Relocate and Renovate a Villa

So You Want to Relocate and Renovate a Villa?


At The Relocatable House Co. we get a lot of enquiries from people who are looking to relocate a Villa to their section.


Relocating and renovating a Villa can be a rewarding experience. has some fantastic information about Villas. We think this is a good starting point if you were looking at a project of this magnitude.


To help with working out if a Villa relocation and renovation is for you, here is some information about the costs involved:


Firstly, Villas are BIG. They generally have to be shifted in two pieces, and the roof will need to be folded down for the shift. The costs to relocate a Villa vary between $25,000 and $60,000.


In our experience, you’d want to have around $150,000 to $200,000 + to get a project like this underway. That will cover the cost of the Villa, the shift to your site, the Building Consents, Development Contribution fees (if applicable), the Connection to Services (electricity and plumbing), and basic renovation work to get the building to liveable stage.


Once the Villa is on your site it will need to be painted – Local Councils will often require a Bond to be paid upfront at the time of applying for a Building Consent to ensure wood-rot is seen to, and weather-boards and baseboards are reinstated. Again, due to the size of these gorgeous looking buildings, an exterior paint job can be costly …….. and then there’s the interior work – because of the age of the buildings, you may have to re-wire or replace some of the interior fittings.


Fireplaces are always dismantled for a house shift.  All bricks have to be removed from the top of the chimney all the way down to the floor.  Any brickwork surrounding the fireplace is taken out as well. The person who has bought the villa is responsible for re-instating everything once the house has been relocated, although the roof will be made waterproof after dismantling the chimney.


Native timber floors are a great asset. Because of the age of Villas it is essential that the sub-floor structure is checked out – in fact, a Building Inspection Report is a must before you buy a Villa for removal. Old borer can be found in the bearers of the sub-floor, so these often need replacing. Also, be aware of active borer.


Walls of the very old Villas may have scrim and match lining (fabric lining over wooden boards) instead of GIB lining. It can be hidden under wallpaper, so be aware of this.  It of course presents a good opportunity to insulate the walls.


Speaking of insulation, remember there is the Government EECA Insulation Scheme to make use of too. For more information visit the Energy Wise website here.


The beauty of these wonderful old houses is that they were built at the front of the sections and facing the road with the kitchens and bathrooms on the South East or South West corner at the rear of the house, referred to as the lean-to section of the house. This allows for relatively inexpensive alterations to provide for modern family living with indoor/outdoor flow when renovating.


Nowadays most Villas have been stripped of their original fittings and cabinetry, and Villas built after World War II are plain. Fretwork, architraves and doors can be sourced from various places.


Try for a good selection of Villa renovation products like mouldings, light-switches, fireplace surrounds and timber doors. They have an online shop, and also supply places like Mitre-10, Carters, ITM and Placemakers.


If you love renovating from scratch – Trade Me is a good place to pick up doors, windows and the like. Try local demolition yards as well.


If you want to get yourself suitably inspired, visit Resene’s Habitat of the Week website by clicking the link here and view some of the great Villa renovations.


Remember, while it’s not a cheap project to undertake, the end result can be spectacular!


We are always on the lookout for Villas to list and we reward successful referrals, so if you know of anyone who has a Villa they’d like to sell or move, get in touch with us here or call us on 0508 4 RELOCATE.