Our Blog

4 Renovation Rules You Should Never Break!

Posted Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Home renovating is not always a smooth & easy process, so it always helps to have a little extra info from the professionals to help you start well!

So, what are the 4Renovation Rules You Should Never Break?

·Plan Ahead

Don’t start with delays! Unless you’ve hired seasoned renovation professionals likeSmith & Sons…
Read More »

Understanding Builder’s Quotes (Jargon Buster!)

Posted Thursday, 14 December 2017

Understanding Builder’s Quotes

(Jargon Buster!)

Everyone wants to know they are getting good value; it’s not just about the price, but also the quality of the build. To cut through the building jargon, here is a basic layout of how the charges are calculated for any renovation work:

Labour– This is the charge for the number of hours completed by each tradesman and/or labourer on your project. On a fixed-price Contract, the number of hours that will be allowed for in the quote, should be appropriate to the works that are to be completed. For some services, such a plumbing or electrical, the labour may be included in their service charge, but should be made clear to you by your Builder, prior to contract signing.…
Read More »

The KEY to a Successful Renovation!

Posted Friday, 8 December 2017

Looking for the KEY to a Successful Renovation?

At Smith & Sons Renovations & Extensions, we hold the key, and while you might not be ready to hire a renovation professional just yet – we can certainly help you start your home renovation on the right foot.

Something we see time and again is people with approved plans that find they cannot afford to complete the build. There are many reasons why a budget might overrun, and lets face it, with a renovation it’s hard to be able to plan for everything! The chances of this happening are greatly reduced if you work with a designer and builder together while planning a renovation.…
Read More »

Showcasing Four Beautiful Christchurch Renovations

Posted Monday, 4 December 2017
Our renovation builders have been busy transforming homes around Christchurch. Take a peek at some of our latest renovations! Featured Reno - Sheer Indulgence Builder: Tiny McColl, Christchurch South This beautiful bathroom has just been designed and installed by the team at Christchurch South. Featuring a deep freestanding tub, corner shower, custom vanity and subway wall tiles, it's a beautifully indulgent new space for the owners to enjoy. READ MORE…
Read More »

Ways to Spruce Up Your Home (without breaking the bank!)

Posted Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Fresh coat of paint

If you’re already quite pleased with your wall colour at present, you might consider adding a splash of colour and creating an accent wall. When you paint (or even wallpaper!) a section of the room, you create a new focal point, adding some interest to the space. Or, if you hate your current walls, you might look at toning the room down with some whites and neutrals; a fresh coat is always inexpensive and high impact so if you aren’t quite ready to hire professional renovators…
Read More »

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!…
Read More »

House of the Year Category Winner - Renovation

Posted Thursday, 19 January 2017

This small yet beautiful renovation by the team in Ashburton is an award winner! Taking home the Category Winner for Renovations up to $250,000 South & Mid Canterbury, and Gold Reserve Award Winner at the NZ Master Builders House of the Year Awards 2016.

Originally a garage that functioned as a florist shop, this little beauty in Allenton has blossomed into a light-filled, self-contained studio. At 64sqm, It’s a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, one-living-room wonder.

The floor plan was extended to meet the edge of the upstairs balcony, so not an inch of space was wasted. The addition of a bay window with sun bench provides a lovely spot to relax with a book and look out to the private courtyard.…
Read More »

Renovation Showcase: Lyttelton Hills

Posted Monday, 16 January 2017
On the Banks Peninsula, in the historic town of Lyttelton 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…
Read More »

abode Magazine: Bathroom Showcase

Posted Tuesday, 10 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.…
Read More »

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



The time you spend up front planning, researching, looking at ideas, designs and products will save you…
Read More »

New Brighton Villa - A New Deck for the Sunshine!

Posted Thursday, 15 September 2016

Our clients in New Brighton, North Christchurch wanted to create a sunny deck and outdoor area to enjoy afternoons and evenings on the deck.

Photo1: Before - showing the existing window frames

Keeping in the style of this classic weatherboard home in Marine Parade, we removed the window and installed new french doors. Hey presto - that much desired indoor / outdoor flow was instantly created!

