Steel for greater corrosion resistance and superior performance in all timber or Tufcote, ideal for treated pine and also suitable for hardwood.


Bigger & Better than ever before! Exclusive One Night Only Specials Latest AND MOST Innovative products Become a Bowens Trade Access Club member & be the first to know!

November Event Calendar M





































Tues 5


The race that stops a nation!

Mon 4, Wed 6 & Mon 18


Visit online or scan here for a sneak peek!

Mo MOVEMBER IS BACK Inspiring change & motivating others to join the good fight


To donate, visit our page...



New Product


Adjustable Joist Hanger

With the KlevaKlip adjustable joist hanger system, it’s now easier than ever before to construct decking over concrete slabs, or in areas where limited ground clearance is available.

What is the KlevaKlip Adjustable Joist Hanger ? The Adjustable Joist Hanger has been designed specifically to enable decks to easily be built over concrete slabs in areas where limited ground clearance is available. It is ideal for use when the step-down from your door to your concrete slab is between 100mm (minimum) to around 200mm. Not only lifts the joists off the concrete, but allows you to adjust the “top of joist height” from 80mm using 60mm length bolts to 170mm using 120mm length bolts depending on what height joists you are using. Designed to be used with 45mm wide treated pine joists the cradle of the joist hanger is 46mm wide x 100mm long x 65mm high. It can be used with other types of joists if they are the right thickness.

Span Requirements The KlevaKlip Adjustable Joist Hanger system has been independently tested to support a load bearing capacity of 350 kg per square metre when used at the recommended joist spans listed in the following table.





70 x 45 MGP10



90 x 45 MGP10



70 x 45 MGP12



90 x 45 MGP12



All based upon “continuous span” with joists at 450mm between centre’s.

How is the Product Packaged Box of 24 joist hangers and 24 base plates Bolts, nuts, washers etc are of standard 10mm sizes and purchased separately from any Bowens store. Installation instructions included in every box.

What Length Bolts do you require? Hex Head Bolt Length

Min Height to Bottom of Joist

Max Height to Bottom of Joist

Min height to Top of 70/90mm Joist

Max height to Top of 70/90mm Joist











No Bolt*



*When using Joist Hanger only. Heights based on using Zenith Brand Bolts.

‘Keeps your joists off the concrete and free of unwanted moisture ingress. This prevents joist-rot through the bottom of your joists.’

Advantages of the Adjustable Joist Hanger • Keeps your joists off the concrete and free of unwanted moisture ingress. This prevents joist-rot through the bottom of your joists. • Is ideal for use on area where the concrete has built in “fall” - to provide a level deck. • Height of the deck is determined by the length of bolts used. • Uses standard 10mm bolts, nuts and washers “off the shelf” from the hardware store. • Uses standard 12mm DynaBolts anchors for holding into concrete. • Joist hanger can be used without the base-plate and fixed directly to the concrete and the ribs in the bottom of the joist hanger will still keep the joist off the concrete by approx 6mm. • Hot Dip Galvanised to Australian standard AS/NZS4680:2006.




Radley de Silva CEO Master Builders Association Of Victoria

Master Builder of the Year Builder of Inverloch ‘sand dune house’ HAS BEEN named Master Builder of the Year. A “labour of love” has paid off for builder David Martin who has been named Master Builder of the Year for his work on an Inverloch home designed to reflect nearby sand dunes. A record of more than 770 guests attended the Master Builders Excellence in Housing Awards at Crown Palladium on Friday, 18 October and saw Martin Builders receive the top prize from Planning Minister Matthew Guy. The winning home, known as the ‘barchan dune’ house, took more than a year to create and was so complex that a model was made first to ascertain whether the structure could actually be built. The builders then overcame the challenges of building with technical mathematical angles, customised natural materials and detailed carpentry work to achieve the final result.

‘A builder with a great deal of care and skill but also one who was able to adapt quickly.’ “Martin Builders’ attention to detail was impeccable in putting together the jigsaw puzzle of custom cut timber for this home,” said Chief Judge Mort Mitchell. “The timber work was millimetre perfect and the way that it has all come together is testament to the passion, outstanding craftsmanship and dedication of the builder. It was definitely a labour of love.”



