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Customised house plans won over design conscious couple

Customised house plans won over design conscious couple

Riverhead has been the perfect mixture of old and new for Jan and Davy McDonald who liken the village atmosphere to some of the small towns they knew well in South England and Cornwall. Their new Generation Home build is surrounded by established properties near the Waitemata Harbour giving them a great sense of community.

Raised in Scotland, but living in England they emigrated to New Zealand in their mid 30s to bring up their family and forge new friends Kiwi-style.

Rather than renovate an existing home, they chose to build their dream property with national top 10 home builder Generation Homes.

Quote from Jan McDonald
Because it’s been such a good experience, if we did decide to build again, we’d go straight back to Generation Homes. It was so good.

Jan McDonald

GH What made you decide to build a new home in Auckland?
DAVY We lived in a house in Massey for 20 years. We also had a rental property out in Flatbush, and we sold that. Then the discussion was: Do we upgrade the Massey house?
JAN

There were two options, either we put money into the Massey house or we build a new home.  The Massey home required a lot of exterior renovation work.  Another 10 or 20 years down the track it wasn’t going to be a suitable place for us to be so we decided to start looking around.

GH You chose Generation Homes from an encounter. How did the partnership develop?
JAN

We travel quite a lot from the west to the North Shore, where we’ve got many friends. We often drove past Riverhead so we stopped off to see some of the show homes.

We were driving through a bit later that day. As we walked around, the only show home that was actually open was Generation’s. That was the first time we met Generation’s new home sales consultant Suanne. She was just lovely, and we liked the area.

GH Describe your experiences in dealing with the staff.
JAN

What did it for Generation Homes, definitely for me, was Suanne. She’s the perfect consultant to have fronting the show home. She’s great at making you feel welcome and not pressurising you.

DAVY As soon as the concrete footprint was down Generation gave us a building schedule. To be honest I think you could have gone to the minute, it was so on task all the way through, it was amazing.
GH

What were your initial thoughts on the Riverhead ?

JAN

We’ve actually almost got a replica of the show home. We looked at all the different plans, but I said to Davy afterwards you know what: ‘I really like the show home and the way it’s laid out’, and we just went from there really.

Some of the features of the showhome I loved were the large bedrooms, double garage and open plan kitchen and dining area plus the dual lounge rooms.

GH

What features and design elements did you incorporate into your Riverhead property?

DAVY

Suanne suggested extra space either side of the main hob to store pots and other materials.

JAN

I did actually go for a bigger stove and induction hob. The one in the show home was a four hob, but I was used to a five ring model so the space it was in needed to be widened as well. It was little things like that Generation Homes helped with.

I love my bright red glass splashback. We’ve got a higher manufactured stone benchtop, we’ve also gone two dish drawers. One is in the main kitchen with the other in the butler’s pantry.

 

GH Tell us how easy or hard it was to change features within the house design?
DAVY

Meeting all the different people to actually build the house was fun. We were really involved -  we met the colour consultant and  the guys who did the electrics.

There were no hidden costs, we paid a fixed price and we really valued that level of transparency.

JAN

Because it’s been such a good experience. A lot of people say: ‘oh I’ll never do that again’. Well if we did decide to build again, we’d go straight back to Generation Homes. It was so good.

GH

Tell us about planning for indoor and outdoor flow?

DAVY

We weren’t sure how we wanted to design the deck space so Suanne advised us to leave that out of the plan. We’re so glad we didn’t rush this process because we’ve actually found someone who helped us develop the right design and he’s just finished our deck now.

GH

What have you liked about living in the community since you moved in?

JAN

We’re facing established houses so while it’s a quiet area there is also a buzz of having people around you. When we drive through on a Thursday night the whole place is buzzing. But it’s a quiet area.

DAVY We were immediately attracted by the community feel of having two pubs, it’s got the Riverhead and it’s got the hotel right in the middle. There’s also the rugby field and clubhouse. Generation Homes organised a meet and greet with all the different people in the area who are in their houses – we felt part of the community straight away.
GH

Tell us about ease of living on the property and how that fits in with recreation and family plans?

JAN

There’s a golf club just up the road and I’m thinking gosh if we’re going to learn, this would be the ideal time to start thinking about it. But I think it will be more going down to the Riverhead pub sitting outside, having a glass of wine and going for a walk along the waterfront.

Our sons have grown up so we are empty nesters now. This is quite a big house, but I think there is going to come a time when on occasion the family all come back together. We don’t want to be in a position to say ‘no you can’t stay here’.