Options For Undertaking Major Auckland House Renovations

Options For Undertaking Major House Renovations


Homeowners who live in the same house for a long time know how important it is to undergo a major house renovation project every now and then. Fixtures and decorations in a household are subject to the normal wear and tear that eventually makes them look old and outdated. Major renovation projects call for relatively big budgets therefore one of the most important things is choosing the builder. The project will have its own stresses but you do not want to endure any unnecessary additional distress caused by choosing a poor building company. You want the renovation to go as smoothly as possible so that you can enjoy the desired outcome you are willing to pay so much for.


Renovations - image vorakorn

Renovations – image vorakorn

One of the best methods to choose a good builder is to ask your friends and neighbours if they can recommend you someone they trust. This is a good idea because you can visit your friend and see for yourself what the builder can do.


If your friends can’t recommend you a good builder, you can do an online search for builders in your area. There are many business directories where you can find such information. Pick a few builders and contact them all, asking for a quotation on your project.


Try to be very specific in your briefing, so that the builders can understand exactly what needs to be done. If you only want to redo the kitchen and the bathroom, specify this. If you also want to repaint the whole house and perhaps organise the attic to use it as a gym, don’t forget to mention that either. If you want to change the configuration of your rooms, you could ask the builders to come up with their own creative ideas for creating the new living space.


Before sending out the quotation requests, do a little background check on the builders on your list. If you find bad reviews about any of them, you may want to wipe them off the list. Regarding their work experience, it is probably better to choose builders that already have an established reputation in your local market. However, there might be young and very talented builders, so you may want to give them a shot, too.


Ideally, you want to end up with three or four detailed quotations on yourmajor house renovation job. The next step is to meet each of them in person for an in-depth discussion about the way they see your project, the steps to be taken and what things they expect may get a bit tricky at some point. Ask the builders to show you samples of their work and to provide you a few references. You may also contact their former clients and ask them about their experience with the builder.


One thing to keep in mind when you are looking for a qualified builder to take your project you might want to look only at building firms that are members of the Association of Master Builders. This is because in order to become a member, a business has to adhere to and comply with some strict standards of quality. They also have strict rules concerning their customer service standards and they are also required to have a minimum level of insurance coverage. Therefore it is a better chance to find someone really good and trustworthy if you search this directory instead of looking in Yellow Pages or other similar catalogues.


House renovation builder - image marin

House renovation builder – image marin

After you choose your builder, prepare the agreement you both need to sign before starting the work. This agreement should contain all details regarding the works to be done, the steps of the project, the specifications of each task and the cost of each operation. The more specific you can be the better. For example, if you are having a new kitchen then specify the brand and model of the new appliances you want. If things are not clear from the very beginning, you may end up having to spend a lot more than you initial budget in order to have the job done. Misunderstandings can occur and hidden costs may appear, therefore you should try to minimise them as much as you can by being very specific in the contract.

If you are in Remuera, Grey Lynn, Epsom, Parnell or Ponsonby and want a house renovation Auckland has plenty of potential building companies. However not all of them are able to undertake big renovation works as some only build new homes on new sections. So look for renovation specialists like Repair & Restore. They carry out very high quality renovation jobs for their customers as this video shows.




If you have a major house renovation then following the advice above will make your building project less stressful and should bring about a much more satisfying outcome.

Building A New Eco Home in Auckland

Options for Building A New Home The Affordable, Eco-Modular Way

People who are thinking about new home construction would be wise to give the concept of eco-modular a thought or two. An eco-modular home is a pre-fab style home that is especially designed to be environmentally friendly. Many people use these types of homes for granny units, guest houses, beach or country houses; however, they are also perfectly good for use as a primary residence.

Floor plans for new Auckland homes

renjith krishnan

There are lots of benefits to making the eco-modular choice rather than pursuing traditional building techniques. In this article, we will outline these advantages. Read onto learn more.