Martin Builders not only overcame the difficulties of the complex design but also battled uncompromising weather conditions to achieve the stunning result. “This project and the client needed a builder with a great deal of care and skill but also one who was able to adapt quickly. Martin Builders have not only met these expectations but surpassed them,” Mr Mitchell said. The home which includes other natural materials like rammed earth and bluestone was recently featured on hit TV show Grand Designs and will now go on to compete in the Master Builders Australia National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards on Saturday, 16 November. Master Builders CEO Radley de Silva said that Martin Builders exemplified the spirit of the annual awards that are now in their 35th year. “Martin Builders defeated some tough competition to take out this sought after award. They typify the quality craftsmanship, dedication and passion of Victorian Master Builders,” Mr de Silva said. Among the other major winners were family owned builder Refuge Homes who were named Regional Builder of the Year for a stunning Hazelwood North home and Newcomb builder Drew Larkin who was named Young Builder of the Year.

To see the complete list of winners visit or

Cabot’s Aquadeck Cabot’s Aquadeck is a highly durable, low odour decking oil that is designed to provide exceptional durability to all exterior timber surfaces and lasts twice as long as traditional decking oils. Three Quick Steps To A Deck That Lasts 1

Prepare the deck - The best decks come down to good preparation, so before you get to work coating your deck, you’ll firstly need to prepare the surface. Start by cleaning the deck with Cabot’s Deck Clean to remove any dust, dirt, wax, oil, mould and tannins. It’s the easiest way to clean and restore new and weathered timber. For old decks, sanding may be required to bring the timber back to its original state. If you do decide to sand it, give the deck a good wash beforehand. This will prevent the dirt and debris being pushed further into the timber fibre by the sanding.



Apply the coating - Once the deck is clean, simply apply a coat of Cabot’s Aquadeck. For most decking oils and stains it’s best to use a Cabot’s Decking Applicator so you can apply more easier and faster. Apply smooth strokes evenly along the grain, aiming to coat about two or three boards at a time. Once you’ve allowed the first coat to sink in for a few minutes, remove any excess oil by back brushing. Remember to coat the edges and end grain of your deck thoroughly with a brush. Recoating – Check the can for the recoating time for your deck but for most decks, with Cabot’s Aquadeck you can apply a second coat after just two hours. Using the same method as above, apply a second coat and allow it to dry. Once it’s finished, simply sit back and relax!

Advanced dual technology allows oils to penetrate and nourish timber, then creates a durable acrylic barrier for a beautiful natural finish Benefits & Features • • • • •

Extremely long lasting High traffic formula Dirt and Dust repelling UV & Weather resistant Fast 2 hour recoat

Like us on facebook for your chance to...

WIN A cabot’s

deck fridge Scan to Like

Limited time offer ends 30 Nov 2013


$149 Each (Incl GST)

$65.99 4L

Each (Incl GST)



DECK needs


Industry News

Regional Victoria

HIA Housing Awards With the 2013 HIA CSR Victorian Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards to be held on Friday 8th November at Crown Towers, HIA recently held the final Regional Victoria Housing Awards evening in Albury. Congratulations to D+M Bowden Construction winner of the HIA North East Victoria Regional Home of the Year for its beautifully designed Murray River home. The home features face brick with a mixture of rendered foam panel, KD hardwood exposed truss tails, stone cladding chimneys and timber cedar windows and bi-fold doors. A fully enclosed alfresco area with a polished concrete floor flows seamlessly into the solid timber jarrah flooring in the kitchen dining area and beautifully appointed theatre room. The front porch and side portico, constructed of 100 year old recycled red gum, are lined with polished cedar timber ceilings. This stunning threebedroom and bathroom home includes LED strip lighting to kitchen splashbacks, bulk heads and even the ensuite shower tray. The judges described the home has having ‘Excellent construction – great attention to detail.’

‘Great use of materials and well designed,’ they added. HIA also recently announced the winners of this year’s HIA Victorian Apprentice Awards. Congratulations to James Bibby, Kaine Moloney, Steven Perkins, Sam Drury, Mason Harvey and Shane Smith, Meaden Building Services on their category wins. The 2013 Alec Fuller Apprentice of the Year Award will be announced at the Victorian Housing Awards in November. Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all of the entrants and finalists who should be proud of their achievements. For further details on this year’s HIA Award winners please visit Regional-Housing-Awards/Vic/2013-Award-winners.aspx or collect a copy of this year’s HIA Top Homes magazine from November 13 at your leading newsagency. Stay tuned to see who wins the 2013 HIA Victorian Awards…

