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During September 2013, we were approached by a young couple who had just purchased a small terraced dwelling from the early 20th century in Dublin 3. The 2 bedrooms dwelling had previously been enlarged with a flat roof kitchen extension at ground floor. The building ground floor is split on 2 levels whereas the first floor covers only a small area of the dwelling. The house was in an extremely poor condition at the time, with roof water infiltration, an inadequate boiler, asbestos roof tiles, a flat roof in a state beyond repairs, plumbing issues, a need for a full electrical re-wiring and so on... The new owners were looking for an architect to design and supervise the dwelling refurbishment, including minor modifications of the internal layout. The budget was limited and the idea of extending the house was abandonned at an early stage as it became clear that the refurbishment was the primary concern and that costly repairs and improvements were required to make the dwelling cosy and comfortable.
The refurbishment included the replacement of a flat roof with double pitch tiled roof. The orignal roof, covered with asbestos tiles was fully re-tiled and re-felted. Some rafters and joists were re-inforced. A suspended timber floor was also re-insulated and re-inforced. The front and rear walls were dry-lined internally. The dwelling Building Energy Certificate was raised to C1. A small section of a structural wall was removed to provide an opened kitchen / dining area. A section of the stairs was fully re-built. The original gas boiler was oversized and poorly efficient; it was replaced with a more suitable and efficient model. The dwelling walls were injected with a DPC to address the problem of raising damp. The dwelling was equipped with additional light points, sockets and a fire alarm system. It was also fully re-wired. Walls and ceilings were skimmed, new sanitary ware installed, new kitchen units, internal doors, skirting boards and architraves fitted. The new owners undertook the task of painting, decorating and tiling.
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A general building contractor from County Leitrim was appointed following a tender procedure involving 5 companies. The injection of the DPC, removal of asbestos tiles and gas and electrical works were sub-contracted to specialists. We acted as the PSDP (Project Supervisor Design Process) while the main contractor acted as the PSCS (Project Supervisor Construction Stage). The contractor met an unforeseen problem while working on preventing roof water infiltration. A valley gutter was fully re-built during the refurbishment but water was infiltrating through an adjacent property upstream. The contractor had to replace the adjacent property valley gutter. The same issue occurred with the shared chimney stack which was causing rainwater infiltration from the adjacent property. Construction work started on the 3rd week of November 2013 and was completed at the start of February 2014, including 15 days Christmas break.