Waikato farming couple build bigger home for their retirement
John and Beverly Lundy think they’ve got it just about right. Their brief for their new 450sqm rural retreat in the Waikato centred on two key words: Closeness and separation.
“We live in one part of the house and when the family come down, they have the other half. We can have close family time when we want and still enjoy some separation when we need a break from it all.”
John and Beverly moved off their family farm in the Waikato two years ago, and their new home is certainly a big step up from the traditional farmhouse they lived in for over forty years. John explains: “Our last place was a small simple weatherboard farmhouse. We shifted there in 1970 and we renovated it a couple of times as the family got bigger.
Interesting angles and timeless design
John and Beverly did considerable research, driving around looking at other new homes, visiting showhomes and talking with a number of group home builders before deciding to go with designer-builder Grant Jury.
“We told Grant what we wanted, something with interesting angles on it,” says John. “We told him we didn’t want a square box house. We wanted the sun to come into all the rooms at some point from first thing in the morning until last thing in the afternoon. The angles of the house are good for that.”
While the new home has a grand visual presence, designer Grant is reluctant to put the house into any kind of box in a design sense.
With intimate knowledge of the weather built up over 50 years of farming, John paid particular attention to how the home was sited on the section to maximize outdoor living potential and incorporate shelter from prevailing winds.
“We cut into the hill a bit and we created a bank to the west that we’re growing native trees on, and there’s another bank to the south and that helps protect us from the south westerlies.
According to Grant, most clients are very conscious of positioning their house for maximum sunshine, very few think about the impact of prevailing winds.
“The Lundy’s home was built on a hill, so we planned that it should face east rather than west where the prevailing winds come from, and we made a sort of wind block to the west and south. If you block the wind, you can go outside any time of the year and leave your doors open. There’s no point in having outdoor living areas if you can’t get out and enjoy them.”
Striking the right chord
Grant says the Lundy’s came to him with a whole lot of ideas but no sketches or rough plans.
“We had a thoroughly good look over the site, then we just sat down and they told me what they wanted and we did some rough sketches on the spot. That way, we got all the rooms in the right position and worked out the general layout. So from then on, we were all talking about the same thing, on the same page as it were.
Last minute switch to Gerard Roofs
According to Grant, the only significant change to his original design was the choice of roof.
“It was going to be asphalt shingles but when we started doing sketches, the Lundys did a lot of driving around looking at different roofs and they really liked the Gerard Corona look. And it does look good, it really sets the house off.” While cost wasn’t a major factor, choosing the Gerard Corona roof did achieve significant savings compared with asphalt shingles.
“It was a lot cheaper than the asphalt shingles – around 40% cheaper, and it’s a big roof and it has lots of angles,” says Grant.