This 1930s Mount Wellington bungalow was soon to retire from being an income property and about to enter its second act. But not before getting an all-out overhaul, turning it into a completely custom, fully wheelchair accessible home.
This 1930s bungalow had served its purpose as an income property for decades, during which time there was little opportunity for upgrades. It was evident that the home needed a complete overhaul, and instead of renovating with the intention of continuing as a rental, homeowner Jill decided to take a different approach.
Jill’s daughter Lisa lives a fully independent life in a wheelchair. Homes aren’t typically built with differently-abled people in mind, so Jill wanted to alter the property so Lisa could enjoy a home that wouldn’t impede her daily life but instead cater to it.
Bungalows built in the 1930s began to incorporate rooms that were more spacious than their Victorian-era predecessors, but they were also adopters of partitioned living areas, which is less than ideal to navigate in a wheelchair. For professional guidance with her renovation, Jill reached out to Renovation Consultant Dave Georgetti, who took charge of creating a comfortable home for Lisa to enjoy long term.
During the briefing stage, Dave spent time with Jill and Lisa to understand what exactly would enhance Lisa’s home and what was required to make it fully wheelchair accessible. He also sought out speciality advice from Lifemark, an organisation that focuses on home designs that are usable, adaptable, and safe for individuals of any ability and age.
Aiming to create a space that was both stylish and functional, Dave worked with an architect to transform the layout into something that was modern but also focused on Lisa’s accessibility requirements. Once the concept drawings were finished, Dave provided Jill with an estimate of $350,000. The quote included replacing windows, weatherboards, and joinery, re-roofing, installing a ramp, a completely new interior layout with extra-wide doors, and a wet-room style bathroom.
The estimate came in at the top of Jill’s budget, but after hearing back from the quantity surveyor, it turned out the project would cost closer to $300,000 — a welcomed surprise.
Adding a second bathroom and changes to the cladding and joinery required council consent, which Dave arranged prior to construction. Work began by stripping down the interior walls and erecting new ones with larger doorways that would easily accommodate Lisa’s wheelchair.
Before installing the new Colorsteel roof, the crew structurally strengthened the roof cavity and re-pitched the roof at the back of the home. With the new steel roof in place, the team affixed new cladding, giving the exterior a fresh look. The only thing left to do was oversee the issuing of the Code Compliance Certificate, and with that, the project was completed in just about 5 months.
You know this home has been specially crafted for Lisa before you get inside. As you approach, you’re greeted by a bold purple front door flanked by wrought iron railings of the same colour - Lisa’s favourite; the colour scheme continues throughout the interior.
Entering the property from the back with the low-incline timber ramp leads you directly into the custom made kitchen. The benches sit at a custom height with plenty of space underneath the sink and food prep area so Lisa can comfortably manoeuvre in and around the area. Storage is mainly on the floor level, with the exception of a few overhead cabinets.
A wetroom made complete sense in this home, so Lisa’s personal bathroom is wide open. The vanity is of consistent height with the kitchen benches and has an open space underneath, giving Lisa easy access. Meanwhile, the guest bathroom has a walk-in shower, compact vanity, and toilet.
Large pieces of furniture like the dining table, couch, and bed have ample space surrounding them. Even the master wardrobe is generously sized to fit Lisa’s wheelchair without being cramped or impeded.
When given the opportunity to create a home for Lisa that embraced her lifestyle, Dave left no stone unturned, from consulting with multiple specialists right down to the details of incorporating her favourite colour. His expertise and commitment to providing an excellent result has produced a home that functions perfectly for Lisa’s needs while looking modern and stylish at the same time.
Dave Georgetti is Renovation Consultant of Georgetti Improvements Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Auckland Central.
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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