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Episode 1


THE ARCHITECT

Bruce Petry
Salmond Reed Architects Ltd
58 Calliope Rd
Devonport
Ph: 09 445 4045

Bruce's Californian bungalow facts
Our street is a protected Residential Heritage Zone, because of its Californian, Transitional Bungalow Cottages, and an English Cottage, built around the 1920s and 1930s that prevail in this street. The Zoning is protecting the character of the area, building context, orientation, setback, scale, height, roof forms and the extent of site coverage.

Our House is a fine example of a late 1920's Californian bungalow. Distinguishing features are:

- Simple lines and detailing
- Asymmetrical composition
- The incorporation of a sleeping porch or outdoor room
- Casement window with leadlight and stained glass opening windows above
- Gable roof with deep overhanging eaves and exposed rafters
- Window seats or feature bay windows
- Decorative roof ventilators
- Expression of materials and decorative elements such as beams, rafters and shingle cladding
- An oriental influence

The main thing not entirely authentic about our bungalow is the porch. Considerable alteration to this area has occurred over the years, but you wouldn't call any of these improvements. From an architectural perspective restoring it, to how it may have looked in 1920's would mean money well spent.
 
PORCH

What is wrong with existing porch? 
- Poor materials and detailing
- It's out of proportion with the house
- Villa detailing was not used in this period
- Out of scale
- Not constructionally integrated.

THE GRAPEFRUIT TREE

The existing grapefruit tree has been given a new lease of life. By removing some of the limbs carefully, we have been able to reduce its spread and give a more decorative umbrella like shape.

Mike's Grapefruit pruning
 The most important thing to do first is remove all dead wood. Prune fruit trees to allow ample sunlight to reach into the middle of the tree, otherwise fruits will not ripen properly and will lack good colour. That can mean removing many more lateral branches and stems than might make the most pleasing-looking, bushy plant. Such pruning also allows for good air circulation through the crown, and that prevents disease.

Tips:
- Start from the bottom and work your way up
- Think twice before cutting
- Citrus are prone to borer, so it's good to follow up with some pruning paste (or spray paint or even grease)

Tools to use:
- A sharp pair of secateurs - so a clean cut is achieved, parrot beak secateurs rather than anvil secateurs, as they wont crush the stems.
- A pruning saw with a pointed tip for removing thicker wood and saves on the breakages of secateurs.
- Loppers is ideal for bigger jobs
- Leather gloves to protect your hands
- Use Champion Copper and Conqueror Oil Winter clean-up Spray to prevent pest and disease. Spray after pruning!

Cutting down trees
'Resource Consents are required when an activity will have an effect on the environment and is not currently permitted under your local authority resource management plan (district plan, regional plan)'.

This could mean just pruning a tree could require resource consent. Resource Management Authority (RMA) suggest anyone thinking about doing any type of work on trees should first check their local councils district plan, as plans will vary from district to district.

Bob cat tips
Because there was a lot of concrete and trees to move from the site and the site was not level I decided to get a Bob Cat in to make the job a lot easier and quicker. Try to get your bobcat in around the dry season.

A bobcat costs around $60 an hour but they can do a great deal of work if you have a lot to do. It is well worth hiring one to lift concrete, pull stumps, lift turf and flatten a property.

LEAD PAINT

Until 1965, many paints on the New Zealand market had high lead levels. This was particularly true of pre-1945 paints. Even if a building has been recently painted, it may have been painted with lead based paints or have layers of old paint covered by modern paint. Today only special purpose paints contain lead and these are clearly labelled.

It's not possible to tell lead-based paints by their appearance, but there is a simple test that can detect whether the paint is a risk. If a building is over 25 years old it is best to presume that it has been painted with lead paint.

You can test for lead by purchasing a 5% sodium sulphide solution. Cut into the paint you think may be lead, exposing the old paint underneath and drop the sodium sulphide onto the back of the old paint if it turns black it's lead based. You can get lead paint testing kits from Resene or just get some sodium solution from your pharmacy.

