To rebuild, or not to rebuild? That is the question.
Our latest reclad project has posed many of the typical obstacles we try to anticipate, and warn our clients of prior to starting work on an old kiwi bungalow.
Eye for Detail was asked to inspect the 1950's home in Mangere Bridge for a client of ours. From what we could see (with out removing any cladding), it's a really solid well built home. All piles and floor joists are sound, no sign of water ingress or damage, and no obvious sign of rot (although you can safely assume there will be some bora ridden timber somewhere).
Our clients bought the house and Eye for Detail's first task has been to internally reclad and insulate the 3 bedrooms, so the family is comfortable for winter.
Once opened up, we revealed that over time, the framing has twisted severely. This wasn't help by the originally builder using an old technique to straighten warped timber - by putting a cut now deeper that 50% of the timbers thickness it makes it easier to counteract the bow. Unfortunately the builder did this to nearly ever stud, sometimes cutting over 75% depth - severely weakening the framing. Click here to better understand what the building code says about his method.
Today, pine framing is relatively cheap and very accessible, so we would never use this method - it is much safer to just replace damaged timber. In fact, if timber arrived on site in poor condition we would send it back straight away, and it is up to the builder to ensure that all materials are kept in premium condition once on site!
One wall was in particularly bad condition, so we were left with a decision to make - straighten the existing wall, or rebuild it... Often you can straighten a wall by using packers, or plaining the studs and nogs. But once old heart Rimu frames have dried, you can't even fire a nail into them, let alone straighten them. We had to rebuild the wall which added a little bit of time and materials to the project, but worth it in the end!