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Part 8 – Advantages of Early Access To Our Build Project and How SIPs Helped!

The reason I like advice is that I am not one of those people who can easily visualise things, like my husband can!……saying that, interior design is probably not his forte, so I still need all the help I can get!! 😊

Using SIPs has been a great help!

It has been really valuable being able to walk around the shell of the building to get a better idea of sizes, spaces, light, etc, a lot earlier than your conventional build methods.  This is another BIG advantage of SIPs.  Once the walls have been craned into place, and the roof a few days later, you can immediately walk around the building and have a feel for the space, the window sizes, and the light.   If your team has been well organised and put the internal walls up before the roof goes up, like ours did, then it’s even better! 

The kitchen (windows now covered in building wrap awaiting window installation, but were not initially)

Design ideas discussed before construction may be confirmed, or challenged, by this new real time information. 

For example:

  • We have a huge storage cupboard for housing the MHRV central unit, as well as a linen cupboard.  Seeing it first hand we have decided to change the position of the door to increase storage even more by allowing shelving around 3 walls not just 2.  We have not ordered the cavity sliders yet so there is no extra work or costs involved.
  • We were tempted not to close the second living area off (with a double cantilevered cavity slider), due to the fact it provided a fantastic large indoor living area.  However, we could see that even with the large cavity sliders it would still provide enough openness as well as an option to close off when needed.
  • We had left it open that the ceilings in the living and communal areas could be raked in most instances, but services and MHRV ducting did need to be considered with flat ceilings used where possible to house this. Being able to walk round made it easy to feel comfortable having certain ceilings flat and lowered to a more standard height.  We could, however, see how amazing a raking hallway would feel and look…. so apart from a small section, not visible from the hall, where services and ducting can be laid, the hall itself feels large, bright and breezy!
Raking Hallway to Remain. Framing to ceiling to be completed for bedrooms which will have flat ceilings.
  • I had recently come up with a plan for a feature wall behind the stand alone bath.  However, the window actually takes up a lot of that back wall and in my opinion a feature wall would make it too fussy if the bath was the centre piece. Stops me wasting time working on that feature 🙂
  • We had been considering some timber feature ceilings but it was obvious on site that this would be too much and draw the ceilings down too much.  Again, this simply saved me time looking at these options.  Bright and breezy was what was needed in our opinion.
  • Looking at the spaces and potential furniture placements in real time meant we could look at placement of non-structural divisions in the living area, to delineate the areas.  Any wing walls were definitely off the cards, but perhaps a timber slatted partial wall could be considered.

We encourage site meetings with clients every fortnight, not so much because we encourage changes which may lead to additional cost and delays, BUT if there is something our clients would like to remedy or alter to suit their lifestyle, we can at least look into it and discuss practicalities, cost to change and alternatives rather than clients not having that opportunity. 

Of course, getting the design right first up is key (saving both time and money) but as we find ourselves, it’s the little things, and making small differences, that can add benefit if that opportunity is presented. 

So, in conclusion the SIPs and provision of regular site meetings means clients have early opportunities to view and consider those small alterations, or interior design changes, that may make their lives easier, or a means to simply feel confident in the direction their design is heading.

We hope you enjoyed this blog. Next time we look into our kitchen and laundry design, and the importance of considering how ‘you’ use your service areas.

In the meantime, as always, if you are ready to chat about your building project, feel free to contact us 03 3130103 or info@chattertonbuilders.co.nz.