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How Oncore helps repair and maintain villas

At Oncore, we want to help Kiwis be prepared for the challenges of homeownership and property maintenance.

5 minutes read By Katherine Johnson
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From our collective decades of experience, we’ve gained a wealth of knowledge about villas and the common maintenance and repairs that come along with them.

An introduction to New Zealand villas

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The iconic New Zealand villas that we know and love today came to be during a construction boom spanning from about 1850-1920. Heavily influenced by English trends, villas were inspired by Victorian and Edwardian architecture and are known for their embellishments and decorative features such as bay windows, high ceilings, and intricate timber detailing. However, what they were originally built from, kauri and rimu, is unique to New Zealand.

In the time since villas were first built, a lot has changed in terms of building standards and technology which has uncovered many aspects of traditional villa construction that don’t stand up to the modern day. At Oncore, we’re very familiar with these issues since we address them daily as repair and maintenance experts. We want to help educate villa owners about common issues they may encounter in their own homes so that they can get in touch before they turn into bigger problems.

Common villa maintenance and repairs in New Zealand

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The Building Act of 1991 was established to regulate building practices and make homes safer for Kiwis. But even since then rules have evolved, so you can imagine how different they are from the regulations that were in place from 1850-1920s when villas were originally built. While these codes of compliance influence villa renovations, there are many other practical factors that come into play as well. Here are a few things we’ll be going over:

  • Engineering issues:
    • It’s inevitable that even the highest quality foundations and structures degrade over time.
  • Health and safety:
    • Moisture and dampness are usually caused by poor insulation and ventilation.
    • Fire safety measures and accessibility considerations have evolved too.
  • Utilities & functionality:
    • Electrical, plumbing, and drainage work are other aspects that don’t tend to age well.
    • Energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades have become common requests in recent years.
  • Quality & regulations
    • Best practices and trends are ever-changing and require constant consideration in older homes.
    • Inspections are much more meticulous now than they were 100+ years ago.

Typical engineering issues found in New Zealand Villas

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We love the quirks villas come with but uneven floors and cracks in the wall are hardly charming and are often signs of significant underlying issues with your foundation. And while craftsmanship was prioritised during the villa’s prime, regulatory standards were not.

Finding structural deficiencies and lack of foundational integrity are typical in villas but we work with homeowners to address these issues by making repairs to cracks in the foundation, reinforcing weak timber beams, and realigning walls. If repairs like these have an impact on your villa's exterior, we can help with recladding and roof repairs too to ensure your property maintains its unique and beloved curb appeal.

Is my New Zealand villa a Healthy Home?

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It’s no surprise that moisture and dampness are rampant in older villas. Insulation and ventilation practices were not what they are today and considering these homes were inspired by trends in a region with a different climate, it stands to reason these features are insufficient.

As your one-stop shop for all things maintenance, our team provides all sorts of installation services such as heat pumps, extractor fans, and insulation. We also help with Healthy Homes compliance which addresses heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, and moisture & drainage.

Dampness and mould can not only impede your villa’s structural integrity but can cause health problems too. Modern health and safety standards assist professionals like us in identifying and addressing potential hazards within your home. From implementing fire safety measures to emphasising accessibility, we’re here to help create a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.

Villa plumbing and electrical issues

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Electrical issues are a dangerous problem in older villas and should only ever be addressed by qualified professionals; faults like flawed wiring, insufficient grounding, or inaccurate power supplies can cause surges, outages and even fires. At Oncore, we only work with highly qualified contractors so you can rest assured your repairs and maintenance will be executed by an experienced professional.

In low-lying or flood-prone areas, properties are more likely to experience plumbing and drainage issues, especially in older homes. Installing modern, optimised equipment will not only mitigate these issues but newer models have been designed to be more energy efficient as well. If you’re interested in updating your property's utilities, get in touch with an Oncore Branch Owner to discuss your options. Solar panels, rainwater systems, and high-efficiency appliances are a few ways we can help optimise your villa.

Villa reinstatement work

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There’s a more significant emphasis on quality now than there was 100+ years ago. Inspections, certificates, and documentation are in place for good reason. If portions of your villa aren’t compliant for whatever reason, we can execute reinstatement work to bring your property back up to a high standard whether it’s flooring repairs or issues with dated window seals.

Need help maintaining your property?

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We’re talking about villas here but our team is full of maintenance and repair specialists that can handle any property. No matter the project, we’re here to help so just get in touch to arrange a consultation and we can discuss the best course of action to get your property back in great condition.