Category : Frontier & Ranch Style Homes

Wide Verandas And Durable Products Are The Design & Build Products For The Coast.

Wide Verandas And Durable Products Are The Design & Build Products For The Coast.

A couple of years ago we built this holiday home (nice for some – attractive Queenslander style) in a very remote location of the Wairarapa coast line. Being in such a harsh environment I thought I’d touch on the kinds of materials that were (or should have been) used to resist corrosion – we didn’t get it completely right but we did learn from our mistakes – the hard way. One mistake we made is that the veranda balusters were nailed on with galvanised brads – which I would have thought would have been okay. They were not. We had to replace them with stainless steel. In fact I’d go as far as saying that in this environment all external fixings other than the roof should be in stainless steel. The additional cost in minimal when compared with durability. Other products I would recommend near the coast (or in geothermal areas) are Colorsteel Maxx roofing (developed to withstand higher salt concentrations), Palliside PVC weatherboards (not something I’d suggest for a replica villa but near the coast – fantastic. I must say that we were first asked to use this product on a contemporary style house about 20 years ago and to today it looks great and never had a paint brush near it. The only thing I dislike is that it requires big chunky jointers where the boards butt together so visually not that attractive). That although I like PVCu weatherboards I hate PVC spouting – it’s okay short term but after a few years starts to look tacky, and goes hard and brittle with age – it’s a completely different material to the weatherboards. Personally I feel the best product is Continuous Spouting and that’s because there are fewer joints – it’s the joints that corrode first. It costs more to build by the beach. But remember, it’s never what you pay but what you get for your money that’s important. Oh by the way, that although our head office is based in Masterton Moss Brothers have licensed reputable building firms to build our homes in Wellington/Hutt Valley, Kapiti Coast, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa, Canterbury and Auckland. At any stage you can have an obligation free chat with your closest one. If you have any questions or comments please ask them using the Enquiry section of the website or phone on 06-370-2058. Oh just one last thing, you have our permission to forward this or anything else by Moss Brothers on or share it with others that you think could benefit from this advice.

The Story I Was Too Embarrased To Tell

This is a story I was too embarrassed to talk about, until now. As time has passed we (the owner, the plumber & myself) can look back and laugh about it. The most valuable thing to come out of it was a change in design and materials.

About ten years ago we sold a show-home, and it was moved to one of the most beautiful sites we’ve ever built on, just out of Masterton, overlooking the Tararua ranges and surrounded by mature totara trees. The ideal setting for the another style of home we specialise in – our Frontier series, which have a very rustic look using rough sawn timbers and chunky beams with round tree-like veranda posts.

As it was a show-home, the house was transported to the property fully finished and lowered down on to the foundation overlooking a small bluff. Because of its location it was quite exposed to strong winds. After completion and hand-over, but before the owners had had a chance to move in, the surrounding area of the house experienced some extreme north-west gales. During the blow a piece of spouting was torn off the side of the house facing the bluff, so after the storm had died down the plumber was sent back to repair and replace it. The wind had been so strong that the section of spouting had been dislodged from one side of the house, blown over the roof and landed 200m away in another paddock.

As the plumber was fitting the replacement spouting he looked up and noticed that the copper exhaust pipe to the hot water cylinder had been bent over. The plumber assumed that it must have taken a blow from the section of spouting as it passed across the roof during the storm, and decided that once he had repaired the spouting he’d get up on the roof and repair that too.

He took a few hand tools up on to the roof, including a hacksaw, gas bottle and welding equipment. The pipe had bent just above the roofing iron so he cut the pipe, cleaned up the ends and proceeded to weld the pipes back together. As he was welding a flame or spark must have got through the hole in the roof where the pipe came through, and the building paper caught fire under the roof and in the attic space.

The building paper, which was tar based, spread right across the house in the attic space, and soon the roof framing caught fire. Anyway, here was the plumber doing a panic on the roof as it got hotter and hotter under his feet. Fortunately he had his cell phone in his pocket and quickly called the fire brigade. Thankfully the fire was restricted to only smoke and water damage, but I had a very red-faced plumber on one side and a very angry owner on the other.

Although the owner was angry, and had every right to be, according to the local plumbing inspector the plumber’s technique was considered trade practice (setting the house on fire wasn’t trade practice but his workmanship was). We learnt a valuable lesson there too. Never use tar-based building paper. When the house was first built there were relatively few buildingpapers options to choose from, but these days there are many brands including new flame-proof/resistant types. All up, flame-proof papers only add about $400 to the cost of building a new house. A wise investment wouldn’t you think. After that experience (and I’m sure others have met the same fate), I’m surprised that tar-based building paper is still an acceptable building product to use in New Zealand construction.

So if you are having a new house built and about to choose your builder based on price, make sure you know what materials they are using. So remember, it’s not the size of a house that determines the end cost, in fact size only makes up about 25% of a building cost, what does the damage are the fittings, fixtures and finishings that are used, i.e. the materials.

If building a new home is of interest to you I have written many more articles over the year, found on my website.