Building a New Home vs Buying an Existing Home

Building a New Home vs Buying an Existing Home: Making the Right Choice for Your Kiwi Dream

Are you contemplating whether to embark on the journey of building your dream home or to purchase an existing property? It’s a decision that many Kiwis face, and it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a choice. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and considerations of both options to help you determine which path aligns best with your lifestyle, preferences, and financial situation.

Building Your Dream Home

Tailored to Your Preferences: One of the most significant advantages of building a new home is the opportunity to customise every aspect to suit your taste and lifestyle. From the layout and design to the fixtures and finishes, you have the freedom to create a home that reflects your unique personality and meets your family’s needs.

Modern Features and Technology: Building a new home allows you to incorporate the latest advancements in construction materials, energy efficiency, and smart home technology. From eco-friendly design elements to integrated automation systems, you can ensure that your home is equipped with state-of-the-art features that enhance comfort, convenience, and sustainability.

Peace of Mind with Warranty: New homes typically come with warranties on construction and appliances, providing you with peace of mind knowing that you’re protected against potential defects or issues. This added assurance can offer valuable reassurance, especially for first-time homebuyers or those unfamiliar with the intricacies of property maintenance.

Location Flexibility: When building a new home, you’re not limited to existing neighbourhoods or developments. You have the flexibility to choose the location that best suits your lifestyle, whether it’s a serene rural setting, a bustling urban area, or a picturesque coastal community. With the help of a reputable building company, you can bring your vision to life in your desired location across New Zealand.

Buying an Existing Home

Immediate Occupancy: One of the primary benefits of purchasing an existing home is the ability to move in quickly. Unlike the time-consuming process of building a new home, buying an existing property allows you to transition into your new abode without delay, making it an appealing option for those with time constraints or urgent housing needs.

Established Neighbourhoods and Amenities: Existing homes are often situated in well-established neighbourhoods with mature trees, community amenities, and established infrastructure. This can provide a sense of stability and belonging, with access to nearby schools, parks, shops, and public transport options that contribute to a convenient and vibrant lifestyle.

Potential for Renovation and Improvement: Buying an existing home presents opportunities for renovation and customization to suit your preferences and enhance the property’s value over time. Whether it’s a cosmetic makeover, a structural upgrade, or an expansion project, you can personalise your home to better align with your aesthetic and functional requirements while increasing its resale potential.

Historical Charm and Character: Many older homes boast architectural charm, unique features, and a sense of history that adds to their appeal. From period details and craftsmanship to original hardwood floors and ornate mouldings, these character-filled properties exude warmth and character, offering a timeless elegance that can be difficult to replicate in new construction.

Making the Right Choice

Ultimately, the decision to build a new home or buy an existing property depends on your individual priorities, preferences, and circumstances. Consider factors such as budget, timeline, location, customization options, and long-term goals as you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Whether you choose to embark on the exciting adventure of building your dream home from the ground up or to find the perfect existing property that captures your heart, partnering with a reputable building company can help turn your vision into reality. With their expertise, guidance, and commitment to quality craftsmanship, you can confidently take the next step towards achieving your Kiwi dream of homeownership in New Zealand.

At Villaworx Construction, we understand that building or buying a home is a significant milestone, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our custom home building services and explore your options for creating the perfect home that reflects your lifestyle, values, and aspirations.

Building Trends for 2024 in New Zealand

Building Trends for 2024 in New Zealand

As the construction industry continues to evolve, staying ahead of emerging trends is essential for homeowners and builders alike. In 2024, New Zealand’s building landscape is set to witness a blend of innovation, sustainability, and functionality. Let’s explore some of the key trends shaping the architectural scene this year.


Sustainable Design Integration:

Sustainability remains at the forefront of building trends, with an increasing emphasis on eco-friendly practices and materials. From passive solar design to the use of recycled materials and energy-efficient technologies, homeowners are prioritising green building solutions to minimise environmental impact and reduce operational costs over time.


