Character home transformation in Mount Albert, Auckland

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Character home transformation in Mount Albert, Auckland

This grand but tired home underwent a renovation to renew its classic arts-and-crafts character.

Before After
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Situated in popular Mount Albert, this beautiful property is surrounded by a relaxed suburban setting while still being well-connected to the CBD. 
The homeowner began their renovation journey after deciding they’d had enough of the dated living room added to their home in the 80s. While contemplating reconstruction, they continued noticing more aspects of their home that could benefit from an upgrade. 
The list kept growing and eventually led them to seek assistance with Refresh Renovations.

The Initial Briefing

After being introduced to Dave Georgetti, their local Renovation Specialist, it wasn’t long before they began discussing the main ambition for the project.
Put simply, the homeowner wanted to modernise their downstairs interior and external decking while keeping the style true to the property’s character.
Dave took this ambition and developed a series of concepts for the homeowner to get inspired. From this process, they eventually carved up the perfect concept for the property. It was a rough plan to begin with, but it focused on reconstructing character rather than upgrading - and that made the difference.

The Detailed Design

After confirming the feasibility of the developed concept, it was time to establish a detailed design. Dave and his renovation team worked together to create innovative solutions for the property and ended up delivering a beautiful vision for its final look.
Internally, they completely reconfigured the layout of the downstairs floor plan to improve flow throughout the living areas. They drew this new plan to include the desired renovation of the family room, but also a handful of new installments including a bathroom, gas fireplace and elegant kitchen.
As for the exterior, their designs detailed an extension of the decking, upgraded swimming pool fencing and a new roof that would extend over the deck to create a sheltered space for outdoor entertainment.

Costing & Timeline

The homeowner was thrilled with the final picture of these drawings. After Dave confirmed feasibility, he delivered the costing and timeline required to make the project happen. 
The budget rounded to $375,000 alongside a five-month timeline for construction. It would be a large-scale renovation - and the homeowner was happy to get it started.

Early Problem Solving

After a promising start digging new foundations, Dave and his builders encountered volcanic rock which meant they couldn't dig the footings required in the design.
By chance, the homeowner's cousin was an engineer with experience in volcanic terrain. So they brought him in to design a workaround that enabled the team to complete the foundations in a way which satisfied the Auckland Council.

Internal Construction

There was a large amount of demolition done on the downstairs interior. This deconstruction resulted in a spacious and much more naturally connected living space.
Changes included widening doorways; tearing down the dated family room (to make space for a new one); removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and removing part of the kitchen’s back wall to access the laundry on the other side. 
In this process, the kitchen truly transformed into the social hub of the house. Utilising the connection to the laundry, they renovated the area for a combined laundry/scullery. 
This spacious expansion offered more than just storage. It established a luxurious and open-plan kitchen atmosphere. Finished with a white stone benchtop, matching porcelain subway-tiled splashback, and elegant cabinetry with character handles; the kitchen now stands proud at the heart of the home.
Additional installments include a contemporary bathroom with Carrara marble tiling and a gas fireplace to increase the functionality.

External Construction

Significant changes were made to the property’s exterior and completely lifted its tired look to a luxurious environment. 
Firstly, the building team installed new decking to wrap around the renovated family room. This task was unique as the deck needed building below the swimming pool level. Further enhancing the lavish look of the outdoor area, the pool fencing was upgraded to glass to reduce visibility while complying with current requirements.
A final installment that made a powerful difference in both form and function was the new lower roof. The builders extended this fixture over the new deck to provide shelter - but it wasn’t a typical roof. Because of the beautiful character windows set in the story above, it was vital the new roofing was relatively flat to avoid blocking and to maintain the external aesthetic. 
For the solution, Dave and his renovation team used a Calder Stewart flat tray roof to resemble the copper roofing used during the period of the property’s original construction.

A Favourite Feature: The Family Room

The dated 80s room that sparked the homeowner’s idea to renovate became the perfect modern space for family time and entertaining.
Featuring full-height doors leading out to the new private ‘gin deck,’ this area has a superb indoor/outdoor flow with tranquil views of the back garden and swimming pool. 
It is undoubtedly the property’s standout feature and also remains as Dave’s favourite part of the stunning character home renovation.

Would you like to discuss your renovation ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Renovation Specialist.

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This project was completed in
November 2020
Project description
Renovation to renew character
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
5 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Encountering volcanic rock
Interesting aspects
Contemporary, abstract kitchen with an industrial edge
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Dave Georgetti is Renovation Consultant of Georgetti Improvements Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Auckland Central.

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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