Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Many hands will make do-up light work

An excited Krista Strong outside her Ponsonby villa with Dudley, her poodle-golden retriever cross. Photo / Dean Purcell
An excited Krista Strong outside her Ponsonby villa with Dudley, her poodle-golden retriever cross. Photo / Dean Purcell

A $1.3 million 110-year-old Ponsonby villa is getting a high-profile makeover in what the owner hopes could result in a $2 million-plus sale.

Krista Strong lived at the somewhat rundown 45 Lincoln St for more than a decade but has now shifted to the country, so wanted to do up her place for sale.

The businesswoman, who owns doggy daycare and grooming company Barkley Manor, had the idea of creating a showcase energy-efficient residence, but not by removing all the quirky character elements of the house off Richmond Rd.

So the project grew into something very different to the usual do-up. Nine businesses have now joined the renovation project to demonstrate how to modernise a house by eliminating weeping windows, mouldy showers and poorly ventilated rooms, while cutting energy costs and showcasing their products. Companies HRV, Toyota, LG, Autex, EQC, Resene, Mercury Energy, The Property Market and Trade Me are involved in the renovation, offering goods or services ranging from televisions to paint, a hybrid Prius to sit in the garage, to having some of the jobs shown on Trade Me.

Miss Strong said the project started out much smaller. She had the house rented and initially only talked to reps from home ventilation and water company HRV.

But then other businesses decided to join the do-up after advertising agency Y&R NZ stepped up and brought in its clients.

Many New Zealand homes are below World Health Organisation standards but Miss Strong said the Lincoln St house was getting new insulation, carpet, ventilation, water filtration and heat pumps, a new kitchen and bathrooms, painted inside and out, and landscaping with new fences and a new driveway.

Project manager Zane Francis said a team of builders would today move in to strip out modifications to the two-level five-bedroom place. A rugby club fundraising exercise would see a team wheel-barrowing soil out from the stepped back garden to create a flat grassed area, he said.

The project is due to be finished by April 17. The house would then be auctioned, with Antonia Baker of The Property Market saying it was tentatively scheduled for May 11 - although that date is yet to be confirmed.

As for the price, she said it was important to keep an open mind and let the market rule.

Old to new

* Major do-up on at 45 Lincoln St, Ponsonby.
* 110-year-old villa.
* Owned by Krista Strong for the last 12 years.
* 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, soon to become 4-bedroom.

- NZ Herald

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