Smart Home Technology:

The integration of smart home technology continues to revolutionise modern living spaces. From automated lighting and climate control to advanced security systems and voice-activated assistants, homeowners are embracing innovative technologies that enhance convenience, comfort, and security within their homes.


Flexible and Multifunctional Spaces:

With remote work and flexible lifestyles becoming the norm, there’s a growing demand for versatile living spaces that can adapt to evolving needs. Open-plan layouts, movable partitions, and convertible furniture allow homeowners to maximise space efficiency while accommodating various activities, from work and leisure to entertaining and relaxation.


Biophilic Design Elements:

Biophilic design principles, which aim to connect occupants with nature, are gaining traction in residential architecture. Incorporating elements such as indoor greenery, natural light, and organic materials fosters a sense of well-being, reduces stress, and improves air quality, creating healthier and more harmonious living environments.


Resilient and Climate-Adaptive Design:

With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, resilience and climate adaptability are becoming integral aspects of building design. From flood-resistant foundations to high wind-proof structures, architects are incorporating resilient features that enhance the durability and longevity of homes, safeguarding against potential risks and climate-related challenges.


In conclusion, the building trends of 2024 in New Zealand reflect a collective shift towards sustainability, innovation, and resilience. By embracing these forward-thinking approaches, homeowners can create spaces that not only meet their immediate needs but also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future. At Villaworx Construction, we can help with the whole process, from plans and designs to new home building and renovation services. Contact us today

Top 5 Tips For Building Your New Home

Top 5 tips for building your new home

1. Figure out what your personal needs are and set a budget
  • Discuss the non-negotiables.
  • Prioritize what is a need and what is a want

When discussing non-negotiables, it is important to prioritize what is truly a need and what is a want. Needs are things that are essential and important to you, and are typically necessary for your happiness. Wants, on the other hand, are often things that would be nice to have, but are not necessarily necessary for your overall satisfaction. When making decisions, it is important to weigh the difference between needs and wants, and prioritize accordingly.

2. Understand building costs
  • Be willing to compromise on things to meet your budget
  • Know your products

When trying to meet your budget, it is important to be willing to compromise on certain items. It is important to educate yourself on the products you are looking to purchase so that you can make informed decisions about what to spend your money on and what you can afford to sacrifice.

Do your research and compare prices between stores, brands, and models to ensure you are getting the best deal and the most value for your money. Consider cutting out any unnecessary items or extras that may push you over your budget. Additionally, look for sales and discounts or ask for special offers to help you stay within your budget.

3. Discuss a floor plan that meets your personal needs

The floor plan needs to have practical applications and should not simply be based on what is popular and fashionable at the moment, or look aesthetically pleasing on Pinterest. It needs to be practical and should have a purpose, with the end goal being to achieve the desired outcome of your living needs.

4. Use experts and use their recommendations.

When searching for an architect and builder, you should get multiple quotes from different companies to ensure you are getting the best deal for your budget.

Once you have chosen a company, it is important to have regular meetings to keep the lines of communication open. This will help you stay up-to-date on the progress of the project, and ensure that all your needs and expectations are being met.

It is essential to trust your architect and builder, and to have confidence in their ability to do the job. You want to be sure that they are hard working and have your best interests in mind.

5. Be involved in in the whole building process

Take part in every step of the building process, from the initial planning stages to the final completion of the project. Research building materials and products, attend meetings with contractors and inspectors, and stay informed of any changes in regulations or standards. Make sure that the finished project meets your expectations.

Don’t try and project manage your own build

When it comes to constructing a new building, it is important to remember not to try and manage the project on your own. Building a structure is a complex endeavor, and it requires the coordination of many different people in order to ensure that the project is done in a timely and efficient manner.

If you attempt to take on the role of project manager without any prior experience or knowledge, it is likely that you will encounter a variety of problems, from delays due to poor communication to inadequate materials or a lack of proper planning.

