Sunday, 1 May 2016

PROJECT: Additions & Alterations to Northern Suburbs Cottage

SCOPE: demolish rear of house and roof; construct new addition with timber framing including new kitchen, living, dining, bathroom, WC, verandah, walls clad with western red cedar; new polished timber flooring on bearers and joists with new brick piers; new pitched roof covered in colorbond steel; new timber deck and handrail; new cedar windows; new entry area

The additions and alterations of this home, perched up on a ridge in Sydney's north, delivered a large open plan living area connected to a spacious outdoor entertaining deck, continuing along the same floor level, as well as opening up and maximising the available (and impressive) views to the north.

Polished Blackbutt timber floors provide a warm and inviting platform for the interior living space. Western red cedar widows doors and trim border expansive views to the north. Decorative period cornices connect the tall walls and high long spanning ceilings continuing the federation theme.

Apart from the small front gable we completely demolished the roof structure and re-pitched the roof as one clean design to cover the whole building using a combination of traditional framing techniques to retain service access inside the roof, and modern trusses to take advantage of their long span capability required over the living space. Rebuilding the whole roof required the chimney to be extended above the new roof line to retain its proper function.

Re-roofing allowed for new insulation to be installed at the roof line providing an important complete thermal and moisture barrier that was not existing before, helping to improve comfort levels inside and reduce ongoing energy costs.

In traditional Australian timber cottage style the whole outside was re-clad in a rusticated profile using dressed western red cedar, well known for its fine finish and resistance to mould and rot. All the existing windows were replaced with a federation style design to match the new windows and, also made from western red cedar.

The Entry area incorporated a new hardwood deck, hardwood stairs and side lights to the new cedar front door. The tall double hung window behind the handrail provides direct viewing to the entry area from the kitchen - a feature incorporated by the designer.

PROJECT: Additions & Alterations to Rural Cottage

SCOPE OF WORKS: New hardiplank-clad timber framework with aluminium windows, pitched timber roof frame covered in corrugated steel to match existing, hardwood bearers and joists on brick piers, new kitchen, dining & living space, new ensuite, new bedroom and new verandah/deck with timber handrail and stairs.

The addition to this home doubled its size and the alterations were a major reconfiguration of the existing floor plan all in all providing an open-plan living space, a third bedroom, an ensuite and wrap around verandah to maximise the untapped bushland views.

Hardwood, building materials, PC's and various suppliers were sourced locally all contributing to the finished relaxing bushland retreat.

PROJECT: Attic Conversion to Inner City Terrace

SCOPE of WORKS: structural upgrade of timber framing to cater for new floor loads as well as existing ceiling loads; all-but demolish roof and re-build to suit minimum floor space/head height ratio and structural requirements, new colorbond roof and replace roofing on whole of dwelling, new dormer window to front with storage either side, large custom dormer window to rear, new timber stair case, new full size window to balcony below, structural upgrade of timber framing to existing garage, new full height custom wardrobe to master bedroom.

Many of Sydney's inner city terrace houses provide excellent opportunities to add additional living and storage space within the existing building structure eliminating the need to build outward into valuable courtyard areas. Here, this attic space was brought to life to the full extent.

Often times new skyline views will accompany an attic conversion. Traditional dormer windows provide aesthetic value while variations of the dormer can offer greater functionality. Another attractive feature of an attic conversion, when done right, are all the finished geometric plaster surfaces.

Here we applied traditional methods of cottage construction working to current regulatory requirements and achieved increased living/storage space that the owner sought while adding much value to this inner city terrace.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

PROJECT: Additions & Alterations to Central Coast Cottage

SCOPE OF WORKS: demolish rear of house, build new timber framed additions including lounge, dining and bedroom, new timber windows, western red cedar cladding; new colorbond roofing to whole roof and verandah; polished timber flooring; new verandah to three sides of dwelling; new entertaining deck plus alterations to existing floor plan.

The additions and alterations to this building were designed to maximise the views of the lake to the south, increase living space and provide a functional entertaining deck convenient to the house. Being exposed to periodic strong southerly winds ensured all the important components were properly secured and sealed not only with the finished product but during construction as well.

