Experience you can build on

PO Box 740, Cannington WA 6987

P(08) 9258 9261
E

Updates

24th October 2011

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1st October 2011

Website Under Development

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How We Help Home Owners

Your family home is likely the most expensive investment you've ever made. Just like a car, it occasionally requires maintenance. Maybe your home is experiencing cracking of walls, the roof is sagging, or a retaining wall is tilting over. Whatever your concern is - we can help.

Just remember that with houses, like most things in life, a stitch in time can save nine. A professional inspection can save you thousands if a building problem is rectified before damage progresses too far.

Click on any of our services listed below for more details:


Building Movement & Cracking

Buildings can experience movement and cracking for any number of reasons. Some are structurally insignificant and can be happily ignored, while others can be symptoms of severe structural distress. A hairline crack in a concrete beam can indicate a far greater risk to your safety than a half inch crack in a house wall.

We have an extensive background in the diagnosis and remediation of building movement, and our experience with South Australia’s extremely reactive clay soils means we understand building movement from the ground up. We have the knowledge, equipment and experience to accurately diagnose what’s happening to your home - and to give sound, easy to understand advice as to what you can do to mitigate further damage.

Building Defect Investigation & Remediation

Building defects can encompass many different types of distress - a sagging roof, for example, or deteriorating concrete. We will be able to advise you what the cause of the distress is, whether it causes any danger to occupants of the house, and how to fix it.

It’s always best to identify and fix building defects as early as possible. What may only cost hundreds to fix now could cost thousands to repair only a few years later.

Construction Certification

If you’re building a home then it’s critical that the structure be carefully inspected at key stages in the building process to ensure that it has been built in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and the design engineer’s requirements.

Construction certifications need to be undertaken during the construction process while the structure is still exposed to view, and several inspections may be required. We recommend that inspections be staged as follows:

  • Footings prior to pouring concrete
  • Brickwork prior to roof frame being constructed
  • Second storey suspended slab prior to pouring concrete (if applicable)
  • Roof frame prior to installation of roof and ceiling claddings

This staging allows us to check the following elements of the building’s construction:

  • Suitability and level of compaction of foundation soil beneath the slab
  • Compliance of the footings and second storey slab with the engineering details
  • Corrosion protection grade and installation detailing of masonry accessories such as brick ties, lintels and wind posts
  • Compliance of constructed brickwork
  • Compliance of roof framing and adequacy to resist wind uplift

These inspections ensure that the major structural elements of the home are structurally sound and fit for purpose, meaning that at handover you move into the home of your dreams - not a disaster waiting to happen.

Pre-Purchase Inspection

A pre-purchase inspection is a vital part of any property purchase. It provides you, the buyer, with peace of mind that your chosen property has been professionally inspected for defects before the sale finalises. The last thing you want is to have to call us for advice once you've already moved into the home…

It's important that you understand your building inspection rights before you sign a contract of sale. Have a read through our Pre-Purchase Inspections info sheet to make sure that you cover all your bases.

Retrospective Approvals

Many homes have structures such as patios, verandahs or even extensions that have been built without Council Approval. It’s quite common now for Councils to analyse aerial photographs to identify such structures, or for a prospective purchaser to request proof of their approval at time of sale.

If you’re in this situation then you may be able to apply for retrospective approval from Council, and this is where we can help. We can’t guarantee that your structure will be compliant with the Building Code and that Council will grant approval, but we can conduct an engineering investigation to determine whether it complies, and provide recommendations for upgrade where possible.

Renovations

So your family has grown and your little home is bulging at the seams? Or maybe your fledglings have all left the nest and it’s time to convert the nursery into that luxurious ensuite you always wanted. Whatever your renovation plans are, we’re here to help.

Many renovations include removing a wall or two, which generally means that additional beams or columns need to be installed to support the roof or floor structure above. These walls can serve as bracing walls also, assisting the house to resist wind and earthquake loadings, so the lateral stability of the structure may need to be considered also. We have the experience and qualifications to guide you through this process, and to provide the engineering advice your builder needs.

If you have a firm design in mind and know what you’re intending to do, then your first step should be to have plans of the renovations drawn up by a design drafter. You’ll need these plans to submit to Council, and they assist us greatly with our engineering work. Once you have the plans in hand, give us a call and we’ll be able to provide engineering detailing to suit.

If you’ve got several options in mind and can’t decide which way to go though, we’d be happy to walk through the home with you and explain the cost implications of the renovations you’re considering. A simple rearrangement in the layout of a staircase saved one of our clients around ten thousand dollars in construction cost. There’s a small chance we may need to reinspect once your plans are finalised, but generally we can undertake the engineering design without a second inspection.

Retaining Walls & Fences

Retaining walls and fences are one of the most common areas to see problems developing over time, and it’s vital that these be checked as soon as possible. It is often possible to stabilise a wall that has only just begun to lean or crack, but this becomes far more difficult as the problems worsen. Eventually the structure can fail, leading to secondary damage and huge expense.

We can in many cases, depending on available access and the construction methodology of the wall, determine the structural capacity of the wall and then provide a specification to allow upgrade of the wall to resist design loadings.

New Construction

If you’re looking to build a new retaining wall or fence, we can provide engineering details for many common types of construction. It’s important that you do work to engineering details for these structures as remediation can be costly if they are not built correctly.