It is best to hire a professional project manager who has experience with similar projects and who can manage the entire process for you. They will be able to coordinate all of the different aspects and make sure that the build is completed safely and within budget.

How Much Does A Bathroom Renovation Cost? 2023

How much does a bathroom renovation cost? 2023

Anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000+

Bathrooms are the more complex areas of a household home improvement and generally age faster than other areas of the house. People can spend anywhere between $10,000 (tidy up) to more than $60,000 (full replacement) on an existing bathroom renovation. The cost will depend on the bathroom size, what you want and why it is needed e.g., to modernise, to increase the value of the house or its saleability, or to remedy water damage caused by leaking showers or faulty fittings.

First and foremost, you should focus your attention on getting the basics right, like adequate water pressure, heating, lighting, ventilation, and extraction. These items are the most cost-effective. Then secondary there are the extras – more luxurious bathroom features include wall-mounted or custom vanities, stone or marble countertops and sinks, freestanding baths, frameless glass showers with rain heads, and non-standard colors of fixtures and mirrors with built-in LED lighting and demisters.

These are the products and materials that make bathroom renovations expensive, then there is the cost of the interior designers and tradespeople, such as a plumber, electrician, waterproofer, tiler, painter, glass installer, and builder. To reduce the cost of these tradespeople, try and keep the same layout as the original bathroom as this will reduce the complexity and time on the job. It is more cost-effective to replace fixtures in the same position as the original, if possible.

$10,000 – $20,000 Budget

With a budget of $10,000 – 20,000, Villaworx Construction would recommend a standard basic bathroom renovation to replace vanities, toilet, damaged or outdated fixtures and fittings, install a new type of blind or shade, replace acrylic shower box if it has one, replace handles and tapware, replace cabinet doors and repaint walls.

$20,000 – $40,000 Budget

With a midrange budget of $20,000 – $40,000, Villaworx Construction recommends re-tiling, underfloor heating, installation of a new custom benchtop or wall-mount vanity sink, stripping back to the frame, re-waterproof, and restoring floor tile, installing a new tile, tiled shower and improve lighting.

$40,000 – $50,000 Budget

With a budget of $40,000 – $50,000, Villaworx Construction would recommend reconfiguring your home layout to add anensuite, complex renovations involving moving plumbing, heated towel rails and other electrical work like LED/heated mirrors, adding toilets, larger bathroom spaces and higher-spec fitouts.

$50,000 Upwards

With a budget of $50,000 plus, Villaworx Construction would recommend complex redesign in the bathroom layout, high-spec custom fixtures, granite or solid wood bench tops, custom-built vanities, contemporary tiling and mosaics, and freestanding bathtubs.

Plumbing is only a small part of a bathroom’s renovation cost but it can cost more if illegal work has been discovered behind the walls or if pipes need to be replaced because of their age or quality. A plumber must ensure any illegal plumbing work is replaced and brought up to standard. This can add considerable cost to the plumber’s portion of your bathroom renovation and will be on-charged as a variation fee. This unknown factor is why it’s important to allow about 20% contingency fee for these unexpected costs. 

The bathroom is a space that you use regularly, so a renovated bathroom can make you feel better by providing a personal space that you can enjoy every day. The benefits of renovating a bathroom are unlimited e.g. increasing the house’s value between 10-20% and it will become a big deciding factor for many new home buyers.

An outdated house with fixtures that do not work properly can benefit from a bathroom renovation as bathroom renovations in villas can avoid costly future expenses from rotten timber or leaking pipes. They are also a great investment whether you are planning to sell the house or just improve its aesthetics. However, renovations can be expensive, involving changing old tiles, installing new ones, and upgrading fixtures. The materials, fittings, plumbing, and replacing materials if required. Depending on the bathroom’s size and extravagance, A renovation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 upwards. The most significant costs are usually for fittings and materials. If you’re on a budget, it’s better to go for simpler products. Let the designers look at your bathroom to get more ideas and insights on how you may be able to cut your expenses.

