If you’re planning on installing balustrades or wondering if you need to, then you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the process of identifying if you need a balustrade, the options you have and how to make sure it will meet the current NZ Building Code. Let’s jump to it!
A balustrade is basically a safety barrier. It can vary in appearance from simply a rail with supporting balusters, all the way to a full fence. It’s often confused with a bannister, which is a type of handrail. Both have the same purpose though: to keep you safe.
A balustrade is needed wherever there is a drop of more than a metre, such as on a deck, staircase or balcony. The NZ Building Code clause F4 says that “a barrier is needed when someone could fall vertically one metre or more.” (more…)
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With so many tradespeople belonging to different accreditation organisations, how do you know which one to use and what tradesmen accreditations are right for the job you want doing? Is an industry based accreditation offer the same as one from the government? We’re here to dive into the mysteries of what the most common tradespeople accreditation are. Let’s jump on in!
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When you’re building a house you start from the ground up, with the foundations. There are 3 types of foundations to choose from. You choices depend on the type of home you are building and where you’re building it. A proper foundation does more than just hold a house up. It keeps out moisture, insulates against cold weather and resists movement of the earth around it. One more thing: It should last forever.
When you’re building a new home, consult with your builder and other design professionals to see what kind of foundations for a house are suitable for your particular needs. A mix of slabs, basements and crawlspaces are common in New Zealand. But slabs becoming more and more popular over recent years. In wet and coastal areas such as the Waitakere Ranges, it’s not uncommon to build houses up on posts. (more…)
Shade sail installers are skilled in the manufacture, repair and installation of shade sails near homes and buildings. Like sails for boats, the shade sail uses a piece of cloth, affixed tightly to at least three points. Instead of providing the wind for a boat, it provides shade on land in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A shade sail is used for creating shaded areas in homes, or near buildings which they can be affixed to. With shade sail fabric, which is typically the most inexpensive, the knit fabric has a slight curve inside which keeps it tight and secure.
Wind makes it whip about, but generally it won’t sag. Homeowners can hire a shade sail installer or buy canvas or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sails and install them themselves. Provided these are well secured, they’ll not moved much with wind.
Typically shade sails are a triangular shape, but they also come in squares and rectangles. Modern sail designs take into account that people need protection from both the heat and the sun’s harmful rays. A shade sail installer will know how to treat shade sail fabric so that it blocks out UV rays, which also helps the fabric withstand constant sun exposure.
A shade sail creates outdoor shade based on the basic technology of a ship’s sail, using a flexible membrane tensioned between several anchor points. Modern shade sails can vary in shape, size and colour with a trend towards installing multiple overlapping sails, adding form and style to function. Shade sails are tensioned by either a stainless steel turnbuckle or a pulley system.
For domestic applications of shade sails it is recommended to hire a professional shade sail installer who will install them with a quick release “snap hook” at each corner. This means the sail shade can be taken down quickly in high wind conditions or during the winter season. A skilled shade sail professional will know that installation requires that adequate and quite considerable tension be applied to the sail to allow it to adopt its correct shape and prevent flapping in the wind. It’s also important to ensure that mounting points are substantial and secure to be able to accept the required initial tension and absorb the loads created by wind gusts hitting the sail.
This information aids the buyer in decididing if the home or building is worth purchasing or if there are major faults that could affect their purchase decision.
When hiring a property inspector to look over a property, they will check everything that is visible. They are generally not responsible for any internal issues like faulty wiring or plumbing hidden by walls. Each property inspector will have a disclosure listing their responsibilities and what errors or omissions they can or cannot be held accountable for at a later date.
There are other potentially dangerous conditions that a property inspector will look for as well. If desired, they can check for lead paint and most will keep their eyes peeled for asbestos while in an older home.
It is key to know of past damage in the building and if the condition that caused the damage can happen again. A property inspector will look for fire damage, past water leaks and evidence of termites and determine if the conditions are active or dead.
For example, a home may have had termites at one point in history, evident by small holes usually in the basement structures. The inspector will advise if it is an active infestation or one that is long gone based on the age of the holes.
The property inspector will prepare a report at the conclusion of the inspection. Usually it will follow in the days after the inspection and will contain the information they pointed out to the accompanying home-buyer during the inspection itself. This report will give a list of repairs needed and code violations as well as cost estimates for repairs.
Some inspectors will also include pictures and local information that they believe may come in handy for the potential home buyer.
When working in homes, a glaziers tasks are relatively straightforward. They may include installing glass in new windows, retro fitting double glazing, shower enclosures, cabinets and doors. While modern homes are usually built with standard window sizes, a glazier is often required to cut glass to specific measurements for unusual or stained glass windows in older homes.
The main duties of a glazier include: Cutting, grinding, polishing and drilling glass. Handling of sheets of glass in the warehouse, during transportation, and at the work site. This may involve using slings and power lift devices.
Applying adhesives, sealants and caulks. Using, cleaning and maintaining various types of equipment. Administrative tasks such as preparing estimates and invoices, supervising assistants, and ensuring compliance with building codes.
When hiring a Glazier or Window Technician check they have knowledge of different types of glass and how to work with them, skills in cutting, smoothing and installing glass, building standards and regulations for glaziers and health and safety procedures.