'Whole new world' for family

18:42, Jun 29 2014
Fisk family
GOODBYE SHED: Karl and Sari Fisk, and children Jacob and Amy are saying goodbye to their shed home of 18 months.

Eighteen months living in a shed are finally over for Karl and Sari Fisk and their children.

The Christchurch couple was today handed the keys to the brand new Kaiapoi home they helped build themselves. 

The family is one of 21 in Canterbury to receive a house courtesy of Habitat for Humanity’s Hand-up Christchurch project. 

Fisk family
HELLO HOUSE: The Fisks receive the keys to their new Fuller St, Kaiapoi house, built with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

They did 500 hours’ work on the house themselves.

Moving into the home will mark the end of a long road. 

Sari Fisk said the family was just managing to pay the rent on their former Hoon Hay home.


When the rent increased by $40 a week after the 2011 earthquake, it was just too much, despite both she and Karl working full-time, she said. 

The family made the decision to move into a 15 square metre shed out the back of a relative’s Linwood house.

Everything was squeezed into the shed. It was partitioned into three areas, two bedrooms and a living space. 

The was just enough room for their beds and they used the bathroom in the relative’s home. 

Jacob, 8, looked forward to the privacy of his own room after sharing a space with sister Amy, 6. For Amy, the first thing going into her new bedroom would be her Panda toy, Rosie.

Sari and Karl looked forward to a bit of privacy too. 

In the shed, there was no such thing as a "sleep in", Sari said.

"We don’t have a doorway so when the kids get up and put the television on, everyone is up," she said.

Getting to the shower required putting on gumboots and heading to the main house.

"It’s a bit of bugger if you forget your towel," she said. 

"That’s what I am most looking forward to - just walking down a hallway to have a shower," said Karl.

Sari, now a part-time optical assistant, said opening the curtains in their first morning in their new home would be her happiest moment.

"It may sound silly but its opening those curtains to a whole new world - our home, our place," she said.

The Fisks were selected from 54 applicants after an HFH information evening.

They will pay 30 per cent of their combined income to HFH for 10 years, then the house will be theirs, HFH general manager Peter Taylor said.  

The other 20 HFH houses will be build in subdivisions in Bromley, Avonside and Linwood. Of those, seven will be houses relocated from the residential red zone.

Fairfax Media