What started as a simple little ‘fix-a- hole-in-the-wall’ job turned into a three-stage general makeover.
“It all started with my husband falling down the stairs and knocking a great big hole in the wall,” recalls Ann Northover. Luckily, Mark was fine after the tumble, but the plasterboard needed repairing and the project evolved from there. Along with this, the couple was also interested in updating their kitchen and its layout.
When Jim Gleeson from Refresh Renovations was called onto the scene to inspect the damage and assess the necessary work, he noticed a few small-scale leaks around the atrium roof windows and other problems around the home. Jim and his team investigated the leaks and discussed their findings and suggestions with Ann and Mark.
Jim explains: “The leaks around the roof and windows could easily have been missed, but any kind of moisture problem really needs to be addressed first, before other renovation work is done. It’s really a way of protecting your property asset and ensuring than any other work we do will stand the test of time and not be affected or damaged by moisture a few years down the track.”
The plan that Jim and his team worked out with Ann and Mark includes renovation work in three phases. A staged approach makes the work more ‘bearable’ in terms of living in the house while building work is being carried out, and it also helps to manage the renovation budget and cash flow. By working in stages, each milestone can be tackled and completed separately. Refresh uses a trusted process that includes a step to look at the concept and feasibility of your project. During this stage, the team identifies risks and constraints, and provides project cost estimates based on average costs.
“We were looking for a specialist who could make recommendations, and a company where we could have one contact person who would manage everything from there,” says Ann. “We found Refresh, and we haven’t looked back.” Good project management can help save time and money by making use of efficiencies and streamlining the whole renovation process.
Stage one of the project included a roof replacement with a new internal gutter membrane and parapet capping, and work on the atrium windows. The single pane glass was replaced with a tinted laminate that cuts the UV rays down by 65 per cent, protecting the new carpet and limiting heat gain and loss.
Ann and Mark had been dead keen on installing a heat pump but after the experts from Refresh analysed the needs and best solutions for their two-storey townhouse, they decided to go with a SmartVent system that lets them circulate fresh air throughout the house more cost-effectively. Additionally, a passive air vent was installed in one of the bedrooms that used to get particularly hot. This clever solution lets hot air escape in summer and can be closed in winter to keep the home warm. “The home ventilation system has made a huge difference, particularly in very humid weather. It makes the bedrooms – all of them are upstairs – a lot more comfortable. “
Work on stage two is underway with repairs to other windows – and the wall that was the original reason for contacting Refresh. New flooring will be installed and the walls newly lined and painted. And finally, stage three will see the transformation of the kitchen/dining/living space with improvements to the flow of the space and an updated interior design. Says Ann: “I’m looking forward to the new kitchen design. We are currently working through the material options and kitchen layout.”
Ann and Mark bought the house because they love its location in Ponsonby and its open and spacious feel inside. “Many people move out of the city when they are thinking about retiring, but we wanted to stay here so that our two daughters and the grandchildren could come and visit,” says Ann. “When you look at our house from the outside it seems small but when you step inside it really opens up.” It’s an inner-city gem – unassuming but remarkable – and with its recent makeover it’s more than ready to welcome family and friends.
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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.