The joinery and windows were installed with the same precision because timber, with its susceptibility to the elements, wants to move around, not offering much tolerance.
The sloping windows on the northern and southern sides line up at the same angles of the buttresses. Michael says that when installed, they were only a millimetre out from one end to the other.
Capital Construction also formed and poured all the concrete benches and vanity tops on site. ‘Unless you’ve done it you don’t realise how difficult it is to get right,’ Michael says.
The key is getting the right mix and the right vibration on the mix so there aren’t any air pockets and it’s all solid concrete.
Michael’s 40 years’ building experience, 34 years running his own company, proved crucial to the project’s success. It may be one thing to be open to a challenge – it’s another to execute it well.
Planning, accurate cost and time estimation, a clear procurement program and good communication with both architect and client are vital, he explains. ‘Your program’s got to be right,’ he says. ‘You’ve got to look far enough ahead so on this day here, we’re going to need this; it’s going to take this amount of time to organise. I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and it takes a while to understand all those sorts of requirements.’
The client and project architect attended site meetings every fortnight, and while he admits to some creative tensions along the way, any issues were ironed out.
According to Michael, this project could not have been completed to the high standard it was without the contribution made by his team – the carpenters, apprentices, the foreman and project manager – whose experience, patience and knowledge made this project the home that it is.
For the two apprentices, it must have been a huge learning experience. ‘It was a good learning experience for everyone,’ Michael says, laughing.