Villa Renovation Challenges

Kitchen Renovation | Villaworx Construction

Villa Renovation Challenges

Auckland Villas

Auckland villas are majestic splendours and retain a certain elegance and style that separate them from other villas around the world while possessing some similar features to villas in Adelaide, Melbourne and the famous “painted ladies” of San Francisco. Not only is it very prestigious to own a villa, but you also get fashionable uniformity of style, which you are able to decorate to your own taste. This enables your street to have a certain urban culture, usually close to the central business district. 

Fortunately, Auckland City Council realised the significance of the historic heritage value of these villas before too many were replaced with modern buildings. Therefore, much of our older, central suburbs still preserve the villa as a dominant building, creating character homes. The collective elegance and charm of these villas gives these suburbs a special ambience. 

Villas were made with native timber which means they are relatively resistant to rot given their age. They contain kauri sarking in the walls, combined with kauri outer weatherboard which means they are very solid. The solid timber construction of the time meant the cavities of these exterior walls were very draughty and hence if water did penetrate the external wall space it would often dry out.

Builders Auckland | Villaworx Construction
Villaworx Construction’s encountered challenges in villa renovations

Renovations of older houses require considerable work, such as insulation, re-piling, rewiring and new plumbing. When the building is an original villa, numerous additional challenges present themselves before and during the renovation. In renovating a villa, especially when a high standard is desired, these various complexities will mean the build will take longer and cost more than building a house from new.

Aspect can sometimes be a problem with villas. When the villa was designed, Victorian values were all about one’s public image, so the façade became the focus. Auckland City Villas were almost all street facing, placed right at the front of section with no consideration of orientation to the sun. 

Another potential pitfall are sash windows. These usually open from the bottom or top, providing both protection and airflow. The large size of these windows lets in a plentiful amount of light which contributes to the feeling of space and impressiveness. The sash windows are incredible when they are working properly but they do have their problems if not maintained.

Villas were predominantly built on new subdivision lots created by developers for the middle and working-class people which often meant they had narrow sections and were close together. These narrow sections were built before cars had been invented, so no provision was made for the modern garage which is very challenging for some villa owners. This is overcome in some cases by lifting the building and creating a street level basement.  

Typically, villas have only one bathroom which owners wish to renovate. In addition to this, a new extra bathroom or ensuite is frequently built. The cost of fitting out two bathrooms adds significantly to the final cost.

In the renovation or alteration of your villa, the existing building’s construction may not be fully understood until part way through the building process. Because of this, you may need to make compromises to what you want and how it works with what already exists. This is different to a new build. In a renovation or extension to a building you will have to compromise your project design to work around what loadbearing structures already exist. 

Items you should consider are:

  • You may not be able to obtain the building’s original Building Consent plans.
  • Some items may need to be retrofitted.
  • The plans may not match what was previously built or renovated.
  • You may need to meet additional building requirements for the entire building, even if you are only altering part of a building, e.g. smoke alarms. Also, if you are changing the use of the building, e.g. to a commercial shop, items like the means of escape from fire, access (ramps) and facilities (extra toilets, showers, etc) must meet the new building code.
  • Builders and designers might not be able to understand parts of the existing structure until your build starts, for example, what is inside the walls.
  • Owners must keep certain features of a villa due to the Historic Buildings Trust.

Trying to match new extensions to the existing materials and finishes can be complicated or even impossible sometimes. Older, existing building materials are machined or manufactured in imperial sizing, whereas new materials are metric and usually have a smaller finished size. This is typically an issue with materials such as weatherboards, skirting and scotia.

Another big challenge for villa owners is finding the balance between keeping the original charm of the house and fitting it out with modern interiors and technology.

Kitchen Renovation | Villaworx Construction
Why renovate a villa then?

Although restoring your villa can cause a considerable amount of inconvenience, mess and stress, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. You will own a classic, character home with all the modern comforts, that is built to suit your individual tastes. Your villa will also likely be situated in a desirable location such as close to the CBD and its amenities. 