‘Excellent construction – great attention to detail. Great use of materials and well designed’ this month’s winner of Bowens Around the World


Dan Williams (D&A Williams) For more information visit and

In-front of the actual Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris or call

Master Builders on (03) 9411 4555. Dan has picked himself up a $100 Dan Murphy voucher and will feature in the 2014 Bowens calendar! Snap a photo of yourself in your Bowens t-shirt, sign or promo item and tag it on facebook, tweet it to @bowensau or email with #BowensAroundTheWorld for your chance to WIN. 8



- Introducing -

H3 Treated Supalam F17 Hardwood Sub-deck! There’s no point investing in a high quality deck if the sub-deck isn’t up for the job! Most naturally high durable decking timbers are prone to movement and need superior nail holding bearers and joists. GoodWood outdoor H3 treated range is the utilisation of GoodWood Victorian ash and Tru-Core protection system. This allows GoodWood to be used in outdoor, above ground applications previously reserved for high durability timbers.

The Tru-Core protection system is a chemically based process for rapidly delivering globally accepted wood preservatives and insecticides deep into the core of GoodWood. Because the active chemical penetrates the wood completely, the material can be docked or profiled without having to reapply a preservative.

Proudly brought to you by McCormack Hardwood Sales

Benefits & Features • Full Penetration H3 Treatment (Can dock and machine without re-applying) • Long Lengths up to 7.2 metres • Straight • Superior screw and nail holding ability • Available in set lengths • Class 1 durability • Local and Sustainable Resource • PEFC Certified • 25 Year Guarantee • Available in all structural sizes (Includes 90x70 bearer size)



Expert Advice

Can you trust...

your recycled timber supplier?

Recently, I received a call from a client who is also a regular reader. He was asking my advice about recycled Ironbark 200x200 posts, which he purchased from another timber merchant. He had doubts that the product he had was in fact the one he thought he had purchased. Apparently these posts had experienced substantial cracking.

production procedure. The material is produced from telegraph poles and is milled to the appropriate size, then left out in the open for 2 to 3 months, by which time they know if the product is fit for sale. Furthermore the moisture content of their recycled Ironbark posts in the size involved should be about 18% to 20%.

I advised that until I saw a sample of the product in question it would be difficult to give a conclusive opinion, however I doubted a properly produced recycled Ironbark post would crack to the extent the client indicated.

When I received the offcut from our client I was literally shocked, (the photo below shows the extent of the cracking). The moisture content of the piece was nearly 40% and I suspect higher than that in the middle of the piece that the offcut had come from. The other disappointing aspect I found was the timber was clearly not Ironbark.

To find out more about how products of this nature are produced I contacted a supplier in New South Wales who only markets recycled timber. I have dealt with this supplier for the best part of 10 years and know he produces a quality product. Regular readers will recall we featured in a recent edition of this publication, a job where we supplied a significant amount of recycled timber. In fact, I ventured to say a recycled product I purchased from this supplier for that job was the best special product (including new) I had ever seen. I was advised that because posts of this size and specie (200x200 Ironbark) are regularly requested they have a regular

‘I then sent a photo to my recycled supplier. He too was horrified, but not surprised at what he saw...’

A key feature to a quality recycled product is the age of timber it was produced from. It is not uncommon for the timber to come from buildings that were erected over 100 years ago. Undoubtedly the wood is very mature and gives stability to sizes or sections unobtainable in new timber produced today. Certainly cracks displayed in the photo below would be avoided. I then sent a photo to my recycled supplier. He too was horrified, but not surprised at what he saw. He tells it is not uncommon for some unscrupulous suppliers to take new timber then mock it up with some superficial features and pass it off as recycled timber. Having said that, my supplier was able to recognise the timber from the photo I sent him. He says it came from a pipe works in Wollongong and was used as separators for large pipes. He in fact had purchased some and found it not satisfactory for their quality criteria. Strictly speaking the wood our client was supplied appears to be recycled. However, it was not fit for purpose because the timber was relatively new, (refer the high moisture content) with the large cracks, also the specie purported to be Ironbark was probably a Messmate or a similar specie, certainly not as durable as Ironbark. We at Bowens will not stoop to this type of deception for the sake of short term gain. The recycled products we would supply (we have more than one supplier) may not be the cheapest, however, given the process our recycler follows to ensure their products are fit for purpose, it is not not unreasonable that they should deserve a price that some could say is too dear. However, you will always get value for money and know that what we will sell you, is what we say it is.

