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Project Brief and Scope

 

Background

The leaky house project covers the demolition, treatment and rebuild of a fiber-cement board house with a plaster finish. It was built using treated timber for the structural frame.

The house was completed in October 1989 and was discovered to have severe leakage problems shortly after taking possession by a subsequent vendor [moi] in May 1997.

After an 8.5 year court case, spearheading the raft of legal proceedings that followed, my case was a landmark in terms of leaky homes, but rather than being able to take action against the builder, my action was against a dishonest vendor who failed to declare the leaking problem when asked during the pre-purchase inspections.

Although I was successful in my proceedings, after payment of legal fees, and expert fees, little was left to apply to the now escalated cost of building. In my opinion the building expert engaged in the case failed to update the cost of repair to one more commensurate with the market costs at the time the case was finally settled.

Since the cost of building and unavailability of builders has prevented any repair work to date, I am hopeful that due to the lowered mortgage interest rates and declining pressure on the building industry, that I may finally be in a position to tackle this demon.

 

Scope of Rebuild

Whilst the leakage is extensive throughout the property, the fact that the structural timber was treated has helped to stem the spread of rot to some extent. However,

  • All cladding must be removed and replaced with a more durable, watertight alternative
  • All windows removed - it is likely that these will need to be replaced
  • Rotting structural timbers replaced
  • The roof has insufficient slope and design issues around the multiple skylights - so it too must be removed, redesigned and replaced
  • Skylights must be removed and replaced with a better designed option
  • The kitchen must be removed and replaced
  • Collapsed flooring must be replaced
  • Impacted electrical fittings must be replaced
  • All internal flooring will need to be replaced - carpets are rotting in places and kitchen flooring must be removed to repair the collapsed floor

Next: Building Specification

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