Whether you’re renovating to add value, comfort and practicality or to sell, the team at Villaworx Construction will help you through every step of the process.  Experience is paramount in renovating villas. We, at Villaworx Construction, have the passion and expertise to overcome the pitfalls. We have demonstrated this time and time again in our previous villa renovations.

Auckland Building Costs: What To Expect in 2022

Auckland Building Costs: What To Expect In 2022

What does it cost to build a new home in New Zealand in 2022?

We on average are building more houses but they are getting smaller, especially with the proliferation of many town houses being built on what was once a single site. Auckland remains the most expensive place to buy a property in New Zealand, with Wellington following close behind. The National average build cost in 2020 was $2360 per square metre and in 2021 was $2460. From 2021 to now, this cost has skyrocketed to an average price of $3500 per square metre and it is continuing to rise.  This $3500 per square metre does not include the following costs:

  • The costs involved in purchasing and obtaining the land (real estate agents, legal fees).
  • The design (architects) and consent fees (Resource Consent and Building Consent) which can be anywhere between 5-10% of the overall build cost.
  • Foundation and subfloors (concrete or timber and piles).
  • Earthworks, drainage, retaining walls, septic tanks, retention tanks.
  • Engineering and quantity surveying fees.
  • Landscaping, fences and driveways.
  • Services such as fibre, gas, electrical and water to the dwelling.
Five price increases in the last 7 months

In the last 7 months (since August 2021) we have had five price increases in material costs, fuel prices have pushed up freight costs for the delivery of materials, inflation is running at 5.9% and mortgage loan rates are sitting around 5%. Labour costs have also increased due to the shortage of skilled tradespeople. A Quantity Surveyor can work out the cost of a new build, but their figure is only as good as the data that goes into it.

When building consent applications are submitted to Council, the build value is often lower than the actual cost of the build. This is because the value of the cost of the build determines the cost of the consent fee. An architect may say the build cost is $2500 per square metre but the actual build cost is more like $3500 per square metre.

The cheapest build is a basic rectangle shaped house.

Home Builders Auckland
Items that will increase build costs are:
  • Elevated sites
  • High wind zones
  • Unstable ground
  • Large areas of glass (require steel portals)
  • Anything that is canter levered (floors, roofs, walls and decks)
  • Difficult site access
Be wary when comparing different building quotes

When comparing different building quotes, make sure you compare the same things (like for like) and be weary of cheaper quotes. These cheaper quotes have probably left out items that will be added later as a variation to the scope of works and you will still have to pay for it. Some building companies do this on purpose to secure the contract for the job then add all the extras at the end. A good rule of thumb is that you should allow 10% for unforeseen costs or changes to the plan. Due diligence is the key to streamlining any new build.

There are many benefits to a new build compared to purchasing an old established house. Firstly, the building will meet all the new building codes and standards. This means the house will meet all the requirements of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2021 and will be dry, warm, double glazed and have a good, practical layout. Secondly, and most importantly, you get what you want, as it is your design.

Owners looking at quotes from perspective builders must take into consideration the many indirect (overhead) costs. Building companies must cover these costs month to month which are factored in as a percentage of each build. Some of these Indirect costs are:

  • Project Management Fee (this fee consists of a percentage of the scope of the works, typically 5% of the cost of the project)
  • Legal fees
  • Accounting fees
  • Website maintenance
  • Office rent
  • Administration staff/stationary/equipment
  • Health and safety
  • Human resources
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Quote for the job
  • LBP and Master Build Registrations
  • Licences for the computer software
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Insurances (Public liability, Professional indemnity, Equipment, Vehicles, etc)  
  • ACC
  • Margin (profit)
  • GST
The cost of building is getting more expensive

The cost of building is undoubtably getting more expensive as time goes on and these costs must ultimately be passed on to the owner. At the present time it is the perfect storm for increasing costs; as land prices are increasing, there is a shortage of trades people and due to global supply and constraints building materials are going through the roof. Then we have also had Covid-19 disrupting everything. At Villaworx Construction we believe that costs in general will continue to rise in the foreseeable future so if you are planning to build you should budget for more than you think that the cost of the build will be.

