Ryn and Jeff Going dreamt of building a classic Waikato farmhouse with an industrial vibe. Compared to the damp, dark home they started with, their new build is a dream come true!
In 2017, the Going family moved into their farmhouse near Gordonton with the intention of renovating the original property. But after living in the old farmhouse for a few months, myriad problems became evident: It was cold, miserable, hard to heat, and the layout was sub-par.
The Goings soon realised that renovating it would be a big job, and even then, they would end up with something that wasn’t ideal. So, Remove and Rebuild it was: “Even though it was more money than renovating, it was worth it – and far easier than trying to make something out of nothing!”
With the decision to remove the old farmhouse and rebuild made, it was time to decide on a building company.
Landmark Homes Hamilton and Waikato caught the Goings’ eye from a style standpoint – the classic weatherboard aesthetic that is quintessentially Landmark is right up Ryn’s alley. Plus, Landmark “have a reputation for quality,” which the couple certainly appreciated.
The clincher, though? When comparing building companies, Landmark’s ‘Cost to Build’ quote was more transparent and included everything the pair wanted.
“You go to other Showhomes and they look amazing, but then you find out that nothing in the Showhome would be in your basic build! With Landmark, the Showhome was representative of the build you’re going to get. That made the decision to go with them easy,” Ryn says.
“With Landmark, the base price is for a higher spec and includes nicer finishes and fittings. With other building companies we talked to, their base prices initially looked lower, but when you upgrade their specification to the standard you want, their prices increase!”
Initially, the duo reviewed the Ready to Build plans on the Landmark Homes website but settled instead on a custom Design and Build to get exactly what they wanted. “Because we’d been living in such a miserable home, we wanted to build something that was perfect for the site and for our family.”
So they did! After brainstorming ideas with their New Home Consultant, they took elements from a range of house plans to create their own dream property and the New Home Consultant sent their draft to Landmark’s designer to finesse.
After a bit of back and forth, the Goings settled on a house design that met their vision.
High on their wish list? Ample natural light, a 3.2m stud in the kitchen/dining space, and separate sleeping wings for the adults and children.
Choosing the interior proved more complicated than the house plan, however.
With a long-held passion for interiors, Ryn had a very clear idea of what she wanted (a modern take on a classic farmhouse), which made it “easier and harder at the same time!” she laughs.
“The challenge is that, even though the Landmark base build is high-spec, you always want stuff that isn’t in your budget, so you’ve got to make a trade-off.”
The good news? “Landmark helped us find clever ways to save and get the look we wanted without blowing the budget. For example, we picked a cheaper tile for the kids’ bathroom but laid it in a herringbone pattern. Then we picked a luxe carpet but saved on the laminate flooring.”
And trusses were used to create a raked ceiling, giving the Goings the high ceilings and airy vibe they craved – at a far lower cost than vaulting. “I was nervous you would be able to tell because it makes the roof less of a pitch, but you can’t. That was a great suggestion!’’
The farmhouse-style kitchen is right up there on her “love” list, with its 2.5m island, open dining and living area, and spectacular views over the surrounding farmland. “It’s a perfect gathering place for friends and family.”
The striking Moroccan-inspired floor tiles in the master bathroom are another firm favourite: “They make me happy, even three years after the fact!” she beams. (Her advice? When you’re building new, go for bold things if you want them. Don’t hold back!)
Finally, a third highlight of the finished abode was combining old with new to create a character home. “I love that we were able to reuse salvaged wood from the old house in the new build so we can remember the old,” she says.
“My husband Jeff made the kitchen shelves himself from that wood, as well as the legs and trim on the island. Landmark Homes arranged for those pieces to be incorporated into the kitchen and had someone build barn-style doors in our living room from old wood we salvaged from the original farmhouse. It turned out great.”
When it came time to build, the process was smooth and stress-free. “The build itself was fantastic. I probably didn’t appreciate how good it was at the time!” Ryn admits.
“My parents built with a different company in Auckland and had major issues with delays and poor-quality work. I assumed that was a one-off. But then they built again in another area and had similar issues with a different company!
“It’s made me appreciate our build experience with Landmark Homes even more. Everything was done on time and to super-high quality. The tradesmen were friendly and we didn’t have any of the nightmares you hear about so often.”
In a nutshell? Yes!
“You hear that building is one of the most stressful times in your life – and for me, it wasn’t. Even now, my parents get stressed when they walk into a room because it’s not how they wanted it. We haven’t had that once!
“It makes it a happy experience because there were no issues with the build. It all got delivered as promised, and you love the home you end up with. Plus, the number of compliments we get on our home is pretty great too!”