Like any renovation project, this home reno hit some unexpected obstacles. Thanks to Jim Gleeson and his Refresh Renovations team, the home received a full makeover. Find out the full story about how this tired old villa was completely transformed into a modern and very stylish home.
WORDS Patricia Moore
They’re grand old ladies, but as many of Auckland’s bay window bungalows hit the century mark, they’re showing their age - in need of a general spruce up and lacking some of the mod cons today’s homeowners like to enjoy.
Refresh Renovations specialist Jim Gleeson and his team recently completed one such project in the popular Auckland suburb of Greenlane. “It’s the original house on what was a much larger block of land purchased by the current owner with the intention of subdividing. The front and rear were extended over the years and the house has been well maintained.” The brief and design process worked through in discussion with the client, covered a number of areas with the project carried out in 5 stages over a period of seven months.
“The bathroom and en-suite needed upgrading; existing wooden floors required replacement of some boards and sanding and polyurethane, and painting was needed inside and out, including the roof. And there was some minor remedial work to external weatherboards that needed doing.” The homeowner also wanted to take advantage of Jim’s design skills to help come up with an alternative to untidy free-standing bookshelves. “We jointly designed a custom-made unit that fitted the space and solved the problem.” Client involvement in the design has made it a special feature for the home’s owner.
The renovation project has also seen the Greenlane villa set to become a ‘smart’ home. Jim’s client has embraced the latest media technology and was keen to install a multi-room, multi-source sound system, along with LED lighting throughout the house. The result is a wall-mounted television set and a smart-phone controlled sound system with ceiling speakers in the lounge, dining area and master bedroom.
In spite of the meticulous planning that distinguishes a Refresh renovation project, there were challenges. The iron roof was one; “We found areas of hidden rust; it was at end-of-life and needed replacing.” Probably not the sort of news a client wants to hear when they’ve set a budget. In fact, a new roof and the addition of the custom-made cabinetry saw this increase from $80K to around $100K.
And there were a few surprises when the bathrooms were stripped and previous renovation work requiring modification was exposed. The existing walls also needed straightening before lining and tiling could be carried out. “One unexpected issue arose when the tile company supplied a matt tile that was supposed to be gloss – and the error wasn’t noticed until after the tiles had been installed. However, they took ownership of the problem and paid for the tiles to be removed and replaced.”
The Greenlane homeowner had a very clear vision for the renovation and says it was important that it was managed for the entirety of the project. “I work about an hour’s drive from home and wanted someone who could take the brief, understand what I wanted and make decisions without me having to come back home.
“I enjoyed the fact that Jim really listens. That’s quite refreshing because so many people try to tell you what they think you need. The whole team was really approachable and amenable to any changes I wished to make.
“I also appreciated the way the Refresh system keeps you informed. Jim would email me every night with an update and a run-down on what was scheduled next, so I had a complete picture of the project and could see everything was under control. Their communication is excellent.
“The whole Refresh process was completely different to my previous renovation experiences; it saved me time and by having people on board who knew what they were doing, I believe I received real value for money. I’ve no hesitation in recommending Jim and his team.”
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