Missing mortar? Damaged bricks? Lintel replacement?

In Sydney’s northern suburb of Naremburn, Premier Pointing Pty Ltd transformed the external brickwork, from tired to fantastic! The two unit blocks each approx 300 m2, showed normal signs of age – missing mortar between bricks, damaged bricks, (such as chipped bricks, cracked bricks, fretted bricks), rusted or damaged lintels, aging air vents and a leaning front fence.

Our qualified specialist and assistants swiftly erected Quickstage scaffold (with shade cloth) to allow access to high areas.

We arranged for the power lines, running from the street to the building to be professionally covered by AUSGRID. This ensured the safety of our customers, their property and ourselves.

Our team quickly removed (ground out or raked out) the old mortar and disposed of rubbish carefully and safely. We repointed fresh  mortar throughout the entire building, half round finish – to look exactly as the original brickwork.

Any damaged bricks, chipped bricks, cracked bricks or fretted bricks were replaced after brick colour matching – or brick staining where necessary.

We replaced over 40 lintels (angle or arch bars) ranging from 0.8 m to 2.6 m. The lintels support the brickwork above windows and doorways. In this case we used Heavy duty galvanised steel Angle Bars.

We changed the DPC (Damp Proof Course) which helps protect the internal walls from any moisture or damp problems. We often replace the DPC at the same time as the lintel, this ensures maximum damp-proofing and structural support above openings.

The original building had a stunning Art Deco Glass window feature in each unit, 16 decorative glass blocks near the front entry, providing light and character as you walked in. One unit had the window covered with bricks from the outside – greatly reducing the internal light… so we restored the glass block window to its former glory.

We repaired the leaning garden wall as it showed signs of age, missing mortar, damaged bricks and cracked bricks. The missing mortar allowed the bricks to drift apart creating cracks down the facade.

The owners requested we build the letterbox into the front gate pier. We took down the existing front gate pier, rebuilt the lower part of the pier, installed the letterbox and finished building the pier to its original height. Now that letterbox won’t be moving for a while!

All our work is professionally cleaned using a customized high pressure wash. This removes any mortar marks or smudges on the brickwork and gives the ultimate finish = vibrant brickwork!

The Naremburn job, from start to finish took a little over 6 weeks. During that time, we raked out about 300 m2 of brickwork, repointed approximately 500 kgs of new mortar, replaced over 40 lintels, checked DPC on all windows and doorways, replaced over 60 damaged bricks, rebuilt a front wall, installed a new letterbox into the front gate pier and VALUE ADDED unknown amounts to the property!

Repointed Facade.

Restored Art Deco front.

Restored Glass Window – outside.

Is your tradesperson Home Owners Warranty approved?

There’s no better feeling than being a homeowner, right? You’ve probably put a significant amount of hard work into creating your perfect home. So of course, you’d want to ensure your pride and joy is protected. Especially when it comes to renovation or building time.

Part and parcel of being a homeowner, is enlisting the services of tradespeople. Whether you’re getting that stone wall repointed or you’re finally building that extension – you’ll want to ensure the job is completed at maximum quality and efficiency.  This is where it becomes important for you to have an understanding of the insurances out there, which are designed to protect you and your asset.

Home Owners Warranty (also known as Builders Warranty or Home Building Compensation Fund – HBCF), is an insurance designed to implement the Home Building Act 1989. It protects you, the consumer if you lose your deposit, the tradesperson doesn’t compete the job or it’s defective, they become insolvent, die or disappear.

In 2015, the second highest form of compliant to Fair Trading was jobs left uncompleted. Protect yourself from falling into this statistic by selecting a trade company that is H.O.W approved.

In NSW, Home Owners Warranty must be taken out by your builder and a certificate of insurance must be provided to you if the value of work is over $20 000. 

So, if your next renovation works have just been valued at over $20 000 – ask your tradesperson for a certificate of insurance, which (if they are already approved) will obtain through their insurer via NSW Gov icare hbcf. 

Is your next renovation protected?

Remember, as a consumer…

  • You have the statutory right to end the contract during a cooling-off period of 5 business days.  Keep in mind, your builder can be entitled to out-of-pocket expenses incurred.
  • The maximum deposit your builder can take is 10 percent. Regardless of work value.

Other ways to protect yourself… 

  • Avoid quotations that appear to be ‘too good to be true’. If you receive a quote that is significantly lower than others, your builder might not fully understand the work required or job quality could be compromised.
  • Prior to making payment – check the validity of your certificate of insurance through the Certificates Register via hbcf.nsw.gov.au .
  • Understand the difference between a certificate of eligibility and a certificate of insurance. Eligibility only means that the builder is eligible, but hasn’t yet received an approved certificate for your job.
  •  Make sure the insurance provided is by a NSW gov approved agent. This will either be QBE Insurance Australia Limited or Residential Builders Underwriting Agency Pty Ltd.
  • Don’t sign or agree to anything if you’re feeling pressured by ‘sales’ techniques.

