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littlebitofkindness

A&A / Reconstruction of existing corner terrace

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This blueprint was created by an architect a long time ago when we first did A&A.

The blue print was based on an older blueprint, the architect did not check the blueprint for foundations. We find that the whole house is stuffy due to the lack of windows.

I inspected the whole house and found that the corners did not have pillars, I think the windows are small because the walls were for structural support and cannot anyhow hack for bigger window opening.

 

Is it possible to do the following?

1. Change location of the existing pillars

2. Change location of existing stairs

3. Add pillars to existing structural walls so that we can make the window opening bigger.

4. Change location of toilet

5. Convert car porch roof to balcony for both rooms

6. Convert attic to a normal level with more rooms

7. add a level 4 rooftop without those roof tiles for living space for things like rooftop BBQ. garden etc.

 

If the above is not possible, we are considering a teardown of the whole building for re-piling and construction.

Should we approach an architect first then find a builder or it works the other way also? What other documents do we need for consultation?

 

Refer to this imgur link for images (imgur dot com/a/UG3o0Jx)

The following images have been compressed by RenoTalk forum

Attic Plan.jpg

Front Rear Elevation.jpg

Level 1 Plan.jpg

Level 2 plan.jpg

Project Title.jpg

Right side view.jpg

Roof plan.jpg

Site Data.jpg

Edited by littlebitofkindness
 

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1 minute ago, mamamiasimmy said:

I think you need you sewerage plan as well as your structural drawings. approaching architect or builder will be good to gauge your cost to newly erect.

Hi! Thanks for your prompt reply!

Do you know where I can obtain these drawings?

 

Approaching architect and builder will incur consultation fee right?

 

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1 hour ago, littlebitofkindness said:

Hi! Thanks for your prompt reply!

Do you know where I can obtain these drawings?

 

Approaching architect and builder will incur consultation fee right?

go to BCA website and purchase the structural plans for your house. all houses would have the plans lodged with BCA but you need to pay for them to do the search and then buy the PDF plans. from there you can see where the structural elements (beams, columns, foundation) are and then decide what can or cannot be done. even if you are going to tear down, these plans would still be needed so no harm buying them now.

the sewerage interpretation plans and drainage interpretation plans can be purchased from PUB. but if you are not planning to tear down and rebuilt now, I don't think you need them at this point.

Edited by snoozee
 

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most likely your columns (pillars) for your house are hidden away as they are flushed with the wall thickness so you don't see them.

1. not possible to change location of existing pillars are they are cast with the beams for the floor and ceiling.

2. stairs usually are structural elements which are tied back to the floors. though it is possible to change, it would mean hacking quite a bit of the floor as well.

3. usually walls are not structural components. so depending on where the columns are located, you could make bigger windows

4. changing toilet location could be possible. but you will need to run new sewage pipes on the storey below for the new location. also for toilets, when a new building is constructed, the toilet floor is cast with a lower level then the bedrooms. eg: 50mm height difference. but if you are going to shift your toilet to another area where it was meant to be a room, then your toilet floor would be at the same level as the rooms. so to prevent flooding of the rooms in the event of leaks, you may need to build a kerb at the entrance or at least at the shower areas.

5. changing car porch roof to balcony is possible.

6. an attic can't be converted to a normal level. you will still be constrained by the envelope control of URA which has a 45 degree springing line on both ends of the building for the attic. unless your house is in a 3 storey landed zone then you can do it.

7. your house is a semi-d. why you want to have a roof top area? yes, you can convert it to a roof top terrace but it would also cost more due to needing to cast RC floors, etc. then you also need to put in railings, additional staircase (eats into the attic floor area) for the roof top terrace. honestly speaking, ask yourself if you want to lug the charcoal, raw food all the way up to the roof top for a BBQ when you could do it in your first storey garden/yard. a semi-d is different from an inter-terrace house where having a roof top area makes more sense since the inter-terrace does not have the extra land at the side for garden, BBQ, etc.

looking for either an architect or builder first doesn't really matter if you are seeking opinions. but if you are going to rebuilt, my suggestion is to go for an architect first unless you are lucky enough to find a good and honest builder whose architect can design the house based on what you require. most builder's houses would be based on a "standard" template from their architects. But if you want something different, an architect would be preferred but you would need to pay for this additional service.

 

edit: your house is in a plot ration 1.4 zone so you can technically build up to 3.5 storeys. so your current attic storey could be converted into a normal 3 storey and if you want, add on another attic on top or like what you had wanted, add on a roof terrace/garden on top. but you may need to add structural elements (new foundation, etc) to support the weight of the new RC roof terrace

Edited by snoozee
 

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2 hours ago, littlebitofkindness said:

This blueprint was created by an architect a long time ago when we first did A&A.

