A practical garage upgrade with added security features in South Tauranga, Tauranga

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Clever solutions were used to stay within budget while upgrading the carport and garage.

Before After
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Getting started

After purchasing this South Tauranga property with his wife, homeowner Martin had an idea to update the tired double carport/garage but, what he didn’t have was the time or desire to manage a renovation himself.
On the half that was a garage, the stucco exterior was peeling and the structural steel frame on the carport’s side was rusting. The open-air aspect of the carport also wasn’t providing the security Martin was after, so he contacted Refresh Renovations seeking advice about optimising the structure and to learn more about the process. Sharon Giblett of Refresh Tauranga visited the property to explore the site and chat about Martin’s expectations. 

Third design’s a charm

During their initial consultation, Sharon explained the Refresh methodology to Martin, showing him how the process worked, the intuitive construction management software that he would have access to during the renovation, and that she would remain his single point of contract at all times. After learning what Refresh was all about, Martin was keen to get started with the garage update. 
Moving forward, Sharon presented concepts to Martin based on their prior discussions; the initial proposal included internal access between the main house and garage but the cost was a deterrent. The next design involved removing the centre portion and framing out the carport to make a fully enclosed double garage, an option that also exceeded Martin’s desired investment. 
Sharon suggested a third option which partially enclosed the carport from the side and back with a functional facade at the front, giving the impression of a fully secured garage. This smart solution offered Martin the added protection without the high price tag and ultimately won the bid. Eager to begin, Martin signed off on the plans and the corresponding estimate.

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Add-ons and weather delays

Sharon got to work scheduling contractors and ordering materials. Martin hadn’t defined a strict timeline however since the holidays were approaching, he preferred the renovation be finished before Christmas. As the project continued, inclement weather hampered progress. Reviewing and altering the schedule accordingly required a lot of attention and liaising with tradies, so Martin was grateful to have enlisted Sharon’s help as she managed to keep everything on track. 
He was pleased with the headway and as the garage began to come together, Martin requested a few additional upgrades. The hallmark of excellent project management is being able to pivot and accommodate which is exactly what Sharon did. Variations included a sliding door with security locks, a workbench in the closed garage, and extra storage both inside and on the exterior. The expanded scope incurred additional costs which Martin was happy to approve. Despite the weather delay, Sharon still managed to deliver the finished project within six weeks with plenty of time before Christmas. 

Modern and secure

Acting on Sharon’s recommendation for the semi-enclosed garage proved to be a sound decision. When approached from the street, Martin’s new garage looks like a solid two-car garage but the side view showcases a chic slat wall clad in timber. The understated exterior is now the perfect complement to the main house which is now connected with a powder-coated pergola. Installing the new roof on the garage to match the main house has improved the property’s curb appeal tenfold. 
Functional upgrades to the garage include motion-sensor downlights inside and security lights mounted on the exterior. Carpet flooring makes the workspace feel polished and a variety of storage solutions for the family’s bikes, paddleboards, and other items ensure the space can remain clutter-free. And with the added security features, Martin can rest assured that their property is protected. 

Final Thoughts

Martin and his wife are thrilled with Sharon’s execution of their vision. Thanks to her design suggestions and excellent communication, their new garage looks fantastic and enhances the home’s modern look. The couple has summarised their experience by saying, “We engaged the services of Sharon Giblet at Refresh Renovations to project manage the modernisation of our garage. Sharon did a wonderful job; engaging with numerous tradespeople, which freed up our time, and ensuring the job was completed within tight timeframes leading up to Christmas despite the weather. Sharon also kept in contact with us regularly so we always knew what was happening. We were very satisfied with end result and would recommend Refresh Tauranga."

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This project was completed in
February 2023
Project description
Carport and Garage Upgrade
New Zealand
Project duration
6 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Weather delays
Interesting aspects
Powder-coated pergola
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Sharon Giblett is Managing Director/Renovation Specialist of Diamond NZ Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Tauranga.

Barry Brown is a Renovation Consultant of Diamond NZ Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Tauranga.

Catherine Constable is an Administration/Project Coordinator of Diamond NZ Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Tauranga.

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 consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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