How to add or 'tie in' brick additions

While there are a few reasons why newly added walls would crack, especially where a new wall is joined to an old wall, the main reason is due to lack of proper foundations or the walls not being joined together properly.

 

Move Out or Add On?

With a growing family, there comes a time when a home might become a bit of a squeeze and you need to decide whether to buy a bigger house, or extend the one you live in.

 

 

Timber Roof Trusses and Fire Regulations

As with every aspect of building, timber roof trusses must be manufactured and erected in line with the National Building Regulations and SANS 10400, which provide for fire safety.

 

Bedroom in the attic

Using the space in an attic for an extra bedroom and bathroom is the sensible option if you have limited grounds to extend out.

 

Is your roof waterproof?

As we experience climate change and unpredictable weather, making sure your roof is waterproof is a priority.

 

 

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Compliant timber roof truss construction essential for sound roof structure

Poorly constructed roofs have become a real concern in residential South Africa. The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) offers insight into legislation governing this aspect of a building as well as guidelines for a correctly built, sound timber roof structure.

 

Streamlining the complex residential roof

Every so often, a complex residential roof - of average scale and with relatively small truss spans - arrives for design. While it may not necessarily be of grand scale, even relatively small yet complex projects can cause frustrations.

 

Fill the gap with Sika Boom

Use Sika Boom for fixing, insulating and various filling projects in and around the home.

 

 

The importance of roof maintenance

Although the importance of a roof structure as a component of a building and its functioning cannot be overstated, it is possibly one of the most neglected parts of a building

 

 

Don't overcapitalise on home improvements

Before you get swept away with big ideas that you think will double the price of your home, or renovations to make it the perfect living space, there are a few realities to take into account when improving a home.

 

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DIY fixes in and around the home

With a little advice from trained professionals you can find out exactly what improvements will bring you the highest returns for the lowest expenditure, and that’s exactly what Hippo.co.za decided to look into.

 

Attic or loft conversion

Hard to believe that this spacious living space was just an attic space. The attic conversion added to an average 4-bedroom home and garage.

 

 

Ideas for a garage conversion

If you are looking for ways to add more living space to a home floor plan and have a garage (single or double) that isn't being used, perhaps you should consider utilising this valuable space in other ways with a garage conversion.

 

How difficult is DIY plastering?

Since winter (or dry season) is the best time to tackle plastering projects there are obviously quite a few homeowners getting stuck in. If you want advice on how to plaster or find out whether plastering is easy or difficult, read on...

 

Prevent cracks between old and new brick walls

While there are a few reasons why newly added walls would crack, especially where a new wall is joined to an old wall, the main reason is due to lack of proper foundations or the walls not being joined together properly.

 

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Basic bricklaying skills

With DIY on the increase, more and more homeowners are looking to acquire basic skills for quick and easy DIY projects. One skill set that saves you thousands of rands is learning a few basic bricklaying skills.

 

Kwikblox shuttered concrete construction

If you are looking to build a new home from scratch, consider the option for using shuttered concrete for the structure. Shuttered concrete is 40% cheaper than conventional construction yet offers the highest thermal and acoustic properties available.

 

How to install corrugated sheet metal roof

Corrugated sheet metal is an inexpensive and lightweight material that can be used for roofing, cladding or a range of decorative applications. You can buy small quantities of corrugated sheet metal at your local Builders Warehouse

 

Flooring options for patio or outdoor dining

Choosing the right floor for your patio or entertainment area can be as difficult as selecting the right flooring for your home interior. With any flooring choice their are pros and cons as to durability, maintenance, appearance and safety.

 

Restore or add architectural detailing

I must admit to falling in love with moulding and trim, even though it's not as popular here in South Africa as it is in other countries. There is something elegant and dignified about a home that is fitted with trim.

 

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Restore an old home

If there is one property option that South Africa has, it's older homes, and not all are located in undesirable suburbs. In fact, some of SA's most upmarket suburbs are dominated by older homes. Taking on the restoration of an older home is a challenge, but well worth the time and effort you put into it at the end of the day.

