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Thread: Any advice on villa renovation?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    57

    Default Any advice on villa renovation?

    We are locating to Dunedin for a couple of years, after time in Auckland. Having renovated a few houses in the UK we are considering doing up a villa. Anyone out there done this and have any advice for me?

    Advantages (as I see them):

    -character
    -large rooms

    Disadvantages:
    - cold / damp in the standard design

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,081

    Default

    I can remember there being something in a thread quite a while ago - probably two years back at least. It'd be worth a search.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Blenheim, NZ
    Posts
    63

    Default renovate villa

    well, I guess your top priority would be installing a decent heating system and making sure the villa is stuffed full of pink batts!

    One thing for sure, you won't need a fridge if you have a villa in Dunedin, haha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Scotland > Wanaka, NZ
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Hi there, we are just about to undertake the same thing, but near Wanaka. We too renovated an old house in the UK, but things are a little different here. (many things easier, working with wood rather than stone!)

    What I've learned so far is: Many villa designs were lifted from the northern hemisphere, so are often the wrong way around for solar gain, with all the biggest windows at the southern side and small ones to the northern side. they tended to be aligned with the large windows and front verandah to the street, regardless of orientation. So if you are looking, try to get one on the side of the street that will have the front facing North, as when properly aligned, they can actually work very well. Allow for insulating the h**l out of it, but due to the high ceilings and construction of the walls, they are actually very suitable for retrofitting insulation. Ours is a relocation onto a rural section, so we're facing it "backwards" from the street, to get the best heat gain from the sun and get a light and airy feel! It will all be screened with trees etc anyway, so won't matter. Check the space under the floor for room to crawl under to fit floor insulation, and have a good look at the wiring and plumbing - many still have original wiring, and some were plumbed using steel pipes, not too good when they rust!

    Get the biggest woodburner you can (radiant ones rather than convection are better for big spaces and high ceilings) and maybe look into the heat transfer systems to take the heat from the main room into the bedrooms, or combine with a heat pump - as the houses are not open plan it can be hard to get the heat to move through the house. Many will still have open fires - be aware that the local council in Dunedin are trying to phase these out as they are not economical and various clean air zones will not allow coal to be burned at all, so budget for replacing them.

    There are different rules regarding diy plumbing (most of it needs to be done professionally and signed off) etc, so check with the local council what you are and are not allowed to do so you can budget - materials are quite hideously expensive here and most tradesmen will not pass on any trade price discounts and in fact mainly mark up full retail, so work all that in too.

    Have fun and let us know what you do, I'll start a thread once I get my consents and boring bits underway, to let everyne know how ours is going and share any more useful info I glean - the pics of it arriving on the truck in two halves should make for interesting viewing if nothing else!

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Whangamata - Coromandel NZ
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Please send us a pic, I'm well into the DIY/building scene (specialise in traditional lime & pargetting) would be very interested to follow your story.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Derbyshire........>Taupo
    Posts
    561

    Default

    We have been busy rennovating our house, not a villa, but it was built in the 1950's, it is a solid concrete built house, including all of the internal walls. We have done a great deal, including new kitchen, insulation, which was our first priority!! I have been very frustrated at the lack of choice and the high cost of everything, and also the lack of stock. Maybe it's a little different in the cities, but here in Taupo everything has to be ordered in!!! Look, but don't touch!! There is one of most items on display, but you have to have things ordered, depending on what it is, it takes between a few days, and a few weeks. We are at the beginning of moving the bathroom, we have the planning permission, and have sanded back and waxed the original floorboards - we had to order in the wax from Mitre 10!!
    I want to put wood cladding on the wall, neither Bunnings nor Placemakers stock this or have it as an order item, I have had to find a template of what I want on the internet, email the picture, and it will be a special order that will take 3 weeks to deliver, the same stuff I could have gone in to B&Q or Focus, took off the shelves at a fraction of the price - I've been quoted $1087 for 182 Linear Metres!!!!
    You do have to be prepared for high costs with your rennovation, we are doing the work ourselves as well as working full time, we could never have afforded the size of house and garden back in the UK, and we really do love living here, but when you have been used to the commercial standards in the UK for 40 years, it is hard to adjust. I absolutely hated Tesco but what I would give to have one round the corner with their choice and price.......

    Cath XX

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Shore, Auckland
    Posts
    2,801

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NickB View Post
    We are locating to Dunedin for a couple of years, after time in Auckland. Having renovated a few houses in the UK we are considering doing up a villa. Anyone out there done this and have any advice for me?

    Advantages (as I see them):

    -character
    -large rooms

    Disadvantages:
    - cold / damp in the standard design
    Villas have the potential to be real money pits, so I would first establish whether you are doing it up to live in for a long time - say 7 years plus or are likely to sell quite quickly after renovating?

