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Renovate the right way

Renovate the right way

7 September 2011

Get the technical know-how on refurbishing houses from different eras with

This website is the first of its kind in New Zealand, providing everything you need to know about renovating villas, bungalows, art deco, 1940 – 60s and 1970s homes.

It is free to access and built by BRANZ, the building research specialists, with help from architects, designers and builders around the country who are experts in period homes.

Each section provides an insight into the style of house with information ranging from the history and layout of the houses, through to common problems, remedies and modifications.

All major components of the home are discussed in detail and are coupled with drawings and images highlighting typical construction methods.

In addition, learn about project planning your renovation, and compliance and regulation considerations. is also complimented by a Renovate series of publications on houses from different eras which can be purchased from the website.

The original development of the Renovate website was funded by BRANZ from the Building Research Levy.

Fast facts

• The villa became the favoured design for new houses filling the first suburbs in the colonial towns and villages in the 1880s as urban populations dramatically increased.
• By definition, bungalows are single-storey dwellings. They are easily distinguished from villas by their roofs, which have lower pitch and are generally gabled.
Art deco buildings had a distinctive form, characterised by a flat roof, parapet walls, and curved walls or rounded corners.
• The main point of difference between state and private housing built in the 1940 – 60s was orientation on site. Private housing tended to be orientated towards the street, regardless of sun and views, whereas state house were often located and orientated to take advantage of sun and views.
• The 1970s speculative (spec) houses were typically small and plain, rectangular or L-shaped in plan, and built from lower-cost materials. At the same time, houses in the more affluent areas were increasing in size.

BRANZ - Who We Are

BRANZ is New Zealand’s leading provider of research, testing, consultancy and educational services for the building and construction industry.

BRANZ draws approximately 50% of its income from the Building Research Levy.


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