 

Interior & Exterior plaster finishes

If there are damaged walls in your home, areas where you have removed tiles, or walls that are uneven or highly textured, plastering is one of the ways to fix these types of defects. Using a plaster mix, plastering is the technique for covering up raw and rough surfaces.

 

Installing wooden windows and frames

Windows are an important element in how a home looks. From a design point of view window styles are suited to particular styles of homes.

 

 

Clad concrete or steel staircase

When you live in a double-storey home, or are adding an extra level onto you existing property, you're going to need a staircase. In my case the staircase was built using concrete slabs or lintels. I would have loved a wooden staircase, but these can work out pricey, but I came across this idea for cladding a concrete or steel staircase that would cut down the cost dramatically.

Staircases with style and flair

When your home is a double-storey or more, a staircase is a main element. It might be tucked away in a corner, but at the end of the day any staircase takes up a lot of space and grabs a lot of attention. When designing, building or renovating a home, give some thought to the type of staircase you want.

 

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Boring staircase becomes a "wow" feature

If I hadn't seen these pics for myself, I never would have believed that this was the same staircase. A fairly standard staircase is transformed into a dramatic feature in the entrance hall of this home.

 

Roofing options for DIY home renovation

An extension or add-on will require some kind of roof, and a framed timber roof - or roof truss - is the most affordable way to go. There are many timber suppliers that offer custom roof trusses, designed in accordance with drawn and approved plans, and these obviously make any DIY project that much easier.

 

Improving an RDP house

RDP housing might be an answer to the housing shortage but they only provide a basic structure with no added details and very little in the way of elements that make a house a home, and not even as much as that in some cases.

 

Simple, affordable pergola design

We managed to find a pergola design that is simple and affordable, and that anyone with some DIY savvy can tackle in a weekend or two.

 

 

Transform your garage into living space

As we move into secure complexes and boomed areas, garages are being used for more than just parking cars. A single or double garage accounts for a large percentage of the total floor space in on a property, so it makes sense to take advantage of an empty garage and transform it into extra living space.

 

How to mix cement

There are various ways to mix concrete and each is used for a specific job. Here is an easy guide to the various mixes and their uses:

 

 

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Fixing and repairing cracks in concrete

Cracks in concrete happen all the time as a result of shrinkage or movement. As concrete cures and dries out it has a tendency to shrink, and that's why it is important to lightly spray concrete with water during the curing or drying process.

 

Pros and cons of a thatched roof

Thatched roofs have endured for thousands of years, offering a durable roofing option that not only adds character to a charming cottage, but a modern home as well. However, there are pros and cons to having a thatched roof and it helps to know what to expect if you are considering having a thatched roof on a house.

 

Clean up building rubble or garden waste fast

After any home improvement project - small or large - you are invariably going to be left with a pile or heaps of rubble or waste that needs to be removed. Even a simple clean-out can leave you with items that are too big to be tossed into the dustbin. Hiring a skip or arranging for rubble removal is one way to get your home cleaned up...fast.

 

Guide to building brick walls

Whether you want to build a small wall at the end of your patio or a 1.8 metre wall around your house you'll need to learn the ancient art of bricklaying. Building a wall is a tricky job, and it'll take you all day, but here we show you how it's done.

 

How to lay foundations

Laying foundations is just one of the many jobs you will need to do if you are adding on, extending or building a new project. Laying foundations is probably the most important part of any building project, because if you get this part wrong, the entire project is a fail.

 

Consider a garage conversion

In many homes the garage takes up a fair amount of valuable real estate on a property. When used for parking cars a garage is obviously in need, but when stacked to the roof with junk that should have been given away or tossed out, it's an investment going to waste.

 

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Renovations that pay you back

While home improvement projects can really add to the appeal and practicality of a home, some will add more value onto the bottom line than others.

 

 

Remove interior walls

Knocking down internal walls can transform your home by turning two or more cramped rooms into one integrated and spacious area. But knocking down a wall – any wall – is not a job to rush into without detailed preparation and expert advice if the work is to be completed both safely and effectively.

 

Building a green home

Cutting-edge energy efficiency and stunning contemporary design are the keywords for a home that is elegant, functional, and efficient, and green - the home scored at the gold level under the US National Green Building Program. Is this the home design that we, in South Africa, can look forward to in the near future?

