Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Will St, Forest Hill - Weeks Four and Five

The good, the bad and the ugly ….

OK, so in my last post, I mentioned that the stump holes were dug ….. not so much because I’d seen they were there, but because I was kind of hoping that even though they were missing, that maybe they would somehow get dug between now and my next site visit.  Secretly though, I was wondering why they hadn’t been dug already.

So when I went out to do my next inspection on Friday, here’s what I found !!  No stumps !  But we do have subfloor framing.  Why ? do I hear you asking ?  Well, the builders have elected to span the new floor using LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumbar) for a number of reasons.  Firstly, they had found some old sewer pipes when digging the strip footings and wondered what else might be sitting under the ground that they weren’t expecting.  Secondly, it was pretty muddy and mucky and thirdly, because there are steps and concrete slabs all over the place at the back of the house which they would have to either span or try to dig out or push through, so really spanning over it all makes a lot of sense.  For my mind, this is a great example of innovative building techniques that respond to on site issues and a very proactive decision on behalf of the builders, rather than a “what should we do” phone call to the architect !

So that was the good.  Here comes the bad and the ugly ….

All was going along swimmingly, and with the sub floor framing installed, demolition of the back wall of the house could now commence.

Beading was carefully removed from around windows in readiness for their removal, and the existing guttering and fascia were also removed to enable the eaves to come off.  OK, here is the bad part …. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but when the first part of the eaves living was removed it looked suspiciously like asbestos !  There was not much that could be done except to bring in the professionals to firstly identify the suspect material and secondly remove it safely. 

So now the site is officially shut down until we can get the Asbestos Removal crew in to remove the eaves lining.  We are hoping that this will happen at the end of this week, assuming that the material is asbestos.  This will also be an additional cost to the Builder’s Contract price.  This will mark the first variation to the Contract price, but as mentioned previously, not one that completely surprises us.  Houses built in the 1950’s often used asbestos sheeting in eaves linings and according to Wikipedia, Asbestos was used in building in Australia between 1945 and 1980, so the odds were definitely stacked against us.

And the ugly ??  Well that has been the look on the client’s face for the two weeks since the stop work was called on site !!  (ha ha, only joking guys !) No, actually the clients have remained surprisingly buoyant while we've been waiting, which has continued to make this project a real pleasure to work on.

Once we have the asbestos cleared up, demolition of the back wall of the house will continue, with wall framing to start shortly after.  Stay tuned !

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