The blue print was based on an older blueprint, the architect did not check the blueprint for foundations. We find that the whole house is stuffy due to the lack of windows.

I inspected the whole house and found that the corners did not have pillars, I think the windows are small because the walls were for structural support and cannot anyhow hack for bigger window opening.

 

Is it possible to do the following?

1. Change location of the existing pillars

2. Change location of existing stairs

3. Add pillars to existing structural walls so that we can make the window opening bigger.

4. Change location of toilet

5. Convert car porch roof to balcony for both rooms

6. Convert attic to a normal level with more rooms

7. add a level 4 rooftop without those roof tiles for living space for things like rooftop BBQ. garden etc.

 

Hi,

1) Technically it is always possible to change location of existing pillars/columns, just that it involves massive amount of work (temporarily prop up the existing slabs when you demolish the old columns/beams and recast new ones at different locations). However this involves a lot of work and it never cost effective to do so for an existing house.

2) It is also possible to do, but changing staircase position is also considered as major work as it involves hacking away openings in the slab where the new staircase is going to be, casting new beams/columns to support it. Not cost effective. The advice when doing A&A is to maintain the position of the staircase and design around it to save costs.

3) It is very unlikely that the original structure design is based on a system of structural walls rather than column system as it uses more materials and are not cost effective to do so. It looks like the position of the columns are indicated on the drawings drawn by your previous architect. However, architecture drawings may not be accurate when it comes to structure. As what snoozee has mentioned above, just go to the BCA website and purchase the structural plans to confirm. Once the actual positions of the columns are established, you can then tell which windows/openings can be enlarged etc.

4) Yes toilet location can change. New waterproofing, new piping everything will have to be done. It is cheaper/easier to change toilet positions for 2nd storey and above. 1st storey shifting of toilet position will involve more work as you will need to hack the 1st storey slab to rerun the pipes to the existing IC (Inspection Chamber). 2nd storey will just involve coring a new hole for the sanitary discharge pipes.

5) Based on the drawing, it is unlikely that the carporch roof can be coverted to a carporch balcony. Reason being that design of the roof - clay roof tiles and pitched shape would suggest likely it is built on a system of timber beams/rafters and it will not be possible to take the new loading of human traffic/railings etc. 

6) Your house is situated in a non-landed zone, meaning the maximum permissible height of 15m. The current height is only around 10.5m based on the drawings. Yes will be possible to redo the attic/extend it further to have taller normal rooms. This will involve redo-ing the entire roof though.

7) The URA regulation governing the usage of the attic roof as a roof terrace is that the height of the roof terrace has to be at least 3m below the maximum envelope height, meaning in your case, 15m-3m = 12m. Your 1st+2nd storey is 5950mm, only meaning that definitely possible to do a roof terrace on the top.

It sounds like what are considering very major work for the A&A/recon. The advice is always, if doing A&A/recon to keep it simpler. Once the scope of work crosses a threshold, it becomes more cost effective and better to simply just do a new erection. Further more you don't have the restrictions imposed by have to design around existing structure and you have the flexibility of having the house exactly the way you want. Also, the 1st storey water proofing, anti termite treatment, everything will be brand new and could save you headaches in the long run.

And nope, consulting architects/builders typically don't incur any fees :)

Edited by IceEyez
 

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from your house plans. the pink highlights are all your columns. there might be more but not shown in the plans.

the main problem for your house is that it is facing a east-west direction. In Singapore, the wind direction is mainly north-south which is why property agents always emphasize this point in their sales pitches. having a north-south facing house means the wind can come in/out from the front and in/out to the back providing cross ventilation.

your house is facing west and the un-detached side is facing the south. but your south is blocked by the other row of houses which are in the N-S orientation. your back of the house is facing another big development which is blocking the wind. So you can only hope for wind to come from your front of the house via the main road and gets diverted into your house.

looking at the plans, the existing windows for rooms are not that small except maybe the small window for your living room. with bigger windows, you may or may not improve the stuffiness you are experiencing now. changing the living room side windows to become full height sliding doors may help improve the ventilation for the living room but don't expect miracles as you are already disadvantaged geographically with your house orientation. you can try to sit on the outside of your house where your living room side windows are and see if there's any breeze or not. if there is some, then making a big opening may help. but do bear in mind that wind direction changes throughout the year. having some breeze now doesn't mean it would happen throughout the year.

2020-07-30_14-06-26.jpg

 

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