The Process of Building a House

The Process of Building a House

The Process of Building a House

The first stage in building a house starts with planning. Time spent planning here looking at the range of building materials, different features, house designs, and designers’ works (architects) will save you money and time. Go look at open homes, completed projects online and magazines to gather exciting ideas for your beautiful home.

At Villaworx Construction we say, “it is better to take your time at the planning stage as changes down the track can become costly”. Making any changes after the process of building has begun can cause building delays and be expensive.

The Designing Stage

The designing stage is the most enjoyable, exciting phase of building your own home and as it is where you create your home in your imagination and put it to paper. This is where your dreams become your visionary reality. The crucial aspect to a successful project is the design process.

To ensure the build is just right, ideas will be discussed, re-worked, re-thought and digested many times with you and your home designer until the perfect solution has been achieved. After you have decided the house design you want, and what it will look like, you then work out the price you can afford and how you are to pay for it.

A professional such as an architect can help with this process as they bring understanding, experience, imagination and knowledge to work with you to make your project the best it can be. An architect can customise a build specifically for you that is unique, intrinsic, has elements that you personally value and is within your budget.

Remember compromise is fundamental when it comes to your budget, but design looks can be achieved by smart building and using alternative building materials.

The Construction Process

Now that the dreaming, planning, and design stage is over it is time for the construction process to begin, when the hammer hits the nail and you see things start to happen. Watching your new home rise from your plans is fantastic but you need to constantly review things and stay on top of what is going on to ensure your building company is building it right.

Ensure there is a health and safety plan on site, a building contract signed, and all insurances are in place before your home construction begins. Check that the building company follows the building plans, the building code, scope of the building work and that all the building materials used are the ones specified and are installed correctly.

A Typical Order of Construction is as Follows:
  • The setting out of the building,
  • site excavation,
  • foundations are laid,
  • concrete floors are poured or sub-floor framed up,
  • wall framing is constructed,
  • roof trusses and framed and placed,
  • joinery is installed (windows and doors),
  • exterior cladding is put on,
  • plumbing and electrical is fitted out,
  • insulation is placed,
  • internal doors are fitted,
  • interior linings (Gib) are fixed,
  • interior plastering and painting,
  • waterproofing any interior walls/floors,
  • tiling of floors and walls,
  • cabinets are installed,
  • final plumbing and electrical work (fixtures and fittings),
  • paint the outside of the house and any finishing work,
  • floor coverings are laid,
  • open a bottle of champagne and have a glass as you are finished!

When all of this is completed and the final inspection is carried out, your home is finished, and you are ready to obtain a Code of Compliance Certificate from the Council.

Things to Keep in Mind

During this whole building project, you the homeowner must be prepared to endure major frustrations and stressful moments, accept that it will take up a lot of your free time (typically 12 months) and may exceed your planned budget.

Building projects can take longer than what was estimated due to delays caused by material shortages, subcontractor availability, the weather, etc. Communication is essential to any good building project by allowing work to progress smoothly and foreseeing of any potential problems that could become costly.

At Villaworx Construction we see a good relationship and clear communication as the key to a successful building project. Your building company becomes your crucial partner in this whole process, so choose one whom you can trust.

Old Villa Renovation Ideas

Old Villa Renovation Ideas

New Zealanders love older homes like villas and bungalows as they have charm, appeal and special characters that you ordinarily just can not buy from new.  Typically villas also have downfalls such as, bad layout for indoor outdoor flow, drafty/cold and damp. Despite this we can excuse them for this as they are relatively easy items to fix. DIY is in our blood and we are all suckers for a renovation.

