Take a look at the work carried out by Refresh Renovation’s Jim Gleeson and his team on this Edwardian villa restoration in Epsom, New Zealand.
WORDS Mina Phillips
This stunning character villa in Epsom had been showing signs of deterioration for a while when homeowners Graham and Sandra started looking for a renovation company that could restore it. The ceilings, bathrooms and kitchen were in particular need of renovation work and the couple also wanted to achieve better indoor/outdoor flow. They met with Jim Gleeson from Refresh Renovations and instantly felt comfortable working with him.
Villa renovation specifications
“We bought the house and then we’d been living here for some time”, says Graham. “Over a period of time we started noticing the house needed a lot of repairs and maintenance. For example, the roof started to leak. We knew we had to do things: the bathroom needed upgrading and to be brought up to current standards. We knew that was something we wanted to do and we wanted to look for someone who could help us do that. Especially when I’m not here all the time, we needed someone who could actually project manage this.
“We met quite a few people and when we came across Jim and the Refresh team we felt very comfortable. We knew, through doing other projects, it’s very important to look at that right communication, that right rapport with somebody - so that when you have challenges you can actually work through them.”
Graham and Sandra asked Jim to retain the villa’s Edwardian characteristics. Ornate ceiling roses were collapsing. A large one, in particular, was gradually being ripped out of the ceiling due to a large chandelier. The floor plan needed improving and wooden joinery on the deck was in need of repair work. Sandra and Graham wanted their bathrooms and kitchen to be modernised, and something needed to be done about their closed off sunroom which was rarely used.
“The main thing about this house is the amazing ceiling roses and the detailing on the ceilings - which I really wanted to keep”, says Sandra. “We needed someone who could actually find the right sub-contractors to do that work for us.”
We felt like Jim and Refresh were part of the family. Everything just came together for us
Carrying out the villa renovation
Jim smoothly organised this for them, ensuring the ceiling plasterwork and the home’s stained glass windows were restored. The sunroom was demolished, in order to create more spacious bedrooms. Jim’s team then moved on to the bathrooms and kitchen.
“There was a massive transformation in the bathrooms, from old and tired, to lovely modern tiled bathroom spaces.”, says Jim. “In the kitchen: it went from a pokey little corner kitchen that was quite dark, through to a very modern, large kitchen that brought in a lot of light.”
Throughout the renovation, Graham and Sandra kept their material choices local and easy to source. Much of the bathroom supplies were sourced through Tile Depot and Robertsons. In the kitchen, Resene, Mitre 10 and GIB products were used.
“The kitchen, prior to the renovation, needed a lot more storage space. It needed updating as it wasn’t actually installed very well (I don’t think) in the very first place. So having Refresh come through and help with that and find the right people to help with the design was really good. I definitely had ideas that I wanted and products that I definitely wanted to use, which Jim and the team were really good at trying to accommodate. We got what we wanted, if not better than what I expected. I really love my kitchen”, smiles Sandra.
“I’d definitely recommend Refresh and I’d definitely recommend Jim and his team. They’re all really good guys - always friendly, polite, respectful.”
“When you look at the overall project and how it needed to be managed, because we weren’t always here - it was great. We felt like Jim and Refresh were part of the family. Everything just came together for us. If I had to do this again, I’d definitely pick up the phone and call Jim.”
2019 Winner of Registered Master Builders House of the Year Silver Regional Award.
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