Monday, 16 November 2015

My New Build Beach House - Follow the Journey

I have been a little secretive the past few weeks hinting at something I wanted to share but have I've been so preoccupied with my eldest son's wedding that I haven't had time to post. However, today is the day I can share my news and some photos of the progress of the new beach house I have purchased.

I have always wanted to have a house built from scratch but I thought it wouldn't happen until I was well into retirement. However, last month an opportunity arose to buy a brand new house and land package at Papamoa Beach and my dream is now under-way. Furthermore, I have always had a specific wish list of what I wanted in my house, regardless of the style, so, you can imagine how excited I was to find that my new home included all my wish list as part of the package except the exterior was a combination of painted brick and board and batten which actually works quite well.

  • Wide plank wooden floors
  • raked/vaulted ceiling
  • open plan kitchen/dining/living
  • Hamptons style, solid wood, paint finish kitchen
  • granite bench tops
  • 2 bathrooms 
  • free standing bath
  • 3 bedrooms (one for guests and maybe one for a studio)
  • Separate laundry room
  • feature fireplace
  • board and batten exterior 
  • double garage with direct house access (for unloading shopping on rainy days)
  • landscaped garden with enough room for entertaining and growing some veggies and fruit trees
  • location - Had to be near the sea and not far from the countryside''

It all started a couple of months ago when I spotted an article in the 'Your Home and Garden" Magazine about a new build in Papamoa, Tauranga. The owner's, Pamela and Giles, had moved down from Auckland to Papamoa where Pamela's brother-in-law, Aaron, built them their dream home. Aaron is a master builder and along with his wife Sarah, own Paradise Building Usually they are building grand, architect designed homes for their clients, in fact, Aaron's homes are so well loved and his work so respected, that his clients have come back for second and third builds. I was instantly drawn to the  images of Pamela's house which was located just two streets away from Papamoa Beach, without doubt, one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Bay of Plenty. For a newly built house it had timeless character and the interior was similar to the American Hamptons/New England style. I decided to contact Aaron to see if there was a chance of me purchasing a section and having him design and build something for myself. It just so happened that I was "in the right place at the right time" as Aaron told me he had one house and land package available on stage 8 at the prestigious Hawridge development, in  Palm Springs. The house was not yet built but the concrete pad was down and Aaron said we were welcome to to view the section and house plans and visit their show home at Pebble Beach.

That weekend we drove down to Papamoa beach, arriving at the show home to be greeted by their assistant De'arne, who showed us around their already completed Pebble Beach subdivision before Aaron and Sarah arrived. The home had lots of character both inside and out and although it had lovely French style furniture, you could strip it of furnishing and it still had heaps of character unlike the characterless homes we had been looking at in another nearby subdivision. The fabulous Hamptons style kitchen (think the movie, 'Somethings Gotta Give') had me mesmerised, it was stunning. Sarah owns The Gourmet Kitchen therefore has an understanding that well designed kitchens can not only be functional but also add character and charm to a home. Sarah concentrates on the interiors of Aaron's builds and her attention to detail showed throughout the house. The lighting, panelled detailing, custom made bathroom cabinets and mirrors and of course the wonderful oak flooring all added charm and made their homes stand out among the other new builds around. The house and land packages they are currently building are not huge but they are definitely big on character and beautifully finished.

We wasted no time in heading to their nearby section on stage 8 of the Palm Springs subdivision. Although the section is small, there is space for indoor/outdoor entertaining and room to grow a few veg. Fencing will surround the house so it will be easy to espalier a few fruit trees (a great space saving idea). The house itself is 160 square metres (1,722 square foot). The plans showed a raked (vaulted ceiling) to the main living area and hallway which was high on my wish list. The remaining ceilings although not raked, will be 2.7 metres high which is similar in height to a traditional villa. Although the build is a house and land package, because I have purchased early Sarah and Aaron have kindly allowed me to make some decisions on the wood flooring,  exterior and interior colours and a few extras, one being that I have decided on a sliding barn style door between the living room and the hallway leading to the main bathroom and two guest bedrooms. 

