The 100 Year old home reno with no issues

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modern kitchen renovation

The usual renovation story with Century-old home renovations is that of running over budget and over time - but this 1920s bungalow in Berhampore, Wellington defied the usual expectations and was delivered a day early and believe it or not – well under budget.

Before After
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The usual renovation story with Century-old home renovations is that of running over budget and over time - but this 1920s bungalow in Berhampore, Wellington defied the usual expectations and was delivered a day early and believe it or not – well under budget.

Planning the old house renovation

The successful reno, which involved removing walls to create a new family bathroom and master en-suite as well open-planning the living area and installing a new kitchen, was due to the meticulous planning of Refresh consultant Steve Wang, says client Justine Cornwall.
She moved out for the 13-week duration of the renovation and says she was “dead impressed” with the result as well as the strict schedule.
For Steve, planning is half of the effort involved in a renovation and he puts an immense amount of time into making sure the process runs smoothly for his client, as well as making constant adjustments to accommodate any nasty surprises or changes along the way.
Funnily enough, nasty surprises were nigh on absent from this renovation – another departure from the usual bungalow renovation horror stories.
“Right from the planning stage we pretty much anticipated any problems and took them into consideration and factored them in and the client was always well informed,” he says.
This meant the 10% contingency on top of the $200,000 budget could be spent elsewhere – allowing Justine a few changes as the renovation progressed.
The initial plan was to create an open plan living space with new kitchen and to renovate the hallway space and existing bathroom to accommodate a second bathroom and en-suite. 

Improving old extensions

The lean-to extension which was added by previous owners was also brought up to code which proved to be the most problematic part of the structure – surprisingly as it was a lot newer than the rest of the house.
But even a dodgy extension couldn’t derail the budget and there was money left over for issues that never arose, so Justine was able to spend $17,000 on extra improvements including retrofitting a heating system, adding double glazed sliding doors, replacing the kitchen skylight and adding storage in the lounge.

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I have the most amazing kitchen - I never thought that I could get that
Steve says Justine had clear ideas about the renovation aesthetic as she’d lived in the home for eight years and raised her family there. This meant she took the lead in the design and layout and would visit the site each weekend to check on progress.
Steve was more than happy to accommodate any changes Justine wanted to make along the way and tweaked the schedule of the various trades visiting the site as necessary. 

The kitchen renovation and bathroom designs

Justine is thrilled with the changes, particularly as she had so much time to plan how every element of her kitchen would function and look with the kitchen designer.
“I have the most amazing kitchen,” she says. “I never thought that I could get that – the designer just understood and interpreted the brief so well.”
The most difficult aspect of the renovation was surprisingly the tiling of the two bathrooms, which Steve says took four weeks alone. 
“The tiles are quite tricky – they are 15 x 15cm wide and they are quite patterned and in a highly detailed layout so it took quite a bit of time.”
But think again if you thought the big tiling job took Steve by surprise – the complicated job was meticulously planned for in the timeline, leaving his client extolling the virtues of renovating an older home.

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This project was completed in
January 2019
Project description
A modernised interior
New Zealand
Justine Cornwall
Project duration
13 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Initial planned works only came to $186,000. $17,000 of extra work was added to the project, while finishing 1 day early.
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Steve Wang is Renovation Consultant of Passionmate Renovations 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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