Home renovation advice
When it comes to home renovations, the Refresh team has done (and seen) it all! We’re more than happy to share our experience and expertise – and you’ll find loads of helpful articles, photos, videos and more on our website.
If you’re interested in a specific renovation topic, select from the categories below. You’re also welcome to ask in person about your potential renovation. If you’d like to talk with one of our friendly team members, please get in touch.
Legal requirements for enclosing an existing porch or deck
The enclosure of an existing house porch or deck, like all new building work, must meet the relevant performance requirements of the Building Code.
Environmentally friendly home insulation
Insulating your home to bring it up to today’s standards is the single most effective thing you can to do create a warmer, drier and more energy-efficient home. A warmer and drier home is a healthier home.
How much money will changing my light bulbs save me?
A regular light bulb wastes 90-95 percent of its power input generating heat, while utilizing a mere 5-10 percent to generate light. In contrast, a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) uses 25 percent of its power input to generate light – which is very appropriate when you consider the purpose of a light!
Prepare your walls and select the right paint for mould-prone surface areas
Dulux wash and wear comes with a guarantee to prevent mould for a minimum of seven years. It is available in white and colours tinted from white, which covers 80 percent of the fashionable colours used in the bathroom market.
Tap ware advice from Chesters
People often lament that “they don’t make it like they used to” – just how many times have you heard this saying lately? It’s certainly one that relates to the plumbing industry.
Rules for residential buildings on structural changes
As of March 2012 any structural work or work that affects the weather tightness of a residential building such as load bearing walls, foundations, roofing and cladding, is now classified as Restricted Building Work and must be completed or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner.
Create an electrical plan before you start your renovation
If you are planning a complete overhaul of your home, you need to allow for plenty of plug outlets for each room. Resident expert Jon King gives recommendations based on a standard three-bedroom house.
Paint colour selection advice from Duncan Stuart
The colours we choose for our homes are shaped and influenced by the prevailing breeze of public opinion. Take your time choosing colours carefully when painting your home advises Duncan Stuart and for heaven’s sake keep an eye out for Barbie!
Colour your kitchen with Russell Hobbs
Is your kitchen looking a little stale and in need of a mini makeover?
Art deco style home renovations
Art Deco homes from the 1930s are found throughout New Zealand from small country towns like Ranfurly to big city suburbs.
Seasonal Colour Selection Tips
From Lake Tekapo’s icy blue glacial waters through to Rangitoto’s bright red Pohutukawa blossoms; from the lush emeralds of the Greta Valley through to the rich russets of Mt Tongariro, there’s no doubt about it, we’re truly spoiled for colour in New Zealand.
What do you need a building consent for?
To apply for a building consent most building consent authorities have developed checklists and instructions on how to assemble your application. This will help you lodge the correct information for the councils to work from.
How can you revamp old things to make them look more modern?
Not everything in your home has to be pristine. The battered and tired state of old wooden furniture can add to its appeal. Borer damage in an old chest of drawers, for example, can enhance its character, provided of course that the borer beetle is removed.
What should you look out for when you are purchasing a do-up property?
In assessing candidate properties it is important to do your homework regarding any preceding work. For example, is there a Code of Compliance issued for the work?
Choosing a plumber for your home renovation
Decisions early on in the renovation project, such as which plumber you choose, can make a big difference to your end result. Columnist Duncan Stuart found out that making the wrong choice meant coming home to find his whole back yard excavated.
What is the green building code, and the green star rating system?
It might come as a surprise to know that unlike some countries, there is no ‘green building code’ in New Zealand. What we do have is a free, independent and voluntary rating tool called Homestar™