Thursday, August 1, 2013

Websites and social media we love

We love using the internet and social media for building inspiration.  Social media is also such a great way to keep track of what we find and these all have apps for your smart phone too.  Here's our favourites:

Dwell is an American architecture and design magazine and feature architecture and design from around the world.  Their own social media is also fantastic - you can find all their links on their website by clicking here.

Pinterest is our favourite site for keeping things we love in one place.  You can find our page here.

Houzz is my favourite and has great ideas for renovating, building and design.  You can choose to search by room or style.  They are also really active on their own social media.  They have so many fantastic photos that you can easily spend hours at a time looking at them.

Design Milk
Design Milk is fantastic for architecture, art, home and interiors.  Again, they're active on social media and also tweet really great photos that provide so much inspiration. 

Twitter and facebook
We love twitter and facebook for keeping in touch with people and for keeping up to date with the sites we follow, like the ones above.  You can find us on twitter here and facebook here.

Are there any others you like that we need to start following too?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Asia trips

We just got back from our honeymoon in Malaysia and Singapore.  We had a lovely time but building was never far from Andrew's mind, as you can see...

We saw some amazing buildings but only took photos of a few.  Posting these has also reminded me to post the photos from our Japan trip earlier this year where again Andrew took a lot of interest in the architecture.  I have lived in Japan so it was great to see it through new eyes too.

Lotus flower inspired ArtScience Museum

Marina Bay Sands Hotel - with a swimming pool at the very top!

Scaffolding, a little different from NZ style

Gardens of the Bay
If you look at the top left of the picture you'll see the vertical battens used over windows.  This seems to be used quite often for privacy in situations like this where this building is right on street level.


Very cool Japanese cladding - you can see the burnt timber method here.

Interesting entrance of a townhouse


Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima - one of the few buildings still standing after the bomb hit - here you can see the internal steel work.
Kyomizu temple in Kyoto - getting the floor down

A goose splice joint in the new floor

This is the scaffolding on the building with the new floor above.

Bracing under the temple close up
Same shot zoomed out

Todaiji in Nara - biggest wooden building in the word! All made without nails!
Andrew looking up at the complex joints and top brace beams

Main beams for the roof


Bottom and top rafters

 How big the main posts are!
Cool frosted glass on this building, and vertical battens down the side (in Nara)
  More battens being used to cover the windows with aircon and other bits that don't look so nice - Kyoto.

Tokyo Skytree under construction - now the tallest tower in the world and second tallest building in the world!  This picture makes it look much smaller than it really is.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

We've got a new name!! - Introducing AJ Oaks Building Limited!

We decided A Okay Building didn't reflect how awesome our work is, so we have changed our name to AJ Oaks Building Ltd. 

We considered a few different names, most of which were already taken, so we have decided to go for this because it is a shortened version of Andrew's name.  We will be getting our van and clothing rebranded soon so look out for us around town! 

Our new email address is  but the old A Okay one will still get you through to us in too.  Our website is currently being developed so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Newtown villa update

The villa we're doing up is very near completion - just a few finishing details to do and the furniture is being put in for staging it to sell.


Monday, June 25, 2012

What is sarking and scrim

If your home is close to or more than 100 years old, then it's likely it would have been orginally lined with sarking and scrim.
Sarking is short horizontal planks of wood.  It was used as part of the wall lining and also formed part of the bracing (now we use dwangs) in old houses.

Sarking itself isn't a problem, although if you want to install insulation from the inside you will have to take it out to get the insulation in.  Usually the planks are so old and thin they break (you can see a crack in the middle one below) so you can't usually put them back in.  That's not an issue though because you'd most likely want to reline with a plasterboard like GIB in which case you don't need the sarking.

Bracing is now restricted building work in New Zealand so if you are removing sarking you need to have new bracing calculations done by someone who holds the LBP (licensed building practitioner) design category and have new bracing installed by a LBP carpenter.  Most restricted building requires consent from your council so make sure to check with your local council or designer if consent is required.

Scrim is like a hessian sacking which went on top of the sarking (in the picture below this one is nailed in, you can see the nail in the middle bottom with what looks like ribbon).  The wallpaper was stuck on to the scrim.  Scrim is highly flammable and insurance companies often either won't cover or won't give full cover if you have scrim.  We suggest if you do find some you let your insurance company know right away as it is better to keep them informed rather than have your home burn down and then find out you don't have cover!

If you just want to remove the scrim and reline yourself you should check with your council if consent is required – if it is then it is very likely a LBP carpenter needs to do the work (in which case it may be worth considering spending slightly more to have insulation installed at the same time).

Wallpaper stuck to the scrim on the right

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Update on villa and moved doors

The painter has been in and finished the home where we moved the French doors.  It looks fantastic!

We're also getting along great with the villa too

Back bedroom



Front bedroom


 Lounge through to hallway