A Fresh Look for a 1970s Home in Riverlea, Hamilton

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The dated kitchen in this Riverlea home was the incentive for an interior overhaul. Focusing on the kitchen and flooring proved to be just the budget-friendly transformation the owners were looking for.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Renee and Daniel, the owners of this 1970s Riverlea home, thought it could use a bit of TLC. The kitchen was dark and outdated and they wanted to replace much of the flooring throughout. They had several ideas but needed help to execute their vision. 
They reached out to Refresh Renovations and were connected with Renovation Consultant Steve Roper. Together they discussed general ideas for the project before delving into the details. 
The couple were considering wood panelling in the hallway, installing new interior and exterior doors, and renovating the bathroom and kitchen. After talking with Steve, they decided to narrow the scope of the project.

Working Within a Budget

Redefining the scope of the renovation enabled Steve to provide Renee and Daniel with an initial estimate of $50,000. This included updating their kitchen, removing an old gas heating system, and installing new flooring throughout their entire home. 
Unfortunately, Renee and Daniel’s initial flooring selection was unavailable. So they decided on luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) from Flooring Design, which also led them to opt for lighting upgrades in the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. These extra elements cost an additional $5,000, bringing the total for their renovation to $55,000. 

Coordinating Construction

To oversee the construction phase, Steve brought in his project manager, Polly Mangan, who coordinated the schedule and kept everything on track. The kitchen cabinetry from Kitchens R Us had a lead time of six-to-eight weeks. In the meantime, the crew came in two weeks ahead of the kitchen renovation to install carpet in the three bedrooms, living room, and landing. 
When it came time to start on the kitchen transformation, the crew demolished old fittings, relined walls with gib (from GIB), plastered, completed plumbing and electrical work, and installed the new cabinetry once it was delivered. The building supplies used throughout the renovation were from Placemakers. In preparation for the new flooring, all vents from the old gas heating system had to be removed as they were mounted in the floor. Once the prep work was done, the new luxury vinyl tiles were laid in the entranceway, stairs, kitchen, and dining room. 
With the flooring complete, the refreshed home was really starting to take shape. The final step, painting, was undertaken by Renee and Daniel themselves. Steve and Polly turned this renovation around in about seven weeks.

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An Upscale Design

Steve did a great job working with Renee and Daniel to deliver them a design that looks high-end yet stays within their budget. Utilising wood-look laminate for the kitchen bench is a clever solution that complements the subway tile splashback and ties in with the LVT flooring. 
The lux-look black sink with gooseneck mixer elevates the look of the budget-friendly bench and, together with the white gloss cabinetry and black pendant lighting, creates a stylish result. Painting the ceiling but leaving the timber beams exposed contributes to an overall Scandinavian feel_._ 
Beyond these smart design choices, Steve attributes much of the cost-saving success to maintaining the kitchen’s original footprint. Doing so avoided the need for unnecessary costs related to additional plumbing and electrical work, as well as fees for council consent. 

Final Thoughts

Renee and Daniel are thrilled with both the results and the process of their renovation. “It was great working with Steve and Polly,” they say, adding that “we hope we will have another opportunity soon!” Steve is also happy with the results, citing the black sink and mixer from Roberstons as the stand-out feature as it emphasises the black grout used in the subway tiles.

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This project was completed in
August 2022
Project description
Kitchen renovation with new flooring
New Zealand
Project duration
7 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Flooring availability
Interesting aspects
Subway tiles grouted with non-traditional black grout
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Steve Roper is Renovation Consultant of Roper Investments Ltd , a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Waikato.

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