When David and Trisha Whittaker had a vision for living in an eco-friendly house, the team at Landmark Homes Central/West Auckland went the extra mile to ensure they got all the environmentally friendly features they wanted. “Landmark came through for us on so many levels. We would use them again in a heartbeat.”
Nestled into the bush-clad slopes of Titirangi in West Auckland and with glimpses of Auckland Harbour, David and Trisha Whittaker’s new home is packed with features that have fulfilled their wishes for eco-friendly living.
Moving next door
David and Trisha Whittaker didn’t have to go very far when it came to moving. They already owned the adjacent section, where Landmark Homes built their brand-new dream home. “It was wonderful being right next door and watching our new home being built. It was like being able to project manage the new development from 50 metres away. We felt as if we were in an episode of Grand Designs,” says David.
Even before they began building, the Whittakers had visualised their next move for some time. “We’d already developed where we wanted to position our new house on the north-facing slope and the least impact on nature without cutting down the trees,” he says.
Harnessing the natural elements
One of the biggest drivers for the build was David and Trisha’s desire to have an eco-friendly house. “We are looking forward to retirement and it was important to think of being as self-sufficient and easy care as possible. Landmark’s design included solar power, high-quality insulation, underfloor heating and double glazing. We also looked at how we could reduce running costs on the house and not be at the beck and call of rising prices. Environmentally, we wanted to have as little footprint as possible,” says Trisha.
From dream to reality
David and Trisha had a clear picture of what they wanted, and, in turn, the Landmark team was able to turn their ideas into reality seamlessly. They sat down with the design team with their brief, and Landmark then came up with a concept design. “We made a few changes to our design along the way – and Landmark helped us through those decisions. For example, when the foundations came in far higher than expected, we talked through our options, and Landmark came up with a more cost-effective and even better option.”
Other changes included increasing the height upstairs by half a metre, giving the upper floor, where they did most of their living, more space, and better views.
We had a lot of discussion with Warwick about details – what materials were available, what would look right and what worked and what didn’t. The level of work that Warwick expects from his team is high, and that’s reflected in the finished product. We’ve got a very polished finish to the house. The Landmark builders went that extra mile to get things looking perfect, even down to the railings around the deck and the soffits above the deck, all dovetailed in nicely,” says Trisha.
David and Trisha’s favourite features
Trisha particularly likes the spacious, open plan kitchen and living room that flow onto a deck extending out over the bush. “Even from the lounge, we can sit and watch Kereru (wood pigeons), and other birds flit around. The first time we sat on the deck, it was like being in the treetops. It’s amazing because while we are surrounded by bush, we also have clear views over the surrounding landscape.”
In contrast, downstairs is a quiet space, which was part of the plan too. “We wanted the living space upstairs and bedrooms downstairs, which worked very well. In the evening it’s very restful downstairs. We don’t even notice the rain on a stormy night – it’s insulated and quiet,” she says.
And the underfloor heating, warmed hydraulically by water piped through the floor, is incredibly efficient, says David. “You can walk barefoot on the polished concrete floor; it’s a lovely feeling. It also gives a pleasant ambient temperature, so everything feels so comfortable. The whole house is constantly around 22 degrees.”
A chef’s kitchen
David and Trisha’s kitchen is their pride and joy. Both are keen cooks and enjoy entertaining, so their kitchen needed to be the hub of the open plan design. “I couldn’t imagine it being closed off from anything else,” says Trisha.
“We put a lot of thought into the appliances and other features such as the porcelain benchtop; it’s hardwearing and heat resistant so that you can chuck just about anything onto it. Our oven is another fabulous appliance -it’s a gas top, double oven with Teppanyaki grill and rotisserie. It also has a very quiet fan extractor, so if you are chatting with guests, you don’t have to battle with additional noise.”
David and Trisha are ultra-happy with their eco-friendly house.
They put that down to Warwick and his team grasping what they were looking for early on, “so we were on the same page about the quality of finish, style, and what we desired from the finished project.”
“The quality of the finished home is just outstanding. Everybody who has seen our new place has just been bowled over! Honestly, I look at our floors and cannot believe how good they are,” says Trisha.
“The bottom line is, we would use them again in a heartbeat! Landmark came through for us on many levels – with advice, support and patience when we wanted to change things. They always had a positive attitude, were very polite, and were helpful. And that didn’t change throughout the whole build, even amidst the challenge of COVID.”
Are you looking to build in West and Central Auckland? Contact your local franchise team at Landmark Homes today on 09 9721730.