Our Blog

How to: Create a 'Timeless Kitchen'

Posted Monday, 23 October 2017

If you’ve made the decision to turn your house into your ‘forever home’ by way of renovations to last a lifetime, here are some great design elements worth considering for a timeless kitchen that you’ll simply love forever!

The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the house and one that tends to date quickly (if you’re not in the know)! If you’re planning to stay in the house and love it for a long time to come, your kitchen renovation will need some serious consideration in terms of styling and design. No matter what changes in trends, there are some timeless elements you can incorporate in your kitchen design to keep it living for longer!…
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Auckland Renovation Builders - Our Growing Team!

Posted Friday, 6 October 2017
Our Growing Auckland Team Smith & Sons Renovations & Extensions are growing to meet the demand for qualified, quality builders in the home renovations market in the Auckland region. With 2 new offices opening in the recent weeks, Smith & Sons are now able to provide renovation services to homeowners from 8 Auckland locations. The new offices joining the team are Smith & Sons Ponsonby…
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Meet the New Owners of Smith & Sons Queenstown

Posted Wednesday, 4 October 2017

We are proud to announce that Smith & Sons Queenstown is now open and has a great new team behind the wheel - Matt Marfell and Rachel Steadman.

This super motivated pair are a breeze to work with. Matt is a fully qualified LBP with 10 years experience in the industry, so yes he knows a few things about building! Having worked on a wide range of projects, from architecturally designed new homes to simple bathroom upgrades, Matt gained a heap of knowledge in the residential building sector. Being a technical type of guy, he is a great problem solver and can foresee many issues before they arise. Rachel runs the office side and ensures everything ticks along to schedule. Having a degree in Commerce stands her in good stead to understand project management and the ins-and-outs of how to efficiently run a busy business. Together their aim is to ensure your next renovation project is a complete success and exceeds your expectations, and of course, they are here to ensure everything run smoothly for you every step of the way.…
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Some of Our Favourite Renovation Photos

Posted Friday, 19 May 2017

We love the look on our client’s faces when they see the final results of their renovation. After months of dreaming and planning their renovation, when our construction team leaves, our clients get to enjoy their newly renovated home.

Here we share some of our favourite before and after shots. Get some padding at the ready for when your jaw hits the floor!

Going Up in the World - Hibiscus Coast

This cute weatherboard cottage gets a lift and a new storey is added underneath, transforming it into a stylish modern family home.…
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Our Top Ten Bathroom Reno Tips!

Posted Friday, 14 April 2017
Renovating your bathroom is a great way to add value to your home. Whether you are thinking of selling or want to create your dream bathroom to enjoy, there's a lot to consider. At Smith and Sons our project consultants work with you every step of the way from discussing your initial design ideas, to producing plans and coming up with workable solutions. Having an expert on hand ensures that planning a bathroom becomes a smooth, stress-free process. Our project consultants will manage the construction for you, ensuring that your bathroom is completed on time and on budget. Check out our list of our top ten bathroom renovation ideas to help get you started! 1. Layouts…
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abode Magazine: Bathroom Showcase

Posted Thursday, 12 January 2017
Capturing the Value

January / February 2017

Following the kitchen, the bathroom is the most expensive area of your home – estimated to be around 10% of your home’s value. While it might be a small space, it can come at a high price. As the experts at Smith & Sons Renovations and Extensions explain, the cost of renovating your bathroom needs to be viewed in the context of the rest of the home. ‘A bathroom may cost $10,000 to $50 000 which isn't really that much in light of the property value,’ shares Anthony Bown from Smith and Sons Port Hills. Helping clients make decisions around where to spend their budget and where to save, is a big part of the renovation process. ‘It ensures clients are adding value to their property,’ continues Anthony, ‘whilst avoiding overcapitalising in their project’ Undertaken by Smith and Sons Riccarton, this renovation was about working with the clients to their aesthetic dream while achieving the best results in terms of functionality and space.…
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Renovation Showcase: Kekerengu Homestead

