Our plans and a bit of history…

I started this blog mainly with the intent of keeping overseas friends up to date with my renovations.  I also hoped I may along the way inspire people with my ideas and before and after pictures.  I have always had an eye for detail and loved all design things, houses, cafes, interiors, colours, you name it, it all inspires me.

Although this blog has metamorphosed into something more around my visits to places around the city, I hope to keep my renovation diary here for you all to see and enjoy along with my fascination with Auckland’s changing face….


Before the renos – Ground Floor
House Before












The “Plan” – Ground Floor

New floor plan


June 2013

So the plans are finally finished and council approved.  You’ll see from our plans, the house will have larger rooms that flow into each other a heck of alot better than they currently do.

Our quotes are in and we have realised to complete this renovation in one go will cost a great deal more than expected (I know this happens to 99% of the population right?).  We have decided to be sensible for once in our lives.  With me not working, it would be crazy to go and spend all that money…I know we’ll get it back, but yes, you still have to be able to service the additional borrowing right?  We have a commercial building that we are currently in negotiations with tenants to re-sign leases, and until thats all done and dusted, why risk things by stressing ourselves out!

Our goal

We hope to get the structure of the back half completed by christmas this year.  At the moment we have a funny dog leg hallway which we will get straighten out, meaning we need to complete our new bathroom! Yipeee!!  Then hopefully we can get the new steel beams up in the back rooms, building the extension, but unfort not my kitchen at this stage.

Doing this is kinda exciting for me, it means I can paint the inside of the back half of the house (and outside) at my leisure once work is complete.  I can play around with colours and wallpaper without being rushed to make a decision and then the goal is this time next year the kitchen can go it and the front half of the house can get sorted….

Not a particularly long wait overall really is it??

  3 comments for “Our plans and a bit of history…

  1. Amanda
    7 May, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Hi! Great site! I am also obsessed with houses and renovating…we have done as much as we can afford on our house and I’m now thinking about building new. However, with almost no sections in our area, I’m really keen to get an idea of what we should budget for major renos, I can’t see your plans so not too sure what you are doing. There is a property for sale nearby that needs either demoing or major renos. Hopefully you can help! Thanks heaps Amanda

    • 7 May, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Amanda,
      I’ve been a bit slack updating my blog lately as my currently in Dubai heading to the UK.
      Our renos have turned into something huge. I’ll pop our plans back up as I’ve had issues with my photos.

      We thought we’d be one of the few who would spend less than budget, or at least come in on budget, but so far costs that hVe really thrown us out are things like our above average height doors, tiling almost the entire main bathroom, some extra design features etc. I am guilty of going for medium to higher end quality, though I have tried to cut back where poss, hence polishing the floors instead of new carpet (that can wait).

      We’ve reconfigured the entire internal layout. Meaning new kitchen/bathroom/laundry/living etc in an entirely diff places from where they started. As our house was built in 1927 and building codes have altered so drastically most if the old internal kauri boards have been replaced with new framing and massive steel beams run through the house to open up our new kitchen/dining/living space…..

      I’d say think about $2500 psqm, sounds steep I know, but it’s amazing when you start adding costs up. The labour bill alone will be one if the most exp things you’ll face.
      Here’s some examples of our costs:
      Kitchen cabinetry/benches exc appliances $32k
      New external joinery (half the house) $25k (major cost is the massive 6m long sliders we’re putting in plus we’re got some massive bifold windows going in the kitchen).
      Bathroom (eek embarrassed to say).
      Ask away any questions, I’m really passionate about renovating and have done heaps research…..
      Take care and hope I haven’t scared you off.
      Sa x

      • Amanda
        24 May, 2014 at 7:15 pm

        Wow thank you that’s really helpful. We have decided to stay put and go up a storey or extend out. Not sure which yet. Going up will need to include 2 bedrooms and bathroom with new kitchen configuration downstairs. Going out would be 2 bathrooms, laundry a kitchen and new roof and framing!
        Interesting to hear your kitchen costs. I’ve had 15 – 20k quoted by architect and kitchen company including appliances! Argh so scary to hear your costs. 2500/m2 sounds reasonable but I need to really drill down on costs. Only at first stages so doing some research which feeds my house obsession. Glad to have found good company as hubby sooo not interested! Thanks again!

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