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  # 2275248 12-Jul-2019 12:26
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Bear with me, but have you though of putting a caravan under there ?

 

I had one of the rental cabins for 6 months and it was great but I found small caravan (3m*1.8m*2.4m - l*w*h) which had an electrical certificate but rust in the chassis so wouldn't get another wof to be on the road.

 

It's already insulated, has brilliant windows all around and mine would fit in your space easily.

 

It's the best office I've ever had.

 

[e] Obviously access could be an issue, but they are dirt cheap at this time of the year !


neb



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  # 2275253 12-Jul-2019 12:38
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Disrespective:

If you are in any way handy then I would consider doing the work yourself under the owner-builder exemption. See - https://www.building.govt.nz/projects-and-consents/planning-a-successful-build/scope-and-design/choosing-the-right-people-for-your-type-of-building-work/owner-builder-obligations/

 

 

Unfortunately I'm not that handy, or at least not that experienced, since it's a basement under the house there's dampness issues, insulation, taking out floor joists to get the steps in, I could probably do the work but just don't have the knowledge and experience to know exactly what work to do to get it right. I'm perfectly happy doing the usual minor repairs... oh OK, I'll be honest, tinkering with the house is like crack to me :-), but for this you need serious knowledge and experience.

 

 

You're right about the difficulty of finding a builder to do the work, I figured I'd start now to have plenty of time to get in the queue, but my preferred guy hasn't even responded to pings.

 
 
 
 


neb



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  # 2275256 12-Jul-2019 12:46
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Should have added: The crack part of the build is that I get to fit out the newly-created space when it's done.

 

 

Well, if it gets done.

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  # 2275401 12-Jul-2019 15:57
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After a pile of measuring, I've determined that this is where the steps need to come down, with the batten on the left being the LHS of the steps:

 

 

 

 

It's pretty much the worst possible location, water pipes, a house pile, and steel bracing. Short of cutting a hole in the living room floor, it's the only place in the house where there's room to run stairs. If anyone has any ideas... in particular, I'm not sure what the bracing is doing there, it's just between those two piles but none of the others that are directly under the house. There's three more lots of bracing between piles further out on the slope (i.e. under the deck), apparently at random, but this is the only lot under the house.

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  # 2276756 15-Jul-2019 09:37
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It looks like you're at a point where you need a professional to step in and give you some advice. 

 

Bracing isn't something the builder would throw in willy nilly, nor can you simply remove it because it looks redundant. Any renovation must allow for its presence to remain or be made up elsewhere. Determining what, and where this can be done, is the work of a professional. 

 

At the least you were going to have to have a plumber do some drainage work anyway, so moving some water pipes as well is going to be trivial. 

 

I can see a few ways that you should be able to get the stairs down to work (from only this one photo, so I'd not grant them as perfect ideas yet) but they will require excavation, a healthy sprinkling of engineering advice, and not an insignificant sum of money. 


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  # 2276770 15-Jul-2019 10:03
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Does it need internal access? Seems like if it had an external door and steps leading to it, you would avoid drainage, bracing and most of the excavation issues/costs.


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  # 2277251 15-Jul-2019 19:39
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Disrespective:

It looks like you're at a point where you need a professional to step in and give you some advice. 

 

 

Yeah, waiting to hear from a plumber who hasn't turned up, a builder who hasn't called back, and an architect who's on leave. I'll post an update whenever I've got further info.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2277254 15-Jul-2019 19:42
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nickb800:

Does it need internal access? Seems like if it had an external door and steps leading to it, you would avoid drainage, bracing and most of the excavation issues/costs.

 

 

Unfortunately it pretty much does, having to circle around the outside of the house via steps down a steep slope, potentially in the dark and certainly in pouring rain at times, will be a killer. I'd considered the possibility of converting the ensuite into room for steps since it backs onto the hallway, but there'd be a lot of plumbing to be moved and the loss of the ensuite probably wouldn't go down well either.

 

 

A fireman's pole is looking like a better and better option...

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  # 2277516 15-Jul-2019 23:43
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martyyn:

 

Bear with me, but have you though of putting a caravan under there ?

 

I had one of the rental cabins for 6 months and it was great but I found small caravan (3m*1.8m*2.4m - l*w*h) which had an electrical certificate but rust in the chassis so wouldn't get another wof to be on the road.

 

It's already insulated, has brilliant windows all around and mine would fit in your space easily.

 

It's the best office I've ever had.

 

[e] Obviously access could be an issue, but they are dirt cheap at this time of the year !

 

 

I agree with @martyyn, if you have the access to get a cheapish caravan in there, why wouldn't you? - especially if, as you say, the house is likely to be bowled down by the next owners, therefore any capital expenditure by you is likely a waste of money other than for the time you remain there.

 

Let's say a fully compliant addition costs you $40k-$50k (not unrealistic at all), and you only stay there another 4 years - is $10k+ a year for an extra room really worth it?

 

Even if access is a b!tch, you could still buy a decent old caravan for a few thousand dollars, then pay a crane operator a grand or so to drop it down beside the house, then just roll it under there and hook it up to power. Job done. Geeze, spring for a $12-15k British import caravan and you'll get an extra kitchen, shower and toilet. And best of all, no consent is required, and you can crane it out and sell it when you move out (if you think it's worth the hassle).


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  # 2277521 16-Jul-2019 00:06
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neb:
Aredwood: Consider if you would likely to continue living in that house long term. And what would likely happen if you sold the house. Would a developer demolish it and build apartments instead?


Whoever buys this place will bulldoze the house and build something much more expensive, it's a 1970s universal home that's worth 10% of the property value. That's another factor, not wanting to spend a large amount of money on adding to a house that's (a) not worth that much and (b) will be bowled by the next owner.


You may think that but in my experience it's often not the case.

In the case of basement renovations it can be quite cost effective and also add a lot to the value of the home. I
Also while a buyer may build a largely new structure if they can work within the existing envelope that is much easier with council.

I'd investigate the cost to build under what is there but also push out an extra 5 metres. In incremental cost may not be honerous but if you get an extra 50 square metres that will add significantly to your property value.

I'd also check with a couple of reputable local real estate agents what a consented addition would add compared to a non consented addition.

neb



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  # 2277777 16-Jul-2019 14:37
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Handle9: In the case of basement renovations it can be quite cost effective and also add a lot to the value of the home. I
Also while a buyer may build a largely new structure if they can work within the existing envelope that is much easier with council.

I'd investigate the cost to build under what is there but also push out an extra 5 metres. In incremental cost may not be honerous but if you get an extra 50 square metres that will add significantly to your property value.

I'd also check with a couple of reputable local real estate agents what a consented addition would add compared to a non consented addition.

 

 

That's a good point, it'd turn a single-level 3-bedroom house into a two-story, 4/5-bedroom house, which could justify the extra expense.

 

 

For people who have suggested a caravan or similar, it's really not going to work, there's not much clearance under the house beyond the 8ft that's there now, going up and down in the dark and/or rain is a no-no, and the section is steep with no vehicle access, unless we disassembled the caravan on the street and reassembled it under the house there's no way to get it down there. It was set up to have a basement story added, that's probably the best route. The concern now is how far to take it, e.g. the neighbours jacked up their house, put in steel beams to replace the poles, and dropped it down onto the new basement, but that's going to be insanely expensive vs. just enclosing what's there now. I'll know more in a week or two.

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