Renovating a Garage Produces Dramatic Results in Franklin, Auckland

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A lengthy search for the ideal site of their next build proved to be well worthwhile as this couple now has a beautiful rural sanctuary to call home.

Before After

Location Scouting

Recent retirees, Linda and Robert, were looking for the perfect countryside plot for their dream retirement home, but they needed some guidance and advice. Refresh Renovations was on hand to help from the outset. The couple had already seen two listings that weren’t quite right, but the third was most definitely a charm. A spacious, cinder block garage in an idyllic location surrounded by an abundance of Agapanthus and rural farmland was exactly what Linda and Robert were looking for.  

Estimates and Upgrades

Having been a part of the process for over 18 months, Renovation Consultant Kim Reiche was excited to get the project moving for Linda and Robert. The structure was a large garage that they wanted to convert into a one-bedroom home with an expansive kitchen and indoor-outdoor flow. 
Although conscious of their budget, Linda and Robert wanted their home to be ideal for retirement, so Kim got to work arranging concept drawings and cost estimates. 
Originally, Kim had a $320,000 budget to work with but, after reviewing the plans, Linda and Robert opted to upgrade the kitchen, laundry, and study areas. These alterations added $40,000, bringing the total cost of the project to $360,000.

Working Around COVID

Before construction could get started, multiple applications needed council approval. Change of purpose and plumbing work were consent projects. Kim arranged for the permits to be obtained before the start date so that once they came through, the team could hit the ground running. 
COVID, unfortunately, played a starring role in this project’s construction, with delays caused by changing Alert Levels. Kim had worked around COVID many times already and knew how to handle the challenges and restrictions it brought. She managed her team of contractors, kept Linda and Robert informed, and ensured everything was ready to go as soon as her trade experts were able to resume work. Once the restrictions lifted, Linda and Robert’s project ran smoothly.

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A Transformed Exterior

Patience paid off for Linda and Robert in terms of finding this prime location, because their new home’s surroundings are the perfect backdrop to emphasise its spectacular makeover. What was once a lacklustre, utilitarian garage and storage space, has been transformed into an ultra-modern and architecturally impressive one-bedroom home. 
From the outside, the original structure is unrecognisable: beautiful vertically mounted cedar cladding, massive statement windows, and a black steel gabled roof have completely transformed its appearance. 
A vibrant red door, framed by cedar posts, provides a bold contrast to the rest of the exterior. Subtle landscaping around the perimeter of the front and side, leads to a concrete wrap-around patio area for an expansive outdoor living set-up.  

Incredible Interior Design

Three entry points connect the spacious patio to the interior - two corner doors in the lounge and one through the kitchen. Indoor-outdoor flow was high on Linda and Robert’s priority list and they’ve certainly achieved it. An airy feeling pervades their home, thanks to the open-plan layout that links the Scandinavian-inspired lounge, kitchen, and dining areas together.  
Kim has made smart use of every square metre in this design. Potentially ‘wasted space’ in the hallway between the kitchen and the bedroom has become an office area complete with a built-in desk, open shelving, and a timber filing cabinet. 
On the other side of the home is a well-appointed laundry area with bench space, closed storage, and enough room for a washing machine, dryer, and a separate powder room. The stunning ensuite bathroom has high-end elements such as LED lighting in the recessed shower shelf, concrete-look tiling, and a toilet that has remote control settings. 

Final Thoughts

Despite the long road to finding the property and a few hiccups because of COVID, the outcome is fantastic. Having Kim’s support throughout the entire project was the prime factor contributing to its success. She’s known for being able to capture the light within a home by carefully considering the orientation and layout; Linda and Robert’s home was no exception. It overlooks the property, suits their lifestyle, and will be a sanctuary for years to come. 
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Project description
Garage conversion
Location
Franklin
New Zealand
Client
Time
June 2022
Project duration
335 days
Cost estimate
$320,000
Actual cost
$360,000
Challenges
COVID restrictions
Interesting aspects
Cedar cladding
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Kim Reiche is a Renovation Consultant of Triple R Construction, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manukau/ Eastern Bays and Franklin.

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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