Peter White says it’s hard to choose what one thing he loves most about his new Whitianga Bach – although the covered deck springs to mind – because he and his family love everything.
“It’s more of a dream home than your basic bach though,” he laughs.
Having had the stunning Whitianga section for 15 years, Peter and his wife Michelle had long-harboured dreams of building something new on the site. But it wasn’t until 2019 that their dream became a reality.
“We wanted to replace the old bach on the site with something dual purpose: a home we could retire to in the long-term, but also somewhere we and the family could holiday while we were still living in Hamilton.”
That’s when they teamed up with Landmark Homes Coromandel to bring their vision to life – a no-brainer choice, according to Peter, who works in the building business as an electrician. So much so that he didn’t even bother getting a second quote!
“I chose Landmark Homes for several reasons. One, I trust them, having worked with the team in Waikato.
Two, the quality of the finish and the products is of a higher spec than a lot of builders. (And the fact that they use J-Frame was a big draw and reassurance.)”
Last but certainly not least, was the fact that Landmark is a full-service Design and Build company, as Peter wasn’t keen on running the build himself.
“Having built several times before, I knew it would be a nightmare to project manage a build in Whitianga from Hamilton – especially with sub-contractors and tradesmen being in such high demand on the Peninsula. So I wanted Landmark to manage the project from start to finish.
Which they did, excellently! “Of all of our builds, this was by far the easiest we’ve done!” he says.
The dream design
The first part of the process was the design. When it came to visualising their dream home, Peter and Michelle had a good idea of what they wanted.
So, the couple sat down with designer Barbara to get that across. While there was a bit of back-and-forth to get the design right – working with the couple’s vision, and the site’s limitations – the end result was spot-on.
“We pretty much got everything we wanted!” smiles Peter.
So, what was on their wish-list?
“We wanted a design that took advantage of the Whitianga Estuary views – with a proper enclosed deck out front that was part of the house, not tacked onto the side of it. The roof extends right over the deck, and it’s got an outdoor fireplace, skylights and glass balustrades so as not to block out the view. We spend most of our time out there – it’s wonderful.”
With the ultimate Kiwi deck ticked off, what else?
Peter was particularly impressed that the team created an accurate 3D-model of the home as part of the design process. This meant he and Michelle could perfect the design before the build even began.
“I would recommend it to anyone! It was so good for planning, for visualising your design, and spotting anything you’ve missed. We realised there were a couple of windows we wanted to tweak thanks to that model.”
Those changes (and a couple) were never a problem to the team, he adds, with Landmark working hard to deliver what the couple wanted.
Another stand-out element of the design process was the Colour Consultant, who helped them choose materials such as the tiles, paint colours, carpets, and floor coverings. That was definitely a load lifted, and a real contrast to the previous times they’ve built.
“Before we just made our own choices, but that can be hard and time-consuming, and you can get it wrong! It’s a tricky area to do well on your own – and I’m so not up with the trends! This part of the design process was key for us, and it was great to get it squared away before the build began.”
In case you’re wondering, they went with shades of grey that go nicely with the coastal setting, and won’t fade with the strong summer sun.
“Since we love entertaining, we wanted an open-plan living, dining and kitchen – and to have our master bedroom at the front of the house to take advantage of the beautiful view! We also wanted a section of the house to be semi-self-contained, for guests/family to stay in – with a kitchenette, bedroom and rumpus room. And we put a deck at the back of the house too, to catch the morning sun.”
The build and the budget
The build itself took 7-8 months. At the start, there was one issue around consents, but Landmark got a surveyor out and sorted it quickly, he says. Then the rest of the build went without a hitch. Communication was brilliant, with Project Manager Tony Croft sending regular photos of the progress onsite.
“This has been the least stressful build we’ve ever had. When you build yourself and manage it yourself you end up having to sort out these issues yourself. I know, because I’ve done it!” laughs Peter.
“Having a dedicated manager is amazing. Yes, it costs more, but I think it’s worth it. You’re paying more to get what you want from your home, and to have someone manage the whole process for you – without you having a heart attack half way through from the stress!”
When it came to budget, he said the team at Landmark were very transparent.
“Everything was costed and approved before we started building, and if there were any additional costs that came up during the build, we were informed immediately, and it was only for extra things we’d asked for.”
The house was ready in time for Christmas 2019, and now that they’re in, the Whites couldn’t be happier. It was definitely worth the time taken at the beginning to get the design perfect. One of Peter’s favourite pastimes? To sit on the enclosed deck and watch the parade of luxury launches glide past on their way to the Whitianga Waterways.
So would they recommend the team at Landmark? “Yes! The entire experience was great. We’ve already recommended them, and will again. And I’m not just saying that!”
Looking to build your Holiday home? Take a look at 6 of our most popular Bach plans, or get in contact with your local Franchise to see what they can do for you!