They were after a permanent solution for a shared family space. Cameron Ironside from Refresh Renovations Tauranga helped them to convert their underused garage space to a multipurpose rumpus room along with large storage space, a designated space for band practice and a laundry.
WORDS Patricia Moore
Move house or make better use of the space under your existing roof? It’s a question facing a lot of homeowners today. But, as Bay of Plenty Refresh Renovations franchisee Cameron Ironside explains, for many people the answer is simple. “Use the garage; It’s becoming a popular option. It already has a roof, walls and flooring and, in Tauranga, consent is not required - saving time and money - unless it’s to be used as a sleeping area or kitchen or a bathroom is being added. Garages are ideal for relatively low-cost additions.”
Cameron recently completed a garage conversion in popular Papamoa and, what had been an underused space incorporating the laundry - essentially an area for abandoning anything and everything - has been repurposed as a rumpus room with large amounts of storage and, a prime requirement for the homeowner, a designated space for his band to practice.
The homeowners had found Refresh through their web research and explain “They looked like a very professional company who’ve had lots of experience.” They were after a permanent solution for a shared family space and the design had to include replacing the existing garage door and work out what to do about a window, visible on entering the property, which would wind up in a newly created cupboard!
There’s a solution for everything; in the case of the window, it involved removing it then filling the space left in the wall. “Sourcing bricks was an interesting challenge,” says Cameron. “The original bricks are not made any more so we had to try and source existing stocks. Our client was able to find a match in Auckland but when they arrived it became clear the ‘new’ bricks would need considerable weathering before they matched those already on the house. We solved this by taking bricks from the side of the house that’s not visible from the street, using them to fill the window gap, then putting the new, unweathered bricks into the hole we’d cut on the side. Very happy clients!” Removing the garage door also left a hole to be filled but Cameron was able to source a double expanding, double glazed, ranch slider to fill the space.
The use of plywood adds a unique touch to the conversion. “The homeowners were after something different and I suggested ply cladding and doors which they loved. It gives a really natural, warm feel to the space – and it appears to have some good acoustic qualities – something we only discovered when the band started jamming in the finished room.” Working with ply – in this case, standard high-quality plywood – was another challenge for the Refresh team. “While it’s visually interesting making sure it stays true, doesn’t warp, on the sliding doors was a bit of a challenge,” says Cameron.
The clients opted for a hard-wearing vinyl in the laundry and as an easy-clean path to the larger cupboard, with quality carpet in the rest of the space.
The project took a little longer than the two weeks originally planned and, with the additional brickwork and flooring choices, came in slightly over $30,000. But what a result. There’s space for everything behind those ply facades; a dividing wall separates the laundry with a cavity slider blocking any noise, while also allowing easy access from the rumpus room to the fridge. And to demonstrate how truly multi-purpose the space has become, the new fit out includes a cupboard large enough to house the client’s electric bike while charging.
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