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Chic cladding has given this 1970s Taranaki home an impressive new look

A luxe makeover inside and out transformed a 1970s house into this modern home and maximised its magnificent views of the Tasman Sea

Chic cladding has given this 1970s Taranaki home an impressive new look

Who lives here?
Nigel Barbour, 47 (CEO of Powerco), Linda Barbour, 48 (ceramic artist), Sam, 16, and Isaac, 13, plus Peewee the cat.

Where is the home?
Oakura, Taranaki.

When did you move in?
July 2015.

Why did you choose this house?
Before buying it, we lived in an adjacent property for a decade and visited the house many times as we were good friends with our then neighbours. We loved the view and could see the home working well for us.


What did you love most about your home?
Nigel: The unobstructed view of the Tasman.

What didn’t you like about it?
The house did not flow as well as it could have and it did not take full advantage of the view. Plus we wanted an all-weather outdoor space and to get rid of the white fibreboard Michelangelo ceiling tiles.

The reno

What was involved in the renovation?
The basic layout stayed pretty much the same but the house went through a big gutting and refit. We changed everything inside, except for the feature window in the upstairs lounge. There were no other windows, doors or ceilings that survived. Upstairs we turned a bedroom into an ensuite, downstairs we converted a freezer room and washhouse into a bathroom. We changed how the kitchen was laid out. It was a big job. Structurally we didn’t push the house out at all but we redid the deck and added kwila rain screens to the exterior.

Did you use tradies or do the work yourself?
We used an architect (Glenn Brebner of BGBB Team Architects) and registered master builders (David Fabish, Colin Grant and Gary Shields of David Fabish Limited). We did some of the demolition ourselves and a few other jobs such as digging trenches for utilities and the odd drain, but the design and building team did the vast majority of the work.

The details

Any major disasters during the reno process?
Only lots of little ones. The amount of structural steel we installed was impressive! As our builder, David Fabish, said along the way: “Getting the quality of build was a challenge given the amount of strengthening, levelling and problem-solving required to get the result that we and the architect were after.”

Did you buy new pieces for this home or mostly use things you already owned?
Most of the pieces were things we already owned but we did buy ourselves a new dining-room table and chairs and outdoor furniture. We had been looking off and on for a new dining suite for years. We happened to be in Invercargill for a few days during the renovation and, while running one morning, spotted a furniture shop that we thought we must go back to during the day. We duly went back and both immediately decided that the table and chairs were what we had been looking for all those years.

Who manufactured your kitchen?
It was manufactured and installed by Jones & Sandford Joinery. We wanted the kitchen and dining area to be the heart of family life and we have achieved this.

What is the exterior cladding made of?
We made extensive use of kwila rain screens (installed over rendered concrete blocks and rendered bricks) to tie together the old and new and to add depth.

What’s your favourite feature of the new space?
The view which soars out over the greenery of the reserve and draws the eye.


How did you manage costs during the renovation?
Given it was such a big renovation and with so many unknowns, particularly structurally, we picked a very good building team whom we trusted and we had an open-book process. We agreed on a margin up front and had a target budget in the background. If we exceeded the budget we would have a discussion around what we wanted to pay for. We tried to manage it together.

What did you save on?
Not as much as we would have liked. We had the concrete tile roof cleaned and repainted and it came up like new – at a fraction of the price. We also reused the old stainless-steel kitchen benchtops in the downstairs kitchenette and the laundry.

What did you splurge on?
Hiring a really good designer and good builders. The quality of workmanship and attention to detail by the design and building team has given us an incredibly liveable house that maximises the property’s greatest asset – its view.

TOTAL: $500,000+

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Jane Dove Juneau.

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