With regards to the actual architectural plans these are obviously within the house and land package. The exterior will be a combination of painted brick and board and batten. The front of the house is simple in design but landscaping and a few extras will make a big difference. The 'icing on the cake' is the chimney detail at the back of the house. A house and land package means I don't have the hassles and expense of buying land then employing an architect and sorting out building permits etc, everything has been done by Aaron and Sarah and it is included in the price right down to the letter box and landscaping. All the building stress has been taken away and the only stress I have had so far is making a decision on the roof colour at short notice.

The project is currently under-way, so I thought you might like to see some images and follow along the journey. We went down again Sunday to confirm a few more decisions which I will update you on next week. I have already chosen the roof colour which is Colorsteel Maxx in Sandstone Grey, this is a specially treated steel roofing that suits its coastal climate. The interior colours and exterior colours I am confirming with Sarah shortly, I did think I had them sorted but exterior colours are never easy and I want to order one more colour draw down before I decide. 

Above: The location Palm Springs, Papamoa Beach - The section is in the new subdivision you can see to the left (smaller subdivision) - Image from Google Earth. There will be some man made lakes and reserves surrounding the completed subdivision. It is not beach front but I am happy with the location and it is not far from the new link highway so quick to get to Tauranga or head further south to explore.
Above and below plans
Above:  Elevations
Above: Snippets of other Paradise built homes
 Above: Rear elevation, the chimney is at the end of the open plan living area
 Above: Looking down the open plan living room, the fireplace is at the far end, the opening to the right will be where I have the barn door dividing the living area from a small hallway leading to a bathroom and two guest bedrooms
 Above: The roof trusses up - This will be a raked/vaulted ceiling above the open plan living room. The timber across will obviously be removed
Above: The roof trusses over the main living room and guest bedroom
Above: The latest image with the roof on, my son took this photo last week after his wedding as they were staying down Papamoa. I really like the roof line, it has a traditional look and suits the architecture of the house and just look at those wonderful, blue Pacific skies.

Above: Roof colour - It looks lighter in the photo than it actually is because of the bright sunlight

I am still not sure whether to go darker or lighter than the roof colour for the exterior house colour, I am thinking possibly a medium or light grey but open to suggestions. The interior will be Eighth Thorndon Cream, on the walls, (a neutral white). The doors and kitchen are Resene, Quarter Thorndon Cream which has a little more warmth to it. Sarah has her kitchens handcrafted from solid wood, an example of one of her kitchens from The Gourmet Kitchen Company can be seen below.

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing this exciting news, I will be updating on the blog as the house progresses. It is actually a bitter-sweet project as when it's completed in March next year, I will be renting it out for a few years before I am able to use it as a beach home. Next week I will share the kitchen plans and some images and progress shots taken this weekend as it is advancing fast.

New post on the Beach house can be found here which includes a sneak peek at the kitchen joinery

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  1. This is such a great opportunity! I can't wait to see how the project unfolds and read about how you make each decision along the way. LOVE your blog - your style and creativity are really fun.

    1. Thank you Beth for taking time to comment, yes I am really excited, it is not like building totally from scratch but the building company are fantastic, they take a personal interest in all the homes they build whether grand or small and they have been so helpful and obliging about making the home a little more personal to me. Next week I will talk about the kitchen and share some images of the plans and photos of the cabinets which are ready and waiting to go in once the wall linings are done. Thanks for the encouraging comments about my blog :)

  2. Wow, how exciting Lee! My parents used to live in Papamoa several years back and I loved my regular trips there from Hamilton (where I lived at the time). I can't imagine how amazing it must be to design your own home! Best of luck!

  3. What a co-incidence Susan, a lot of people seem to be moving down there from Auckland, the beach is fabulous and the Mount is close by. I am not actually designing it from scratch as it is a house and land package, however the design is almost what I would have wanted myself. I get a little say, colours, wood flooring etc. I have just put the post up on my kitchen you might enjoy that, it is gorgeous and I can't wait for it to go in but it will be some weeks yet. Here is the latest update

    Hope you can follow my journey :)

  4. Great job and congratulations on your new endeavour! As an avid builder and woodworking enthusiast I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I especially appreciated the breakdown of the different materials you were using and would be, down the road.

    Mattie @ Buyers Corner


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