Just curious - how did you go removing the brick interior walls? I presume they were single brick?
We have a house built similarly (brick) and not sure about how easy it would be to remove interior walls to "move" them (And rebuilt as stud walls).
Almost all our brick walls go from the ground all the way up to the roof (so through both levels). Andy yes, they are single brick inside. A lot of the brick walls upstairs are being removed, but many of the downstairs are not. Of course we couldn't have removed downstairs brick walls without also removing upstairs.
There are a couple of considerations the architect and builder had to take into consideration. Firstly, if the wall is supporting the roof, then the support needs to be changed. Secondly, by doing this, the various stress on the house in different areas changes. So the structural engineer needed to make sure that the footings are Ok and the walls that are taking the additional load can withstand it.
Next week we are getting some underpinning done to make sure that all this won't be an issue in the future.
Would it have been cheaper to have knocked it down and started fresh?
Good question Kiwi...and one I refuse to consider (even though our costs keep rising!). Actually, we certainly could have knocked down and rebuilt for a similar cost, but not a house we'd be happy with.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I'd go through it all again! It's a lot of hard work and quite stressful at times. And that's not to mention the ever increasing budget.
But at the same time it is quite exciting. I'd say it is similar to building a new house, but there are definite differences. It's quite bizarre to watch an ugly, unrenovated house slowly transform into a modern, well designed place.
I've built before and that had its own type of stresses, but to buy quite an old property that seems to me to encompass a whole load of much bigger ones.
About 8 years ago we purchased a house that was 14 years old. So you would think it wouldn't require anything done to it. But over the past 8 years we have discovered many many things that the previous owners had "disguised" really well.
So we've spent the last 2 years fixing, replacing, remodelling & rejuvenating the house. Our budget was 70K, but sadly we have well over shot that!
Is the architect project managing the build or are you doing yourself? Also what sort of costs were on top of the original budget and why not covered by the builder' contract. Am (still) looking to renovate but cautious of blowing the budget
Is the architect project managing the build or are you doing yourself?
The architect is managing the process, which I am very happy with. Basically the architect makes sure everything is 100% correct, and doesn't take any crap from the builder (not that I've had any major issues with the builder). But the builder sometimes recommends "X", and the architect will quite happily say no, he wants "Y". I still play an active role (the builder, architect, and I all had an onsite meeting today, for example), but some decisions it's just nice to leave to the architect to sort out.
Also what sort of costs were on top of the original budget and why not covered by the builder' contract. Am (still) looking to renovate but cautious of blowing the budget
Only a couple, but they've been quite expensive: structural and plumbing. With structural, the architect called in a structural engineer when the place had been stripped back to its bones, and holes dug around the foundations to see if they were adequate. The engineer could then see what needed to be done, and put in many recommendations (underpinning, steel support beams, etc). Total cost for our house has been around 16K.
Then there is the plumbing. We have a very long block, and the sewer pipe from the house is all cracked, so needs replacing. That's about another 10K. Similar issue with the stormwater (only a few thousand there).
Nothing else (so far). And fingers crossed it stays that way!
Things have taken longer than we anticipated, and cost more (isn't that always the case?).
We had a lot of extra work done to ensure no dampness issues, and further work for no structural. We decided we didn't want to spend a fortune and then have issues!
Anyway, some pictures:
Front of house. Rendering and new roof (but not final coat of render in its correct colour). New sliding doors downstairs where garage was (front part is a workshop, back is bedroom). Also new verandah. [ img ]
Hallway, with high ceiling and skylights. The left of this area will become a stairway soon between the two levels (skylights are designed to let light all the way downstairs). Can see into the lounge. [ img ]
Lounge room, through bi-fold doors on to balcony. [ img ]
Another shot of lounge room. Fireplace surround is in (we're putting in a gas fireplace). TV will go above fireplace (cords visible). [ img ]
Looking through lounge room into kitchen, dining at the end. The kitchen windows currently are filled in (so wooden floor can acclimatise before being installed), but obviously not for too long! [ img ]
Downstairs now, garage that was excavated and now becoming a bedroom. You can see the height of the old floor, where the lovely pink ends. [ img ]
And finally, the back of the house. Finally beginning to look better! Full balcony isn't in yet (still waiting for council approval - long story). Hence the reason why the second set of bi-fold doors isn't in as well. You can see the kitchen windows that have been temporarily filled in on the inside. [ img ]
If all goes to plan, we should be in our house in June. But then, we've still got the carport to install, waiting on DA approval for that along with the rest of the balcony (which one of our neighbours is NOT happy about).
The skylights on each end are electric: they are opened/closed with a remote control, and they have a rain sensor, so they automatically close if it starts raining. The two middle ones are fixed. If you look closely, you can see a height difference between the end skylights and the other two.
We also looked at Velux skylights (which are almost identical), but they were a bit more expensive (and we're trying to keep costs down!).
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