Most upgrades were nontechnical and inexpensive

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Many of the interventions required in order to upgrade houses are not especially expensive. The estimate for external cladding repairs, for example, was relatively inexpensive ranging from $450 - $650.  This is indicative of the relative ease of weatherboard repair and replacement (though this did not include an estimate for painting). 

In addition, many of the upgrade interventions were non-technical in nature and do not require a high trained skill set.  These include:

  • house painting
  • house washing
  • ground vapour barrier
  • small roof repairs
  • installation of smoke alarms
  • installation of insulation
  • simple carpentry
  • draught stripping
  • leaking taps
  • thermal curtains
  • blocking off fireplaces
  • cylinder wrap and pipe lagging. 


Potential for community enterprise

The non-technical nature of the interventions frequently needed in these houses lend themselves well to a potential community enterprise such as a home advice and retrofit service.  There is the further added benefit of being able to explore models where this is undertaken using local employed people and on a street by street basis thereby potentially leveraging additional community funding and achieving economies of scale.

There may be the potential for a neighbourhood level intervention which brings together home performance advice (Eco Design Advisors or Home Performance Advisors), smoke alarms from the Fire Service, EECA insulation install, Ministry of Social Development funding for home healthy heating, and a trusted community retrofit service to support the upgrades. When an intervention requires specialist advice (e.g. structural work, electrical or plumbing), professionals can be contracted in and effectively managed on behalf of the homeowner.