You’ll be amazed by how quickly your new home will be ready for use. The home is actually built at the factory, disassembled, shipped to you and put back together again. This takes an amazingly short amount of time.

The materials used in an eco-modular home are environmentally friendly every step of the way. If you were to design an eco-friendly home on your own and locate sources for all of the environmentally friendly materials to be used, it would take you a while and cost you a pretty penny. Eco-friendly, pre-fab home builders have already done all that work for you. They source their materials in bulk, so they are able to get the best prices on truly innovative, attractive and durable building materials.

One example of an unusual, beautiful and popular renewable building material is bamboo flooring. This material is good looking, easy to take care of, affordable and very eco-friendly because bamboo is an entirely renewable source.

Choices in eco-friendly fixtures and appliances are made in advance. Choose from the top selections in the latest technology and innovations. For example, you can have your entire home outfitted with energy efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances to save energy and save you money.

All windows are double-paned and glazed for the utmost in temperature control and energy efficiency. Bathroom, kitchen and laundry areas are outfitted with water and energy saving fixtures and appliances.

Eco-modular homes are generally designed to make the most efficient use of space. This compact styling keeps building costs down and increases energy efficiency. Furthermore, it allows hopeful homeowners to make good use of less expensive and smaller lots.

It is very true that good things come in small packages, and eco-modular homes are no exception. They are good looking, space saving, energy saving and economical. Styles are many and varied and make it possible for people with a wide range of preferences to select just the right combination of characteristics to build the perfect new home.

When you choose the eco-modular way of building your new home, you can count on getting just what you want, affordably and in a timely manner. Once all selections and choices have been made, the home can be constructed, delivered and installed in a very short period of time. You won’t have to wait around, squandering money on rent, for your home owning dreams to come true.

You are sure to be happy living in your new home. This type of living is practical, affordable and easy care. Maintenance is usually very simple ant trouble free. A more compact home naturally takes less care, and the fact that eco-modular homes are constructed using top notch materials and construction methods makes care that much simpler and easier.

It’s easy to see that considering an eco-modular home as an option for building your new home is a very smart idea indeed. There is really no better way to construct a good looking, energy efficient, earth friendly, affordable new home.

Implementing Major Renovations For Older Homes in Auckland

Implementing Major Renovations For Older Homes in Auckland

There is a certain attraction in older home, as it can bring back memories of years gone by, and it usually offers advantages in better craftsmanship and more solid construction. The plaster cornice in the rooms is of a more classical nature, and the solid wood stairways and floors give a feeling of stability and charm, largely unknown in today’s construction. So it is not surprising that people want to carry out renovations on older homes to enjoy the benefits of modern life set in a stage of elegance and solidity.

However, older homes frequently will need more updating in order to bring them up to the current building standards besides having to repair old and damaged portions that have succumbed to age. The financial shock of such renovations can present challenges to bursting budgets too, as the costs mount up with such activity.

One contractor mentioned that people estimate about half of what it is really going to cost to perform renovations on an older home. It must be kept in mind too, that if you are attempting to restore the historical accuracy of a home, it will be more expensive than if you are simply renovating a home to upgrade the old structure with the new added features and infrastructure.

Renovating an older houseMost people will not go the restoration route, as it is just too expensive. Also, if your home is very old then there may be all sorts of covenants on it which can affect any work that you might want to undertake. Sometimes there are too many hurdles to cross to get approvals from historical societies and consent from local governments.

Renovation is the process chosen by most people, yet it can still be quite an adventure, as you will need expert professional help with the project. The usual process is to interview several renovation contractors, so you will be able to decide on the best one to work with on your new project.

The lowest bidder is not always the best company with whom to do business, as they may not have the resources to complete the job to your satisfaction. Be sure to get referrals from customers and any source you can think of in coming up with your determination, and be willing to pay for what you want.