Methods of removing lead based paints
Wet sanding - this is the preferred option to reduce dust.

Abrasive blasting - Not recommend for properties and structures built or painted before 1970 because of the lead content of the paint and the large amounts of uncontrolled dust generated.

Chemicals can be used but usually for small surfaces such as window frames.

Dry sanding by hand or machine, using orbital sanders, disc grinder sanders, pistol grip disc sanders and belt sanders. Waterblasting for outside surfaces.

Safety Points for removing lead based paints
If you are removing paint from inside of your house, remove the curtains and furniture from the room and cover the carpets before beginning the job. After sanding, wet wipe surfaces to remove dust and then use a commercial vacuum cleaner fitted with a suitable dust filter.

If you're removing the paint from the outside of a building, make sure all windows and doors are closed to prevent contamination inside. A protective facemask is sufficed to wear unless you use any type of machine i.e. hot air blower, blowtorch or electric paint stripper, you need to wear a toxic dust respirator. Also wear safety glasses, overalls and gloves to avoid contact with the skin. Keep the area well ventilated (if working inside).

Collect all paint debris on a ground sheet large enough to contain all the debris. Clean the area around the ground sheet with a vacuum cleaner to collect any debris not collected in the ground sheet. Dispose of the contents immediately. After sanding, wet wipe surfaces to remove dust and use a commercial vacuum cleaner fitted with a dust filter. Paint debris can go out with your household rubbish or ideally take to the rubbish tip. Do not burn paint debris.

When waterblasting use water to blast paint to a collection point for disposal. Wash your face and hands thoroughly before eating or smoking and change out of contaminated clothes.

CODE OF COMPLIANCE

Final inspection
When your building project has been completed you need to book a final inspection. You will be advised in advance from the Council what's required from you, to be on site on the day of the inspection eg: advice of Completion of Building Works - form supplied with building consent documents, Producer Statements - as required by the conditions of the building consent.
Once the final inspection has passed and all other requirements have been met, the Code Compliance Certificate will be issued within 10 working days. You should keep all Consents together in a safe place, along with your LIM report and contact details of sub-contractors who carried out work on your house i.e. Plumber, Electrician.

Inspection failed
If at any stage an inspection has failed, the building inspector will note why it has failed. It is your responsibility to arrange for a re-inspection once the problem has been rectified.

There will be an additional cost for re-checks as this will not have been included when the building consent was issued.

Cost
Fees for Building and Resource Consent's are worked out after lodgement has been made, based on the planned work. Your City Council will determine the number of inspections required, also based on the planned work. A deposit for the inspections and the Code Compliance Certificate fee will be included in the cost of the building consent.

Fire alarms
As from the 24th April 2003, automatic smoke detection and alarm systems will need to be installed in all new detached dwellings and other household units built where there is not already a requirement for them.

The difference from the smoke alarms in most households and the new alarm, is the hush facility, which enables the alarm to be temporarily switched off in the event of a false alarm.

The new requirement does not apply to existing homes but the regulations will mandate the installation of smoke alarms when a building undergoes an alteration or change of use to become a home or when an alteration is made to an existing home that requires a building consent.

BUILDING & RESOURCE CONSENTS

Building Consent
When you are constructing a new building, doing additions, internal or external alterations to your home, you will need to consider a Building Consent. A building consent allows you to carry out building work in accordance with the consent, associated plans and specifications.
It does not give any form of planning approval under the District Plan. If you are planning to undertake any building work it is your responsibility to find out whether your proposal complies with the District Plan by contacting your City Council or your own planning advisor. If it does not, and a Resource Consent is required, you are strongly advised to obtain this before seeking a building consent to avoid expensive changes to your proposal.

Application for Building Consent
When you are applying for Building Consent you will need to supply with your application, a detailed drawing and specifications of the work you wish to carry out. Once your application has been checked and it complies with the building code, a building consent will be issued by the council.

