House of the week: Flat Bush

Last updated 05:00 23/07/2014

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Shane Beetham and his wife spent almost a year Googling pictures of houses and interior design ideas to work out what they actually wanted in their dream home, which would need to be a great place to raise their family with plenty of room both indoors and out.

Saving them all to a memory stick called 'wish list' the couple handed it to their architect at the first meeting.  

"Our architect was just amazing.  He sat with us for three hours at that initial meeting, offering up many great suggestions and taking on board all of ours.

"From there he went away and two weeks later came back with the first cut design which incorporated everything we had asked of him, with the only down side being the size that the house had ended up because of our wish list.

"From over 600 square metres we refined it down to what we have today - 570 square metres."

With all the leaky building issues surrounding the residential market, Shane was adamant their Auckland abode had to be a concrete, with solid concrete masonry walls and concrete mid floors throughout as well as large open areas with floor to ceiling glass.

Multiple bedrooms were also a must, including a fully self contained wing as my wife had many overseas friends that we would invite to visit, along with a gym, library, games room and movie room.  

The design and planning stage took almost two years, with the construction following closely behind at eighteen months, which included the usual difficulties that come with building a new home.

"Building a predominantly concrete house on a sloping section always comes with added headaches to ensure everything works first time.

"The cantilevered 'floating' American White Oak stair treads were particularly tricky.  These were an evolving design throughout the entire process and one of the last things to be completed.  But it is the show piece of the house as far as I'm concerned," says Shane.

Having come from a house on a 500 square metre section, Shane wanted to ensure there'd be more than enough room for his kids to kick a ball or play back yard cricket and with just over 1.7hectares (4.2 acres), a lot of it landscaped, the family think it's just perfect for their needs.

"As I work in the construction industry, I feel it's a showcase of my talent and ability, sort of like a CV. And although I'm in the trade, I even struggled to envisage the finished product with all of its intricacies. But it has turned out better than I expected."

This house is currently for sale. View the listing here.


Size:  House; 570m2 & land; 17,588m2

Architect: Mia Casa Architecture Limited

Builder: Cheyne Construction Limited

Materials: Concrete masonry exterior, concrete mid-floors, weatherboard accents, American white oak stairs and bookcase, polished concrete floors, honed masonry feature walls, architectural suite window joinery, frameless glass.

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Energy efficiency: Fully automated house run via iPad/iPhone.  Gas fireplaces and a fully ducted air conditioning system.

Done Right: The high level of finishing detail.

Unexpected: Amount of wet weather during the construction and the availability of contractors.

Recommend:  1. Spend a lot of time getting the initial design right - don't rush it through.  Also it is so important to get the right builder.

2.  Don't rent a one bedroom granny flat with a new born baby while you're building your house AND working a full time job also, it equals very limited sleep!

- Stuff


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