When it came to transforming this Onehunga home into a spacious, entertainer’s dream, overcoming challenges was all part of the process.
WORDS Mina Phillips
Extending and renovating the majority of your home is no small task, especially when a chimney removal is involved. The owners of this heritage listed Onehunga home entrusted the job to renovation specialist Corey Rambhai. While there were a few challenges along the way, the Refresh process ensured Corey’s customers were consistently in the loop. The final result? A spacious, open plan haven.
While the original home was beautiful, the interior spaces were closed in and separated. Corey brought in a large team of experts to convert the house into his customers’ dream home. Corey managed the team and every aspect of the project, removing the stress of project management from his customers’ to do list.
To create the necessary internal space, it was necessary for the chimney structure to be removed. This meant keeping the chimney as it was above the roof while removing what was within the internal space.
House renovation specifications
“Options of replacing with a fiberglass replica and building a brick sleeve were considered”, says Corey. “In the end we went with an engineering solution to design a steel structure to support the chimney. It was a complicated and delicate process and required the whole team working together to make it happen. While we were all nervous about the chimney removal, the more we discussed and started work, step by step, the team grew in confidence and everything went to plan.”
Once the fireplace and internal chimney were removed there was extended space available for the laundry area. White splashback tiles and natural stone benchtops were installed in both the laundry and the kitchen. The bathroom was also partially tiled.
Ceiling height was added to the home and 17 square metres of extension work was carried out. Matai planks were used in the floor extension, which were then machined down, sanded and polished. Eighty percent of the home walls and layout were changed, with only 2 bedrooms remaining in their original condition.
Firewall protection was required for the new extension, which affected material options. In order to meet regulations, steel windows, cement boards and double blocked timber were used.
Corey and his team took care of the consent process, which turned out to be challenging.
Building and resource consent
“Most of the street had not be surveyed and was classed “limited to parcels”. “This made the resource consent process complicated as we had to deal with height in relation to boundary (HiRB) infringements, along with firewall issues as the house is built 40 cm from the northern boundary and neighbouring property”, explains Corey.
“We also had to deal with the resource consent. After we had completed the project, the council sent out letters stating they had assessed the application incorrectly and we would need to submit RC again. I went with the client to speak with the council and they explained the situation. I then had the plans updated and completed the application for resubmission.”
While the base work was within the original quote, variations caused this project to go over its original budget and timeframe. It was important to Corey that his clients were kept in the loop as to any necessary changes, especially since they were living in a rental property during the renovation.
The final result
Upon project completion, Corey’s customers returned to a modernised home with indoor/outdoor flow. The walls and designs, that had originally separated the kitchen and living areas, were gone, leaving a spacious social area. The kitchen itself had been transformed into a vibrant and modern chef’s delight.
The Refresh Renovations process ensured that the homeowners had control and insight into every aspect of the project, while they could relax knowing that it was being managed by an expert.
“The clients are very happy with the outcome”, concludes Corey.
Refresh Renovations stay with clients through every stage of a project, from planning through to completion. If you would like to discuss your ideas, get in touch for a free consultation.