A good design-build company will want to be in on the project from the very beginning, and they should be, as they need to hear your dreams and desires from the beginning. They can help to take your dream and put it on paper, not only to show you that it is possible, but to help you come up with a realistic budget for the project.

Many older homes have had water problems, just because of their age. A board here and a roof tile there let in water and, over the years after with some degree of neglect, you can have mould, then bacteria, and then rotting. While this is not a leaky home syndrome building, damp is a common problem with older buildings often due to a lack of ventilation.

Most contractors will advise their clients to set aside an additional 5 to 15 percent of the amount of the project for contingencies, no matter what the size of the project might be.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother problem is that the construction 60 and 70 years ago may not be as solid as it is today. The house may look more sturdy, but if it is wooden beams that are holding up the roof are infested with damp or rot, you have a serious problem on your hands.

Another issue to consider is the foundation of the house. Many older homes were built on blocks which develops cracks of the years. You will most likely need to replace the piling under your house if it is 50 or more years old. If the foundations begin to move then the whole house will sag and become unstable, not to mention be impossible to sell.

A good renovation company can make a thorough inspection of an older home for you, and after going over it with a fine tooth comb will be able to give you a good estimate of a rough cost to do what you want. He will be able to spot the potential infrastructure fixes that will be required, as well as bringing about the changes to get you home the way you want it. So for major renovations to an older house, be sure to contact a specialist renovation company in Auckland.

Best Options For Restoring Old Auckland Villas

Best Options For Restoring Old Auckland Villas

Buying an old home instead of a newly built one offers the advantages of character and style. Old homes have something that make people turn their heads. They carry the spirit of their times, and as a result give us romantic dreams of times gone by. Nonetheless, buying an old home comes with additional expenses triggered by the various restoration and renovation works. You cannot just buy it and move in, because you are already used to today’s level of comfort and safety. You need to upgrade your old home to the modern living conditions that make it habitable. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when buying and restoring an old villa or home:

1. How good is the structure in itself?

You need to make sure the foundation is solid, that there are no water infiltration in the basement and no cracks in the concrete. Very old houses may need the foundation to be rebuilt and the basement floor changed. However, some houses may be strong enough and only need a renovation, without the need for radical measures.

2. What is the state of the plumbing system?


Renovated villa


It is very important to assess correctly the state of the pipes, because you are going to use that water for cooking and drinking. You don’t want to ingest lead which is what many old water systems were made from. Therefore you should check whether the pipes are made from lead. If they are, you have two options: replace the entire system or install a filtration device to remove lead from the water. A plumber or a restoration specialist will be able to estimate the efforts and the costs of each type of work, so that you can make an informed choice.

3. What is the state of the electrical system?

Electricity is a must-have in our modern world. We have lots of electrical appliances and devices therefore we need to make sure our house can support them all without problems. Older electrical circuits were not designed for such heavy duty appliances and this is one of the reasons for house fires. Therefore you must have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician and perhaps replace the wiring. You can do this only for the kitchen or you can do it for the whole house. Again, a specialist could assess your actual circuits, the power outlets and everything related, then make an upgrade plan to turn your home into a safe one from electrical point of view.

4. How does the exterior look?

The exterior of the house may need renovation. That’s normal for old homes. However, you need to take into consideration that there may be rules and laws that demand you restore the house in its original style. Sometimes you are limited even in what type of materials you are allowed to use. If you intend to do exterior renovation works, be it we talk about the walls or the roof, you must obtain all legal approvals needed to proceed with your project. If you don’t do this, you risk a big fine.

5. What to do about the windows?

Old windows have a special charm, but they lack the comfort and thermal insulation offered by modern double-glazing ones. When buying an old home, you have the option of restoring the old windows and insulate them properly or to remove them and replace them with modern ones. If you go for complete replacement, you may consider paying a bit more for making them imitate the original look. It is possible, if you install the double-glazing glass panes into solid wood frames. Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind this option will take more money out of your pocket than the vinyl frames everybody uses today.

