Hello from Wellington

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7 years 4 months ago #39240 by samandbuster
Hello, we've just moved here from overseas, and are looking to purchase a block.
We've seen one we like but it has a Lockwood "style" house on it, does anyone know if these are ok? Seems awful thin on the walls. I've read they can creak, and I'm worried because we have two small kids and I don't need them waking up in the night screaming about ghosts!

Thanks for any help

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7 years 4 months ago #502984 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Hello from Wellington
Hi and welcome! We have a Lockwood home, built it 38 years ago. Yes they do creak, but I consider it as flexing as they are pretty much earthquake proof! I think the newer ones are maybe less creakier, especially if built on a concrete pad. They don't creak unless someone walks around after they have settled down and cooled for the night! There is the occaisional crack of the timber but you probably wouldnt notice after awhile.
My children grew up in it without ever fearing ghosts!
The solid wood walls do give quite good thermal qualities, but check and see if it is under floor insulated, if a wooden floor. We have since double glazed ours and also added insulation when we reroofed 12 years ago. If yours was built more recently it may already have these as building codes have changed since 1978. You are welcome to visit us or send me a message if there are further questions.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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7 years 4 months ago #503004 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello from Wellington
Welcome to the forum. I lived in a Lockwood for a while as a child. All I remember about it is warmth and the colour of the timber - and yes, I suppose there was the wood creaking, but that was a friendly sort of sound.

Are ghosts your or your children's fears? Don't frighten the poor buggers!

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7 years 4 months ago #503005 by seatil
Replied by seatil on topic Hello from Wellington
We lived in a Fraemohs, which is constructed in a similar (but subtly different I presume) style to the lockwood. No issues with creaking, but Lockwood may be different.

I would caution you to get a very thorough building report from someone that's familiar with lockwood style homes, not just any old building inspector.

In our case there were two issues that we encountered. These issues weren't really the fault of the house per se, but more with additions made after the house was built.

One was that the concrete area around the house was laid a) too high and b) didn't slope properly away from the house in places. This meant that water could (and did) pool against the wooden exterior, causing bits to start rotting. We were able to remedy this by installing channeling around the whole house and getting bits of concrete relaid, but it was an expensive exercise (circa $20k).

The other issue we had was that a deck had been added to the house post-construction and hadn't been attached in the correct way for a house of this type. Again, this meant that water got held against the exterior wood for extended periods, causing rotting. We were able to get it repaired, but another expensive ($5k) job.

This sort of thing could happen with any house, but the design of the Fraemohs made it particularly difficult (and expensive) to rectify any rotting pieces of the exterior.

Beyond those issues our main niggles lay with the difficulty in really doing anything to the place. The interior walls were all solid wood, which makes it really easy to hang a wall mount TV, but on the flip side because the place was on a concrete pad and had open ceilings, there was nowhere to run new cabling and the house in general wasn't easy to customize.

Nice home, but I wouldn't do one again.

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7 years 4 months ago #503052 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic Hello from Wellington
We lived in one once - I'd agree that they make cracking noises (well ours were more crack-sounds than creaks) but you get used to it really, really quickly... and it becomes a non-issue. They are rather difficult/inflexible with respect to renovation/alteration - you can't just knock out a wall here or there to re-configure rooms. I think the all-wood look went a bit out of fashion with time and these days the new ones are often a mix of wood and plaster walls - and nowadays you can get them with white stained wood too (to improve the light/brightness inside). The new ones look very nice - and some folks have also painted the timber in the old ones white in places too (which looks quite nice).

I'd suggest you have a look at the Lockwood website to get an idea of what the new range looks like in comparison - as the changes reflect changes in taste/fashion over time.

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7 years 4 months ago #503053 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hello from Wellington
An older Lockwood is warm in comparison to some other houses of the same or older periods, but not that great by today's requirements, especially considering some people are building to a much higher insulation level than code minimum. It isn't easy to improve the insulation of most older houses, but for a Lockwood/Fraemohs it involves battening off inside and lining to create a cavity, and you then lose the benefit of thermal mass.
When code minimum insulation values were increased some time ago, the companies like Lockwood and Fraemohs lobbied to get the thermal mass of that construction recognised as a benefit that could balance lower insulation levels, and also to have the minimums kept low enough for them to comply.
They now have an R value of 2.11...

Personally, I'd only consider living in one for a relatively short term. But then, I'm living in a tiny portacom, and have been for a year now.:rolleyes:[:I]

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7 years 4 months ago #503058 by samandbuster
Replied by samandbuster on topic Hello from Wellington
Thank you everyone for your replies, lots of food for thought.

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7 years 4 months ago #503062 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Hello from Wellington
Hi we also have a Lockwood....it does crack occasionally but you don't notice. They are good in an earthquake...then they crack....we were initially sceptical about renovation but it is easier than traditional framing to add a window ....you can also gib the walls if you don't like the full wood look and create a feature wall. Thye are low maintenance very warm and dry.

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7 years 4 months ago #503065 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Hello from Wellington
It depends if its a genuine Lockwood or a lookalike; they are not the same thing.

We built a Lockwood in 1998 and it was a beautiful thing :D

A genuine Lockwood has an engineered locking system, where every piece fits together like a jigsaw, which makes the house both strong and flexible, hence their excellent reputation as "earthquake proof" Given that you are in the Wellington area that may be a point for consideration. Lookalikes have not necessarily have the same amount of engineering; A bit of tongue and groove does not a Lockwood make. A genuine Lockwood always has the name "Lockwood' over the laundry or similar door. If it doesn't have it, its not a Lockwood.
The early Lockwoods did creak but this was solved later by putting a film between the tongue and groove boards so that they could slide smoothly against each other, but I don't know the date this was brought in.
The thermal mass issue was a case of comparing apples with oranges and they had to get recognition of the intrinsic insulation of solid wood. We never found the house cold in spite of the double height ceilings, but of course the roof space was well insulated.
You can tell I am a fan and I would definitely buy another (genuine) one again, but nowadays I would probably paint the walls instead of varnishing. I visited a Lockwood that had been painted and it looked brilliant - very Cape Cod :D

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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