December 12, 2012
Silvana Longo chats with co-owner of Nostco Construction Peter Khatami and finds out his top three areas to go above and beyond building codes, and lays out crown molding installation
Q Since last summer, there have been at least 30 balconies constructed of tempered glass on 11 condo buildings in Toronto that have shattered. As a result, new regulations have been enforced but these interim building codes unfortunately do not apply to the hundreds of existing glass condo towers that already crowd the city’s skyline. This would suggest that in some cases, building to existing code isn’t always the safest route to take. Tell me about three instances where you find it absolutely essential to build above and beyond code to ensure a safer, higher quality outcome.
A First, we have to remember that the Building Code is a minimum set of standards and not the official set of standards for all construction. Unfortunately, we as designers have to rely on the Building Code to guide us in the selection of materials for construction. All materials in the Building Code have been subjected to extensive testing, and construction methods have become standardized. And since the designer does not have the means to test materials him/herself, a scenario is created wherein the minimum standard is all too often exercised as the standard. Policy makers are moving in the right direction, and taking proactive measures in order to fix these problems. I would say the three most vital areas of concern for me relating to the Building Code involve the sections of Structure, Insulation, and HVAC. In all three categories, I will always advise to build beyond minimum code requirements.
Q Now that we are heading into the holiday season, before decking the halls so to speak, let’s talk about some simple and cosmetic home improvement projects to give your home a stylish edge. One in particular would be installing crown molding. Could you layout the necessary steps involved in adding this feature? Could it be done over a weekend as a DIY project or would you recommend hiring a professional to ensure it is done properly?
A Honestly, it all depends on how your brain works. Some of us have a hard time understanding the angles required in order to cut and install crown molding successfully, especially when you get to 22.5 degree angles *if relevant*, and have to cut that upside down and backwards.
Otherwise it is easy, just follow these steps:
» With your crown molding, figure out which side is up and which side is down (which end touches the ceiling/wall).
» Determine the angle which you would like to capture (this varies) for the positioning of the crown molding on the wall. Mark this line both on the saw and on the wall. It is important that you position the molding the same way for every cut on the saw.
» Mark stud locations on the wall.
» Cut and install your first cut/section.
» Measure, cut, fit and install each successive piece.
» Cope joints as necessary.
» Sand and fill all of the splices/voids.
» Caulk the seams and prep for painting.
Peter is co-owner of Nostco Construction, a design/build, project management and contracting firm serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. With more than 10 years of industry experience, Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on behalf of his clients to transform vision to successful reality on every project. nostco.com
Filed under: FROM THE EXPERTS