Posted Thursday, 22 December 2016
This home is set on a 35 ha lifestyle property in the beautiful Kekerengu Valley 45 minutes south of Blenheim in the Marlborough/ Kaikoura region. The house was built in the 1940’s has undergone a few renovations over its lifespan but was in need of an update particularly in the bathrooms. The entire interior of the house was repainted with Resene Rice cake in varying depths.The ceilings and cornices contrasted beautifully to the walls and the LED lighting with the brushed satin square fittings created a modern finish to the ceilings. The exterior of the windows were repainted and the sash windows repaired. The existing cabinetry was retained in the kitchen area however a new more functional pantry space was created and some of the kitchen joinery repaired. There was an old farm style back door entry space that was in dire need of refreshing and a more welcoming and usable lobby area was remodelled and reclaimed as an indoor space. A new fire was installed into the dining/kitchen zone and the wall behind this remodelled in include shelving which provides an area to showcase family possessions. The existing carpets and curtains were retained in the two living areas so the new carpet in the rest of the house was replaced and matched up to the existing. New timber laminate flooring was used in the kitchen dining area which adds to the warmth of the room. The main bathroom and the ensuite bathroom were completely gutted and renovated and refitted with tiled floors, high quality fittings and tiled showers. The upgrade of the bathrooms has really modernized the property as the previous bathrooms were old, dated and cold. In the new ensuite the beautiful standalone bath is a real focal point to the ensuite and creates a real sense of luxury to the property. The third bathroom to the property was converted into a powder room. Previously the old bathroom had an exterior door opening out to the back of the property which was a regular feature in an old farmhouse. This bathroom was an old, outdated, cold and uninviting zone - the whole room was gutted and relined, the exterior door and a window covered in and a skylight put into the room to ensure natural light was available. The previous room was unrecognisable and the whole room become so much more usable and inviting with the elegant clean lines and modern new fittings. The existing office in the house was transformed into a large walk in wardrobe/change room which added a whole new dimension to the existing master bedroom which isn’t overly large. To extend the space into the old office area our builders had to cut a hole into the concrete wall off the master bedroom to create a new access point to the old office. This proved to be a rather dusty and challenging exercise but worth the effort. The study areas and guest bedrooms were all repainted and remodelled to bring them up to date and tie in with the rest of the renovation. This renovation was completed by the Blenheim office. Fnd out more about the Blenheim teamhere…
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Bathroom Inspiration : Black Tapware

Posted Thursday, 20 October 2016
The trend for using black tapware in bathrooms has been keeping bathroom retailers busy this year with strong demand for high-quality electroplated matte black tapware. Happily it looks like the trend is here to stay! The range is expanding and with new products appearing across the offerings of shower heads, shower mixers, basin mixers and towel rails. The choice of black tapware looks striking in many settings creating a contrast against white tiles and neutral colour schemes. Black…
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Top 7 Preparation Tips For Your Renovation

Posted Tuesday, 4 October 2016

There’s so much to think about when you undertake a renovation project. It takes serious

planning and preparation - but the satisfaction of creating a space that’s completely bespoke for you and

your family makes it so worth it! These tips will serve as a great starting point for those about to start this

adventure.

1. PLANNING

The time you spend up front planning, researching, looking at ideas, designs and products will save you…
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Top 10 Tips for a Designer Finish

Posted Friday, 26 August 2016

There are so many considerations and decisions with any renovation project. Once all the plans and the structural work is sorted, it’s a good idea to start to thinking about how you want the finished product to look. The interior of your project needs careful planning and consideration too to ensure the finished spaces work for you and your family - and that your finished renovation is one you love! Here are 10 tried and true tips for a designer finish for your home.…
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When You Want a Bigger Kitchen

Posted Monday, 27 June 2016
Big kitchens are perfect for the modern family, are an entertainer's dream and they also add value to your home. So what are you waiting for? After a few careful considerations, it is easy to redesign your living space and improve the flow of the house.Open plan kitchens with islands are attractive to many buyers as they work well with the demands of modern family life, allowing for cooking eating and working in the same space, meaning more time spent together. Creating larger more open living spaces will often make the property feel bigger and more spacious. First off, you will need to consider whether you wish to extend outwards of your existing floor plan, or simply redesign the surrounding spaces to acheive a larger kitchen area within your home. Extending the kitchen is also a great opportunity to create more indoor / outdoor flow by adding external doors that open out onto a patio or deck. Either way, for a project of this size, it is wise to call in the professionals who will be able to work through each stage of design, planning and construction with you. Adding external patio doors to your kitchen brings the outdoors in and offers further options for dining areas.…
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Transforming Kitchen Spaces

Posted Monday, 23 May 2016

Turning a small and cramped kitchen into a modern, open plan space can feel quite liberating. In transforming the heart of the home you are set to gain a more liveable and workable floor plan to enjoy for years to come.

