Surrounded by exquisite, peaceful views of the Manukau Harbour, David and Brenda Banks’ holiday home in Big Bay, Awhitu is a relaxing retreat where they can enjoy time fishing, relaxing, and being with family.
With a busy lifestyle and a business to run, having time out with family away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland is important to the Banks. The couple had a holiday home in Waihi, but with the area getting busier and more built up, they decided it was time to take their family holidays somewhere new.
Having made the decision to build a new holiday home, the couple searched far and wide across the North Island looking for the perfect spot. It was while motorbike riding in Awhitu that David came across the ideal site in Big Bay, right by the water with amazing views across the Manukau Harbour.
Having drawn up plans for their holiday home with an architect, the next step was to find a builder. “We had just finished building our own home using a private builder,” says Brenda. “But his costings for the holiday home were much more than we expected.” That’s when the couple decided to look for a building company. “I rang three different companies – one didn’t return our call, one wasn’t interested in adapting our existing plans, and the third was Landmark Homes Auckland-South East who were full of enthusiasm about what we were trying to achieve.”
Soon after their initial phone call, the Banks sat down with franchise owners Michael and Colleen Walters to talk through their plans. It was at that point that Michael suggested the couple take a look through Landmark’s Whitianga Showhome.
“We took a drive out to the Showhome and found it was very much along the lines of what we wanted to build,” says David. “Michael made some great suggestions on some changes that could be made to make it even better. His ideas were perfect – we ended up with exactly what we wanted.
“One of the great things about working with Michael and Colleen is that they really listened and took the time to understand our wants and needs,” says Brenda.
With incredible views across the harbour, one of the big must-haves for their new holiday home was a large outdoor living space that flowed seamlessly from the indoors.
Beautiful timber decks wrap around the rear of the home providing the family a relaxing haven to unwind and enjoy quiet time out together. “In summer, we can open up the living areas to the deck and it feels like one big room,” says Brenda. “And when the weather is cooler, we have a fireplace with a beautiful full-height chimney plus a hot tub for a soothing soak as you look out over the harbour
Another must-have for the couple was having the space to accommodate their big family, but with flexibility to close off some of the house when it was just them. The 291m2 floorplan encompasses five generously sized bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office, and three living areas. “The design places the bedrooms all down one side of the house. So if we have friends or family, they have their own bathroom and privacy. We also worked with Michael on the plans to create a bunk room for the grandchildren which is near our room.”
The master suite is a private, peaceful retreat and, like most rooms in the house, has a large picture window that captures the beautiful views.
Brenda says one of her favourite spaces is the family room that adjoins the kitchen. “I love being in there and enjoying the peaceful views out over the sea,” she says.
While accommodating family is a top priority, a close second is accommodating the family boat, which can be launched from the property. “We worked with Michael to add additional garaging to the plans especially for the boat, so we always have the peace of mind in knowing it’s undercover and secure.”
Brenda says that one of the benefits of looking through the Whitianga Showhome was that it offered the exact interior design inspiration they were looking for.
“Colleen worked with us on all of the interior furnishings which was really great,” says Brenda.
“Some of the items we liked from the Showhome were no longer available, but Colleen worked with other furniture suppliers to find options and alternatives and then arranged for everything to be sorted for us. It couldn’t have been easier.”
“Working with Landmark was a really positive experience, right from the very first phone call,” says Brenda.
They were fantastic to deal with throughout the build. Any time we wanted to call out and see the progress, it was never a problem. The build was achieved well within the planned timeframe, in fact with a month or two to spare.
“And their service didn’t stop once the building stopped. They’ve kept in touch to make sure everything is going ok and are always at the end of the phone any time we’ve needed them. Even for little things like when I couldn’t get the air conditioning to work, they’re always ready to help.
“Not only have we already recommended Landmark Homes to others, but we’ve also got plans underway to work with them to build homes for other family members as well as some investment properties.”
Ready to take the first step toward building your own dream holiday home? Contact your local Landmark Homes team today and let’s make it happen!