A Garage Conversion in Queenstown

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Garage conversion

Refresh Queenstown helped these homeowners convert their garage into a 2-bedroom sleepout that sleeps up to 6 people!

Before After
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Having worked with Refresh in the past on a bathroom renovation, homeowners Angie and Gareth were confident that they wanted to work with Queenstown renovation specialist David Dolphin and his team once again. This time they wanted to convert their garage into a two-bedroom sleepout. 

Garage conversion design

David’s team took care of the design and build, initially coming up with a plan to convert the partially-converted double garage and workshop into a self-contained apartment with its own living area, kitchen and bathroom.  
“We purchased the property with the intention of renovating what was originally a double garage and workshop, set apart from the main house, into a self-contained space with living and sleeping areas for friends and family to use”, tell Angie and Gareth. “We also wanted to have the option for the short-term rental market. We set out with wanting to fit in two bedrooms (one larger double and a smaller bunk room), a full-sized kitchen (that was of a decent size) with dining, a bathroom and a small living area.”

Garage renovation

During the design phase, Angie and Gareth decided on laminate hard flooring for the kitchen/dining room, hall and bathroom. Three new windows were added to the structure to bring in more light and make the space suitable to live in. To implement the design, David’s team carried out carpentry, electrical work, carpeting, drainage work, exterior cladding installation, plastering, plumbing, interior lining installation work and interior decorating. 
The couple hadn’t initially planned on applying for a connection to Council wastewater services - but mid-way into their renovation they decided that it would be a good investment.

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“The property is zoned rural residential and was not previously connected to mains water or sewerage services”, explains David. “Part-way through the project, the decision was made to apply for a connection to Council services, rather than modify an existing on-site wastewater disposal system. This extended the project timeline but gives the owners a far better long-term solution to their effluent disposal. A number of other resource consent conditions also had to be satisfied, including the provision of 20,000 litres of reserve water storage for fire-fighting purposes.”
“David helped immensely with navigating some of the trickier elements of the original concept to get a working floor plan and also the knock-on requirements for resource and building consents, which were more complex than the average project”, explain the pair. “David’s builder was very approachable as we navigated issues around access to the site, delivery of materials, and issues as they arose. Whilst the project took a lot longer than we all had hoped, due to some of the planning consent issues, we are pleased with the quality of the build, the finish and the approach of David’s team.”

Final thoughts

With the project complete, David says there are a few favourite features that stand out to him.
“The new deck at the entry to the flat is a great suntrap and provides excellent indoor-outdoor flow from the living/dining area. A newly installed kitchen window enjoys amazing views over the Shotover Gorge.”
“We have had great feedback from our friends and family that have stayed in the property, and also from short-term rental guests who have commented on how modern and well-finished it is”, say Angie and Gareth. “It is the perfect setup for a family of four to stay in for a week outside of the main centre of Queenstown.”

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This project was completed in
August 2020
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Project description
Garage conversion, new deck & wastewater connection
Queenstown & Wanaka
New Zealand
Angie and Gareth
Project duration
7 1/2 months (approx.)
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Bespoke cabinetry
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