The owners of this Rakaia home wanted to open up the kitchen space and create a welcoming, modern space. Feeling that the kitchen was too dark and had become old fashioned, they planned for a bigger kitchen and to give it a fresh new look and style.


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Feature Reno - Historic Lyttelton Home

Posted Wednesday, 27 April 2016
On the Banks Peninsula, in the historic town of Lytttelton is this original home which has been added to and modified over the period of its life. The original framing for the house was built somewhere around 1902, and it has done remarkably well given the amount of earthquake movement that it suffered in the two major Canterbury quakes. The current property owners decided that now was the right time to give this home some attention and create a place to enjoy for years to come. The Port Hills team took on the brief from the clients which involved a full kitchen renovation. This involved raising the height of the ceiling in the kitchen where the owners spend most of their time. To achieve this the Port Hills team raised the height of the first floor above by 500 mm and put in a steel beam to be able to carry the load. They excavated the new foundations after propping the existing house up, and then poured in new foundation walls. The next task was to cut free the original floor and move it up to the desired height. One of the resulting features of this work was the new space in which to create open plan living in the kitchen and improve the flow of the rooms, whilst still retaining the period character of the home, plus the clients acheived their wish of adding in a butler’s pantry. New kitchen cabinetry was built to specification by Euroform, and the rooms where then ready for painting and plastering. The clients have an amazing result from a previously cramped space which they have filled with beautiful décor and furnishing to show off their home’s character. To find out more about renovating historic properties on the Banks Peninsula contact Anthony Bown, Director ofSmith & Sons Port Hills…
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Renovating to Sell your Home

Posted Wednesday, 20 April 2016

To acheive a quick sale and the best value for your home on the property market a carefully considered renovation can often be the answer. Here we feature a recent property renovation which demonstrates just that. This solid 1960's house on Norman Street in Dunedin needed bringing into 2016 before the property owners put it on the market.

The house was owned by a couple who had rented it out for ten years while they were overseas. They decided to undertake a full house refresh including updating the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, laundry, lounge, bedrooms and hallways. A new deck was also added to the rear of the property for modern indoor/outdoor living and the house was repainted inside and out. …
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The Low Down on Loft Conversions

Posted Monday, 14 March 2016
With the hassle and cost of moving house, many families opt for finding more space within their existing home. Converting the loft or attic into a new living space can be a relatively cost effective, easy way to add extra rooms to your property. An article published January 2016 by Westpac Bank NZ estimates that for every dollar spent adding an extra bedroom the pay back is double on your investment. So, if you spend $50,000 on an extra bedroom your property price could go up by $100,000. Converting the loft is often a cheaper alternative to building an extension or basement conversion as there is no requirement for groundworks - most of the work can be done within the current footprint and frame of your house. By building up you also get to keep the garden space because your new rooms won’t encroach on outdoor areas. The costs of converting your loft space vary depending on the accessibility and size of the space you are looking to convert. Generally speaking, the more complex the structural work, the higher the cost. Some loft conversions are relatively straightforward, for example where there is a large loft space with lots of headroom and good existing structural support. Adding an extra bedroom can be straighforward if your attic is already accessible. Photo credit: Smith & Sons Western Southland.…
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Why Choose Smith & Sons as your Renovation Builder?

Posted Friday, 11 March 2016

Recently, we were approached by a couple who had spoken to their bank about extending their home. The bank had asked them to get a quote for the work to be done so that they could set a budget to gain approval for their loan. It sounded straightforward enough, but the builders that they contacted could not provide a quote and instead suggested that they should firstly engage an architect / draughtsman. The draughtsman had different ideas to the builders about what their extension could cover, and again could not provide an estimate for the cost of the extension.…
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Feature Reno - Restyling a Family Home in Blenheim

