Construction Progress Photos
As seen in the before shots this building had quite an authentic
Queenslander finish. The brief given by the owners was to extend or raise the property
to provide additional bedrooms and a functional open plan living space and
outside living. Furthermore, the existing pool in the back garden was to remain
in its current position. Our challenge was to achieve this brief in a way that
the finished product looked like the original build. Going up and building in
under was clearly the most effective option. The original building was
transported from Charters Towers many years ago, and is now over 100 years old.
Although it had been modified in recent days, largely to enhance the aesthetic
appeal, it was still a very old building and the most recent renovations did
not include any structural upgrading, i.e. tie downs, roof etc. Understanding
all of the finishes internally were in very good condition, undoing all that
good work to upgrade posed a challenge.
Cyclone tie down rods were required, naturally to secure the building
and bring it up to the current code. We achieved this by making long boring
bars so we were able to drill down through the wall from the top plate down to
get through the existing noggings and drill up from underside through the main
bearers. This enabled us to run tie down rods full length to the top plate
without disturbing the internal works. As you can appreciate this is a large
saving and contributed significantly to keeping the project in budget.
Here at Nixon Build & Design we specialise in remodelling and
renovation work without compromising the aesthetic charm. I believe we have
successfully achieved this end at Primrose Street. The objective is to design
in a way where the extension is seamless and does not have the appearance of
retrospective work. The customer brief included opening plan living and the
space downstairs has demonstrated that well. Full appreciation of the spans in
this area was evident when the steel work was installed and the lifting gear
removed. There was some tricky engineering to achieve this end, particularly
with the accommodation of such a large bi-fold opening to the rear alfresco
area. There is some serious steel work under the upper level that is completely
concealed that adds to a fine finish.
At Nixon Build we are very passionate about comfortable homes, not
only in layout and functionality, but also with respect to thermal performance.
We have adopted a practice to install very high performing reflective
technology into new wall structures and roof spaces where possible. Our tests
over the last two years have consistently yielded results with internal
temperature recorded 2-3 degrees cooler than ambient temperature. This has resulted
in significant savings in energy consumption.
Further engineering outside the norm was required when designing the
footings for this site. The ground under this building, once you penetrate a
900mm hard crust, is no more than mangrove mud. The footings have a very broad
base up to 1200mm square with centre piers in excess of 2m, consuming approximately
24m3 of concrete for 30 columns.
The challenge for any renovation work is
to combine quality with a fine finish inside a tight budget. In tough times people
are looking to save wherever possible. The owners in this case decided to
undertake the painting element of the project themselves. We all know it is the
finishing trades that are often the difference between ordinary and
extraordinary. Painting is a complex and highly skilled trade and it is one
that makes all the difference to the overall finish. One of the challenges for
Nixon Build was accepting the level of finish may be compromised as a result of
the owner’s decision. This can be seen as selfish, but we all love to hand over
the complete package. Nonetheless, the project was a delight and we are
extremely proud of the design and workmanship throughout. The owners have been
most complementary and appreciative with our engagement, and they were a
delight to work with.