    For most the reality is somewhere inbetween so you will be faced with a lot of choices. For instance, heating will provide you with personal comfort but is still yet to be fully valued in resale price, although it may help with resale in general. So if you are only planning on being there a couple of years you may prefer to use portable heaters and spend the $10k on the kitchen instead.

    In certain areas choosing a villa with lots of character will be a good investment but in some areas people aren't that bothered - although they may be 25 years down the road.

    When we renovated our villa - mainly cosmetic, a lot of the costs came from the fact that it had been subjected to a lot of DIY over the past 40 years - so nothing was standard, (electric, plumbing etc), and everything was done slightly badly and on the cheap. The building regulations are much stricter now, so often things were uncovered that would have to be remedied.

    Some areas have heritage zones, both a burden and a bonus. A bonus as it keeps everywhere looking nice and generally raises property values. A burden as there are lots of cost associated with getting permissions and it can take a long time to get simple extensions approved.

    On the plus side Villas can pretty much be stripped right back and rebuilt with relative ease compared to brick houses. So rotting cladding is easy to sort out and a new simple roof can be put on within a few days.

    There will be a learning curve with the whole experience, but for those who enjoy that sort of thing, and have some cash to splash it can be great and you can end up restoring them to their former glory - very satisfying!

    Cheers

    Tia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1

    Default

    A couple of years late in finding this post but I will comment anyway.
    As a restorer of early era villas The best advice I can give is to get advice. Each house must be assessed on it's individual merits. I feel that the best option in most cases is a full restoration. Relining the entire house with gib over the sarking and paint and paper before the skirts and architraves and fitted. This is quite a fast process if you are not living in it and makes the house warm and draft free. You need to make wider door frames or pack the existing ones to accommodate the thickness of the gib. It is a pity you live so far away (i live in the waikato) as I would be happy to advise you upon viewing.
    Last edited by JandM; 10th January 2013 at 11:07 PM. Reason: You can link to your business in the Business Forum area. http://www.enz.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=42

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by housefitter View Post
    A couple of years late in finding this post but I will comment anyway.
    As a restorer of early era villas The best advice I can give is to get advice. Each house must be assessed on it's individual merits. I feel that the best option in most cases is a full restoration. Relining the entire house with gib over the sarking and paint and paper before the skirts and architraves and fitted. This is quite a fast process if you are not living in it and makes the house warm and draft free. You need to make wider door frames or pack the existing ones to accommodate the thickness of the gib. It is a pity you live so far away (i live in the waikato) as I would be happy to advise you upon viewing.
    I'm late to this thread as well, but here goes nothing. We're looking at doing up a Villa as well, and we are in the Waikato. Where about's are you? We're looking at a relocatable Villa from Auckland, bringing it down to our property in Eureka, but we just have no idea where to start.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Central Otago
    Posts
    1

    Default Central Otago Villa Reno

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikki_d72 View Post
    Hi there, we are just about to undertake the same thing, but near Wanaka. We too renovated an old house in the UK, but things are a little different here. (many things easier, working with wood rather than stone!)

    What I've learned so far is: Many villa designs were lifted from the northern hemisphere, so are often the wrong way around for solar gain, with all the biggest windows at the southern side and small ones to the northern side. they tended to be aligned with the large windows and front verandah to the street, regardless of orientation. So if you are looking, try to get one on the side of the street that will have the front facing North, as when properly aligned, they can actually work very well. Allow for insulating the h**l out of it, but due to the high ceilings and construction of the walls, they are actually very suitable for retrofitting insulation. Ours is a relocation onto a rural section, so we're facing it "backwards" from the street, to get the best heat gain from the sun and get a light and airy feel! It will all be screened with trees etc anyway, so won't matter. Check the space under the floor for room to crawl under to fit floor insulation, and have a good look at the wiring and plumbing - many still have original wiring, and some were plumbed using steel pipes, not too good when they rust!

    Get the biggest woodburner you can (radiant ones rather than convection are better for big spaces and high ceilings) and maybe look into the heat transfer systems to take the heat from the main room into the bedrooms, or combine with a heat pump - as the houses are not open plan it can be hard to get the heat to move through the house. Many will still have open fires - be aware that the local council in Dunedin are trying to phase these out as they are not economical and various clean air zones will not allow coal to be burned at all, so budget for replacing them.

    There are different rules regarding diy plumbing (most of it needs to be done professionally and signed off) etc, so check with the local council what you are and are not allowed to do so you can budget - materials are quite hideously expensive here and most tradesmen will not pass on any trade price discounts and in fact mainly mark up full retail, so work all that in too.

    Have fun and let us know what you do, I'll start a thread once I get my consents and boring bits underway, to let everyne know how ours is going and share any more useful info I glean - the pics of it arriving on the truck in two halves should make for interesting viewing if nothing else!

    Cheers!
    Nikki_d72 how did your Villa renovation go? We're looking at renovating one in Cromwell, I'd love some advice and maybe some photos??

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