Posted Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The McMillan household was a dated and tired 1970’s home in a great location. The client’s wanted to maximise their potential space and create an open plan, light and spacious living area for themselves and their teenage family along with a great space for entertaining in. The house is situated on a large private section and has a pool and sheltered patio areas so an upgrade to the existing house, rather than a move to a newer house on a smaller section which potentially lacked shelter and privacy, seemed like a better option all round.…
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Feature Reno - Future Proof, Lyttelton

Posted Thursday, 26 November 2015
Jacqueline and Mike Yoder instantly fell in love with their hillside property nearly eight years ago, but knew from the start that they would outgrow the small villa. ‘With three children it was too small for us but it was a magical property that we couldn’t walk away from. A renovation was always on the cards, it was just a matter of when’, shares Jacqueline. The time came in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes. For builder Anthony Bown of Smith and Sons Port Hills, this project is a wonderful example of a holistic approach to building, with owner, architect and builder sharing the same vision – an earthquake repair and renovation to improve family life. With building success often reliant on sound communication, Anthony and his team pride themselves on their ability to guide owners through the building process to achieve the desired end results . ‘We wanted something which looked like it had always been’, describes Jacqueline, ‘while balancing what makes the property so special – the views and sense of intimacy’. Despite its small floor plan, the home ‘lived well’ and boasted intimate spaces that could be shut off easily from one another, a feeling the couple didn’t want to lose. No stranger to the property, or those who call it home, family friend and architect Brita Corbett was brought to the table to assist with plans. ‘This particular dwelling stands out in the community because of its location’, shares Brita. ‘And is the hub for many parties. While the brief was simple – extend the home to make it more functional for a family of five – due to its prominence, it was important that any new building work did not to detract from the home’s old world, white weatherboard charm.’ As with many Lyttelton residences the house is orientated along opposing axes, north (for the sun) and south (for the view). ‘Two new bedroom spaces were located side by side along the two axes, giving each space a distinct character. They were then separated from the main bulk of the house under a small simple gable form’, continues Brita. 'This separate structure sits comfortably next to the original house without overwhelming or detracting from it. The link back to the original structure then allowed for an additional small lounge and office. Both areas have given the family much needed-breakaway space.’ While the extension to the home is conservative in size, coming in around 60sqm, the project was a large one, with earthquake repairs, excavation, repiling and more to contend with. 'This was essentially our second earthquake repair job on this house’, describes Anthony. ‘After the September quake we took out the fireplace in the living room, opening the area up to the kitchen/dining. Then, following February, we had foundation damage and repairs on a much larger scale; and this flowed into the renovation work.’ Describing the manner in which the earthquake struck the peninsula on which the home sits, Anthony recalls a clear crack running from the edge of the garden, through the front of the entrance steps and throughout the foundation of the home. As a result, the entranceway, as well as the foundations, required major repair work. With a passion for, and understanding of, older homes, Anthony dedicates much of his time and career to restoring, repairing and renovating character houses. ‘It’s about giving another life to them’, he explains. ‘They come with a raft of challenges and require nimble thinking and technical expertise, but seeing the end result makes it all worthwhile. You have to know and love character to do it.’ WORDS LUCINDA DIACK PHOTOGRAPHS MICK STEPHENSON View more Images for this project.…
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New Offices Open in Blenheim

Posted Monday, 9 November 2015

The new Blenheim Design Centre is now open on the corner of Cleghorn and Weld Streets in Redwood Village, Blenheim. Owner operators Daniel and Jess Francis have been running the Blenheim office of Smith & Sons for 12 months now and have been busy completing renovations from simple bathrooms to full homes.


Auckland Full Home Renovation

Posted Thursday, 11 June 2015

A huge transformation has taken place in Auckland! The home owners had some brilliant ideas that the team wanted to bring to life.The project involved some demolition and reconstruction. The Smithy team brought the skills, care and attention to the table. With an impressive build and exquisite finishes, the owners were more than happy with the outcome.Check out the absolutely stunning full home renovation below.


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See You At The Otago Home Show!

