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Century-old villa beautifully restored for modern living

In the heart of Auckland city stands a century-old Villa, steeped in family history, which has recently undergone a meticulous restoration by the team at Faulkner Construction.


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The owner Verna Smith, is deeply connected to the villa's past. "This house has been in my family for one hundred years. It has Heritage house designation and was built under the Workers Dwellings Act 1910 to provide good quality accommodation for working people. My grandmother and grandfather bought the villa in 1924."


Verna’s commitment to preserving the villa's Victorian features is evident in the careful renovation. "What was amazing to me was how Faulkner and my wonderful architect Tony Irving were able to design a renovation which left the front of the house with the bedrooms and bathroom, the floors, and the gorgeous panelled ceilings so perfectly preserved in their Victorian glory."


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Blending the old with the new, the renovation seamlessly integrated a sleek kitchen and an open-plan living area, extending into a deck that embraces the tropical surroundings of Auckland.


Craftsmanship took centre stage as Faulkner Site Manager, Ben McKee explains: "Two main features stand out to me in this renovation. One being the battens under the pergola over the rear deck, which enhanced the space and concealed the typically unaesthetic underside of a clearlite pergola. The other was the installation of a new chimney to meet the historic places requirements and making it one of the rare state houses to preserve both chimneys.”


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But these projects are just as much about building relationships as they are about building houses. Verna took the team out for a celebration early in the project, creating a healthy bond beyond the construction site.


Ben confirms, "A few beers and food go a long way in motivating the boys on site to go the extra mile."


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Impressed with Faulkner's communication tools, Verna says, "I was out of New Zealand for much of the build period, and indeed in the Arctic with little internet coverage for some of the time but there was never a problem communicating with the team on site and at headquarters."


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Ben’s commitment to responsiveness ensured that decisions were made promptly, keeping the project on track even with Verna's international travel.


As the renovation journey concludes, Verna reflects, "One day I will go back there to live. In the meantime, it provides a great home for people attracted by both the romance of the past and the opportunities of the future."


With the century-old Villa beautifully restored and transformed, it stands as a testament to the seamless blend of heritage preservation and modern living—an ode to the past and an invitation to the possibilities of the future.


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