Room With a View

10 years ago, Niki and Adrian Kerin were travelling in Wanaka on a family holiday.

Driving along Cardrona Valley Road, they crested the hill, took in the sweeping scenery, and had what they called “their lightbulb moment” …turning to each other and saying, “We have to live here.”

Today? They do, in a stunning custom-built home with spectacular views across Lake Wanaka.

Tackling a custom build on a tricky sloping site

Before meeting with Landmark’s Design Team and Architect, Niki and Adrian had a basic idea of what they wanted.

However, when they bought their sloping section, they didn’t realise that itself could present an issue; nor that there were restrictions on the site that limited what they could build, reducing their footprint and preventing them from creating a two-storey home.

As a result, the design process was basically them asking the Landmark team,

“This is what we’d like to achieve, but we know we have restrictions with the section. Can we achieve it, or get as close to it, given those?”

Did they? you might be wondering? “We did!”

The team at Landmark Homes Central Otago and Wanaka created a stylish split-level family home with exquisite views with the mix of private zones and shared spaces the pair were after.

Landmark proved themselves to be a step above the rest

Travelling down from Auckland to Wanaka as proud owners of their new section, Niki and Adrian checked out all the home builders in the area. But Landmark was a real standout.

“We’d looked around several Landmark show homes and we just adored their aesthetics. Everything was the way we like it: Crisp clean lines, and the finishing was always top notch. Other homes were OK, but Landmark just seemed to be a step above.”

The decision was an instant one — and a decision they are very happy to have made: “We don’t regret a minute of it. We’ve never been let down by the guys at Landmark, not once” Niki says.

We’ve built before but Landmark were different

This reliability was a big deal to the Kerins, who had built a home in Auckland previously (not with Landmark!) which ended up being an absolute disaster.

“This experience couldn’t have been more different”, she smiles. That first home came in at 30% over budget, “and I didn’t even like the house at the end of it! It was a three-bedroom house plonked on a plot in Auckland, with zero tweaks or architectural design.”

This home? “It feels like my home… not just a home.”

Not only that, but their one-of-a-kind Wanaka build came in on time, and in budget.

“I put them on the spot!” says Niki, “I said to the team that I wanted to be moved in by my birthday on July 8th, and they got me into the house July 7th. It was a very good birthday!”

Keeping to a tight timeline with Buster the project management superstar

Although Niki’s husband Adrian was working overseas throughout the 10-month build and Niki was working full-time in Auckland while the house was being built in Wanaka, Landmark ran the whole project smoothly and seamlessly, and made a potentially stressful scenario easy.
Project Manager Buster Coughtrey took care of all the council paperwork and consultations, and kept Niki in the loop every step of the way, “He was always ringing or emailing, so I was kept updated and knew exactly what was going on.”

“In the end the build was really down to Buster. He did all the hard work, and he kept it on schedule.”

Taking the view from OK to spectacular with an early change

Truth be told, they found working with Buster a huge asset right from the beginning, as with his build experience “he was always pointing out things we might not have thought of.”

For example, “We thought we had our whole build sussed out, then we stood on the build platform and Buster said, “Do you realise the best view is THIS way not that way?” Cue: A window being moved around the living space to a more opportune spot.

“It was our error and Buster who caught it, thank goodness. That ended up being a fantastic change — changing the view from OK to fabulous!”

Grateful doesn’t even sum it up. And it shows the value of having an experienced right-hand man on site.

Would they work with Landmark again?

“Yes!” says Niki. “I would go back to Landmark in a heartbeat. I would recommend them to anyone — and have done so on many occasions.”

She and her husband are delighted in their home and have no plans to move on.

But never say never — especially with an unlimited budget to play with this time round, Niki laughs: “I just want to win the Lotto. Then I say to my husband all the time how amazing it would be to work on a home with Landmark that had no restrictions and no ceiling to our budget!”

Maybe one day.

But until then, their Wanaka home (especially the lounge which has a room with a heck of a view!) is perfect.