This included restoring some of the cottage’s original features including the timber shingle roof, as they are extremely rare to find in Wellington and the rest of the country.
This year, a project began to repair some of the weathertightness issues to the house and give the exterior an overall refresh, says Gemma.
“We noticed some cracks in the weatherboards and they were having issues with leaking around the front door and around the veranda. The more these buildings leak, the more they deteriorate.
“We really needed to try prevent further deterioration of the building - if water is coming down through the front door, it's coming in and rotting the internal floorboards, which are original.”
Gemma says the aim of the refresh was to patch things up and keep it true to its 1850s form.
“A big driver of the project was to replace very little. We had to replace a couple of the boards, some of the guttering and the back porch, but ultimately, we retained most of the original elements and materials. We did a lot of patching and painted the whole cottage.
“This project has been exciting because you can see the detailing throughout the house - it’s all exposed and lovely and something we wanted to maintain and preserve for the future. It’s interesting to see how these houses are affected after it rains – the impurities in the weather boards are visible due to the rough sawn timber. These days we use machines to cut timber so they’re always perfect.
"For example, we had to replace one of the cornices on the veranda post because it had rotted out and the new one they've put in has been made with the machine. It looks great but you can tell the difference.”