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Relocatable reno

Renovating guide from NZ Property Investor magazine

These ex-Block NZ winners recently put their renovation skills to the test with the development of a new site in Auckland, writes Joanna Jefferies.

Putting renovation skills to the test....

The Block NZ winners Alice and Caleb Pearsons’ excellent eye for renovating sees bold feature colours used to great success in this new house relocation. They began renovating rentals in 2009 and have renovated a house every year since

You’ll probably know Alice and Caleb Pearson as the couple who won The Block NZ in 2013, but the handy pair actually began renovating three years before that, and they’ve renovated a house every year since. The latest project for their company Pearson + Projects was the development of a 674m2 corner site in Otahuhu.

Bought in August 2016, the site had an existing three-bedroom home on it and after subdividing, they relocated a 1960s three-bedroom house onto the new 327m2 section. The pair paid $770,000 for the property near the height of the property boom in Auckland, because they knew they could realise the potential of the site.

The existing home on the site was rented throughout the subdivision process and they kept on the existing tenants, who paid $580 per week.

Given the small site, the pair scouted for several months to find a relocatable house which would best suit the tight section and its aspect. “It took a year for us to find the house and get all of the consents before we were able to relocate the house onto site,” says Caleb.

Thankfully, the existing house didn’t need to be moved to accommodate the new house because of the dual frontage and separate driveways.

Time to renovate

The pair project managed the subdivision and renovation. They’re no strangers to renovating (Caleb works in project management and Alice is a home-stager) and this stood them in good stead.

The house was a full gut-job and the renovation included installing a new roof, moving some walls to create open plan living, installing a kitchen, bathroom, fully repainting it and carpeting.

The Otahuhu property was bought for $770,000 and once the subdivision and relocated rental were complete, the original house, now on a smaller section, was sold for $710,000.


Deck construction, base boards and entrance built by So Renovate $20,000. Deck stain: $145. Exterior paint: $933. Exterior painter $7,500. Driveway $6,500. Roof $10,000. Total cost: $45,078.


Kitchen cabinetry by Kitchen Mania $11,710. Kitchen delivery and install by Kitchen Mania $1,760. Benchtop slab by Heritage Hardware and Installation $6,783. Appliances by SMEG $5,700. Sink, tapware, waste and handles by Heritage Hardware $2,625. Plumbing by Steel Plumbing $1,725. Painting (including preparation and spray hire) $1,900. Electrical by Pro-Spec Electrical $1,725. Floor sanding by Active Floor Sanding $550. Splashback tiles from Tile Clearance Centre $250. Total cost: $41,630.

Renovated kitchen

Dining room

Floating shelves labour and materials $560. Electrician by Pro-Spec Electrical $ 1,140. Custom made swab and cushions material and custom cut foam | cushions custom made by friend $440. Flooring by Active Floor Sanding $220. Paint (including preparation and spray hire) $1,000. Building work (including plasterer) by So Renovate $3,800. Lighting Amber – ESSENTIALS pendants from Mr Ralph $756. Total cost: $7,916.

Dining room feature

Living room

Electrician by Pro-Spec Electrical $1,725. Flooring by Active Floor Sanding $550. Paint (including preparation and spray hire) $1,900. Building Work (including plasterer) by So Renovate $3,450. Blind 50mm wooden Venetian blind $798. New Window Second hand from Trade Me $200. Total cost: $8,623.

Living room

Master bedroom

Curtains inverted pleat lined with black out white $895. Carpet $1,140. Wallpaper $575. Paint (including preparation and spray hire) $1,900. Wardrobe custom made by Showerwell $1790. Building Work (including plasterer) by So Renovate $4,400. Lighting OPAL Globe Pendant 40cm and OPAL Globe Wall Sconce from Mr Ralph $700. Total cost: $11,415.

Master bedroom - wallpaper feature wall
Never one to shy away from a feature wall, Alice used a floral wallpaper and a bold yellow in the master and kids’ bedroom to bring personality to the spaces.

Kids' room and playroom

Curtains $2,782. Carpet $ 1,145. Paint (including preparation and spray hire) $2,200. Wardrobe custom made by Showerwell $446. Building Work (including plasterer) by So Renovate $4,400. Lighting from Mr Ralph $407. Electrician by Pro-Spec Electrical $500. Total cost: $11,880.


Plumbing and Gas by Steel Plumbing $2,400. Electrician by Pro-Spec Electrical $1,725. Flooring by Active Floor Sanding $220. Paint (including preparation and spray gun hire) $500. Building work (including plasterer) by So Renovate $3,800. Mirror (bathroom and toilet) $727. Tiling and water proofing $720. Tiles from Tile Clearance Centre $165. Bath from Caroma $434. Custom made vanity by Cutshop $937. Stone bench top from Heritage Hardware $300. (price is for the cutting of an existing slab) Vanity handles by Heritage Hardware $142. Vanity basin and wall mixer from Caroma $884. Heated towel rail from TradeMe $199. Rail Shower, Shower Mixer, Bath Outlet from Caroma $843. Bath screen from Showerwell $360. Toilet from Caroma $646. Toilet wall basin and basin mixer Hardware from Caroma $1,219. Toilet accessories from Caroma $165. Total cost: $16,387.

The bathroom design benefited from Alice’s expert eye for design; she stuck with neutral colours and large format wall tiles, creating a feeling of space.

By Joanna Jefferies


Renovating guide
Learn the tips and tricks for renovating rental properties with this handy information series from NZ Property Investor magazine.

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