One of the biggest decisions the Iro family made was to remain in their home during its renovation.
WORDS Patricia Moore PHOTOGRAPHY Gareth Poley
Start from the conception of Tony and Harriet's home transformation in part one of this three part story.
Before issuing building consent for the renovation project, the city council requested an upgrade to the storm water system and further technical detail on certain elements of the renovation.
Re-engaging the design professionals set the job back during the planning period by some weeks. But with the planning and preparation well behind them, things are looking great.
One of the big decisions during any major renovation project is whether the owners will remain in the house as it’s rebuilt around them. While this can have its downside, it’s an opportunity for them to monitor progress – perhaps even reconsider some of the planned changes – which is not always easy when living off-site.
The Iro family selected to stay in their home – unfazed by a start date two days before a pre-ball party for 100 of their daughter’s friends. Tony’s attitude was, “Let’s get on with it!”
Living with the rebuild was made easier by the fact that the scheduled work plan enabled them to maintain a working bathroom and kitchen at all stages of the project.
The first task for the builders was to transform the upstairs bathroom. For the duration of the following stage, which involved taking the other wet rooms out of action, this would effectively become the family bathroom.
With the shower under the roof pitch rapidly getting too low for the growing Iro daughters, removing a window – which has been replaced by a Velux window – has made it possible to create a full-height wall for a new shower.
Stage two saw the area demolished that contained a water closet, laundry and the master bedroom en suite.
Lead-time for materials plays a large part in the order of work, says Dave Georgetti, from Refresh Renovations. “It varies greatly. Typically kitchens, wooden joinery and pre-nailed frames and trusses take the longest at around five-plus weeks – and they all need on-site measurements before production can start.” An early priority was creating the spaces for these – the holes for the window frames and walls for the new kitchen – to enable off-site production to begin.
A major renovation that begins as winter sets in can be challenging for the builders. “The goal is to build new spaces on the outside of the existing house before knocking through to connect them up. This keeps the weather out and keeps the house secure.” With extensions in two directions, the aim was to work on those, and get them weather tight, before moving on to the extensive alterations to the core of the house. “The new kitchen is in a different location to the original, so once ready, we had the rare luxury of being able to get it fully operable before removing the old one.”
Given the length of the planning phase, it must have been tempting for the Iros to go back to the drawing board; but Dave says there have been very few changes.
“Window placements and shapes have changed to better fit the final internal layouts and the kitchen layout also changed.” More significant were issues concerning the roof, with questions around the economics
of repairing, re-colouring and extending the tiles or completely re-roofing in Coloursteel.
While the pre-build period may have had its frustrations, it meant the Iros were able to devote more time to choosing appliances, bathroom fittings, kitchen finishes, wall and floor tiles, carpet, and timber flooring to tie in with the rimu in the existing house.
“Renovators like the Iros who choose to be involved can have a lot of decisions to make,” says Dave. “But this can be made much simpler if we introduce them to suppliers and take them to showrooms where we know there are great product ranges and they’ll receive excellent service.”
The time period between deciding to renovate and enjoying the finished project can be frustrating for homeowners. But by consulting every step of the way with Dave and the team he put together to handle the re-build, the Iro family have been involved throughout the whole process and have known exactly what was happening and when; another good reason to work with a professional who understands the building process.
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Part two of this case study featured on pages 66-69 of Issue 016 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.
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