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Renovation and Restoration in Post-Earthquake Christchurch

Posted on Jul 3, 2018

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Sheppard and Rout Architects Ltd has notable experience restoring designs of architectural distinction to their former glory while retaining a kinship with their surrounds and maximising enjoyment of the space.

Director David Sheppard explains Canterbury’s emerging architectural landscape. 

Prior to the quakes of 2010/11 in Christchurch city, both activities were generally ‘alive and well’. 

There were many, many houses, spread throughout, which were being renovated and a select few which were being restored; renovation being more common over a wide range of houses, restoration generally referring to houses acknowledged to be worthy, for one reason or another, of being brought back to their original or earlier state. 

Reasons included high quality architectural character, high standard of workmanship, perhaps a notable owner. Sadly, not all homes that are built have these distinctive features. 

In contrast, homes that are renovated are often modest, outdated, poorly designed and/ or constructed. Renovations take place often because of the need to improve the house in terms of living standards. 

Other reasons include re-planning of the layout, making better use of the space available within the house, and replacing old and tired features and fittings. 

Sadly, since the earthquakes, many homes have had to be repaired or demolished depending on the degree of damage sustained. Many occupants have had no option but to accept demolition of their home. 

Only for those houses deemed suitable for repair does the term “renovation” arise. A great number of houses have been, or are in the process of being, repaired and many owners have taken the opportunity to “renovate” at the same time. 

These processes of repair and renovation have taken their toll on many an owner. It has become much more difficult to gain building consent to add to and alter the building and many owners have decided to sell “as is where is” when they look into the costs of repair and any renovation. 

This is why so many repairs are considered but abandoned and you see a completely new building being built on the site. 

It takes a degree of patience or tolerance to see through a repair and renovation project. It is sad to see, however, many older houses have been lost in the process over the last few years. 

For those owners that have persevered and repaired and renovated their homes, so long as the work done has been good, they can sit back and enjoy the result. 

An older home that has been repaired, brought up to code and received a renovation here and there is likely to be seen as a rarity as their number dwindles.

 

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