Exterior and Landscaping
It takes considerable expertise and experience to get a truly high quality finish to the exterior of your home. Preparing the surface can be a time consuming process, not to mention dangerous if roofs or double storey buildings are involved. If time is more important to you than money, hiring a professional painter is a smart investment. Professional painters know how to properly prepare the surface, which paints to use in each situation and how to get the job done quickly with minimal disruption. Professional painters also have all the tools required to achieve a quality finish. Working on ladders and dealing with solvents and dusts can be hazardous. Older houses may be coated in poisonous lead paints. Professional painters know how to handle these dangerous situations and substances to minimise the risks. They also have the appropriate safety equipment to keep you and your family or tenants safe. As part of their service professional painters will also take care of the clean-up and disposal tasks on your behalf.
Options for external cladding play a major role in how your home looks, so investigate widely for cladding you like that fits with the style of home you’re building. Consider how your chosen cladding measures in terms of value. Remember, it is not only the cheapest option you need to look at but the ongoing savings you will make through less maintenance. Waterproofing is a huge concern, but building procedures used in the past for certain products that created problems have largely been addressed and homes being built now use specific techniques to avoid problems. Wall cladding must protect the interior from water penetration under all conditions, including rain driven by high winds. It should also stop draughts. A cavity between the outer wall covering and the interior lining allows water to drain away through drain holes and air to circulate. With most types of cladding, in all but low-risk situations, a dry cavity is now required under the Building Code. Wall underlays or building paper and synthetic wraps prevent any moisture which does enter the wall cavity, or has got in behind the cladding, from getting into the framing and interior lining. Flashings – strips of metal or other material that cover joints and gaps where water can get in – are used around window frames, external doorways and on top of exposed walls to help stop water getting in, and help to drain it out.
Choose roofing in keeping with the style of your house and its projected performance. Roofing products are defined as lightweight or heavyweight depending on their classification within the New Zealand Standard (NZS) 3604. A lightweight material is one that weighs under 20kg per square metre when fixed and finished on the roof. Heavyweight materials exceed this limit but do not exceed 60kg per square metre. Make sure the roof you’ve chosen will perform at the pitch of your roof (for instance some tiles won’t perform at less than 12 degrees).
- Concrete and terracotta tile roofing requires less maintenance than most other roofing materials
- Select the right grade of metal for the location of your house, for instance if you’re in a coastal location
- Non-standard colours on colour coated metal roofing may have longer delivery times and cost more
- Concrete and terracotta roofing perform well in high wind zones
- Concrete roofs reduce airborne sound and help provide effective thermal insulation
Once you have completed your renovation, it is the landscaping which really completes your home or building. Allowing budget for landscaping means you can get the whole project finished. You can save money by doing some of the work yourself but there are often elements, such as retaining walls, that are best left to professionals. Landscape designs, especially, are often best done by landscape architects or designers. There are different looks to incorporate, but these come back to the style of house design you’ve chosen. Creating outdoor rooms where there is a high level of finishing detail incorporating heating, lighting, kitchens, furniture and accessories is popular because it gives you another great living option extending into your garden for exceptional lifestyle enjoyment.
Swimming pool and spa solutions
A pool or spa may not necessarily add value to your home and they require ongoing maintenance to remain safe to use. But people build them because they greatly enhance the beauty of your property especially with the addition of clever lighting and sculptural water features that create magical sounds and lightshows. In the summer you and your family will love entertaining on the terrace and plunging into your own backyard pool. So for many, the effort is definitely worthwhile. Specific parts of the Building Act deal with swimming pools. In addition, there are components of each Council’s District Plan that control their installation and access. We can make it happen for you with a beautiful design that will enhance your garden and landscape.
Plumbing, gas and drainage
You need to discuss your requirements with your designer and your plumber early in the project. We will organise for you to meet with one of our recommended plumbers who can advise you on things such as how to manage water pressure to give you a satisfactory shower but not damage your appliances; the best way of dealing with the position of sinks, showers and baths and reducing the lag time between turning on the tap and getting hot water. The plumber must also be aware of the location of drainage outlets and pipes to be able to connect them to your faucets. All plumbing and drainage work that involves installing new pipes requires a building consent. It must be carried out by a Licensed or Certified Plumber (or Drainlayer).
Lighting isa key component of your outdoor scheme. It can create a beautiful mood and light up your entertaining area, so it’s important to discuss the electrical installation with an electrician early in the piece. Lighting will not be effective if it’s placed in the wrong spot. It can be annoying if it glares in your face and dangerous if left exposed to the rain. Some lights are simply not meant for the outdoors. Installing an inside light in an outdoor fitting will not serve you well. It’s helpful to consult an expert to help you decide where to place lights for maximum efficiency. An electrician can help correctly install your lights so they last longer and are more efficient.