At Villaworx Construction we feel that the most important thing to get right when modernising an old villa or bungalow is the cohesion between the old and the new. Without good aesthetic flow, any extension will feel unconnected and just thrown on. The new part of the villa or bungalow has to be clean, modern and continue the same colour scheme and building material throughout the house for continuity. The renovation process can be broken up into four basic categories, Basics Reno, Curb Appeal, Value Added and Personal Preference.


New Zealanders love older homes like villas and bungalows as they have charm, appeal and special characters that you ordinarily just can not buy from new.  Typically villas also have downfalls such as, bad layout for indoor outdoor flow, drafty/cold and damp. Despite this we can excuse them for this as they are relatively easy items to fix. DIY is in our blood and we are all suckers for a renovation.

At Villaworx Construction we feel that the most important thing to get right when modernising an old villa or bungalow is the cohesion between the old and the new. Without good aesthetic flow, any extension will feel unconnected and just thrown on. The new part of the villa or bungalow has to be clean, modern and continue the same colour scheme and building material throughout the house for continuity. The renovation process can be broken up into four basic categories, Basics Reno, Curb Appeal, Value Added and Personal Preference.


"At Villaworx Construction we feel that the most important thing to get right when modernising an old villa or bungalow is the cohesion"

New Zealanders love older homes like villas and bungalows as they have charm, appeal and special characters that you ordinarily just can not buy from new.  Typically villas also have downfalls such as, bad layout for indoor outdoor flow, drafty/cold and damp. Despite this we can excuse them for this as they are relatively easy items to fix. DIY is in our blood and we are all suckers for a renovation.

At Villaworx Construction we feel that the most important thing to get right when modernising an old villa or bungalow is the cohesion between the old and the new. Without good aesthetic flow, any extension will feel unconnected and just thrown on. The new part of the villa or bungalow has to be clean, modern and continue the same colour scheme and building material throughout the house for continuity. The renovation process can be broken up into four basic categories, Basics Reno, Curb Appeal, Value Added and Personal Preference.

The Basics Reno are renovations that potential buyers would expect if they were to purchase a home. This would include a structurally sound roof, solid floors, walls that are in good condition and retaining walls that are not collapsing. With good regular maintenance small improvements can keep the property in good order.

 Renovations that add Curb Appeal allow the property to look good from a street appeal prospective. These projects do not add a considerable amount of monetary value to the property, but at first glance make the property more appealing. These curb appeal items include lawn, landscaping, paint inside and out, new carpets and fixtures, splashbacks, lighting with installing LEDs. Consultations for interior design with an interior decorating professional are considered useful.

The renovations that add considerable value are the Value Added renovations or fix-it-and-flip-it renos. These include upgrading kitchens with state of the art appliances, new joinery, modernised bathrooms, refurbished decks, and advanced energy saving additions such as insulation, HVAC, underfloor heating and heat pumps and the use of E-glass or double glazing.

Personal Preference renovations are changes that you want but that other people may not like. These include tennis courts, swimming pools, games rooms, wine cellars, spa pools and ponds. These renovations can involve extensive structural work like removing walls to enlarge a space, Eliminating a bedroom to extend a room, remodeling a basement, adding a 2nd or third story, lifting a house to allow another level.

When considering a renovation project, you must ask yourself “what is the purpose of the renovation”. If it is to be your home for many years to come; add the amenities that you want (Personal Preference renovations), but if it is for investment or re-sale depending on your budget look at Value Added, Curb Appeal or the bare minimum a Basic Reno renovation. If unsure just what type of home renovation you require (to insure costs are utilised effectively) please do not hesitate to contact us for a free no obligation quote.

Villas nowadays make up a significant contribution of the building industry’s work. Numerous Villas have been renovated to a high standard with extensive work leaving only the street façade remaining. Nevertheless, a lot of New Zealand Villas are yet to be upgraded and renovated. These remaining Villas are typically damp, cold and drafty and have a poor aspect. The layout of the service areas such as bathrooms are poor in relation to bedrooms and do not fit in with modern amenities.

