Bathroom Revival in Papakowhai

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Bathroom Revival in Papakowhai

Substandard plumbing and hazardous asbestos made this bathroom virtually unusable. But, an incredible transformation in this two-storey Porirua home has breathed new life into this functional space.

Before After
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Setting the Scene

Maree and Andrew were in desperate need of expert assistance to bring crucial rooms in their 1960s Papakowhai home up to a liveable standard. Despite extensive remedial work — including the removal of asbestos vinyl - incomplete repairs left them with open walls, exposed flooring and plumbing, and holes in the ceiling. 
To add to Maree and Andrew’s woes, their home was plagued with Dux Quest, an outdated plumbing practice common during the era in which their home was built. Now ruled substandard, Dux Quest was prone to leakage and splits, and Maree and Andrew’s home was no exception. After years of patchwork repairs, they enlisted the professional help of Renovation Consultant Lia Boersma.

Concept Design and Costing 

During their initial consultation with Lia, Maree and Andrew laid out their goals: a new bathroom and powder room, laundry area, downstairs bathroom for their teenagers, and the replacement of all remaining Dux Quest plumbing. However, they were apprehensive about proceeding, unsure of the costs and past renovation experiences. 
To put their minds at ease, Lia introduced them to the Refresh Renovations 5-step process. Lia explained that she’d remain their single point of contact throughout the renovation and, after their consultation, the couple would see concept designs and receive a firm quote before any work began on their home.
Reassured, Maree and Andrew moved to the design and costing phases, a group effort by Nspire Architecture and Lia’s in-house Interior Designer, Tina Daisley, with whom Maree and Andrew were thrilled to work. 
“[Tina] helped us make practical decisions about the layout and functionality of our bathrooms, and recommended products when we didn’t have a clue what to get.”
Once the design was decided, Lia quoted Maree and Andrew a renovation cost of $125,000. At just $5,000 over their initial budget, the couple were happy to move forward.

Construction Roadblocks and Re-routing 

Reconfiguring the layout required some structural work and bracing elements. That, along with the new plumbing, called for council approval. Lia liaised with the council on Maree and Andrew’s behalf to obtain consent before construction began.
Maree, Andrew, and their children were living elsewhere during the renovation, so it was important the project met the deadline. Project Manager Danielle Paul oversaw the construction and made sure the renovation stayed on track with help from top-tier tradies who, Maree says, were “all friendly, polite, and extremely competent.”
On site, Danielle was navigating issues with some product deliveries and stock delays. A faulty shower tray nearly derailed the timeline when they couldn’t get an immediate replacement. But, with some clever manoeuvring, the team shifted focus to other areas of the build to ensure they stayed on target. 
As construction progressed, other uncontrollable delivery delays made the timeline less achievable. The best solution was to select alternative materials that would arrive when needed. Maree and Andrew were happy to make these changes and, with Tina’s help, excellent replacements were found. 

A Timeless Design

The well-managed construction yielded beautiful results. Every aspect of the renovated spaces works seamlessly with a design that takes advantage of combining different elements.
The bathrooms all have a feature wall — hues of seafoam green, pastel robin’s egg, and misty blues. Behind the vanity in each bathroom is a subway tiled splashback that matches its feature wall, bringing an element of harmony to the spaces. Maintaining a consistent concrete-look flooring throughout ties the rooms together, with a full spectrum of grey and brown finishing that complements each of the feature walls.
Installing rippled windows in the laundry and frosted windows in the bathrooms and powder rooms gives the family privacy while allowing for natural light, a marked contrast with the previous, dark design. Cleverly placed toe kick lighting under each vanity provides subtle yet effective night illumination.  
The powder room and main bathroom ended up with some dead space near the vanities, so  Maree and Andrew requested open shelving. This proved a stylish and functional choice which, together with concealed drawers in the floating vanities, adds ample storage to the room.

Final Thoughts

Working closely with Tina, Maree and Andrew brought their vision to life with several excellent design contributions, such as the colour palette, toe kick lighting, and the open storage units. They’re ecstatic with the outcome and have left a glowing review for Lia:  
“Our experience with Refresh was fantastic. Communication was always clear and prompt. We got updates as the project progressed and questions were always answered. The result was a stress-free renovation that is absolutely beautiful. Months on, I still get a thrill from using my bathroom and laundry. They have made such a difference. Thanks, Lia for getting us through our renovation. I was really worried that we would never get it done but once Refresh was involved I felt it was all under control.”
Lia is equally pleased with the outcome and is looking forward to the possibility of more projects with Maree and Andrew on their 1960s property.

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This project was completed in
January 2022
Project description
A well-designed and managed bathroom and laundry renovation turned unusable spaces into functional and stylish areas of this two-storey home.
New Zealand
Project duration
Just over 4 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Faulty and delayed deliveries
Interesting aspects
Coordinating feature walls and splashbacks
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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