34 Union Street - a really nice place to call home,
but a few things need fixing. AHB March 2021

For the longer but unillustrated list CLICK

We started life at 34 Union Street with more than our fair share of problems. Protracted delays in completion led to owners signing off in desperation simply to move in, and promises and undertakings that became worthless when both the developer and the builder folded their tents, moved to new pastures and set about more bastardry.

Our community went on with the host of minor defects overwhelmed by very significant problems that are almost behind us at last. In this document we avoid the major issues and look at some small things overlooked, but easy to fix and with a significant return in appearance. Many are remnants of the original construction, most from the poor workmanship of subsequent repairers.

At relatively low cost we can make a substantial improvement to the enjoyment of living in our building. Let's start at the back of the car park with some remnants.

Rear lift entrance, ground floor.

A strip of the concrete paving immediately outside the back lift, car park entrance left unfinished by the original builder contributes to an atmosphere of grey gloominess that extends to the courtyard exit.

Fixing the rough concrete is easy, then make the courtyard exit a bit nicer by installing a skinny wall of 15mm ply fastened to the car park cage and not extending beyond the cage upright.

Paint it and the concrete walls surrounding the lift exit a pleasant shade of ???? (a gay sunny colour), make the lighting brighter and it would look so much nicer.

Some thought could be given to an appropriate pavement treatment, and while we're here why does the lift still have the industrial wall padding installed when building materials were being transported a couple of years back?

Outside the lift

Cost estimate:

Painting (optional)$1,000
Fix concrete$100
Thin wall. Materials and fixing$250


Looking out to the courtyard. The green lines indicate the location of the "thin wall"

Now move to the front end of our car park where there are some jobs remaining from 2011 and a bit of carelessness that could be easily attended to.

Move to the front

Near the entrance are a number of spots yellow-taped as safety hazards. The largest are the two cast iron and concrete covers to an underground pit. They have been opened and when replaced there was no check for obstructions to stop them closing properly. An edge of each of two covers is raised about a centimetre and constitutes a safety hazard. The remedy - lift the lids, clean the obstruction, replace the lid and remove the yellow tape.

Near the street line and close to the coffee shop is another yellow-taped depression caused by a badly fitted, small cast iron access cover. It is ugly and collects dirt but again the remedy is simple. Either cut out the poorly fitted original and install it level with the paving surface or get a new one and install it over the depressed existing cover.

Cost estimate $200 max

The yellow capped access shown in this pic can be easily lowered to the pavement level at a cost of $2 plus a bit of sanding time I will contribute at no cost. There is a similar access port with a brass cap almost in the centre of the driveway that needs a bit more exploration before it too can be lowered.

And now to the real mess

Our next job is the heavily trafficked route from the lobby to the carpark then into the front stairs up to Levels 1 and above.

You leave the lobby through a doorway with an aluminium framed glass door. If you look back you may notice it is a bit shabby and light at the lower edge reveals that it is not fitted properly. The green line shows where day light shines through, only a minor bit of adjusting needed to fix that.

The route from here to Level 1 was heavily used by the original workers and retains most of the grime they left behind. It has been pressure cleaned unsuccessfully and should be given a stronger treatment with tri-sodium-phosphate.

Both the ground and Level 1 doors are shabby, don't close properly and probably fail to meet safety regulations.

1 Door adjacent to the lift. Daylight shows through the lower opening edge and requires minor adjustment

Incorporated into the work on the stairwell doors, probably less than 2 days work at max. $1,000
2 Upper and lower stairwell doors and surrounds need adjustment, cleaning and tidying of the concrete surrounds Included in the 2 days above.
3 Doors need painting ? See below
4 Stairway between L1 and the ground and possibly from L2 needs cleaning that will require special cleaning materials such as tri-sodium-phosphate. Very long standing matter. $500
5 Stairwell walls need cleaning or sanding. Probably incorporate into the other painting preparation jobs.
6 Stairwell walls need painting from L1 to ground
7 The wall from the lobby to the corner of the exit needs cleaning as far up as possible and painting to 2.4M Cleaning included in 1

Painting included in 8

8 Painting 3, 6 and 7 $2,000
Total More than the rear but low thousands IMHO $3,500
The lobby door

The stairwell entrance