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The choice is clear for these cool cabins

28 May 2020

Getting the perfect clear finish on any project can be time consuming and frustrating. When you’re constructing about 15 portable and re-usable cabins a week to be used as everything from home offices and emergency housing to Covid-19 isolation and testing facilities, you also need a product that is cost effective, easy to apply and can stand up to regular deep cleaning.

Sean Lett owns Affordable Space Solutions which builds the re-usable units for several Room Mate Cabins franchises right around the country. The cabin interior surfaces are built with Redline Ply, a nicely grained plywood.

“We use ply on the walls because they have to stand up to being winched on to a trailer when they’re moved. The clear finish brings the grain right up and makes them look really good,” Sean says.

Some time ago, at the request of a client, Affordable Space Solutions made the switch to Resene Aquaclear for finishing one particular cabin order and they’ve never looked back.

“We just found it way better. Resene Aquaclear doesn’t fluff up, it goes on really nice and smooth. It goes a lot further – the spread is better. The aroma isn’t bad and it’s cost competitive.

“The cabins are rented so when we get them back they get a good wipe down with sugar soap and disinfectant. We find the Aquaclear finish holds up really well to the cleaning. It doesn’t go rough.”

Sean’s tips for getting a perfect smooth clear finish are to first make sure the surface is clean and free of any dust. Apply the first coat and allow two to three hours dry time, give the surface a rally light sand, then wipe it down or vacuum the surface to remove any dust or particles before applying a second coat.

“Two coats is probably ample, but we do use three to get that really smooth finish.”

And that smooth, durable finish is in more demand than ever as the portable cabins go out to all kinds of essential services that have been operating during the Covid-19 lockdown, including DHBs, police and Oranga Tamariki.

But Sean says they are also in increasing demand on the home front, as more and more people adapt to working from home and find they need additional space, either for the home office or as storage units.

“I was supposed to be semi-retired! This was supposed to be a hobby, but we’ve turned out almost 750 cabins in the past couple of years.”

Constructing these petit rentable cabins may have started as a hobby, but they have certainly kept Sean busy through his business Affordable Space Solutions. To get a similar look for the exterior of your home or shed, go for weatherboard cladding in Resene Villa White trimmed in Resene All Black.

Inside, the cabins are finished with timber protected with Resene Aquaclear.

To learn more about Room Mate Cabins, visit their website.