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Kowhai Lane Lodge Renovations

Kowhai Lane Lodge was built around 40 years ago as a private home. Back then double glazed windows were pretty rare to non existent, although wall insulation was becoming common. The weather board was a proprietary product, really just a thicker hardboard, with a protective paint system. Probably built with a life expectancy of 30 odd years. It actually held up to our wet climate quite well, if regularly painted. But eventually age starts to tell, and so we decided that rather than “tidy up” a product that was past it’s best before date we should bite the bullet and re-clad with a more modern material. And also at the same time replace the single glazed windows with modern double glazing. And as the insulation was being exposed, where necessary upgrade the flibre glass “Batts” with thicker material.

We were luck in getting the services of Geremy & Richard Hamilton (Hamilton Bros Builders) and their apprentice David. Geremy was apprenticed to Findlay McCrostie who did the ensuite conversions to Kowhai Lane years ago, so knew the Island and Kowhai Lane well.


Kowhai lane Lodge, Stewart Island

Starting on the first of the two gable ends

Kowhai Lane Lodge, Stewart Island

Building is a messy business, but worth it when it’s done

At this stage they are about half finished, with only the two gable end walls to reclad, and the windows to fit. My role is painter and go-fer. I’m far from fond of painting, but have pre top coated all the weather boards. I’ll apply a second final coat once each wall is completed   … taking advantage of the scaffolding before it’s taken down.

Old Windows

Single glazed windows are really a bit of a problem to get rid of, and it seems a shame to trash them. So a notice on the village notice board, and within a couple of hours we have someone keen to swap a couple of blocks of chocolate per unit and some fish. Destination….. a glass house