 

Build with reclaimed materials

With the ever increasing cost of construction materials, the wise DIY builder should whenever appropriate, try and purchase them second-hand. In fact, a surprising variety of materials can be obtained without ever entering a builder’s merchant, hardware or DIY shop.

 

Home design set in concrete

Fu-Tung Cheng's work has become internationally known for its sophisticated, understated design and innovative use of concrete throughout the home.

 

 

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From garage to garden room

This couple cornered off a long driveway to create their very own 'secret' room and relaxation zone.

 

 

Safely remove and dispose of asbestos

Lurking in many buildings, its safe removal and disposal is a must. But how do you spot it, and what do you do with it once it's found?

 

 

Plan carefully before you renovate

Renovation is a ‘dirty’ word, not only for the dust and mess, but also as a cause of serious stress. Indeed, additions and alterations have been known to reduce grown men to tears and strong women to helpless rage.

 

Plan renovations and improvements

Before embarking upon a renovation or home improvement project it's important that you decide why you want to renovate. Renovation is no mean feat, you'll have to make numerous decisions and if you want to make the right choices. Setting yourself clear goals and deadlines will help you out enormously in the decision-making process.

 

10 home improvement tips

With the housing market in its current state, the sensible householder's mantra should be 'don't move: improve'. With this in mind, we've come up with tips, advice and links to our best features to help you boost your home's value so that staying in put won't just make sense financially, it will be an absolute pleasure.

 

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Building regulations

Before you start planning for home improvements in the form of alterations and additions to your existing home, there are some facts that you need to know.

 

 

Think before you build

If you are planning any home improvements, additions or renovations be aware of the fact that all building plans have to be submitted to the relevant Local Authority for approval. If you fail to do this you could end up tearing down, ripping up and demolishing any work you do.

 

When times are tough...

...The tough do it themselves. And times are definitely tough at the moment. With property values in the doldrums, many homeowners are sitting tight and taking the option to improve rather than move.

 

Home renovation tips

If you have made the decision to tackle home renovation you'll want to ensure the best value for money for your home improvements. Whilst doing-it-yourself will save you a lot of money, you will need to know a fair amount of basics before you can consider tackling major home renovation.

 

DIY home renovations

These types are projects are not done in a weekend but they are projects that can be done by a DIY enthusiast who is prepared to put in the time and effort. With the proper materials, the right tools and some DIY savvy any homeowner can save thousands of rands by tackling a home renovation project, but care must be taken to do a professional job.

 

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Staircase ideas

When living in a double-storey townhouse or apartment, standard staircases fitted off-plan are usually as basic as they get. Timber beams and steps stained to match skirtings, windows and doors. But you don't have to live with standard fitted options when there are so many ways to dress up a staircase.

 

Organise a garage

If your garage is overflowing or packed to the brim with stuff, perhaps it's time to look at various storage options to get the space organised.

 

 

Extend a home without adding on

You may not have the time or patience to throw yourself into an extension project at the moment, but there are clever ways you can trick the eye and give yourself a sense of more space more immediately. Not only that but you can physically open up a room to utilise existing space efficiently.

 

Die huisie by die see

Deon purchased his first home by the sea and hopefully wants to retire there. But quite a bit of work had to be done to get the house in good condition. As an entry into our Home Improvement Competition, here's what Deon did to tackle all the problems and faults in his Huisie by die see.

 

From shack to guest house

Originally a bathroom and shower, the Chelin family transformed the space into a small kitchenette over a period of six months, working every Sunday.

 

 

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Unused bathroom becomes kitchenette

Using her basic knowledge of building and construction and unskilled labour, Annemarie transformed a dilapidated shack into an amazing guest house for when family and friends stay over.

 

Tin shack to modern home

It's a bold homeowner indeed who takes on the task of transforming a tin shanty to a luxurious home. Khensile Gomba is just that homeowner. Over the past two years Khensile has lived through the mess and hard work of building a home from the ground up. It's still a work in progress but already the new home starts to take shape.

 

Project: Staircase renovation

I completely stripped this staircase, which was in a bad state of repair, and sanded the stairs down to the bare wood (all by hand and a small orbital sander).  

 

 

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