Age isn't necessarily kind to people, and it's the same with houses. They, like their owners, can get tired and battered about the edges with advancing years.
Fortunately it's a whole lot easier (and less painful!) to give your house a makeover than to have one yourself.
That's where Smith and Sons can help. They specialise in building renovations and extensions: decks, bathrooms or kitchens, knocking out walls to give more space, adding on a room or garage, or even a whole house renovation.
The award winning renovation company has been making homes in the Franklin district smarter, fresher and easier to live in for the last five years. In Pukekohe, Smith and Sons franchise holders Lane and Melissa van den Brink head a great team of local contractors ready to bring your vision to life. Now they're expanding to Takanini, bringing their expertise to a whole new area.
Just the thought of renovating your home can be enough to put you off starting. It needn't be a daunting prospect though – Smith and Sons can make the whole process seamless and hassle free. They'll visit you in your own home, listen to your ideas and requirements, and custom design a solution for you.
Whether you have a detailed plan in your head or on paper, or maybe only a vague idea of what you want, they can take you through the design process, produce drawings and source all materials.
Lane has 14 years of experience in the building industry – almost half his life. Starting as a 17-year-old fresh out of school, he's been in the game ever since, and loves it. He and Melissa, with their three children, live on a small block in Mangatawhiri surrounded by the farm that once belonged to Lane's grandfather. Melissa says it gives them the best of both worlds.
“The kids love the farm, with its animals and tractors – and we don't have to own them!”
Melissa runs the administrative side of the business, and she's looking forward to the opening of Smith and Sons' new office in Takanini later this year.
“I've worked in administration since I left school, spending seven years with RD1 in the old building in Pukekohe where Farmers now stands. When they moved down the road, I did too. Then I worked for Carters, learning about the building industry in the process.”
The couple have personal experience of house renovation in a previous home in Tuakau, and they're about to expand that experience on a larger scale in their current home.
“With three kids under three, our house is way too small!”
That should pose few problems for Lane, who Melissa says is “a real ideas man”, very helpful when it comes to all the details involved in renovations both for them and for their clients. Together with sales and estimating guru Craig Flanagan, Lane and Melissa will sit you down in front of the big screen in their comfortable office and take you through all the options.
“Like Lane, Craig also is a qualified builder, skilled at seeing a client’s ideas and turning them into reality,” says Melissa.
“We can take a client through our design, plan and construct process. The short videos on the home page of our website www.smith-sons.co.nz give a good understanding of this.”
Not only can they guide you through the choices, Smith and Sons will organise the whole job from go to whoa, saving you both headaches and shoe leather.
They can advise on the most suitable appliances, fixtures and fittings for bathrooms or kitchens, arrange electricians, plumbers, tilers, painters – you name it.
“We want to make your renovation a pleasurable experience,” says Melissa, “and you know your job will be in good hands because we always use tried and trusted tradespeople.
“We have a good rapport with our guys.They know we have high standards and always aim for excellence – it's very important to us.”
For each job Craig works out a quote so that every client knows the costs up front, with no nasty surprises. And if any changes are required, he'll work out a fair price to incorporate them. Then project manager Lance Coleman co-ordinates everything to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Having a team of top tradies on tap is a real bonus when tackling renovations. As many a home handyman has found to his cost, unseen problems can come out of the woodwork – literally – when the removal of old fittings begins. Rot, leaks, walls out of plumb reveal their unlovely selves when what's been covering them is removed, meaning more work. How much easier it is to call in the professionals right from the start.
Whether your family has grown or flown, Smith and Sons can expand your house or make it more convenient. As everyone living in Auckland knows only too well, it's a far cheaper option than trying to buy a whole new house.
“If your house layout no longer suits your lifestyle, Smith and Sons can come up with a way to reconfigure it. However, we do take on some new builds, for high end architechtural projects and bespoke requirements,” says Melissa.
“Franklin property owners, both urban and rural, have really embraced Smith and Sons, and we're looking forward to working on homes in Takanini and Papakura.”