Browse our renovation FAQ

Got a burning question on home renovations? Here’s a list of some Frequently Asked Questions and answers that home-owners often ask us. If there’s something else you’d like us to answer, or you want talk to us about your renovation, please get in touch. You can submit an enquiry or call 0800 33 60 33.

  • Why use Refresh for kitchens and bathrooms?

    Kitchens and bathrooms are the most complicated part of a house and involve the co-ordination of nearly all of the sub trades (e.g. designers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, cabinet installers, tilers etc.). The quality and cost of the project depends on effectively scheduling, briefing and managing these sub trades.

    Most kitchen and bathroom specialists focus on only one aspect (e.g. design services or the fittings and cabinetry), and leave the home owner to manage the rest of the building process and other specialist work required.

    Refresh helps take cost out by working with you to make all the decisions required to ensure a quality result is achieved for least hassle, and co-ordinating all required specialists.

  • Is Refresh going to cost more?

    No, Refresh is very cost effective. Because of our scale and industry partnerships we buy at a better rate than typical renovation builders and can therefore be more cost effective for our customers.

    Our focus on careful project management also saves significant time and money for our clients.  Most people who have undertaken renovations will have experienced delays and budget over runs due to the poor co-ordination or inconsistent briefing of sub trades.  Refresh addresses both of these areas with formal project management processes.

  • Is project management going to cost me more?

    Project management takes cost out of the project. By managing the entire project and having good processes we are able to take inefficiencies and costs out of the project and avoid those unexpected surprises.

  • Is Refresh right for me?

    While it might be a cliché, it’s true that for most New Zealanders their home is their most valuable asset. It’s crucial that the renovation specialists who work on them are professionals with a high level of expertise.

    Houses used to be fairly basic in their construction, but the products, systems and construction techniques that are used in today’s homes are far more complex. It’s now common to install double glazing, full home insulation, special purpose wall linings, advanced heating and ventilation systems, energy efficient appliances, home automation, etc., with many of these requiring highly trained specialist installers.

    The car industry is a good analogy. Features such as air conditioning, car audio systems, air bags, electric windows and traction control used to be expensive add-ons, but now they are standard. In the past people used to tune and service their own cars, but no one dreams of doing that these days, they take it to the professionals.

  • How do I prepare for a kitchen renovation?

    To get on your way to getting your new dream kitchen, start by gathering together ideas, designs, and your own thoughts to a new kitchen scrapbook. This might be a physical book with written, printed and cut out ideas. Or for the modern world a collection of weblinks in a favourites file. This step can take as long or as short as you like.

    Measure up the available space for the new kitchen. 

    You will need a professional measure later in the process however it is important to make a start on your design. The available space might include removal of walls and other building works like windows and doors. Measure as if these were already complete.

    Importantly also make a list of the appliances that you are intending to build into your new kitchen. Model numbers are usually enough to find the accurate dimensions online. Your new kitchen cabinets will need to be able to accommodate these whether they are new or recycled from your current kitchen.

  • What else should I do while insulating my home?

    Re-cladding your house is a surprisingly viable option which can significantly increase the value of your home. Additionaly while the cladding is off, you will have the opportunity to address other aspects of a renovation, (such as insulation, wiring, plumbing etc) in a much more cost effective way. The savings you made on the other sub-trades because you've got the cladding off go a long way towards covering the cost of re-cladding.

  • Variations

    One of the aspects of renovations which makes them different from building a new home, is that there are some uncertainties before the project commences. For example, the condition of the existing framing, the wiring and the plumbing are difficult to establish prior to the linings being removed.  These uncertainties are just a reality of renovating.  However, because we are renovation specialists, we understand and are experienced with dealing with these and you can be assured we will deal with them in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.  On our quotes, we clearly identify any uncertainties.  We discuss with you the potential implications of these and the options for dealing with them to ensure you feel comfortable before we commence the project.