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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was asked by the client if I could inspect their home regarding work that they had in mind. The client wanted to remove a wall and make it open plan living converting a bedroom and kitchen into a living / dinning and kitchen. The rooms were dark and the walls and ceiling were made of fibro, containing asbestos. This had to be removed before work could commence.
Once the internal cladding was stripped a hanging beam was installed to give the ceiling a seamless look. Steel furring channel was fixed and timber battens removed to give the gyprock an even look and flow it is also better for fixing.
Below you will see the photos as we are starting the works. We decided to close of the old entry into the house and install the door in the bedroom which is the new living room. We also installed a double hung window with side lites. The side kitchen window was sheeted over to allow for future shelving space.
The window carpentry was also altered to give it a new look. We also introduced our electrician who did the electrical works.
Floor boards being installed where the wall frame sat.
Plaster works and setting.
Window installation and exterior wall cladding where we closed the window in.
Build a kitchenette under the existing deck. Enclose the top half and make it part of the dining room. Build a deck and a patio area with a 75mm SolarSpan roof attached to the same side of the house. Concrete the whole area and tile the front entrance areas of the house. Use the same profile of FC cladding to match the old part of the house. This brings uniformity and, in the end, makes the building look as one and not an add-on.
The kitchenette had to have a bit of a statement. The tiles couldn’t be matched because of their age so we had to make it look like it was planned to be different with different dimension floor tiles.
Repaired the ceiling by stripping the internal sheeting and then finding the leak above and sealing it. Once we were satisfied, we insulated the ceiling and placed steel battens at 600mm centres. This was then resheeted with ceiling sheet and set as well as cornice installed and refinished with timber around the rafters.
Used charcoal concrete colour to make all the colours blend in, especially the house brick colours.