House Of The Week
A corrugated half round rural hideaway in Wairarapa built to a tight budget, has proved an inspiring bolt hole for a Wellington family.
It has been 12 years since Derek Douche put down his film camera and started to build the house.
And the hard work and financial strain is starting to pay off as a holiday rental.
"We rent it out and we find it gets so much demand there are too many weekends now when we think, 'let's go to the Wairarapa' and look online only to see someone has it booked, " says Douche.
"The trees have grown making the view and surrounds probably even more inspiring now, it's the sort of place you just never get tired of."
The land Douche and partner Christine Ridding chose has huge views over the nearby Ruamahanga river, extending out to the Tararua ranges.
In winter the hills are often capped with snow while in summer the sunlight plays fancifully on the river as it winds out to sea.
The structure is not a true half round, the curve starts about a metre off the ground and below that metre level, the build actually curves back in slightly.
"It means the building creates a nice shape and fits comfortably into the surrounds, " Douche says.
"A local Carterton company had been building half round hay barns for years and there was little structural alteration to the trusses to make a house. They just made the trusses with slightly heavier steel."
The interior lining, with 12 millimetre thick negative detailing, is maranti ply with the entire west wall made of six millimetre glass.
Douche has extended a mezzanine floor out seven metres, with the remaining five metres left open plan.
The upper level has the master bedroom and en suite, fitted out with a luxurious bath and shower.
A second bedroom is downstairs with the kitchen living area, lockable storeroom and extensive verandas.
The actual house footprint is just 12 metres long and eight metres wide but the house presents and lives as much more sizeable dimensions.
"The river is a kilometre away and on still days you can hear it, it's fantastic," Douche says.
"It's why we call it c, you arrive and can do absolutely nothing, just get immersed in the nature around you."
"It cost probably about $200,000, which includes the fit out, so it was a pretty cost effective way to build a weekender. We've dressed the place with good quality linen, bedding and towels and when people come to stay they get a breakfast provided - its very popular and people seem to share our enthusiasm for the place, the views, the expanse and the sounds - all you can hear is nature."
From a cursory glance it is hard to envisage the structure was ever created for farm use, but that is the beauty of the Kiwi No 8 wire attitude, where even the most basic construction can become a haven in clever hands.
SIZE: 130 sqm
MATERIALS: Corrugated iron steel cladding, radiata pine framing, maranti plywood wall linings, aluminum joinery with 6mm thick ever green glass.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Heat pump, double insulation regime, 12 volt lighting throughout, gas water heating and hob.
DONE RIGHT: Most things.
DONE WRONG: Downstairs layout, not using thermal break joinery.
UNEXPECTED: Time taken to build and the difficulty of measuring around a curve.
RECOMMEND Use dry timber framing.
NEXT TIME: Get the room layout right and have more labour on site during construction.
- © Fairfax NZ News