Wellington seniors Bill and Marie decided to look for a team of professionals to “handle all the hassles” when they relocated.
Managing a renovation project can be daunting, which is why Wellington seniors Bill and Marie decided to look for a team of professionals to “handle all the hassles” when they relocated to a well-established Levin home that had been in the family for many years. “We had an extensive list of alterations we needed to make and went to the Home Show in Palmerston North in search of inspiration.”
With various options available they were recommended Refresh Renovations franchisees Wayne and Anna Gordon. “Anna made an instant impression on us and we liked the look of Wayne. He visited us to discuss the project and from then on we were never disappointed. His communication skills, organisation, empathy and unflappability were simply superb!” That said, Bill left nothing to chance, visiting a previous project of Wayne’s where they were impressed with the standard of workmanship.
Over the years minor alterations had been carried out on the Levin house which had been built in 1959 by Marie’s parents, who also created two acres of magnificent gardens to which she has added another acre and which more than fills in her days! But the time had come for extensive work on the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and lounge area. “The home had been well cared for and maintained over the years so it was primarily about updating the style and making the house warmer and more comfortable,” says Wayne.
The renovation timeframe
The time frame was set at 3 months which was dictated by the sale of the clients’ city house and the Christmas holiday season. The pressure mounted when the Wellington house sale closed earlier than anticipated. “Getting completed to a liveable standard was a challenge,” says Wayne, “It was all hands to the pump but we got there. Moving-in day was epic!”
Working with a house renovation designer
Wayne and Anna work with a local designer. There’s a reason for this, he says. “Sometimes design companies will suggest they can manage the process remotely. That may be so, but I prefer to introduce our clients to the designer personally and let them get a feel for whether or not the designer ‘gets’ them and understands what they want to achieve.” Wayne also introduced all the trades-people involved, many of whom have been part of his team for five years or more and share Wayne’s view that the project is not just a building site, “It’s the client’s home.” Bill says they were a great bunch who often came up with very innovative suggestions.
Drawing up the house renovation plans
Having outlined what they wanted done, a series of plans were drawn up which, Bill says, “helped refine our ideas and make the decisions over whether to continue with a desired change or whether the price was too much. The documentation was terrific.” This aspect of the Refresh process is one Wayne finds extremely helpful. “The feasibility stage of getting concept designs done and estimates completed before there is any commitment to working drawings and building consent submissions, gives clients the opportunity to really define their budget and priorities. To me it’s irresponsible to encourage full working drawings or building consents before the scope of the project has been costed or a researched estimate completed.”
House renovation cost
In Levin the clients had one budget in mind; the estimate came to another. “About twice as high,” says Bill. Time for the hard decisions. Ultimately this meant sacrificing some of the items on their wish list while staying with top quality materials. The decorative cornices were a case in point. They were different throughout the house but having new profiles custom-made would be expensive; instead they opted for a Gib-Cove product with details that blended well with the different areas. Bill and Marie also reluctantly decided double glazing throughout was a step too far. A basic contract around $160,000 was agreed with an additional spend on flooring and some furnishings.
Home renovation learnings and the final result
So would they have done anything differently? “Hired a container and put everything in the house into it!” says Marie. “A building project generates a surprising amount of dust and cleaning furniture and furnishings can be a chore even when the team working on it take great care.”
Essentially almost the entire interior of the home was renovated and Marie and Bill are delighted with the outcome. “Naturally there are other things we’d like to do but we need to draw breath and enjoy our refurbished home before going any further.”
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