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Richard & Liz Hoskin’s 1920’s Birkenhead villa was pretty close to being a dream home, positioned on the uphill side of the road with sweeping views across Auckland’s inner harbour. But the house was missing a couple of things – room for the owner’s growing teenage girls who needed their own space and internal garaging.

Pieter Oosterbaan from Beacon Construction faced a few challenges when renovating the road frontage property. One was to keep the renovation in sympathy with the original house.

This was achieved by matching the window joinery, having weatherboards specially run to match the existing ones and copying the roof and eave details of the existing structure, including the T&G soffit with exposed rafters and the shingled gable end. Inside, the existing varnished solid rimu handrail was also replicated and now matches the era of the house.

The other challenge was building it around the large pohutukawa tree that dominated the property’s landscape. An old beautiful tree can add significant character to your property, but stories of renovations going haywire for the sake of a tree have had significant press of late.

“People who are renovating do need to be careful of any significant trees, especially native trees, and should be prepared to negotiate with the council at the outset of the project” says Pieter. He was able to make the best of the situation – the renovation was built to accommodate the tree, without compromising the look of the building.

The finished villa renovation created a wonderful second lounge with a beautiful recycled kauri timber polished floor and a high timber battened painted ceiling. It was linked with a new kwila deck, complete with glass handrails, to the existing outdoor pool area.

All this gave a great area for the girls and their friends. Gib Noiseline was also added to the walls, mainly in an effort to keep noise in rather than out. The new generous double garage was also of immense benefit with its internal access via a new stairwell to the old hallway; no more hasty exits from the old stand alone garage into the weather. Liz, Richard and their daughters are thrilled with the renovation and the new look of their home.


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