Posted Thursday, 5 March 2015
We are proud to be major sponsors again this year of The Otago Home Show in Dunedin which runs Friday 6th to Sunday 8th March at the Edgar Event Centre. This year promises to be another showstopper with everything you need to get inspired about the latest trends and fashions in home design all in one place. Our Dunedin team will be there to provide you with expert advice on your latest home renovation and they have some fantastic offers for kitchen and bathroom renovations! John Sear and his wife Lynda Wright-Sear head the franchise in Dunedin so make sure you consult them at the exhibition stand, they will be delighted to talk to you about your ideas and provide you with some fresh inspiration on the latest products for your home. Our Dunedin franchise are specialists in all aspects of home renovation, contact John and the team on 03 477 4630 or to find out more visit their website…
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Kitchen Remodelling Costs – Planning Your Design

Posted Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Renovating your kitchen is often a great way to add value to your home and offers a good return on your investment when it comes to selling. So what does it cost to remodel a kitchen in NZ?

Basic renovations start at around $10,000 to $15,000 if you simply want to update the look of your kitchen and keep the layout the same. For a complete renovation of a mid-range kitchen you are probably looking at somewhere in the region of $25,000 to $35,000.

For a top end kitchen renovation the sky is the limit but you could easily spend around $55,000 to $60,000 on creating the centre of your dream home.…
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Win an iPad Mini!!

Posted Wednesday, 18 February 2015

This month we are giving away a FREE iPad mini – just Like us onFacebookin Feb or March 2015 and go into the draw to win!

A big thanks to our partners at Noel Leeming in Mount Maunganui for supplying this cool giveaway!

Check out the prize!! Product Specification: A beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless and over 275,000 apps ready to download from the App Store. iPad mini is an iPad in every way, shape and slightly smaller form. Dual Core A5 Processor 16GB SSD Hard Drive 7.9" LED-backlit Display Wi-Fi Black and Slate Colour Lightning connector (Includes Lightning to USB Cable) 1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi) Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating Want one?? Just don't forget to Like us!
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The Best Apps for Your Home Reno

Posted Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Smartphones have transformed the world of home renovation, giving us a myriad of fresh new design ideas and inspiration, from creative tools to interior design tips, to renovation planning and budgeting all at our fngertips, allowing us to access and update our project ideas anywhere and everywhere! There are thousands of home renovation apps to give you ideas and inspiration for your next project. Here are some of the best apps you can download for FREE to your to get you started on your next home renovation. Houzz…
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Reno of the Week - An Amazing Exterior in Kelvin Heights

Posted Friday, 6 February 2015

The term "Wow Factor" is frequently used in the building and renovations industry. While it is often over-used, in this case it very much applies!

Our Reno of the Week is an amazing Queenstown exterior fully redone. Whether your putting your home up for sale or you just want to step up its curb appeal, an exterior renovation could be just what the Doctor ordered. This Queenstown home took full advantage of its natural surrounding to create a stunning first impression and great place to drive home to everyday. Check it out!…
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Tricks of the Trade - Planning Your Renovation!

Posted Friday, 30 January 2015
Planning Your Renovation? Well, we have you covered! Here we share our Tricks of the Trade with you, giving you the know-how on the steps to take to get your renovation done the way you want, and without the heartache! We have all heard the horror stories of home renovations taking twice as long and costing twice as much as planned, but with a little forethought, a bit of research, good planning, and some help from us, you will be well on your way to the home of your dreams! So let's get going... 1. Budget…
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Inspiring Ideas for Bathrooms

Posted Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The importance of planning for any bathroom renovation can never be underestimated! With so many options available, the first step should always be to ascertain exactly how your bathroom is to be used – parental retreat, bath/spa, ensuite, the option for two users simultaneously?

It’s often helpful to choose one key feature that is essential and then build the rest of the design around that – it could be a tile, a bath, a tap or even a particular colour. If it’s a compact space check out the many space saving options that cleverly give the illusion of spaciousness – wall hung vanities, sliding shower doors, and so on.…
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Feature Reno - A Stylish Bathroom Upgrade in Queenstown

Posted Friday, 23 January 2015
This amazing bathroom renovation, at a Kelvin Heights property in Queenstown, has delighted its' property owners, who were looking to update their plain, functional bathroom into a sophisticated retreat with a luxurious feel. It’s the attention to detail which makes this bathroom stand out, where beautiful fixtures are combined with creative touches such as unique drop lighting features and striking chessboard floor tiles. The project consultants at our Queenstown Lakes District branch achieved this stunning look through perfect planning and expert design knowledge, bringing it all together seamlessly! Before... …
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