1940s Beach House Renovation in Waitarere Beach, New Zealand

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1940's Bach Renovation in Waitarere Beach, New Zealand

Situated in a beautiful coastal town, the owner of this beach house wanted to modernise the interior while maintaining the essence of a kiwi bach.

Before After
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Wayne, the owner of the property, was preparing to retire and leave his home in Wellington so that he could live permanently at Waitarere Beach. Knowing that the house needed remodelling work done before he moved in, he contacted Refresh Renovations to discuss the building opportunities.
Many of his friends had previously used Refresh Renovations and been delighted with the project management, so Wayne felt comfortable placing the responsibility in the hands of his local Refresh Renovations team. 
Paired up with Wayne Gordon, his local Renovation Specialist, the two discussed the project objectives; with the main focus being to remodel the kitchen and bathroom so that the space could be modernised and easily cleaned.
“I did not want to lose the basic character of the house, which we have owned for over 20 years and have fond memories accrued over the years”, explains Wayne. “I was wanting the exterior of the house to remain bach-like but have the interior completely refurbished.”  

Conceptualising the Design

During the concept and feasibility stage of the design process, the renovation team worked closely with Wayne to explore options for removing walls. Initially finding it difficult to visualise the proposed open spaces, the designer’s preliminary indications of what they could look like really helped Wayne with decision making.
From the beginning, the concept drawings were focused on increasing the ease of functionality as much as modernising the space. To get this perfect, design specialists made visits to the site and discussed each of the smaller aspects with Wayne.
“I am colour blind and was really concerned about the interior colours - so Wayne Gordon arranged for me to meet with an interior designer”, explains homeowner, Wayne. “It was awesome, as the colour of the walls, drapes, and blinds were all chosen.”
Once Wayne (client) was satisfied with the design and finer details, Wayne Gordon was able to select fittings/materials and price the project accurately, along with costs for different options where required. 

Transforming the Kitchen

Removing the wall that once separated the kitchen, dining, and lounge is truly what transformed the property into a spacious home with excellent flow and all-day lighting. 
Now the perfect place for entertaining, the new kitchen layout has made room for an enviable amount of storage while keeping everything easily accessible.
From sunrise to sunset, natural light is now able to filter into the house throughout the entire day. And for the night? The renovation team installed LED strip lighting under the kitchen cabinetry for ambient lighting that would enhance relaxing evenings whether entertaining guests or settling in for a movie night.

Upgrading the Bathroom

Before the renovation, the laundry and bathroom had previously been combined. The homeowner found this a practical use of the available space so the design team re-designed with this in mind.  
Making way for easier accessibility, the shower-over-bath was removed and replaced with a luxurious 1200mm x 800mm shower. With generous space left next to this fixture, the renovation team updated it with a wall-hung vanity that offers a large sink and plenty of storage. 
Final changes that really elevated this room were the new timber flooring and fresh colour palette. Neutral toned with hints of warmth; the space still carries the beach house essence.

Extended Construction 

Though the brief began with modernising the kitchen and bathroom areas, it quickly expanded.
“Wayne (Gordon) was awesome and had the patience of a saint”, says Wayne (client). Like a lot of projects, while the focus was mainly on the kitchen and bathroom, it soon became apparent that the net had to be cast wider…”
Once demolition had started, the renovation team found most of the property needed relining and rewiring. With these necessary changes, the homeowner decided to also paint the entire interior. Incorporating a palette of fresh colours made a real difference to the home - but it was only the beginning of the extended project.
Construction continued with re-insulating the property, double glazing the windows, upgrading the hot water system, installing heat transfer systems, new flooring, and redecorating throughout.
The hot water cylinder was a particularly fantastic improvement to the quality of living in this home. While maintaining the wetback water heating from the freestanding fire, the new cylinder now allows for better water pressure and greater quantities of available hot water. 
In addition, the new ducted SmartVent Heat Transfer system allows for even heat distribution from the fire throughout the house. Together, these features have been a big upgrade for comfort.

The Finished Product

With the craftsmanship of his local renovation team and Wayne Gordon taking the lead, the homeowner has been very happy with the remodelling of his home. 
“The quality of finish in all aspects just blew me away. The actual painted finish was outstanding and highlighted the quality of the craftsmen. I was nothing short of being delighted.”
Built with materials from a variety of trusted suppliers, the dated property has certainly transformed into a modern beach house. A few suppliers that were used often throughout the project include Mitre 10 Mega, Gib, and Cavalier Bremworth.
Due to COVID-19, the timeline for construction was forced to be pushed back. But despite the delay, the homeowner was very understanding and very impressed with the overall finish of his home.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Refresh Renovations to anyone considering a renovation. It was indeed a pleasure working with Wayne and his team.”
Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?
Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Renovation Specialist.

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This project was completed in
November 2020
Project description
Beach House Renovation
New Zealand
Wayne Lowther
Project duration
3 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Bulky laminated timber structure with grooved soffit panels inserted with LED downlights.
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Wayne Gordon is Director, Operations Manager & Renovation Consultant of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

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