CategoryHouse renovations

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.

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.