An Airbnb renovation in Queenstown

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Renovated living area in Queenstown

A keen tourist destination, Queenstown provided the perfect location for this family to renovate their home into an Airbnb property.

Before After
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Refresh Renovations’ Queenstown consultant David Dolphin receives quite a few Airbnb renovation enquiries. As the second-largest Airbnb host in New Zealand, Queenstown is an ideal spot to rent out your property. David’s most recent customers thought so - they contacted him to renovate their 1950’s bungalow into an eye-catching Airbnb.

Why they chose Refresh

David’s customers were in the process of moving to Queenstown from Sydney, Australia. They needed a renovation company who could manage the project for them and make the renovation a smooth experience. Working with Refresh allowed the family to have the renovation designed around their budget, and they were able to receive consistent updates while the project was managed for them.

The home renovation brief

The project brief originally included a kitchen and bathroom renovation, as well as, a carpet installation and additional decorating work. Later, David’s clients decided to include re-roofing work, a balustrade replacement and a heat pump system installation. This brought the project total to $285,000.
The renovation included extensive interior and exterior work, says David.


“The entire house was stripped internally down to the wall framing. It was then re-plumbed and re-wired. The whole house was fitted with underfloor, wall and ceiling insulation, as well as, acoustic insulation in the internal walls. An exposed timber ceiling was retained to preserve some of the home's original character features.”
Once this was done, David and his team focused on adjusting the home’s layout. This included increasing the floor area of one of the home’s three bedrooms, which increased the space and practicality of the kitchen.
Initially a tight space, the kitchen layout was changed to make use of the back wall, where a new sink and dishwasher were installed. The rest of the bench and cupboards were installed along the surrounding walls, creating an inviting cooking area. New models and appliances give the kitchen a contemporary look, while the updated flooring inserts a rustic appeal.

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New French doors allow guests to flow through from the kitchen into the updated lounge area. New hard flooring was installed throughout the house, excluding the lounge which was updated with a new carpet. A few decorative touches added to the attraction of the Airbnb.
“We installed a new gas fireplace and high-capacity heat pump to provide year-round comfort in Queenstown’s seasonal extremes”, says David.     
New, wide windows make the most of Queenstown’s stunning mountain views, as do the newly installed living area doors which open out onto the home’s deck. Originally fading, the deck was updated with a new balustrade before it was washed down and stained.
To provide guests with absolute comfort, the bathroom was also updated. The new hardwood flooring provides a natural contrast against the white walls and ceiling of the bathroom. A combined shower and bathtub offer tidiness and functionality within a compact space.
The final interior step was to improve the home’s overall presentation through decor. Once the entire house interior was redecorated, David and his team moved on to the outside renovations.
“The house was re-roofed and fitted with new spouting and downpipes” recalls David. “Remedial work was done to the cladding, fascias, and many of the window frames. Following this, the entire house was repainted.”

The final result

Additional work requests and weather delays caused the project’s original six week time estimate to be pushed out. Within four months the Airbnb renovation was complete; leaving the owners and their guests with a contemporary, sun-soaked home sure to grab the attention of any groups looking for comfortable accommodation with world-class views.

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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

This project was completed in
April 2019
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Project description
An interior and exterior Airbnb renovation
Queenstown & Wanaka
New Zealand
Project duration
4 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
1950's Bungalow
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