This was just a prac­tise run, but we are very happy with the end re­sult. – Liza­mariè

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Home Renovations - - House -

To keep the project cost-ef­fec­tive, Sarel de­signed the cot­tage ac­cord­ing to the stan­dard size of the steel gird­ers (9m-long I-beams, 200 x 100mm in size). “It ba­si­cally works like a Mec­cano set,” he ex­plains. The I-beams that Sarel used are not too heavy – two peo­ple can eas­ily han­dle them. “One welder and a helper were able to erect the struc­ture and then my gar­den­ers fin­ished the job.” Foun­da­tion As with an or­di­nary brick house, a foun­da­tion must first be laid. For this type of con­struc­tion, the foun­da­tion con­sists of re­in­forced con­crete ‘pedestals’ on which the load-bear­ing cor­ners of the house rest. It’s very in­ex­pen­sive and re­quires lit­tle dig­ging. Walls The ex­te­rior walls are clad with Chro­madek roof sheet­ing that clips to­gether; this is used as is and no paint or plas­ter­ing is needed. And it’s main­te­nance-free with a 20-year war­ranty. The cou­ple chose grey sheet­ing, one of the stan­dard colours, for their cot­tage.

The in­te­rior pan­els con­sist of or­di­nary 16mm Su­pa­wood (MDF) boards. Liza­mariè says or­di­nary dry walling can also be used, but MDF is stronger and bet­ter for hang­ing items such as mir­rors and art­work. Poly­styrene and Sisala­tion were in­stalled be­tween the outer and in­ner pan­els for in­su­la­tion and sound-proof­ing. Floor­ing Mer­anti was used for the floor­ing. Sarel says this was cost-ef­fec­tive be­cause no fill­ing, screed or tiling was needed. The boards were sim­ply laid on top of the steel frame­work. Steel-frame con­struc­tion al­lows you to lay the floors once the frame­work is com­pleted and also to in­stall elec­tri­cal wiring, plugs and plumb­ing while ev­ery­thing is open and ac­ces­si­ble – very con­ve­nient if you need to add an­other plug point or tap at the last minute. The roof con­sists of Chro­madek sheet­ing; the ceil­ing is 30mm Isoboard poly­styrene which re­sem­bles tongue-and-groove pan­els. This ceil­ing also pro­vides in­su­la­tion with an ad­di­tional 50mm Master­line in­su­la­tion for sound-proof­ing. “If you’re not used to a metal roof, you can get quite a fright when it starts rain­ing!” says Liza­mariè with a chuckle.

The house has a gas geyser so no elec­tric­ity is needed for hot wa­ter.

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