Thursday, January 3, 2013

Framing of laundry

Laundry wall framed up this morning. Steve raised a lot of questions that threw me into a panic of decision making. I felt like the project was running away and I was losing fault because every decision is difficult and I have no expertise to make these decisions. I have to go with my gut feeling but doubt my ability in the face of advice from people with a great deal more expertise and experience. I desperately want some independent and expert advice that doesn't cost me a fortune! Following a major anxiety attack when I seriously questioned whether to continue with the project at all....afterall, I love this house warts and all, I phoned my brother and talked it all through. He gave me great advice and I'm feeling more positive again. In addition to giving me his opinion based on his own experience, he suggested I speak with the DCC Building Inspector (Vaughn was very helpful). I also spoke with someone from the Historic Places Trust (HPT) and emailed engineer.

The questions raised:

Do I have to have gib board lining in the laundry?
I wanted to retain the original rimu tongue and groove and not risk pulling it off the wall in case of damage in process. Steven advised that I should go with what was specified on the drawings (gib board) but that I could re-use existing t&g over the top but as it has signs of bora, he wouldn't recommend it. He pointed out the benefits of gib, including fire proofing, squaring the wonky walls and waterproofing. Do I have to stick to the specification & put up gib in this area? Can I treat bora?

I don't have to use gib in this area. As long as the splash back area has a waterproof coating, then I can do whatever I want. The Building Inspector will only check the area above and around the laundry sink and washing machine to make sure it is water resistant. Bora can be treated in the short term but HPT guidelines say that you should retain "as much original fabric as possible". So, I will treat the back side of the t&g for bora and keep original. My house is made of solid concrete so it isn't going anywhere. May consider other bora treatments but hate chemicals!

Do I have to change the existing framing in the back toilet?
Jared had already framed up the bathroom but not using the sizes specified on the plans. Do I have to take it off and replace it?

I don't have to use the size framing specified as long as the existing is sufficient for its function and there is sufficient room for utilities behind it. DCC Building Inspector said minimum for holding gib board lining is 50x40. Mine is 50x25, so will replace what needs to be replaced at Steve's discretion.

Should I remove archtraves from door surrounds in stairwell and straighten them so they are square?
My gut feeling is no. The slumping of the house is part of its history and it should be reflected in the house. There is no point hiding it as there is plenty of evidence elsewhere in the house and I risk damaging the architraves in the process. Steven advised that it might affect resale value.

Although he makes a good point I will go with gut feeling as doors are functional and I want to preserve the history of the building.

Can I widen the new doorway between the lounge and dining rooms without changing the Building Permit?
This is a complicated question - the original plan was to open the two rooms to make open plan, with French doors between so that the 2 spaces can be separated if I want them to, for heating and privacy reasons. The architect designed lovely doors and the opening was widest possible width to accommodate 2 French doors. The problem is that now that the opening has been made, it is just not wide enough. If I make it larger, pocket doors won't work because there won't be sufficient wall cavity left to house them. The doors will be too large and will intrude into the living spaces. Bi-fold doors will narrow the opening when folded. Add to this, once I had seen the opening, I really want to have the opportunity of designing and making my own stained glass transom above the door, and possibly solve the door problem by also designing and making a stained glass window on either side of the existing doorway. The upshot of these whirlwind of ideas is that I want a larger opening but don't want to have to decide what to do with it without further thinking time.

My brother's advice is to have it opened to the size I want and to have it finished as just an opening (no doors or transom window). I can add doors and windows at a later date if I want to.

Building Inspector's advice is that the specified beam is sufficient to span the distance and so I can go ahead and make the opening 1000mm wider without requiring a change to the Building Permit.

Can I change the model of woodburner without changing the Building Permit?
The person quoting for the installation of woodburner to existing chimney in dining room recommended a gruntier model to make sure it heats the area adquately.

No, I must apply for a change to the Building Permit. Cost $80ish.

Should I pop the sash window in the bathroom out and refurbish it?
This could be a costly exercise but at the same time, want to do the restoration/renovation properly.

This would be a good opportunity for me to learn how they work, as I have another 23 odd in the house. If I learn how to do it now, then it would be a good skill to learn for the future. Greg (joiner) will be re-furbishing the 2 windows in the dining room anyway.

The only other thing discussed with the Building Inspector, were questions relating to the courtyard paving. Though I am having second thoughts about this too. The problem with building projects is that it is often difficult to visualise what it will look like until it actually starts to take form, coupled with more knowledge about products and options....I think its inevitable that the plans change during the process.

My friend Joy's advice is" ask at least 3 people's advice before doing ANYTHING!"