Speed, safety, and accuracy – those are the three biggest considerations on a building site, especially one as complex and exciting as this project, the restoration and expansion of Bungendore’s historic hotel.
Located on the town’s main street and just a few km from Canberra, the hotel dates back to 1880 and has been almost completely rebuilt and restored in the last couple of years. Owner Richard Harry is a Bungendore local and says he always had his eye on the property in case it ever came on the market.
“We never thought we’d get it,” he says, adding that they already owned some property in the town. “We’ve had a farm down the road for just under 20 years, and we’ve got the other pub down the road as well.”
However, despite knowing the old hotel, Harry says he initially didn’t understand how much work was needed to be done on the building.
The original plan was to continue to run the hotel as usual while renovations were planned and drawings were done, but one week after the sale was settled, COVID happened, so Harry decided that since they couldn’t trade as a hotel, it made sense to start the work immediately.
Between various council challenges, COVID and securing the right builder – which ended up being Trend Building Solutions, the project took much longer than anticipated, with the reopening occurring just recently, in 2023.
“By the time we pulled our first beer, it was about three years and three months from when we purchased the property,” says Harry.
Owner of Trend Building Solutions, Brad Reeves, says that working on the hotel renovation was a great project to be involved with. Based in Bungendore, so also a local, Reeves says this was the first of Harry’s projects his team worked on, but they have many more planned for the future.
The Trend team prides itself on being open to new ideas, which is why they wanted to use Ramset’s FrameBoss XPM powder-actuated tool for the project. With the whole rear of the old pub being demolished and rebuilt, there were a lot of new frames to be installed – and speed was of the essence, in order to meet the tight timeline. Reeves says that FrameBoss made a big difference to the efficiency of the project.
“The best thing that we like about it is speed,” he says. “You can just quickly grab it out of your trailer, and whether you have to shoot one nail, 10 nails, or 100 nails, you don’t have to worry about extension leads or hoses or batteries or anything like that.”
“You can just grab it, plug your powder-actuated charges in and shoot away. And the fact that it holds 10 nails at a time is great.”
Trend Building Solutions has a background of constructing multi-residential projects, often 50 townhouses at a time, which involves a lot of framework, and why they appreciate FrameBoss.
“As everyone knows, time is money,” says Reeves. “So, the faster we can go, the better it is for everyone. So having FrameBoss with us has been a real game changer and allowed us to get through a lot of the framing faster and more efficiently.”
The Bungendore Hotel project involved fixing a variety of surfaces, including century-old timber beams, steel, and concrete – all of which were within the capability of the FrameBoss.
“We can use FrameBoss into steel as well, which is great,” says Reeves. “That’s the other benefit of it. It can do concrete, it can do steel, it can do large nails down to small nails; it has a big range.”
As the project neared completion, both men say they are excited about the finished product.
“It’s looking brilliant,” says Harry. “It will be a beautiful pub; we’re very excited, we know exactly what it’s going to look like, what food we are going to serve, and what drinks we will have. We know the vibe. We’re very excited about opening and the town have been fantastically patient with us.”
About the Ramset™ FrameBoss™ XPM
The Ramset™ FrameBoss™ XPM is a powder-actuated fixing system. This fully automatic powder actuated tool is capable of fixing 10 pins without the need to reload or cycle the tool. The magazine can be adjusted to lock into several positions to provide agility and can be used in confined spaces. It has 400 joules of impact energy and power adjustment and is suited for a wide variety of applications such as timber framing, formwork and fixing of steel track.