Widen stair way
The client wanted to increase the width of the stair way to increase accessibility. It was also felt that the existing configuration did not suit the house. The main entry area to the house was somewhat of an understatement and required an upgrade.
To achieve this seemed easy.
However the alteration had to fit into the existing and the aim was to make it look as if it was never any different.The style and appearance of the house had to be maintained as well as the materials. Construction methods and engineering requirements had changed since this house was built. To achieve the aim some research was required. The structural integrity of the existing building was changed by removing parts of 2 outside walls. This called for an assessment of the entire existing structure. It turned out that the structure would not pass today's bracing requirements anymore. This is probably because they were increased after the Christchurch earthquakes. We were able to solve the bracing issue without engineering input by adapting the window size. The engineer only had to calculate the over-height of the wall in the stairwell. The existing cladding is fixed on a steel frame without a cavity. The new cladding was required to be fixed on a cavity. This proved to be not to much of an issue because the cladding joints happened to be at internal corners only. Some special flashing tape was used to guarantee the weathertightness of this joint.
The building consenting process was smooth and approved in time .
Posted: Monday 8 August 2016