New Zealand is well renowned for its beautiful countryside, from the rolling hills of the Waikato, to the windswept views of Wellington, and the lush sub-tropical greenery of Waiheke Island. And that’s just the North Island!
The bottom line is that our scenery is bar none – and if you’re the owner of a rural or countryside section, you’re in luck…and living the kiwi dream!
What to be aware of when building your dream countryside home
When it comes to building your dream home on a lifestyle block or rural property, says Landmark Waikato Franchise Owner Nigel Watson, there’s a few things you need to be mindful of. And he would know, spending most of his days building rural retreats and lifestyle blocks in the surrounding area.
Here are five extra costs you may need to add to the budget when building your rural home:
1. Driveways – When building in a rural location, you will likely need to add a driveway onto your budget, and if you’re on a farm property, that may be a long one – depending on where the house is going to be sited.
2. Septic System – Building out of town, you don’t have the same connections to sewage services that you would have in the city, so you will need to create your own and install a septic system of some sort to process your wastewater.
3. Water Tanks – The number of water tanks you will need to service your property sufficiently depends on the size of the house, and your stormwater – but they will be needed. In some particularly isolated areas, there also needs to be enough water onsite for the Fire Service to fight a fire at your home – and depending on your location, this could mean you need to add additional water tanks (or a swimming pool) to the site.
4. Power – When it comes to powering your rural property, it’s a good idea to look into whether there’s a power box or nearby power lines you can connect to before purchasing your section. The further you have to run the power, the more expensive it can become, says Nigel.
5. Earthworks – Soil can be substandard on some rural sites, and unsuitable for building, so you may need to do extra works to bring the site up to standard – whether that’s bringing in more material and compacting that; building deeper foundations; or something else.
Yes, rural or lifestyle blocks can involve additional costs – but the whole goal of building with Landmark remains being as cost-effective as possible, while keeping quality high, says Nigel.
Just as we explain in this article, you will want to make sure that your “price per square-metre” quote for your country home includes accurate estimations for these extra elements – so you’re not surprised by a quote for $20K for the electrical connection, actually coming in at $80K!
At Landmark Homes we try to be completely transparent and indicate what the actual cost to build is going to be, rather than offering a weak, watered-down price that is not actually meaningful – by doing Geotech testing and electrical investigations on site before quoting.
While in some ways, you could argue that building in town is less complicated than building in the countryside, simply because the services and utilities are already there – the benefits of peace, privacy, a relaxed lifestyle, and spectacular views make the extra effort well worth it.
Now you know the practical considerations when building your rural home, here’s some inspiration from Landmark Homes’ most popular ‘Ready to Build’ country house plans.
The four-bedroom Hawea design is a stunning family-sized home with spacious living areas, an extra family area or rumpus room upstairs.
The covered outdoor area leading off the family room provides the perfect place to entertain or relax, whatever the weather – providing shelter from the heat, wind or rain; and adjacent uncovered areas mean you can still sit outside and catch some sunshine, should you wish!
Boasting a traditional weatherboard exterior (if you love a classic timeless style, you will love this home!), it is perfectly suited to countryside and lifestyle sites.
Easy family living is the priority for this classic style home, that is perfectly suited to a countryside setting, and ideal for entertaining outside, and enjoying the company of friends!
The spacious living areas soak up the sunshine and surrounding views and open up (through bi-fold and French doors) to the two outdoor living spaces. Both covered, one with a pergola the other with a full roof, to account for all kinds of weather.
The welcoming kitchen is the heart of this home, sparking connection, and a gracious entry leads straight to the living areas, keeping the bedrooms privately tucked away.
Offering five bedrooms and three living spaces, the Tekapo design is a large and luxurious country home where guests or families have the room to completely relax.
The master suite is located upstairs, to maximise the views and privacy for the homeowner. And thanks to the vast wrap-around porch, as well as three covered outdoor areas, this home offers lots of space for outdoor living and family activities – with the option to include a pool, too.
It’s a perfect rural retreat for an executive living on a lifestyle block, or a stunning farmhouse or run as a rural Airbnb option.
The moment you step into this special home, you are enveloped by a sense of space and light. The 3.5m high ceilings in the family and dining area – with highlight windows over the bi-folding doors, ensure you maximise your countryside views.
A separate living room opens out onto the generous outdoor living space, complete with a stylish pergola to provide shelter. The master suite is on the ground floor, affording Mum and Dad some peace and privacy. Meanwhile upstairs offers a third living space (ideal for a cosy TV room, games station or study area), three large bedrooms for the kids, and a family bathroom.
The Coleridge house plan offers opulent country living at its best! Formal and informal living rooms offer a space for every occasion, and the impressive spacious entry allows access to the bedroom and living ‘wings’ of the home.
Upstairs you’ll find two bedrooms and a third bathroom, whilst the sumptuous ground-level master suite gives the luxury of mainly single-level living in a gracious two-storey home – and all the living spaces open out onto a sheltered central courtyard area.
Want to make a ‘Ready to Build’ rural house plan your own?
You can! In fact, this is the norm when it comes to building a Landmark. “Often we’ll start from one of the regular Ready to Build Plans, and modify it,” says Nigel, “making small tweaks or larger changes to better suit the site, and the client’s lifestyle or preferences.”
The Cowan family did exactly that, modifying the Tekapo plan to create their very own family-friendly countryside retreat in rural Cambridge. “Landmark Waikato gave us freedom to alter the plan to suit us. It made us feel that were getting something unique to us. Yes, we chose their Ready to Build plan, but they allowed us to make it ours and individual,” reflected Simon Cowan.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to build with Landmark Homes again or recommend them. We’re very happy with the home we’ve got…and my wife is incredibly house proud,” he laughs.
Ready to build your dream home in the countryside?
The Landmark Ready to Build house plans listed here start from $650,000 – but prices vary depending on your region and site. If you’re looking for advice about your next home, get in touch with one of our team today. They can talk you through some of our house plan options once they know your location, land, and budget. It’s our job to bring your dream home to life.