Extent of the cracking from an offcut provided by another supplier.



If you have experienced these types of issues or would like some expert advice, Jeff Harvey can help. Simply call him on 0412 550 740.


$10.99 Each (Incl GST)

Maxfill Fulafoam 500ml - Noise & thermal - Triple expanding insulator - Can be cut & sanded

Speaking to Michael Gordon, one of the co-Directors of Lowther Builders, the respect and discretion he exudes for his clients and their homes is evident. This is why Lowther Builders is one of Victoria’s premium builders, specializing in architectural homes renovations to existing homes for some of Melbourne’s wealthiest families. Lowther Builders was founded in 1985, by Jeff Lowther and in 2002 he approached his brother in law, Michael, to join the company. Michael and Jeff are married to identical twin sisters, and have always been close, so it seemed like a natural choice to join the successful business, even if it meant uprooting their family from Queensland, and coming back to Melbourne.

’s die er Tra orn C

Top of the Town

- Paintable - Polystyrene safe

‘The great thing about Bowens is that they seem more concerned about us than about themselves,’ Michael says.

‘Their service is second to none, and I think that being a family company, like us, they understand the need for being on time and making sure their customers are happy.’ The manager of the Bentleigh East branch Stuart Hassan, who helped win the account, says that working with Lowther Builders is a pleasure. ‘They are very organised,’ Stuart says. ‘We enjoy working with them.’ And well they have to be, with such large projects on the books, from one side of Melbourne to another.

Jeff and Michael now work together, socialize together and even holiday together, including their own children who now work in the business part time.

‘One of the challenges of working with a client like Lowther Builders is to ensure we are ahead of the game,’ explains Stuart.

Lowther Builders is a bespoke building company, being the choice of architects and being referred by existing clients to their network.

‘As soon as thy get the plans from the architect, we will sit with them and work through exactly what they are going to need and when.’

They have between six to ten jobs on their books at any one time, but these jobs can range from half a million to five and a half million.

With such high-end houses, the supplies arent’ always standard orders either explains Stuart.

With four staff in the office and twelve to fifteen site forman carpenters, the homes from Toorak, Armadale, South Yarra and Hawthorn down to Portsea are all high-end homes, requiring extra service and quality materials. This is where Bowens has been able to help. Bowens approached Lowther early last year and as Michael said, ‘Sold them a story about service and quality supplies.’ A year and a half later, Lowther Builders is using Bowens exclusively. ‘It turned out their story was true,’ laughs Michael. ‘They offer excellent service and competitive pricing and their supplies are all high quality.’ Michael explains that working with such high end architects and clients, it is vital to have suppliers who understand the expectations that come with such large building budgets.

‘Because they work with architects, they often specify unusual types of flooring or innovative types of cladding. Matching materials, like flooring in Victorian homes can also be a challenge but we are up to it,’ he explains. Right now Lowther are renovating a home in Mornington, which is running into the millions and will be at least an eighteen month long project. ‘It will be spectacular,’ says Stuart, ‘And we are privileged to be able to supply the materials for such an amazing home but like all good things, it takes time.’ Bowens understands that good things take time, after all, the company itself was founded in 1894 and it is still growing and perfecting to this day and it hopes it will be with Lowther Builders when the next generation take over.



every piece your

DECK needs Quality Decking Timber • Decking Oils Power Tools • Hand Tools • Timber Cleaner Decking Screws and much more

Like the new Builders Bulletin? Subscribe now! Be the first to know about all the latest deals and news from Bowens. Simply scan the code or head to the website and sign up. Easy as. Bentleigh East Croydon Epping Hallam

9579 1188 9723 0394 9408 6566 9796 3088

Hastings Laverton Mt Evelyn North Melb

5979 1267 9353 7700 9736 2588 9328 1041

Phillip Island Rowville Shepparton Taylors Lakes

5952 5633 9763 7522 5822 2364 9390 8899

Prefabrication Plants Dandenong 9792 2888 TimberTruss 5244 8400 Support Office 9796 3003

Bowens Builders Bulletin - November 2013  
Bowens Builders Bulletin - November 2013  

Bowens - The trusted choice of Victorian builders since 1894.