Get Right Consents To Make Garage A Home

Get Right Consents To Make Garage A Home
To do it legally — and you’d be crazy to spend that money and not have it above board — can be tricky, thanks to the hoops owners must jump through with their council. There are two types of garage conversions. The easiest is where the room just adds space to the existing home, but can’t be let as a separate tenancy, says Mark Trafford a project manager who runs Maintain To Profit. For this you need just building consent. Bathrooms are allowed if they meet the rules, but you can’t put a kitchen and laundry into a basic conversion. However, it is sometimes possible to add a sink to a simple rumpus or art studio conversion without falling into the resource consent regime. The second kind of garage conversion is a “minor dwelling”, which is a self-contained unit with its own kitchen and laundry facilities. A legal attached or detached minor dwelling can be let to tenants, but requires resource consent as well as building consent. The first type of conversion can be straightforward, says Trafford. The actual building work for a simple garage conversion into warm dry space may only cost $5,000 to $10,000, says Trafford. Older 1970s properties may not be properly lined, which means they need a damp proof course added and additional concrete laid to the slab, says Ian Penniall, director at Harbour City Plans. Where some owners make a mistake is not realising they need building consent for all conversions “from non-habitable to habitable space”, says Penniall. The tricky bit in getting that consent is that owners need parking for two cars on...

Love Thy Roof

Love Thy Roof
For many of us the roof is out of sight and out of mind. This is fine as long as we understand the characteristics of our roofs, inspect and carry out maintenance at least once a year and keep good records of installers, repairs and warranties. KNOW THY ROOF Roof cladding varies in cost, upkeep, appearance and durability. Your roof affair should not stop there, however, as factors such as weight and noise need consideration. It is also sensible to understand how your roof would handle a large earthquake or violent storm. According to NZ Metal Roof Manufacturers (NZMRM), over 70% of housing in New Zealand is clad with metal roofs of long run or metal tiles. Steel & Tube Roofing Products commercial manager Rod Newbold, says when it comes to steel roofing the corrugated look is still number one in New Zealand. “It is a classic,” Newbold says. “If you look at “House of the Year” every category will have a corrugated steel roof.” The lightweight and resilient qualities of steel roofing have major benefits. However they can be noisy, for instance in heavy downpours, and after violent storms sheets of corrugated iron can sometimes be seen decorating a neighbour’s yard. Concrete tiles on the other hand diffuse noise and their weight means they are unlikely to blow away. Following the Christchurch ‘quakes Stuart Thomson, in an NZMRM article, writes that metal roofs fare better than heavy tile roofs. “The diaphragm action of the roof cladding literally can hold the building up as illustrated by this picture of the 160 year old Dean Homestead at Home Bush,” Thomson...

The Quick Lick and Flick Reno

The Quick Lick and Flick Reno
Jen Gautier is a passionate property investor who has been building a buy and hold portfolio since 2002. Two years ago she decided to try her hand at trading. “It was scary at first,” she says, “after all those years of ‘don’t sell, never sell’ as my mantra.” It also meant putting herself on a fast learning curve in renovation skills. Gautier set up a separate GST registered company to undertake the trading operations. Over the last two years she has bought, renovated and sold five properties. This house, situated on Blake Road in Mangere, was her most recent project. The house was a three-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling of 90m2. She was drawn to the house for its great bones – a solid weather-board home in original condition. A lined and carpeted garage was used as an extra bedroom; Gautier saw reconfiguring that as an opportunity to add value. Born and raised in Pukekohe, she is a great fan of the South Auckland suburbs, appreciating the value this part of the city offers and the pool of potential first-home buyers. The house, in the Middlemore area of Mangere, is close to the hospital with great rail transport links to the city and road access to the airport and motorway. Gautier managed her earlier projects, co-ordinating subcontractors and taking a DIY approach when swinging a crowbar was needed. This time she hired a project manager and renovation team, which she thought was her biggest lesson. “It worked really well and, honestly, didn’t cost a great deal more. I still remained involved, but could relax a bit and enjoy the process. I set up good channels...

Renovation How To $30k Budget

Renovation How To $30k Budget
Property Details: Knights Rd Rothesay Bay A 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom brick and tile standalone house, approximately 100 square metres, with a basement garage. The house is in a premium Auckland North Shore location, with stunning views of Rangitoto. Objective: This house has been owned by Larry Robbins for 15 years, and with its popular location, has tended to attract stable long-term tenants, the last ones were in place for 10 years. “We knew it had gotten shabby,” says Larry, “and asked our tenant to let us know when they next planned to go on holiday, so we could make some improvements. As it turned out, that suggestion encouraged her to give notice.” To complicate matters, Larry and his wife were overseas, doing volunteer service on Mercy Ships, the world’s largest charity hospital ship. Clare Seed from Rentex Property Management, has managed the property for as long as the Robbins had owned it, so was charged with the project.  Her goal was to give the house a modern refresh, to bring it up to date with the current rental market expectations, and maximise the rental return. They wanted to ‘do it once, and do it right’, with a job that could be expected to last another 15 years. Planning: In her property management role, Clare had overseen the odd bathroom tidy up or maintenance tasks. She began the planning of this project, with a view to gathering three quotes from each of the required tradespeople. She soon realised the scope of the task. “Honestly,” she admits, “In a very short time, I realised it was going to be just...

Step By Step Guide To Renovations

Step By Step Guide To Renovations
“We have completed over 600 renovations, averaging around 120 jobs per year,” says Mark. “With a small budget, you’ll need to prioritise carefully, expect to do some of the work yourself, or undertake a plan. If you only have $20,000 perhaps it means you do the kitchen this year, but make an agreement with the tenants that if they are still there in 12 months, you’ll tackle the bathroom then.” How to Guide Step 1: Setting Goals – why are we doing this renovation? A renovation for a buy and hold rental will have different goals from a property you intend to renovate and trade, or one day live in yourself. “Tenants can actually be put off by high end fixtures and fittings,” Mark says. “They are concerned that if these things should get damaged they will be expensive to replace. Go for tried and trusted brands on things such as tapware and appliances, so you can easily source replacement parts.” For a buy and hold property, are you trying to increase return, in which case can you add another bedroom by turning a large laundry or sunroom into a bedroom, or can you extend? Is it generally tired, in which case you may be after ‘redecoration’ which is a cosmetic refresh using existing cabinetry, and adding touches such as a new coat of paint, as opposed to ‘renovation’ where you are removing walls and putting in whole new kitchen cabinets or shower units. At the very least, renovations should safeguard you from tenancy vacancies and allow you to keep up your rent at a good market rate. Barry...