Local suppliers provided the hardwood the sub floor framing, Oregon for the wall and roof framing, western red cedar for cladding, WRC windows, brushbox timber for the strip flooring and colorbond steel roofing.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

PROJECT: Additions & Alterations to Inner West Victorian Cottage

SCOPE OF WORKS: Demolish rear of house, new double brick addition including new living, dining, kitchen, entertaining deck, laundry and bathroom; 7 door bi-fold unit to deck, timber windows, slab to laundry floor, polished timber floors on bearers and joists to living areas and new deck, flat colorbond roof, 

Building works proceeded beyond existing secured walls until the new perimeter walls were in place providing security to the occupants during construction. 

The period theme was carried through to the new works using decorative cornices, ceiling roses, period architraves and skirting, window and door components.


We installed a full width timber bi-folding unit with seven panels that opens onto the extra deep verandah. 

Jarrah known for its durability qualities, was chosen for the verandah flooring and Tasmanian Oak was chosen for the internal living area

LOSP treated pine was used for the external stairs - it has a smooth finish which provides a better looking painted finish, and as claimed, a more stable preservative.

A range of new features were installed in the bathroom with one existing feature carried forward which was the small lead light window above the toilet.

Some of what can be seen in the before and after comparison

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

PROJECT: New 1st Floor Bathroom to Inner City Terrace

SCOPE OF WORKS: New 1st floor bathroom and wc incorporating a separate bath, shower and vanity; new windows; repairs to brickwork; new flooring; new ceiling. 

The building was old and required constant care during demolition and construction. The trades on the job understood the need for care also.

The finishes included floor to ceiling tiling including return tiling to the window reveals, a shower screen with semi frameless door, drop-in bath tub, temperture controller for hot water, ceiling shower rose, convection heater, heated towel rail.

Available access to the underside of the floor allowed for easier upgrading of the drainage system.

Monday, 25 April 2016

PROJECT: New Bathroom for Victorian Period Cottage

SCOPE OF WORK: New flooring, linings, drop-in spa bath, separate shower, custom vanity, toilet suite, full height linen, partition wall with highlight above the new door.

The original building on this job was build around 1918 and the existing bathroom had a basic upgrade sometime during the 70's which didn't include a bath tub. Building a new bathroom in a more functional location was the first step in the master plan.

With no existing bathtub in the dwelling, upgrading provided an opportunity to incorporate one. This unit includes a spa function. You can see the pump access door on the right - its location provides easy access and blends in.

A comfortable size shower with semi-frameless shower screen was installed. 

A first for this house was the installation of internal toilet suite.

Period buildings like this did not incorporate fire, thermal or rodent protection features and access during the construction period allowed the installation of these simple preventive measures.

The alterations to this building included many additional and much needed storage areas such as this high linen cupboard with adjustable shelving.

PROJECT: Kitchen Floor Tiling Stands Test of Time

I've added photos of this floor to show how strong it is going after 18 years in this situation. Whats significant is that these tiles were laid direct onto narrow timber strip flooring where much flex was anticipated - you can see how low the finished profile is in the bottom photos. During that time, with all the subsequent traffic, not one tile has lost its bond and all the white cement grout is still intact apart from about a 100mm stretch near the hall way. That's a pretty good service life from these products in this situation.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

PROJECT: Additions & Alterations to Cottage Sydney South

SCOPE: Demolish rear of house, construct new timber frame addition consisting living room, kitchen, office, combined laundry/bathroom, verandah: Colorbond steel roof to whole of building; polished timber flooring on bearers and joists, new timber windows and doors, skylights over living room.

Interesting to note on the these flooring pictures, you would think each was a different species of timber but they are all the same it is just the light and camera angle that makes them look different.

With each project we complete, immediate capitol gain is delivered to the owners. Today we seek to work with smart, reciprocal owners who also value this factor and know that the outlays are an investment towards this gain and who also understand that the transition to the new finish can be inconvenience but is typically part of the process of building.

The work begins.