Checklist Articles Series
When it comes to period timber frame homes, like this beautifully renovated 16th-century cottage pictured above , the frame itself requires its own suite of repairs and remedial actions. For those timber frame homes which have not been clad with brick or lime render, the exposed timber has likely taken some battering from the elements over the centuries — and in recent years, may have been covered by inappropriate modern materials. These timbers may, therefore, be in need of some repair. Rot and structural defects are the source of most problems.
However, both are often interlinked; rot can render timber unfit for purpose, and so too can beetle or woodworm infestation, which thrive in damp wood. Rot can also just impact the exterior weathering face, with the timber behind remaining solid and undamaged. So, identifying the cause of the problem is essential before treating the effects and making repairs. By contrast, modern building materials such as cement render and synthetic paints are impermeable and do not allow the timber to breathe. If you or your building surveyor have identified potential issues, then sourcing a skilled carpenter, master craftsperson or period building specialist with expertise and previous experience in this area, is a priority.
First, the builder must analyse how the house has been put together. No two old timber frame homes are the same; not only did timber frame design evolve over the centuries, but many buildings have been added to and extended over the years, sometimes with key structural timbers cut without adequate support given to the frame.
So, it is important to establish how the weight is distributed. A key part of this initial process is identifying whether repairs are required to return the frame back to a structurally sound condition.
The book was written as seen through the eyes of a master builder. Many well intentioned people, professional and novice alike, fail in the attempt of homebuilding. The main reason for this failure is not having the correct information in your hands that could keep you out of trouble in a timely manner. Remember this: a little bit of knowledge can be very risky but a lot of knowledge is very rewarding.
This book is generally for three groups of people. The first group are folks that are already in the homebuilding business. Maybe they are new to the business and want to add to what they already know. They could be construction superintendents who work for homebuilders and want to hone their skills.
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They may decide someday to get into the business themselves. The second group with interest are those that want to get into the business. Maybe they've nibbled around the edges of homebuilding but yearned for a good source of fundamental information to give them the confidence they needed in order to make this life altering committment. The third group are folks that definitely need this book are those individuals that want to be the builder to build their own home.
They want the home built their way. They want to experience first hand what it's like to be responsible for the entire project.
Maybe they don't want to be the builder but they want to be educated on how a good home is supposed to be built. They will use this information to make sure that their builder does what they are supposed to do. Are the transformers correct for the types of lights you have installed? Are the lights selected correct for the specific job you want them for?
Are the light fittings in the correct position for the tasks you wish to undertake or the ambience you want? Has the electrician created holes for the lights in the correct position? During installation, has the electrician installed the correct lights in the right places in the right way? A double RJ45 outlet is recommended for bedrooms and other normally occupied rooms, with multiple outlets in the lounge, rumpus room and study.
What's a HERS Rating?
Are you using Cat5e cable or better? Is the computer cabling run separately to the electrical wiring? Ultrafast Broadband is rolling out around the country - have you taken advantage of supply in your area, and do you have the right technical set up at home? Ensure framing is dry and straight. The use of thicker 13mm plasterboard with metal ceiling battens helps provide a straighter ceiling. Wall sheets should be fixed horizontally, as horizontal joints are less visible.
To reduce the visibility of any imperfections use light colours and flat paints or textured wallpaper and avoid lighting that strikes a wall at a shallow angle.
Use light shades or recessed downlights and position windows away from the edges of walls and ceilings or use shades. Plastering of the joins is critical, especially in ceilings in open- plan living areas — a single large ceiling is almost impossible to get completely flat but a poor job will be obvious and bug you for years. Do you have the correct panels for specific rooms; e.
Are they even and undamaged? Ask what level of finish is being done? Look for sloppy work and make sure it is cleaned up. Ensure angles are cut in to keep lines sharp. Is the preparatory work of a sufficient standard — filling holes, touching up plaster sanding, use of correct undercoats?
Are the paints being used the brands you specified or cheaper alternatives? Have the painters got the correct colours as specified? If not, negotiate with your kitchen manufacturer to replace or discount. Are powerpoints installed at correct locations and with fittings that minimise intrusion onto benchspace or tight spaces?
Ensure workmanship on joinery is an acceptable standard, with well-fitted joins and hardware. The room must be able to be fully dry within 30 minutes. Check that sufficient waterproofing is done. Ensure all glass is of correct NZ standard.
Check tiles for chipping after laying and after other major items installed so damaged tiles can be replaced. Is the gas flued to reduce moisture build-up inside? Have you considered the trade-off between purchase price and running cost? For information on heating go here:. Has the correct grade of timber been used? Are the vertical posts installed solidly and evenly? Is the fence the correct height or do you need to get building consent? Decks If solid deck attached at the wall, is the drainage sufficient? Check where decks attach to walls to ensure the proper procedures are followed and weathertightness is achieved.
Have attachments to walls been done properly? Is the deck rated to hold sufficient people? Also see our Maintenance Checklist here…. Managing your food waste in an Eco-friendly way Non-toxic, reliable waterproofing News.