From Unused Space to Formal Sunroom in Kelvin Grove, Palmerston North

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This multi-purpose sunroom is light, bright, and spacious, adding modern functionality to an 1800s home.

This renovation transformed an underutilised porch into a bright and idyllic sunroom with a design that retains the home's 19th-century character.

Before After
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Getting Started

This 1880s Palmerston North home is full of beautiful character that invites you to spend a bit of time relaxing. The front porch, however, wasn’t getting the full use it deserved.
Tim, the homeowner, wanted to transform the space into something more inviting. He considered enclosing the area to create a comfortable sunroom to be enjoyed all year round. But there were more details to think about, and he wasn’t sure of how the renovated space would flow with the existing floor plan.
Seeking guidance for the project, he approached local Renovation Consultant Wayne Gordon with his ideas. Wayne knew the porch had great potential to become something special and introduced Tim to his Project Manager Brian Taylor who led the project from design to build.

Creating the Concept

Having been burned by a previous renovation experience, Tim was wary of hidden costs driving up the budget. Initially, he looked to spend under $30,000 for the project. But as ideas evolved, so did the project, and he decided to commit to a more extensive renovation. 
Brian worked closely with Tim to draw up designs, and once he’d established a final concept that included everything on Tim’s wishlist, he estimated the project’s cost at $94,186. At this point, the homeowner was comfortable spending beyond his initial budget idea, but the new cost estimate was too high. So Brian helped him reprioritise his goals and revised the concept accordingly. 
Plans to build a deck and pergola were removed from the project’s scope, and these changes significantly lowered the required budget to a price of $75,000. Tim felt much happier with this number and gave the go-ahead.

Let There Be Light

Tim’s decision to work with Refresh Renovations this time around was well worth it. With Brian professionally managing the project, construction ran smoothly over six weeks, and the final cost came in on the estimated budget. 
For this porch conversion, it was essential to retain the home’s character and simultaneously create a sunroom that welcomed plenty of natural light. The new design achieved both of these goals, and the results are beautiful.

The Formal Sunroom

The porch’s original weatherboard cladding, decorative ceiling, and stained glass window have been kept in the new sunroom’s design – a bold decision with a remarkable effect. These features receive all the attention they deserve, as the sunroom’s interior has been designed to complement each element with a fresh, neutral colour scheme.
The original double doors have been replaced by a large flat archway that connects to the kitchen. This open-plan layout creates a lovely living area for socialising. And what’s more, the sunroom’s polished hardwood flooring neatly matches the connecting floorboards, further making the converted space an extension of the home.
As for the new enclosing walls, large windows and sliding glass doors have been installed, allowing for excellent indoor-outdoor flow enhanced by the new outdoor stairs leading down to the garden. Keeping the sunroom bright is absolutely no difficulty, especially with the help of the new skylight installation. Rather, the space has become a beautiful suntrap.

Final Thoughts

Bright and full of original character, this converted porch is the perfect addition to Tim’s 1880s home. Thanks to Brian’s diligence and expertise, the renovation delivered high-end results and while keeping within budget.
Supplies used in this fantastic project include timber flooring sourced from Beyond the Grain and additional building materials sourced from Mitre10. However, the most beautiful components used are indeed those which were already there – the original weatherboard cladding, decorative ceiling, and stained glass window.

Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?

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

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This project was completed in
October 2021
Project description
Porch to Sunroom Conversion
New Zealand
Project duration
6 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Antique stained glass window
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Wayne Gordon is Director, Operations Manager & Renovation Consultant of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

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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