At the point when Adelaide homeowners Deb and David Osmond reached Refresh Renovations' Nielen Prince, they needed to make better use of the living space in their 1990s house in the suburb of Flagstaff Hill. They were thinking about transforming their twin garage into a multifunctional rumpus room where they and their two adult children could unwind, use the home gym, or watch TV. The brief later evolved into a three-pronged approach. The garage conversion, a pergola build, and landscaping repairs – all underway at the same time.
WORDS Persephone Nicholas
When Adelaide homeowners Deb and David Osmond contacted Refresh Renovations’ Nielen Prince, they wanted to create more living space in their 1990s house in the suburb of Flagstaff Hill. They were considering turning their double garage into a multifunctional rumpus room where they and their two adult children could relax and watch TV and use their home gym equipment too.
Nielen says the Osmonds’ original brief evolved during Refresh Renovations’ five-stage process to include the addition of a luxury pergola and alfresco area plus remedial works to the backyard. Transforming the old garage was relatively straightforward, he says, ‘We took out three roller doors, replaced two with aluminium sliding doors and one with a large window to bring in plenty of light. We also installed new luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring, which has a high-end look and is very low maintenance and durable, so the Osmonds’ could put their gym equipment on it.’
The Osmonds’ also wanted more from their outdoor space. ‘We had a really basic pergola that we never used and David said it would be nice to use that area more. We liked the idea of sitting outside on a hot summer’s night, relaxing and watching TV,’ says Deb. Nielen and his construction manager Geoff Munn visited the Osmonds’ home to inspect the site and discuss possibilities. Deb and David loved their fresh approach.
‘One of the most important decisions was deciding where to put the pergola. Deb and David wanted to be outside enjoying the garden all year round and Deb was keen to have the pergola in a private space, so she wouldn’t worry about being overlooked, and could easily walk out of the house with food and drinks. To allow for the pergola at the front of the house, while maintaining a level of privacy, we suggested opening up the study with a new door to give easy access. By doing this, the final decision was made to locate the new pergola at the front of the house, which made the most of their beautiful views,’ says Nielen.
He says it was satisfying working with clients who were open to new ideas.
‘They didn’t want to replace like with like. They definitely wanted an upgrade and bought into the whole concept of a pergola with rendered walls, a hard wood timber deck, lined ceilings with downlights and a ceiling fan. They chose a flat roof, which meant they could get a better finish within their budget. We had to get planning permission for it, but the end result was worth it.’
Deb couldn’t be happier with the finished space.
‘Geoff suggested a decked area with a beautiful roofline and a door into the house through the study. All their ideas have come to fruition and they were right about everything. It’s not just a pergola, it’s a whole alfresco area and we’ve really fallen in love with it,’ she says.
With three projects - the garage conversion, pergola build and landscaping repairs – all underway at the same time there was a lot happening at the Osmonds’ home. Nielen says it was the most efficient way of doing things.
‘Deb and David were out at work all day so the Refresh approach worked perfectly for them – they could get everything done at the same time and all through one person.’
Deb agrees that Nielen’s Refresh Renovations ‘one stop shop’ was the perfect solution.
‘We’re not handy people at all, we’re office workers. We had contacted other builders previously but they weren’t interested unless we were going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nielen was different. He turned up when he said he would and was always there if we needed him. We didn’t bother getting more quotes after we met Nielen and Geoff.’
She says working with Refresh Renovations guaranteed a successful outcome.
‘We wouldn’t have done it if we’d had to deal with all the different people ourselves – it would have done our heads in! Nielen and Geoff coordinated everything and if work had to stop for any reason, they kept in touch.’
Looking back on a project that came in on budget and delivered a great customer experience, Nielen says working with a design and construct company like Refresh Renovations is a smart decision for novice renovators.
‘Working with a good building company usually saves time as well as money. We try to limit the number of deliveries, which can be costly, throughout a project. We also book trades to make the most efficient use of their time. And we use our buying power to clients’ advantage.’
Deb and David say working with Nielen took the stress out of renovating and helped them create spaces they’ll enjoy for years to come.
‘The little bit of inconvenience, like having a skip in our driveway for a while, was well worth it for the end result. Our only regret is that we didn’t do it earlier. One day we hope to have grandkids and now our home has two more areas for them to enjoy.’
The focus of Refresh Renovations is on delivering excellent customer service and value by incorporating design and using world class systems and processes. If you're thinking of renovating or looking for a builder, talk to Refresh at 1800 33 60 33 or enquire online.
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