Resource Consents
Resource consents are necessary when a group or individual wishes to carry out an activity or development that may have some effect on the environment. Resource consents relate directly to the rules set out in the District or Regional Plans and the Resource Management Act and are different to Building consents.

It is important to remember that it is an offence if you do not obtain a consent when a Resource Consent is needed. Contact your Council to discuss with them wether or not you need a Resource Consent for the type of work you are planning to carry out.

If you need a Resource Consent, it pays to ring ahead and book in to lodge your application with your Council, so you don't have to queue inline.

LIM

If you are considering purchasing property it is a good idea to get a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) before finalising the purchase. You will find a LIM very useful in helping to identify issues on the site and/or any potential development restrictions.
A LIM is a report prepared by your local City Council at your request. It provides a summary of property information held by the City Council as at the day the LIM was produced.

A LIM provides some or all of the following history on your house:

- Information on private and public stormwater and sewerage drains as shown in City Council Records

- Information relating to any rates owing in relation to the land

- Details of approved building, plumbing/drainage and resource planning permits and consents indicating where further action is required

- Code Compliance Certificates: a final certificate of approval for building consents

- Compliance Schedule: required for certain systems or features of commercial and multi-residential properties

- Warrant /Statement of Fitness: in conjunction with compliance schedule -issued annually to maintain compliance standard

- Details of Operative and proposed zoning, road widening, height restrictions, view and tree protection, and any Historic Places Trust listing

- Any outstanding requisitions or notifications from City Council regarding any matters on that property that do not meet with the City Council's specifications and which require action within a certain time frame. Satisfying requisitions is the responsibility of the owner of the property.

You can request your LIM report, by going into your local City Council and filling out an application form and paying the fee required.

Builder's report
It's advisable to get a building report prior to purchase. A builder can carry this out for you or there are companies that specialise in pre-purchase building inspections - see your Yellowpages - under 'building consultants'. You can do this prior to putting in an offer on a house or make a clause in with your offer, subject to the outcome of the building report.

Your building consultant will check things like the structural integrity of your house, piles, roof, interior walls and ceiling. Some will even go as far as to tell you if the clothesline is in working order.

They will do a thorough check of the entire property and at the end supply you with a report, with comments on the condition of the property.

BUILDING INSPECTIONS

Once you have obtained a building consent and have started building, inspections are carried out during various stages of the process to ensure that each stage of your project complies with the Building Code.

The inspections required at your property will depend on the type, size and scope of the work you are doing.

Your council will advise you on the scope of inspections required for the work you are carrying out.

HERITAGE ZONE

Heritage Zoning protects aspects of our past, both distant and recent, which we value and want to pass onto future generations.
Zoning is the main method the Council uses to regulate residential development. All heritage features are listed or scheduled on the District Plan maps.

Property owners in an area zoned 'Residential Heritage', may need a Resource Consent if they want to alter or add to their house. If in doubt best to check with your council. For example, new additions in our Road must be designed in keeping with the original building such as the California Bungalows. These areas also have a relatively low household density and special yard requirements that protect building setback and layout.

Some properties have been specially zoned to take into account their heritage values, however, many other properties outside these zones have heritage features. You can establish whether your property has heritage features or values by checking with your Councils District Plan.

BUILDING PRACTITONER LICENSING
 
('Building Bill' as at 11/02/2004) The licensing of building practitioners is a major change proposed in the Building Bill, which is now before Parliament.
Under the current bill tradespeople do not have to be qualified to work on a building, other than plumbers and electricians.

Under the new Bill all building work (there will be no exemption for homeowners) over a certain dollar value (yet to be set) or building work that requires a building consent, will have to be supervised by a licensed building practitioner who will self-certify the work being done. Your local council will advise you of this when you apply for a building consent.

If you are replacing 'like with like' i.e. taking out kitchen joinery and replacing it with new kitchen joinery, and the work being carried out is under The Bills proposed set dollar value, then no supervision from a licensed building practitioner is required.

However the new Building Bill will not take affect for another 5 years, to give builders time to become licensed, so no need to panic just yet.


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