Optimising a master suite in Titirangi, Auckland

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Having a master suite with a better layout and a more spacious bathroom was the goal but, upon further review, it turns out there were multiple ways to achieve it.

Before After

Big ideas

Murray and Cathie built their four-bedroom Titirangi home in 2010. The master bedroom had a small open wardrobe with built-in storage shelving and an adjacent ensuite that was quite crowded. The couple envisioned re-doing their master suite by building a second-storey extension to accommodate a more spacious walk-in wardrobe and a bigger bathroom.
They sketched out their ideas but recalling memories from when they’d first built their home gave them pause. Murray and Cathie remembered how frustrating building delays were, in particular the lack of communication and visibility around said delays and the impact those had on the project’s completion. 

On board with Refresh

After learning about the Refresh process, Murray and Cathie reached out to local Renovation Consultant Fiona Fairbairn to discuss working together. Fiona met with the couple and further explained Refresh’s 5-step approach as well as the use of BuilderTrend, an intuitive construction management software through which clients can check the status of their renovation project at any time.   
Murray and Cathie were thrilled at the prospect of Fiona managing every aspect of the project on their behalf so were excited to move forward. The couple showed Fiona their plans for the second-storey extension. It wasn’t that they were attached to the idea of an extension, they just couldn’t see another way to achieve their goals. However, Fiona had a suggestion. 

Expert Advice

Fiona provided the couple with an alternative: a reconfiguration of the second-story layout. By utilising realistic conceptual renderings, Murray and Cathie could see exactly how effective a new layout could be. Achieving a functional, well-designed master suite was the priority but, as retirees, Murray and Cathie were conscious of the cost as well, so avoiding a costly extension was a wonderful surprise. 
After refining the interior design, Fiona arranged for working drawings to be developed. Once the drawings had been agreed upon by Murray and Cathie, Fiona lodged the appropriate building consent forms and upon approval from the council, the couple’s renovation could finally begin.

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Construction begins

Once the build began, the project moved along quickly with demolition, framing, and GIB installation. Unfortunately, the progress was halted by a delay with a supplier. There was an issue with some of the bathroom fittings that wasn’t being resolved by the merchant. 
However, thanks to Refresh’s long-standing relationship with the distributor, Fiona was able to deal with them directly and arrange for a timely delivery. Considering this was one of Murray and Cathie’s reservations about managing the project on their own, partnering with Fiona proved to be a great decision. 
Eight weeks of hard work later, the master suite renovation was complete. The original estimate for the project was $100,000 but Fiona managed to get it done for a cool $88,000. Another tick in favour of the partnership. 

A polished design

The finished master suite offers Murray and Cathie a fantastic use of space and stylish design. But more importantly, Fiona mitigated many risks that the couple was initially worried about, yielding them a seamless experience. Had they opted for a self-managed extension, their home could have still been a construction zone today.
Reconfiguring the layout completely optimised the existing space. The new walk-in wardrobe has a mix of concealed and open storage and a pocket door gives Murray and Cathie the option to hide the space for those days when tidiness has fallen by the wayside.    
The updated ensuite features floor-to-ceiling tiles and a luxurious walk-in shower with recessed shelving. The focal point of the bathroom is the brocade patterned tile; using it as a statement and pairing it with neutral white tile elsewhere keeps the design interesting but balanced — a favourite feature of Fiona’s.
Murray and Cathie are thrilled with the results and grateful to have worked with Fiona: "We are thoroughly enjoying our new ensuite. Thanks for all your work to get it completed so well."

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Project description
Master suite renovation
Location
West Auckland
New Zealand
Client
Time
March 2023
Project duration
8 weeks
Cost estimate
$100,000
Actual cost
$88,000
Challenges
Supply delays
Interesting aspects
Unique tile selection
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Fiona Fairbairn is Franchise Manager of Premino Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in West Auckland.

Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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