If something goes wrong, what should you do?

  • Speak to your tradesperson and notify them of the concerns you may have. Usually mistakes are simply due to miscommunication and can be easily rectified.
  • Educate yourself on your rights and responsibilities. Have a read of the Guide to Standards & Tolerances at fairtrading.nsw.gov.au .
  • Contact your insurer as soon as you become aware of any defects.

 

At the end of the day, Home Owners Warranty is designed to protect both you, the consumer and the builder. It ensures standards by both parties are met and work is effectively completed. Ask your tradesperson if they are H.O.W eligible or check their license details.

Premier Pointing, is officially Home Owners Warranty approved and can provide a certificate of insurance for all jobs over $20 000. If you’d prefer to work with a highly experienced and qualified team, call us today on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote.

Brickwork restoration Pre winter checklist to protect your home & Pt. 1

How to check your brickwork restoration home prior to winter

Sydney has certainly experienced some lovely weather this Autumn. You’ve probably been soaking up the unusually warm weather as much as us. However, keep in mind that winter is coming! And it’s the season that tends to sneak up on us. So, have you considered giving your house a little pre-winter health check? If you haven’t already, now is the best time.

As a Sydney-Sider, you’re probably well aware of our temperate climate, but you’ll also know that Sydney can suddenly be hit with significant rainfall and drops in temperature. Therefore it’s crucial that just like you protect your health during winter, you also protect your home.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the hard work for you, and have created your home’s winter-health check list. Go through each point to ensure you’re not left out in the cold. This blog will provide our top three check points for your brickwork. Stay tuned for part 2, which will provide check points aside from brickwork.

First things first…

  1. Have you noticed any settlement cracking?

Cracking in brickwork is quite common, it’s usually the result of a variety of internal and external factors, such as extreme weather, over watering or chemical reactions within brickwork.

If you’ve noticed cracking in your brickwork, don’t panic – it doesn’t always equate to major structural damage. However, it is crucially important that you can recognise cracks and choose to seek professional advice, even if it’s just for peace of mind.

Cracks can be horizontal, vertical or stepped. To protect your home from cracks during winter, prevention is key. Ensure trees are not planted too close to brickwork, prevent excessive wetness by clearing blocked down-pipes and stopping leakages. Remember, this is especially common during winter, so keep an eye out during heavy rainfall.

Cracked brick wall. Deep crack in a brick wall

2. Look out for dampness and algae growth

Dampness is not only unsightly, if left unattended it can cause potential health concerns, which is not what you want this winter. Aside from condensation and rising damp, defective mortar or pointing is actually a leading cause of damp. Deteriorated mortar can allow rain to penetrate brickwork, causing dampness. This can then lead to accumulated algae growth and significantly impact the integrity of your brickwork.

So what should you do? Enlist the help of a mortar replacement expert who can provide you with a range of mortars specially formulated to repeal water and protect your home (and your wallet!) from the harsh winter weather.

3. Check windows/doors – are your arch bars/lintels rusted?

The brickwork that surrounds your windows and doors is supported by arch bars and lintels. As you’ve probably gathered by the theme of this blog, winter causes rain and rain can cause rust, which could jeopardise brickwork surrounding openings.

You’ll want to ensure your arch bars are hot-dipped in galvanised stainless steel and your lintels are concrete. This will help to prevent rusting and potential corrosion.

Effective maintenance and a keen eye will be essential to getting your home through another Sydney winter. By taking care of small issues now, you’ll be able to prevent them from spiralling out of control this winter. So while the weather isn’t too cold, get outside and give your brickwork a quick health check.

If you notice anything you’re worried about regarding your brickwork, arch bars or lintels, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote. 

Best Brick & Stone Buildings In Sydney

Reignite your inspiration for restoration…

Have you started to notice that whenever you’re admiring your brick house or building, instead of feeling proud, you feel uninspired? Or is the sight of that crumbling stone wall making you exhale a little sigh every time you step outside?

Remember the days when you would look at your beautiful brick home/building and simply think “what a lovely place to live”? Remember when the walls of your home made you feel secure and comfortable?

Well, if your bricks are looking a little worse for wear and you need some encouragement to finally contact that repointing company… We’ve decided to help you fall back in love with your home again by putting together a little inspiration list. Or shall we say, “brickspiration”…

If you live in Sydney, count yourself lucky. Sydney’s streets are lined with stunning brick & stone homes and buildings. From the CBD’s grand cathedrals & town halls, the unique terraces in Paddington & Surry Hills; to the federation homes in the leafy Northern Suburbs.  There is an abundance of buildings that will give you the push you need to restore your own. No matter how large or little.

