Feature Project - Off-Site build an easy Solution to replace quake damaged home
Georgina Pearce is a very happy woman. She has just moved into her new relocatable house supplied by Laing Properties. It has been relocated to the site of her old house, which was written off in the February 22, 2011 earthquake.
"It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant," enthuses Georgina over her new 95m² Mamaku house, one of Laing Properties' range of new relocatable houses. "It's sunny, it's bright and it's just so warm compared with my old house, thanks to double glazing, and it is very well finished."
Pearce says she was also impressed by the speed with which it was constructed and its affordability, compared to that of getting a conventional house built.
"If I had chosen to get a conventional house built rather than a relocatable house, it would have been much smaller, more like a granny flat, but i have a proper three bed-roomed family home."
The quality of Laing's customer service also impressed Pearce.
"Laing Properties went out of their way to help me. Nothing was a hassle for them at all. They are one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. They are wonderful people."
Pearce's comments are music to the ears of Laing Properties owner Grant Laing.
The house his company supplied her could well serve as a template for other people who have TC3-zoned sections where their houses have been written off.
"With TC3-zoned land, lighter weight structures are recommend and special foundations are normally required. Both these factors tend to rule out conventional houses with brick veneers and heavy concrete foundations,
"This is an ideal solution for people with a red stickered house who don't want to shift away from where they live but need a new house," he says.
"It is also an ideal opportunity for anyone who is considering building a new house on a section in the city which is not part of a subdivision.
The story of Georgina Pearce's new house began in November 2011, when her son, Alan, who already has a working relationship with Laing Properties, suggested to her that she look at buying a new relocatable house to replace her 1920's bungalow in Burwood.
Pearce had opted to take an insurance payout from Lumleys covering her house, rather than move away from the property.
The Mamaku house, which wasjust slightly larger than her quke damaged house, fitted her needs and budget exactly.
With the house that she wanted chosen and a contract signed in December 2011 with Laing properties, a site-specific geotechnical report was prepared on her section.
This recommended the use of a gravel raft foundation installed in conjunction with timber piles, which also better suited the timber floor of the house.
Building consent for the foundation was issued in late July and foundation construction began in August.
By this time, the house was already under construction in Laing's yard in Sockburn using registered Master Builders.
This is one of the keys to the speed of construction of new relocatable houses, Laing says.
"With a conventional house you can not begin construction of the new house itself until the site consent is obtained. However, with our houses, the houses themselves have pre-approved building consents, so we can begin building the house off site. It can be moved onto the foundations complete as soon as they are finished."
The house was delivered on September 14th and, by the end of the month, the decks, steps and services were all installed and connected and the house was ready for occupation.
"Compared with building a conventional house, the client saves at least three months in construction time. Georgina would have had to wait until at least Christmas if she had had a conventional house built."
His company is happy to work with any property owners who cash settle with their insurer and have the ability to manage their own project, or insurance company-appointed project managers covering quake rebuilds. Alternatively, Laing Properties staff have the skills to handle the entire project on behalf of the section or home owner.