Renovating an Auckland villa


As a conclusion, it is a wonderful idea for villa restorations, but you need to be prepared to spend a significant budget for making it habitable. If you are going to undertake a major restoration of a few rooms then it will be a good idea to completely replace the old plumbing and electrical systems. You will have a few walls taken out so why not endure a small amount of additional mess by having the entire infrastructure brought up to modern codes of compliance. Any future buyer will want to see that this has been done so take the plunge and get everything sorted at one go.

For advice and guidance on prices for restoring an old villa in Auckland, restoration specialists such as Repair and Restore Ltd can help.

Major Renovation Problems For Older Auckland Homes

Major Renovation Problems For Older Auckland Homes

Many homeowners prefer older homes to new ones for many reasons. Often the primary reason is the craftsmanship of builders of the house. Older homes are generally stronger compared to the modern homes. They have better floors and wood trims which have an antique value too. It is not possible to create the patina that you get from old and well-used wood. The structure of such a home may feel more solid and settled than a modern home for that matter. But the problem arises when it comes to repairing and renovating an older home. An older home can present new challenges to the homeowner. Some of the major renovation problems for older homes are discussed below.

Auckland villa renovationWorking on older homes may be more expensive if you are planning to maintain the authenticity of the original construction. This is one important factor that should be considered by anyone planning to renovate an older home. There are many other challenges that should be faced if you are planning to renovate your home. Water, foundation cracks, electrical wiring and circuits, windows and even asbestos are some of the major ones which confront homeowners when looking at renovating an older place.

The moisture presence is one of the biggest challenges in renovating an old house. In Auckland people expect older houses to be damp but because of the climate. But over the years, the damp and rain can enter the wood itself which will ultimately lead to rot and decay of the timbers. Obviously this can lead to major problems with the wooden frames and structure of the house. This is despite some of the good old native timbers that have been used. If the building is not ventilated properly then moisture will stay inside the rooms and cause decay in the timber. Unfortunately, many old Auckland homes were constructed so that air flows were not built in to the structure which led to poor ventilation and the rot we often come across.

Even though old homes may have been built better, their foundations will often not withstand the test of time. Older homes that have been in existence for more than 40-50 years will not have foundation sealants on the outside. This is one problem the homeowner will have to face when it comes to renovating older homes today. Cracked foundations are another common issue in renovating this type of home. The concrete piles decay over time and it is very common to see foundation pilings that are cracked or worse have pieces of concrete fallen away. Repairing the foundation pillars is a difficult job, one which a keen amateur is unlikely to be able to accomplish. This link to NZ Department of Housing gives some guidelines about the current standards for foundations.


The other major challenge is in renovating the electric circuits of an older home. In the good old days, grounded electrical outlets were not required by code, or they were only required where water was present such as kitchens and bathrooms. But now the regulations have changed. If you are not sure whether the outlets were grounded, you will have to check it first. It is always better to get an electrician to verify this. In fact any electrical work should only be carried out by a qualified electrical service company or a sub-contractor to a house renovation builder.


Major renovations Auckland

Green building – image ddpavumba

The windows are the other factor that should be taken into consideration when renovating an older house. The old single-pane windows are hard to find and quite expensive. Plus, as you are renovating the house you might as well take advantage of modern glazing standards and install the latest double-glazing windows which are much more energy efficient. Installing new windows is difficult job since you need to ensure that the space is supported while the window frame is removed and the new one put in its place.

These are some of the major challenges that will surface when you try to renovate an older home. There are other issues such as water tanks, the style of the cabinets in the kitchen, how much space is wasted due to too many walls and many other aspects you inherit from older buildings.


As you can see, renovating an older home is not s simple building job that any contractor can handle. You need to talk to a house renovations company like Repair & Restore Ltd. They can help you through the renovation process from the design to the final redecorating. You can find more details at their website. This is why, you need to consult a home renovation specialist and get a comprehensive estimate from any major renovations builder in Auckland.