Building a house is not an easy selection, especially when you have a big family with varieties of ages, from kids to toddlers, teens, and you, parents. A house design for such a family should meet demand and appropriate for each member. The story below is valuable to read to gain experience of Brett McHardie family in building their house.
BRETT McHARDIE HAS returned to his roots. The land he and his wife Karen built their family home on six years ago originally belonged to his parents. Brett’s family had first moved onto the block of land in Tamahere – situated on New Zealand’s North Island – when he was just 11. “When Brett and I met, we rented a small cottage from his parents, who still lived in the main house on this land,” Karen explains. Brett’s parents eventually sold their house and subdivided the block – and Brett and Karen were able to buy a section, which has the advantage of overlooking a gully so their view of nature will never be built out.
When deciding on an architect to build their family home, Brett’s architect brother Glenn was the obvious choice. “Glenn knew how we lived and what we needed from our home, so he was able to design a house that really suited us,” Karen says. “Our close relationship also meant we could be really involved in the design process. We had never built before and we knew this would be our one dream home, so it was important to get it right.”
The overall aesthetic of the home is simple, clean and no-fuss. Stack-bonded, clearfinished concrete blockwork was chosen – for its raw and unadorned nature – to feature throughout the property. “I took some convincing about using the bare block as when we were designing our home six years ago it was quite radical to have exposed concrete block in a residential building,” Karen explains. She was concerned it may look too industrial or commercial, but the result is a feeling of robustness and permanence, and links the interior to the exterior. “Looking back now I would not have it any other way,” she admits.
Brett, an engineer by profession, built the steelwork in the home, which gave him a great understanding of the home’s design and structure. “He is very pedantic, so it meant he was able to keep a close eye on building progress to ensure plans were being followed correctly.” The house was also “future proofed” so that part of the existing structure can support a second level, which will be a master suite. “I was up a ladder the other day cleaning some high windows and realised the view we are missing out on,” Karen says. “It has really motivated us to make these plans a reality.” In the meantime, the family are loving their home.
“This house is by no means a show home,” Karen says. “We are not precious about the fl oors or walls, but more so about the experiences and memories made within them.”