When Canadian residents Joy and Bill decided to renovate their New Zealand apartment from the other side of the globe, they enlisted the help of Refresh Renovations
WORDS Mina Phillips
Refresh’s processes and systems provided a welcome solution for Bill and Joy, the owners of this Tauranga apartment. They live in Canada but wanted to renovate the kitchen within their New Zealand apartment. Using the Refresh Renovations online customer portal, they were able to communicate their ideas and stay up-to-date with their renovation’s progress.
“Our main objective for the renovation project was to modernise the 20-year-old kitchen in the small apartment and to open up the space so that the kitchen was more functional and more appealing”, tells Bill. “The apartment is small; bigger than a studio apartment, but the kitchen and living areas are virtually one and the same.”
The small kitchen renovation
While Bill and Joy generally spend a few months each year in the apartment, the property mainly serves as a short term rental. So that they could continue renting the apartment out during Tauranga’s busy summer months, they wanted Refresh to carry out the renovation during the winter months.
“The coronavirus pandemic was just hitting, so we didn’t know if businesses would be able to function”, adds Bill. “But we decided to take a chance on Refresh Renovations.”
After discussing their ideas with Tauranga renovation specialists Peter Jenkins and Danielle Renèe, Bill and Joy “essentially handed the plans to Peter and Danielle”.
“We needed validation of the layout and approach, and needed the plans finalised”, explains Bill. “We wanted the apartment to be functional and comfortable for us - but also for tenants whenever it is rented.  Danielle was top-notch and we felt very comfortable with Refresh right away after meeting her.  We were able to continue the relationship with her and Peter via email and FaceTime and keep the process moving forward that way.”
Danielle and Peter oversaw the design of the project, put together a cost estimate and then, with Bill and Joy’s approval, moved on to the build stage of the renovation. Prioritising space efficiency and functionality, Danielle and Peter’s team removed the “L” shaped bench from the centre of the kitchen and living space, allowing it to become one space. This removal presented a challenge: the newly available floor space needed to be tiled to match the rest of the apartment. The problem was, the existing tiles were 20-years-old.
Redoing the kitchen
“We needed to replace six tiles where the "L" shaped bench had been removed, or else the clients would have had to re-tile the entire two-bedroom apartment!”, explains Danielle. “We found the last box our supplier could find in New Zealand. Removing the end of the "L" shaped bench and cabinetry made the apartment feel a lot bigger and the kitchen is so much more functional.”
[Danielle and Peter] did good work”, says Bill. “They kept us appraised of the progress of the project. Danielle definitely went out of the way to win our business by reliably staying in touch and by sincerely listening to our needs and concerns.”
When the four-week renovation was complete, Peter and Danielle scheduled a final review and project sign-off with a local friend of Bill and Joy. They also organised a Zoom video call meeting with Bill and Joy so that the pair could review the final result.
“We more or less gave Danielle and Peter the design, which included opening up the kitchen space to make it more functional and pleasant to use”, explains Bill. “It was a small project, but we’re very happy with the end result and never felt that there was any “cost creep” that occurred. We enjoyed working with Danielle and Peter. They’re a good team.”
Would you like to discuss your home renovation project?
Get in touch today for a free consultation with your local Refresh Renovations Specialist.