Auckland homeowners had the aim to modernise their 1965 villa that had been home to two generations. After a recently attempted makeover of the bathroom, they realised that to achieve the scope of the project to the standard they wanted, they’d need an expert.
The Auckland suburb of New Windsor may not boast the imposing castle of the ‘old’ Windsor, but the ‘castles’ in this well-established, family-friendly neighbourhood are home to many long-term Aucklanders- like the owners of this New Windsor property, which was recently given a complete makeover by Refresh Renovations specialist Jim Gleeson.
The house was built in 1965 for just 3,900 pounds; today properties in the area sell for around a million dollars. It’s a single-level, 3 bed-room, iron-roofed brick house, with garage below, that’s been home to two generations of the same family for 50 plus years. Jim explains the project was aimed at upgrading the house before the retired owners handed the property over to their daughter. “Having recently tackled a makeover of the bathroom they realised to achieve the scope of the project to the standard they wanted, they’d need an expert.”
The owners moved out but kept an eye on progress – initially anyway, says Jim. “The man of the house came by daily to potter around then sit on a chair and watch the builders. However, a month after work began, I received an email saying they were leaving town for a holiday while the build was in progress but would back in time for inspection and handover. They explained they had ‘every confidence in the skill levels, abilities and workmanship of the onsite crew under Kane’s project management’ and they said, that, plus the clarity of the online client portal, made their decision to leave Auckland that much easier.”
“With the aim of modernising the house, our first step was taking the owners’ brief, having them meet with our architectural designers then making suggestions as we went through the feasibility stage of the Refresh process. We were then able to create concept drawings and estimates.”
Budget for the project was originally in the vicinity of $150 - $180K but with some scope creep it eventually came in at just over $200,000. “Change orders came in at 6.2% of the contract value.” says Jim, adding only 1% was unintentional with the remainder being owner-requested changes.
It was a project that involved every room in the house. In the lounge the fireplace was demolished and blocked off – the chimney was also demolished and the bricks were saved for re-use where possible; wall linings, scotia and pelmets were removed throughout the house and replaced with GIB-Cove®; new insulation was put into external walls; the ceilings were overlaid with Gib; the entrance to the dining area was widened and the carpet throughout the house removed revealing “a beautiful, pristine condition Matai floor.” It was too good to stay hidden and it was decided instead to sand and polyurethane it. Having dispensed with the fireplace, a heat pump with 1 room heat transfer unit was installed in the lounge. In the dining area a window removed and replaced with bi-fold doors leading out onto a private deck. And, decision that’s proved a winner was to combine 3 hall cupboards into one.
The kitchen is perhaps the best illustration of the Refresh makeover, says Jim. By demolishing the existing units, moving the hot water cylinder to a new location in the laundry and blocking off the existing entrance to the hallway it bears little resemblance to the original. In the bathroom – already given an update by the owners – Jim’s team fitted a heated towel rail, installed GIB-Cove® and repainted.
Smartstone Astral engineered stone was chosen for the kitchen worktops with Melamine doors and drawer fronts in Arctic White. Ceilings throughout the house are finished in Resene Quarter Alabaster, with Resene Quarter Truffle walls.
The dwelling’s exterior wasn’t overlooked in the makeover. The old iron roof was replaced with COLORSTEEL® Endura long-run iron; a new hardwood deck with steps and bench seat was built and an oriental lattice windbreak installed at the exposed end. The old block and paling fences were replaced and the dated-looking stair balustrade at the front door was removed and a new one installed; a spouting downpipe was relocated to allow for the new door onto the deck; repairs were carried out to the garage glasswork and all the external paintwork was freshened up in a palette featuring Resene Quarter Friar Grey on weatherboards with Resene Quarter Black White window frames and fascia, and Resene Gravel for the garage door and fence palings. The front door provides a splash of colour in Resene Pohutukawa.
Other than a few minor issues, there weren’t too many challenges, says Jim. “We had to work the roof and the repaint around the weather but otherwise the project went very well.”
In fact it was an on-budget and almost on-time project. Work on the property began on July 25th with a contract end date of October 19. “Practical completion was achieved on the 25th,”says Jim. “The variations extended the timeline by five days so, considering that, we met the timeframe!”And, perhaps more to the point, “the owners love everything about it.”
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