Renovation specialist Kim Reiche helped the homeowners of this 1970’s a-frame bach convert it into their forever home!
WORDS Raul Sharma
Helen and David, homeowners of this 1970’s A-frame bach, wanted to convert it into their forever home. While the bones of the house were generally in good condition, the bathrooms, kitchen, and joinery needed a complete overhaul. So they contacted Refresh Renovations specialist Kim Reiche.
“I read about Refresh - they have project managers (that) manage everything. I knew that if I went with them it would all be coordinated. I wouldn’t be the one chasing people trying to get them to come. They had the architects, they had the builders, they had everything - the design team, the project managers...So, that’s why I chose Refresh.”
A new house design
Refresh provided both the design and build for the project and worked with GIB, Placemakers and Mastercraft Kitchens to supply top-quality products. Kim started by providing a design concept, then working drawings, moving onto the build when Helen and David were satisfied with the design phase.
“I always felt that we were with competent people who listened”, says Helen. “They brought in our vision and worked really hard to bring what was in my head out.”
I’d absolutely recommend Refresh to family and friends. We had a really good experience and everyone who’s seen the house has been really blown away.”
“Helen and David were fantastic and supportive of every situation and solution presented,” recalls Kim. “Many hours were spent considering every aspect of the concept and the final design detailing.”
“Our questions were answered straight away”, says David. “People were down here straight away. When we had any (questions) we could always meet here on site.”
“There were either texts or emails or phone calls”, explains Helen. “That was really important because we carried on working during the project. () And I know, talking to other people who have done projects, they didn’t have that and would be getting very frustrated because builders wouldn’t be getting back to them, project managers wouldn’t be getting back to them, and they didn’t know what was going on. We knew every single day everything that was going on and that was really good.”
During the renovation, Kim faced a lot of challenges. The large A-frame room structure, typical of the time, had no insulation. The floor had dropped off towards one corner and needed to be re-levelled - although, structurally, it was sound. The guttering needed upgrading as well, in order to cope with the large volumes of water the roof collected. A-frame homes also restrict the flexibility of water, waste services, and venting, so Kim had to create central ducts to accommodate this in areas that required it, i.e. the bathrooms and kitchen, and positioned them for the best access to these services while considering the angles and height constraints imposed by the A-frame roof and ceiling structure.
Additionally, new compliant stairs were installed with glass screen balustrading to maximise light. The team installed four skylights to help with the light, which simultaneously increased the views and assisted with ventilation in the apex of the home.
“The triangular windows presented interesting installation challenges,” says Kim, “as did the flashing requirements, which needed templating and customising. There were five in total, with access being tricky.”
Finally, all of the kitchen and bathroom cabinetry was custom made due to the angles of the roofline and the space implications.
“It’s a brilliant final outcome”, concludes Kim. “Helen and David were open to every suggestion and embraced the project. My favourite win was the increased height of the slider on the first level and the introduction of the additional triangle window above the slider at the gable-end. This opened up the whole scope from the river to the sky. Just lovely! New Zealand has such a stunning skyscape which is often forgotten or lost in design”
“Overall, I really enjoyed it. To the point that it was weird. After it was finished I missed it”, smiles Helen. “I missed the excitement of doing things. So that was a surprise, I didn’t think I would do that. Don’t get me wrong, we were glad to be in, but it left a hole. () I’d absolutely recommend Refresh to family and friends. We had a really good experience and everyone who’s seen the house has been really blown away.”
Thinking of renovating?
If you would like to get started on your own renovation project, get in touch with a Refresh Renovations specialist today for a completely free consultation!