Typical villa renovation trends today have shown that the street appearance of the Villa is being persevered, while the rest of the property has been modified and redesigned to allow for modern open plan living. Additions such as installing modern bathrooms and kitchens, room/extra levels or basement extensions, rewiring and re-plumbing, increased lighting (LEDs, skylights) and improving indoor outdoor flow.

Villas are majestic neoclassical pieces of architecture that deserve to be protected and preserved for future generations. People are keeping their street facade and totally renovating the inside and out back to accompany their modern lifestyles. These people who own these high quality villas truly receive the best of both worlds. 

Villa Style House Plans NZ

Villa Style House Plans NZ

Traditional Villas

Villas in New Zealand were typically built around a central corridor with rooms opening off each side. The room reserved for entertaining guests was called the parlour and was located directly off the corridor and contained a bay window. Family treasures and the finest furniture in the house would be on display in this room. 

The main bedroom was typically across the corridor from the parlour, facing the street. Any other bedrooms typically faced the side or back of the house. 

The kitchen, pantry and scullery were at the rear of the house, away from the street, located under a lean-to roof with a floor dropped to ground level. The kitchen area was for cooking (on a coal range) and dining. Wetbacks on the coal range provided water heating. 

Larger villas had a lock-up safe, a separate dining room and a pantry for food storage. Villas typically did not have bathrooms but instead had long-drop toilets, located in separate buildings at the rear of the section. The laundry was usually also situated in a separate building behind the main house and contained a kauri timber or copper tubb, for boiling water. 

Villa Styles in New Zealand

Villas in New Zealand come in five distinctly different styles, from the Workers cottage to the Trans Villa (Transitional Villa). 

The Workers Cottages were 2 – 4 bedroom cottages constructed in the mid to late 19th century and were used to house workers. They typically had close neighbours and had very little fret work (lack of frills). Over the years, improvements such as verandahs, second stories and other extensions may have been added. Government state housing schemes built many Workers Cottages in New Zealand.

The Victorian Villa became the prominent home in New Zealand from the mid 19th century. Constructed solidly using native timber, they typically had a high ceiling, small windows, front verandas and a large wide central hallway. This Victorian Villa was all about the appeal of the exterior, with fretwork and fennels. 

The Californian Bungalow became popular in New Zealand from the early 20th century and featured larger windows, less verandah detailing and lower pitched angled roofs. They were more of an open plan style, which allowed more light in. Features included exposed rafters, timber panelling on walls and a single clad, round bay window.

Bay Villas are a variation of the classic Victorian Villa. Their main feature was a faceted bay window on one side with a front verandah running to the side of the bay window. 

The Trans Villa incorporated the styles of both the Victorian Villa and the Californian Bungalow. It became popular to incorporate bungalow architecture into traditional villas. By the 1940s, the bungalow had gained so much favour that both the Villa and the Trans Villa were consigned to history.

Today's Villas

Villas have seen a revival in popularity since about 1980. Villa renovations are now a significant part of the building industry’s work. They count for over half of the renovations that Villaworx Construction perform. The renovations we carry out on these Villas are extensive and to a high standard. Generally the entire inside is gutted and modernised to various degrees, while the exterior is meticulously restored to its original state.  

Many of New Zealand’s 85,000 villas have yet to be upgraded and renovated. Typically, they are cold (no insulation), draughty (leaky sash, single glazed windows) and their spaces have a poor relationship to sun and site (bad aspect). Their service areas such as bathrooms are not well related to bedrooms (bad layout) and may lack what we consider to be modern amenities. 

Despite all these facts, once renovated, these houses can become amazing architectural masterpieces with all the modern comforts inside, yet keeping all the character and heritage on the outside. At Villaworx Construction we love taking on these projects as we are passionate about restoring these timeless architectural treasures back to their former glory.

If you’ve got questions or would like to discuss your villa plans in more detail, send us a message here