What Are the Historic Laws To Watch Out For when Renovating In Waikato

Before you embark on a heritage home renovation, make sure you know the obligations you have as a heritage homeowner. There are obligations to adhere too, not to mention the Hamilton City Council district plan to navigate.

Renovating a Heritage Home in Hamilton

Hamiltonians love their villas and heritage homes, but did you know that there can be restrictions around what renovations you can undertake? The team at Refresh Renovations Waikato are local experts when it comes to all things renovation and have plenty of experience in the unique Hamilton area market. Our team can help you understand your obligations as a heritage house owner, things to consider when renovating an older home, and how to navigate the Hamilton City Council district plan. And of course, deliver a stunning renovation, too!

What do I need to know about Hamilton heritage home renovations?

Renovating a heritage or character home is an exciting opportunity to blend classic design features with modern convenience. A renovated heritage house will give you the best of two eras and deliver a stylish and functional home you love.

Depending on the age of your heritage house and if there have been any previous renovations, you may need to replace plumbing and electrical lines, patch up draughty windows, and check for any foundation or dampness issues. It’s worth trying to preserve some original elements such as fireplaces, original hardwood flooring, or exposed beams. This can require a lot of work, but the result is always worth it.

Refresh Renovations have transformed dozens of older homes in the Waikato and know specialist tradespeople and restoration builders that will deliver outstanding results. Just take a look at this stunning transformation of a 1930s home in Maeroa or this classic Hamilton East villa renovation.

Which areas of Hamilton have historic buildings you need to watch out for when renovating?

While historic places and buildings can be found in many Hamilton suburbs, they are more concentrated in the City Centre, Hamilton East, Frankton, Hayes Paddock, and Claudelands West. A heritage building doesn’t just mean an old villa – cottages, bungalows, Huntly brick, art deco and more could be considered a heritage home.

What is a Historic Heritage Area?

Historic Heritage Areas (HHA) as defined by the Hamilton City Council represent a period of Hamilton’s development and help to tell stories of the past through built heritage that is worthy of protection for present and future generations. The railway cottages in Frankton would be a good example of this. The council is currently trying to add additional HHAs to the district plan (2024).

Will living in a historic heritage area in Hamilton affect my property?

The Hamilton City Council advises that properties listed in the District Plan within a HHA will be protected from significant intensification, inappropriate design that may degrade the area’s heritage value, and have restrictions in place that prevent certain housing types from being built. Practically, this means that you may need consent to add, alter, or demolish structures to your home depending on the location within the HHA. Individual homes may also be listed as heritage homes of historic value and will be subject to restrictions around renovations.

How do I know if my home is listed as a historic building or is part of the Heritage Plan for Hamilton City?

Older homes do come with special considerations when renovating. You may need to apply for consent to make changes, but the Duty Planner at Hamilton City Council can help with enquiries and more information about the Hamilton City plan for protecting heritage homes. You can contact them by emailing planning.guidance@hcc.govt.nz

Looking to transform your heritage home in Hamilton?

Whether you have a character cottage that’s in disrepair, need to modernise your Huntly brick home, or need some tips for renovating your villa by the river, Refresh are the local experts that are here to help! We offer custom renovation plans to suit your home and budget, exceptional customer service, and complete project management. Get in touch for a free consultation to start your exciting renovation journey. 

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