External, Structural

Asbestos be gone!

With our property, we had an old and rotting existing extension that housed the laundry and toilet. Because we are living on site and hiring a portaloo was out of the question (we could be renovating for a while and the hiring cost for one would have been a hefty amount), a challenge we created ourselves was to keep the toilet and laundry, but reduce the size so that the external walls could be built. The plan was to later knock it down once we got to the lock up stage. We have made a few people scratch their heads, obviously they would want to knock the whole thing down. Might make their lives easier, but not ours – so this is how it was going to be done.

Unfortunately, being an older home, there was bound to be asbestos lurking around. So the first step was to get a licensed Asbestos removalist. This task really was my first taste in dealing with hiring a trade. So I approached it the way I was told. Get 3 quotes and choose the one in the middle. I used serviceseeking.com.au to get some quotes. Although it was quite easy getting quotes, there’s some negatives in using a directory like Service Seeking, not to mention the trust factor. I had a mixture of people turn up at my door step. Some getting in early and eager, others more interested in finding out about their competition. I would also have to question if they were licensed or not. It was like picking a straw out of a hat some times. We would never know what we were getting ourselves into until it was done.

Eventually, we hired Natland Asbestos Removal

They had written a scope of works for us, which is a must when working with these trades, and they said they would notify neighbours about the removal.

Interestingly, though no official testing was done on the walls, they just said it was all asbestos by the appearance. My father-in-law, an electrician by trade and being a man who has built 2 houses, I trust knows his stuff. He decided he would scrape back every single panel to see whether it was asbestos…and low and behold..only a few of them were actually asbestos. Great news for us, because removal is charged by the square metre…annoying for the removalist because he had to drop his price.

The next step was to reduce the size of the old laundry. Husband-turned-demolisher and occasionally with my help, ripped up part of the old laundry. We uncovered a lot of rotting wood, there was a lot of old dust that fell out of the roof space, we gently removed some old roof tiles to keep for later and then the new walls were put back up to replace the old fibro. Was kind of strange to see them rip something up, only to put something back in it’s place. I thought we were extending the house guys?

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So demolition done, it was time to get the plumber and the earthmovers in…

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