Next we completed the decking, handrails, balustrades, roof frames and installed a stairway into the garden. …
Read More »

Restoring A Grand Fendalton Residence

Posted Thursday, 15 September 2016
This beautiful homestead style residence in Fendalton, Christchurch receives the five star treatment by our team at Christchurch North. With complete renovation work both externally and internally, breathing life back into the bones of the place it is fabulous to see this grand old lady restored to her former glory. The exterior was restored with weatherboard repairs and a full repaint in light grey with white windows and door frames. The structural work included relevelling…
Read More »

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.…
Read More »

How to Choose a Builder

Posted Monday, 17 August 2015
We know that it can be a little confusing with all the different quality and trade standards in NZ to know exactly how your builder is qualified and what skills they have. Here we break it down in a simple guide for you, so you know that you are hiring the best quality builder who will make your renovation experience easy, make alterations to your home properly and get you a the best results for your budget. Industry Standards There are 3 main Industry Standards to look for when choosing…
Read More »

How to Survive Your Home Renovation!

Posted Monday, 20 July 2015
If you have yet to experience the ups and downs of having a large amount of work done on the home you love, you might be surprised about how disruptive a major renovation can be! Here are a few tips which, in our experience, can make things a lot easier for that short amount of time your home is getting a makeover. 1. Consider going on a holiday Construction is often dusty and dirty, and living in a construction site with plaster dust on your pillow isn’t likely to make you…
Read More »

Feature Reno - A Beautiful Flat Conversion

Posted Wednesday, 1 July 2015
This renovation story really shows the magic our builders can work! We love before and after photos and this project really highlights how a renovation can completely transform a building giving it a new function and going from drab to fab! This old garage / storage room was full of junk and definitely was not somewhere anyone would like to spend much time. Transforming this property into a complete granny flat meant designing new living spaces on this blank canvas, with installing new internal walls andnew plumbing for the kitchen and bathroom. Making great use of all the space comes from creating a clever layout design where the kitchen and bathroom are back to back against one internal wall, keeping plumbing costs to a minimum. Once the transformation is complete this old garage is now a fully self-contained one bedroom flat. Features such as the bedroom partition create a feeling of space and flexibility to close off the room for more privacy. A great example of utilising space and this conversion is beautifully finished - definitely somewhere you would want to spend time now! To find out more about transforming your home talk to Anna or Paul …
Read More »

Under Home Extension in Port Hills

Posted Friday, 26 June 2015

The client wanted to create more space within this character home by utilising the empty basement area below the house, adding a new bathroom and study.

To do this a new entranceway has been added to the front of the house and stairs created to join the new living spaces downstairs to the rest of the house.

The beautiful timber panelling already present on the first level of the house was carefully matched to ensure the renovation did not look or feel different to the rest of the home. New timber stairs were also created in keeping with the period style of the property.…
Read More »

Creating an Outdoor Space

Posted Thursday, 18 June 2015

If you love the outdoors why not make your garden area into an extension of your home living space? There are many fabulous options available to improve your outdoor space and create a stunning new place to spend your time. Whatever your ideas are the best gardens complement the house so it’s a good idea to decide on a style first - whether it’s a traditional cottage garden, lush tropical oasis or modern sleek living, then get your ideas sketched onto paper. You may also want to think about a focal area for your garden, such as an outdoor fireplace, a raised and covered deck for dining, or a water feature. And don’t forget to consider the elements – how you would like to stay in, or keep out of, the sun, wind and rain.…
Read More »

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.

Read More »

Top Tips - Energy Efficiency

Posted Friday, 8 May 2015

When you are planning your next home renovation it’s also a great time to consider improving the energy efficiency of your home. Many homes in New Zealand, especially older houses have inadequate insulation. Poor insulation means that you spend more heating your home as the heat is easily lost. You may want to consider replacing internal wall materials and adding in insulation behind walls rather than just redecorating. Windows and doors are another major source of heat loss - replacing old windows and doors with new double glazed alternatives can go a long way towards keeping your home warm. Spending a bit more on energy efficient fixtures and materials now can save you money in the future as you will be spending less on heating.…
Read More »

iPad Competition Winner

Posted Friday, 24 April 2015

A big congratulations to Annette Lane who entered our competition to win an iPad Mini. Annette was drawn from hundreds of entrants who Liked our Facebook page in March. Annette is pictured here receiving her prize with Paul and Anna Cartney from our Ashburton office.

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!…
Read More »