Project description: Repairs to earthquake damaged vaulted ceiling plus flooring replacement and electrical work
Type of home: 38 year old Wellington house
Duration: 2 months
Pre-budget estimate: $110,000. Actual, with addition of flooring and electrical work, around $120,000
Challenges: Height of the ceiling which necessitated indoor scaffolding, the presence of asbestos in the lining and water damaged panels.
Words from the owner: “Mark was happy to work around the fact that we were capable of and wanted to do some of the decorating ourselves.”
Words from the franchisee: “We were able to use our one-stop-shop approach to deliver a great experience and outcome for the client.”
Repairing an earthquake damaged ceiling in a 38 year old Wellington home may sound pretty straight-forward, but when it’s a vaulted ceiling that extends to a height of around 5m, and there’s asbestos to be removed, the whole project becomes rather more complex.
For the homeowners, finding someone who could put together the trades needed to execute the work had become a real issue. “We were looking for someone who would be able to provide the project management aspects of the job as well as carry out the necessary work.” After a number of let-downs, their online research led them to Refresh Renovations. Refresh specialist Mark Morrison explains that, although the damage was superficial cracking, the ceiling is a show piece and it was inappropriate to leave it in the state it was.
Asbestos removal is a specialist undertaking and one that must meet WorkSafe NZ’s expectations under the Approved Code of Practice. Mark says the team they use is highly trained and has rigorous procedures in place to ensure all hazards are contained or eliminated. “WorkSafe made multiple checks on the site to ensure the work was carried out appropriately.”
Because the house had to be fully sealed and decontaminated, a process which took around two weeks, the family relocated. “One of the challenges faced by the project team was the height and scale of the area which meant significant scaffolding had to be set up inside the house,” says Mark. “When the family moved back in they had to tip-toe around this for the remaining weeks of the project.” Another challenge revealed itself when the asbestos was removed and it was discovered a section of the ceiling was water damaged and sagging and would need replacing.
The scope of the project extended beyond the ceiling, with Mark’s client taking the opportunity rip out a free-standing chimney, reline the walls and replace the flooring in the living area, and upgrade the electrical system to better cope with today’s technology. “The existing flooring was old and tired,” says Mark. “We replaced it with new vinyl planks that provide a robust and effective option for the large space we were covering. And because the clients like their tech, they had a long wish-list that included special sockets and new lighting options.”
The pre-build budget indication was $110,000 but the finished project came in nearer $120,000. “The additional electrical work added around $4000 and replacing the water damaged section of the ceiling we uncovered, another $5,000; one of those horrible necessary things that pops up!”
It was very much a shared project with the homeowners working weekends to complete the decorating. “Mark and his team understood we had definite ideas of what we wanted for the outcome. We finally chose a flat white finish to replace the dirty off-white of the old textured ceiling space and covered the dated brown beams with a fresh coat of white paint that’s modernised the whole area.” It also became something of an on-going project with issues around cracking in some of the new ceiling panels. “Mark’s been very good about communicating while we try to figure out a solution.”
A number of commitments, including the hosting of guests, plus the availability of temporary accommodation, meant timing was crucial. “It came down to the wire, but Refresh pulled out all the stops to ensure minimal disruption for our guests.”
Mark says it was great to be able to solve a problem for the homeowners. “While there was no call for our design know-how, and the owners had indicated they wished to do some of the decorating themselves, we were able to use our project management expertise and ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to deliver a great experience and outcomes for the client.”
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