...build a mezzanine
When building a mezzanine level, it’s important to consult a structural engineer who will make sure the new floor is strong enough for the weight it needs to bear. Here’s what Wilna and her dad did:
• Two openings were made in the walls opposite each other for the installation of the I-beam which supports the floor.
• In the wall that runs parallel to the I-beam, holes were made for the crossbeams. The holes were interspersed with truss hangers to prevent the old barn wall from being weakened too much, especially above the windows.
• The crossbeams were spaced about 40cm apart; they fit into the holes or truss hangers on the one side and rest on the I-beam on the other side. Wilna says the crossbeams can be further apart than 40cm, but she wanted to make absolutely sure the mezzanine was safe. All the openings were bricked up afterwards.
• Floorboards that were laid on top of the crossbeams were sawn, one by one, and custom made to fit the crooked barn walls. The planks were arranged parallel to the I-beam and nailed to the wooden beams.
• Four steel square tubes (50mm x 50mm x 1m) were welded on top of the I-beam.
• Old bluegum poles from the farm were used as a banister and painted the same colour as the steel. It was attached to the steel pillars with tapping screws or tacks.
• The staircase was built before the banister was installed and it was shifted around until they found the perfect spot for it. Jaco and Wilna first wanted to install it on the left side of the mezzanine but because the roof is so low on the sides, they constantly bumped their heads – the middle of the floor was the only option! >>
Paint Beam and banister in Duram Weather Roof in Grey; floors in Weatherprufe Coatings Polyurethane Enamel in Smoke (021 557 9147, weatherprufe.co.za); exterior walls in Dulux Wallguard in Bleached Lichen Basins and taps CTM (0861 433 337, ctm.co.za) and Pennypinchers (021 927 5000, pennypinchers.co.za) Pendants Cash Crusaders (021 787 9800, cashcrusaders.co.za)
Wilna bought the French doors off the kitchen for R500 from a builder in Robertson who had reclaimed them from an old house.