Character Home Restoration Services

The English Craftsman has a very specific focus, and that’s what makes us great. We specialise at providing high quality services for your character home. Unlike other companies, we realise the value of heritage and work to preserve this unique asset.

What makes a character home?

Early settlers arriving in vast numbers at the start of the 19th Century quickly found that the abundance of Kaori meant affordable construction. In an effort to get away from the cramped terraced houses of Great Britain, new houses were often custom built and manufactured. Each one was unique, and this is the defining quality of a character home.

This method of construction lasted until the mid to late 1930’s, when new trends in architecture, modern machinery, and new materials gave rise to more uniform houses.

If you are interested in learning more about your character home, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is a great resource.

How do I look after my character home?

Character homes often have problems, that’s all part of the package. Even when they were built new, settlers often complained that they were “flimsy, cold, [and] draughty”.


Since those early times we have seen wonderful advancements in insulation, and bringing your character home up to standard should be your first priority. In order of importance, you should insulate your:

  1. Ceiling
  2. Walls
  3. Windows
  4. Floor

You will often save money by tackling several of these at once. For example, insulating your walls at the same time as installing double glazing or getting your house painted means you won’t have to double up on the cost of scaffolding.

You should also bear in mind that even if your ceiling and walls are uninsulated, it may still be best to look at your windows first if they are poorly fitted or daughty. As part of our retro-fit double glazing service, we also fit modern draught excluders and catches to ensure you get that air tight seal.

Leaks & Rot

Unfortunately, many of New Zealand’s character homes have been poorly maintained over the years. This could mean your weatherboards are exposed to the elements, or any obvious leaks haven’t been looked at properly.

Over time, water entering your home through cracks in the paint or gaps in the windows causes the wood to rot. Eventually, it will need to be replaced, and this could be a huge expense. You should always take preemptive action.

If your weatherboards are already in a bad state, you should get them repainted. After that, maintaining them by washing them down annually with a pressure washer will ensure you get the full life span. Also watch out for poor quality paint jobs where the surface hasn’t been properly prepared. These will often only last half as long as usual. Make sure your painter of choice follows the steps outlined by BRANZ. Our own house painting service goes beyond these guidelines, leaving you with the best looking house in the street.

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to start adding value to your character home, check out the services we offer, or sign up for a free quotation. We also encourage you to take a look at our portfolio of work and client testimonials so you can be confident that we only offer quality.