Character villas line most streets in Grey Lynn, Auckland, but time isn’t always on their side.

The owners of this century-old villa had loved it for years, but they knew it needed major work before they could move in with their young family.

Dougal and Faye Swift, with children Rocco, 2, and Adan, 11 months, now have a house that looks and feels like new, but it’s been a long, hard slog to get there.

There’s plenty to keep the family entertained at home over the summer.

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