For most windy Wellington renovations, the wishlist of “indoor-outdoor flow”, flies away. Lia from Refresh has taken extra care for the family to enjoy their weekend Barbeque, outside!
WORDS: Joanna Jefferies
When renovating, indoor-outdoor flow is a frontrunner on most people’s wish-list, but when your deck is on the second storey of a three-storey building in a high wind zone in Wellington, extra special care is needed to ensure you can enjoy your weekend barbeque. Such was the case for Scott McCallum and his family when they employed Refresh’s Lia Boersma to project manage the two-stage renovation of their 1930s bungalow in Karori. The first stage of the renovation involved the complete replacement of two bathrooms, which left a third bathroom for the second stage of the renovation, and the indoor-outdoor flow from the living area onto a deck on the first floor.
The second stage was a bit trickier, as the existing decking was in poor condition and the balustrade was far less than one metre high and was attached in a way that wasn’t up to the building code, says Lia. The decking was also lower than the first floor and needed to be brought level to achieve a seamless flow to the deck.
“We left the decking posts in place and took everything off and built a new balustrade,” says Lia.
An additional issue was that nothing could be nailed through the waterproof membrane that prevents water coming through the deck. Because of this Lia chose to replace the existing timber batten system with a clipping system from Outdure that is specifically designed to be retrofitted onto existing decking framing without perforating the waterproofing.
The composite decking timber clips onto the system, removing the need for nails – “The fixings sit under the clipping system and it looks really neat and tidy,” says Lia.
The other issue with the deck was that Scott’s standalone barbeque would fly from one end of the deck to the other in a good strong wind. Lia’s solution was to build a built-in barbeque.
Rough stone was chosen for the cladding, which was enhanced with a sealer that brings out the pigment in the stone.
Originally, the benchtop was to be tiled, but after some consultation it was decided that a heavy marble counter would look more seamless.
“I tell you that barbeque is not going to fly anywhere – the stone weighs 83kg/sqm!” laughs Lia.
The other key way in which indoor-outdoor flow was enhanced was the replacement of a window and door system with a multi-stacker sliding door system. It creates a seamless flow on to the new deck and really enhances the liveability of the first floor.
While the client took the lead in designing the look and feel of the home, it was Lia’s knowledge of products and her ability to be resourceful within a budget that was important to the client.
Because as with all renovation projects of older houses, issues can arise and with them an impact on the budget. This is where Lia really took the pressure off, says Scott, who has in the past managed his own renovations.
“It was clear what our wish-list was, but she managed the cost view quite well – we’ve just never learnt how to do that when we’ve tried to do it by ourselves.”
Scott says Lia was very hands on right through from concept through to completion, including managing the drawings process, council approvals, liaising with suppliers, and offering knowledge on the selection of products.
“There’s genuine complexity with some of this stuff,” says Scott “She was really good. Occasionally we’d make a call and say something’s not right and she was nothing but proactive in owning the issue with us.”
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