Renovations boom time is now

With real estate in the Kaipara in hot demand, and no sign of a seasonal slowdown in sales for properties around the harbour and on both coasts, a second boom is hiding in the shadow of the first. It’s one which provides opportunities but also offers challenges to the industries which exist to make new properties into dream homes.

Because one of the key factors driving the popularity of regional real estate is the comparative affordability of Kaipara housing compared to Auckland or other main centres, many of those relocating after selling cosmopolitan properties have extra money on hand for renovations and decor changes. At the same time, the previous decades have seen less turnover in complete rebuilds and tear-downs locally. Many of the homes for sale date from the turn of the 20th century or from the pre-war years of the 1920s and 30s.

This means that amenities may not be the most modern, and that certain standards of thermal insulation and construction have been superseded by better techniques. Open fireplaces, roof cavities without tar paper or batts, board-and-sarking walls, elderly hot water heating and reticulation systems — all these sit behind the obvious issues of personal taste which will cause many new home buyers to completely transform the flooring, wallpaper, colour scheme or even room layout of their investment.

Consequently, from the practical building trades — engaged to add on decking, garages and en suites, or even to knock out walls for open plan living — through to the gurus of colour and texture, curtains and tapware, there is a certain amount of strain being placed on the over-arching renovations trade. For many, this has been a time to hire new staff, take on apprentices and expand the range of services on offer. But as winter passes into spring and people once again use the good weather to begin transforming their homes, it’s worth knowing that it pays to plan ahead.

Getting a reliable quote and drawing up plans now — along with talking to your local tradespeople — is the best way to ensure your project is booked in and can begin on time. Certain aspects — such as fireplace installation — have a necessary wait for council permission, while others may require parts to come from far afield. In the end, a serious plan on paper means everybody is on the same page, and there’s no stress or hurry when the work begins.


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