Creating Open Plan Living In Your Home

The growing trend we are finding today is to create a more open plan style of living.  Of course, with any new build or extension we perform it’s easy as the plan and design is specified to create this feeling.  It is with existing properties which we renovate internally that the challenges can be a bit more demanding.  The reason for this is that the initial concept was created to distribute loads from the roof onto walls and footings below (hence the term commonly thrown around “load bearing wall”), but where there is a will there is a way!

renovating for open plan living

Home Renovation Considerations

When a customer approaches us to renovate a property for them and one of the items on the to do list is to remove an internal wall or make an existing opening wider there are typically two options:

Option 1:  When a larger opening is desired such as removing an internal dividing wall an LVL beam is installed inside the ceiling space.  The function of this large wooden beam is to pick up any load bearing members inside the roof space and have the existing loads then transferred through to other load bearing walls further apart.  By doing this it then allows the wall below to then be removed as it is no longer serving their purpose of holding a weight from above.

Option 2:  Creating a door way or window opening is not as involved as removing a load bearing wall.  When we are performing a task such as this an item called a lintel will be installed (in brick walls).  A section of the mortar between the bricks above the opening will be removed either side of the opening and this piece of steel will then be inserted to hold the load of the remaining courses of bricks in place above the new opening.  This method can be used for doors, entrance arches and window openings.

Open Plan Living

Creating an open space certainly does give an overall feeling of togetherness it allows for families to all be together at once no matter if someone may in the kitchen, lounge room or dining room they all still see one another and communicate while enjoying life.  If you are thinking of renovating and would like to create a more user-friendly space let us help you to understand just what can be achieved using the correct building practises, you might be surprised at just what can be achieved.

using windows in a renovation

Nothing Is Ever The Same

When it comes to renovating (particularly on older properties 100 years plus in age) nothing is ever the same.

Older Properties

Renovating older properties can certainly have its challenges particularly when we look at items such as doors, windows, ceilings, roofs and floors.  Over time a property will move, expand and contract and things will become out of square and un even.  During this process things such as doors and windows will become hard to open and shut and will therefore be planned and adjusted to suit the buildings current conditions.  Other items mentioned such as roofs and ceilings will show signs of cracking and leaking.

However, when we come to perform a renovation its no longer a matter of just purchasing new materials off the shelf from the local hardware supply stores.  Items such as doors will need to be custom ordered or off the shelf items will require major modifications to suit its desired location and purpose.

Restoring Wooden Floors

When we often look at restoring wooden floors the strains and sizes that were available some 100 years ago are surprisingly no longer available straight off the shelf today.  Salvage yards are a good place to start looking for replacement pieces.  If a strain of wood can be found such as oak the lengths may need to be cut to the correct width and planned to required thickness all these processes taking time and adding to the costs of a renovation of an older property.

Many older styles homes had or still have windows which use lead weights inside the cavity attached to a rope and use a cantilever method to keep the window open.  Over the life of the house unfortunately the rope deteriorates and leaves the window inoperable.  These items can certainly be fixed but it is quite labour intensive.  Firstly, the sides of the window frame must be carefully removed which will give us access to the cavity.  Inside the weight used in the canter living process will be found (as seen in picture).

using windows in a renovation

Insulation When Renovating

Many of the older properties in South Australia which have not under gone a significant renovation will still have iron roofs as I touched on earlier in this post.  These roofs are simply installed straight onto timber supports with zero insulation.  Achieving a more energy efficient environment inside the property certainly becomes more of a challenge when we look at renovations on these buildings.  There are internal insulation batts which rest on the gyprock or plater ceilings.  This material can be replaced which is a great start.  But if we are trying to achieve a reduction in noise and a further reduction in heat entering the roof cavity and warm air escaping the cavity a material called sisalation.  Sisalation is a foil blanket which is installed between the roof sheets and the timber battens, another barrier contributing to the maximise the energy properties of a home.

When we look at renovating buildings no project is ever the same for the reason I have mentioned above.  Nothing is ever the same and experience of knowing how to get around the challenges of each project is what has made the Mayfair Building Group a leader in renovations of all shapes and sizes.

why water proofing is important

Waterproofing – A Crucial Part Of Any Renovation

When it comes to getting the perfect result from any type of renovation the time spent earlier in the project on extra preparation will reward you at the end with an AMAZING outcome.

why water proofing is important

Why Waterproof?

The idea of water proofing is as the name suggests it is to water proof the area and prevent the entry of water into unwanted locations i.e. living rooms and bedrooms.   Over time grout and silicone seals can break

down and allow moisture behind the tile itself.  Providing the water proofing has been done by a qualified contractor it will prevent this moisture from damaging the linings of the walls and potentially entering a neighbouring persons property through the floor in apartment style living.

What Areas Should You Consider?

Areas such as the shower which are constantly wet when is use get water proofed on the floor and on the walls to the full height of the tiles.  The water proofing membrane is installed before any tiling is performed and before any painting can be done.  Inside a bathroom the entire floor also gets water proofed as this is wet most of the time a bathroom is in use and even for a short period after the room has been in use until the floor dries out.

Products

When we perform a renovation such as a bathroom make over water proofing is an area which our tilers pay close attention to. We only use the best products available on today’s market with longest warranty periods giving our clients the peace of mind they deserve.  Water proofing is something that you don’t see when a project is finished but if it is not done properly the results later in life when a bathroom has been in use for many years can be catastrophic.  The results from not water proofing properly or at all can lead to the entire wet area needing to be re done and a project like that can cost well into the thousands of dollars not to mention the disruption to your bathroom and home, therefore we always recommend using a qualified company such as the Mayfair Group.

When it comes to water proofing you only get one chance to do the job right so by taking the time necessary to get the job done correctly is certainly worth the effort.