...build a mez­za­nine

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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! >>

Fine fin­ishes

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)

Cur­tains in front of the cup­boards keep pots and pans out of sight. Pretty crock­ery is dis­played on open shelves.

Wilna bought the French doors off the kitchen for R500 from a builder in Robert­son who had re­claimed them from an old house.

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