We wanted to get your restoration juices flowing, by compiling a list of some (we couldn’t fit them all) of our favourite brick & stone buildings/homes in Sydney. Have a look, and prepare to reignite your passion for restoration.

1.Sydney Town Hall

483 George St, SydneyUntitled design

We may as well start at one of the grandest stone buildings in Sydney, right? Built in-between 1868-1889, Sydney Town Hall was considered to be one of Sydney’s most extravagant buildings. Architect John Henry Watson, wanted it to be enjoyed by generation after generation. Would you like the next generation to enjoy your brick home? Now’s the best time to find the right people to look after it.

 

2. UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

8, 14-28 Ultimo Rd, Ultimo

You might have seen images of this unusual building circulating the media when it was finished last year. It was dubbed the “brown paper bag” building, because of its crumpled appearance. And yes, the nickname does ring true, although you can’t deny the truly inspiring brickwork that went into creating this iconic building. Each brick was custom made, and designed to reflect Sydney’s sand stone heritage.

3. The Old Clare Hotel

1 Kensington st, Chippendale

If restoration inspiration is what you need, then the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale is the perfect example of turning a little neglect back into glory. The architect firm involved were also responsible for restoring the iconic Carriageworks Building.

4. Surry Hills, Chippendale, Paddington…

Sydney truly has some amazing terrace brick houses. Wether they’re small and rustic or grand and extravagant. You’ll be sure to find some brick terrace ‘inspo’ if you take a drive around the streets of suburbs like Surry Hills, Chippendale, Paddington, Newtown and many more.

So if you’re getting tired of feeling unimpressed with you’re own home, keep in mind that you’ll want an experienced team that can restore your home to it’s former glory. As always, if you have any questions about brick or stone restoration, give us a call on 0450 924 080 or request a free quote.

Why you should love & preserve your federation brick house:

So you’re living in one of Sydney’s federation brick homes? Well, count yourself lucky because these beautiful and unique homes are a significant part of Australia’s architectural history. The name itself, “federation” stems from our federation as the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

Your federation house represents the development of our unique architectural style. Overlapping influences from America, France and Britain’s Edwardian period – creating our very own Aussie identity. This ‘coming of age’ identity built homes that were better suited to our climate and displayed a more laid back, yet elegant design.

During this time, brick really experienced it’s peak in Australian home design, not just because of its availability but due to its charm and historic glamour. A great federation brick home represents strength, heritage and beauty.

If you’re a proud owner of one these charming homes, we’d thought we’d share a little homeowners guide on federation design and brickwork. So you can ensure you’re an informed homeowner.

Built throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, federation homes come in various forms and styles. As a homeowner, you’ll want to identify the style of your house in order to ensure you maintain it’s characteristics.

The most common style of federation homes in Sydney are,

The Queen Anne

Recognised as the most elaborate, theatrical and visually fussy, the Queen Anne truly encompassed the budding outdoor Aussie lifestyle with key features such as,

  • Front verandahs
  • Decorative timber posts
  • Tiled patios/entry ways
  • Elaborate roof lines

Brickwork: 

Usually a deep red or dark brown colour, which matches painted timber work and window displays.

As these homes were predominantly built in the19th-20th century, the mortar between the bricks primarily consisted of lime and sand. It’s crucial that your repointer understands the formula of the original mortar and restores joints using an appropriate match. Failing to do so could lead to more problems in the future, such as fretting.

Arts and Craft

The Arts and Craft movement brought innovation and homelike design to Australia’s federation homes. It emphasises natural materials and domestic design with informality. Key features include,

  • Natural/earthy tones
  • Plenty of windows
  • Archways

Brickwork:

Deep red, earthy colours. Joints are often tuckpointed – a decorative white or black line added to the joint. You’ll want to ensure your tuckpointer/ repointer colour matches the new mortar to the original, ensuring you preserve the historical integrity.

BEFORE

Federation Bungalow

The federation bungalows are often recognised for their honest and simplistic design. These homes are usually single-story with a prominent front verandah.

Brickwork:

Front facades are most often tuckpointed. You’ll want to keep an eye on your brick facade, as mortar can deteriorate over time. Spotting troublesome areas early, could allow you to save a little extra cash in the future.

Black brick staining 2

Sydney is filled with beautiful federation homes. These houses are the foundation of our architectural history, therefore as an owner it’s important that you recognise your federation’s historical features.

Keep in mind that you’ll want a craftsman who is dedicated to maintaining historical integrity and has a deep understanding of the requirements of your home.

Remember, your Premier Pointing team posses more than 17 years experience restoring federation homes all over NSW. So, if you’d prefer to work with a highly experienced and qualified team, call us today on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote.