In this renovation, the rocky road to renovation was smoothed by the expert oversight of a project manager well versed in fixing the tricky bits.
WORDS Joanna Mathers PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie
The Tarrants (Stephen, Kim and three teenage children) moved into their expansive 1970s home in early 2010.
The large home with five-to-six bedrooms (depending on how the final space was used) and expansive garden complete with swimming pool, was the perfect fit for the family at the time.
It was spacious and well-kept, albeit somewhat dated in the décor department.
While the home served the family well for three years, as the kids got older and started planning on moving out, Stephen and Kim realised that the large home would be too big for just the two of them.
They decided they would like to downsize, and that they would renovate the home before putting it on the market.
They discussed what would need to be done with a real estate agent who understood the market, and then contacted Refresh Renovations to help them facilitate the project.
Enter a Refresh renovations specialist with years of experience. Who was in charge of overseeing the renovation – ensuring that everything was achieved in a timely manner and helping to smooth over any of the unexpected hurdles that came up during the redo.
“The Tarrants really wanted to bring the layout up-to-date,” says the renovations specialist. “The kitchen needed to be replaced, and the bathrooms needed a lot of work as well. It was a really substantial project.”
Kim Tarrant says that she was very reassured by the renovation specialists professionalism from the very first meeting.
“We really wanted a project manager, as both Stephen and I were going to be working full-time throughout the renovation,” she says.
“The initial consultation was excellent – the renovation specialist explained everything in laypersons terms and we knew that there weren’t going to be any unexpected cost blowouts and that issues would be resolved as quickly as possible.”
The renovation specialist says that the home had lots of potential, but needed a lot of work in order to maximise this and align it with 21st-century tastes.
One of the simpler projects was cleaning and repainting of the interior walls to lighten up the space.
The renovation specialist says that the Resene paint Quarter Iron (“it is a unique shade; blue depending on the lighting,” says the renovation specialist) was chosen for the walls and felt that it has lifted the space and provided some much-needed freshness.
Carpeting and a new kitchen design
The home also needed to be recarpeted. A sandy-grey colour was used; this works well with the grey-blue walls and provides a practical yet attractive flooring solution in a home that’s built for family living. The kitchen revamp was one of the biggest projects in the renovation.
For this, the renovation specialist utilised services of kitchen experts Master Craft, a company that he’s worked with many times before and has great confidence in.
The design team at Master Craft drew up a couple of plans for the Tarrants; they quickly decided on a design that they felt worked best for them.
The new design has the same basic configurations as the previous kitchen, but features far more drawers and cupboards, as well as a new waterfall-edged breakfast bar, and dramatic stone countertop.
“The kitchen looks really great, the cabinetry is high-gloss white, and there is black vinyl on the floor. It’s a really dramatic contrast,” says the renovation specialist.
The bathrooms were another big project. The upstairs bathroom features a bath and shower; it was tiled from floor to ceiling with ceramic tiles, which were also halfway up the walls in the next-door toilet.
The en-suite originally had a lot of unnecessary storage space; this has been replaced by a large walk-in shower. There is also a new wall-hung vanity, and a glass mirror cabinet – floor to ceiling tiles also appear in this room. The small downstairs bathroom with shower was also updated with the same tiles and fittings as those upstairs.
Property maintenance and repairs
While the renovation was initially meant to take just six weeks, a few major issues arose throughout the course of the project. It transpired that internal pipes had been leaking through the upstairs floorboards, and some of the ceilings had to be replaced in the downstairs area. “It was pretty easy,” says the renovations specialist. “We had a good team of boys and they were able to replace the ceilings without too much trouble.”
There was also some wiring that wasn’t up to compliance standard in the kitchen area – the room needed to be rewired and a new switchboard installed.
The deck also provided a bit of a challenge for the renovation team.
Running along the entire back of the house and overlooking the spacious, fruit-tree laden garden and swimming pool, this was always going to be a key selling point of the home.
The intention was to just spruce it up a bit with paint, but closer inspection yielded up some serious safety issues, “The bolts that held the deck to the house had all but perished,” says the renovation specialist. “So we had to rebuild pretty much the whole thing.”
The new deck has been created out of kwila hardwood. There is a higher railing that is wide enough to rest a drink on. “When you’re outside on the deck you are usually relaxing or entertaining,” says the renovation specialist.
Bathrooms and kitchens can be the costliest component for any renovation.
The renovation specialist estimates that the finished cost for the main upstairs bathroom would be between $25-35,000 and the en-suite would be around the $25,000 mark.
The renovation specialist says the small downstairs bathroom cost between $15-20,000.
The kitchen was the most expensive room, at between $30-$40,000, including all the high-spec appliances.
The renovation specialist says the entire project would probably come in at around the $200,000 mark.
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This case study featured on page 50 of Issue 014 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.
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