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Forget renovations and enjoy a stress-free new home build

Forget renovations and enjoy a stress-free new home build

Guy Broekhuizen and his husband Guy Brackebush partnered with multi-award winning residential builder Generation Homes to construct their well-designed property in Riverhead, about 25 kilometres north of Auckland.

Broekhuizen, the Facilities Manager for a multinational company, and Brackebush, a Landscape Architect, aren’t newcomers to the housing market, having owned and renovated a couple of existing properties throughout their 21-year relationship.

This time around it was a desire to become mortgage-free that led the couple to build a new home. They also wanted to enjoy a stress-free build by partnering with a quality group homebuilder that could deliver their new home with a fixed priced contract and guaranteed move-in date.

As avid entertainers, Broekhuizen and Brackebush selected a four bedroom, two bathroom house and land package by Generation Homes with key features including an open plan living, kitchen, dining area and family room that flows onto a north-facing deck.

Quote from Guy Broekhuizen
The beauty about Generation Homes is there are no hidden costs. The figure that you sign on the contract is the figure that you pay at the end.

Guy Broekhuizen

GH

Why did you partner with Generation Homes to build your property?  

BROEKHUIZEN

Guy and I hadn’t built a new home before so we wanted to be certain with our choice so we went into Riverhead and saw the new houses going up, and began to shop around the different building companies. We met Generation’s new home consultant Suanne Jackson who was extremely knowledgable about their product and understood what we wanted in our new home. It was because of Suanne’s “nothing’s a problem” attitude that we chose to build with Generation.

BRACKEBUSH

 

We called into a lot of show home, but we had been recommended Generation Homes by a friend. They told us how good their building experience was and about Generation Homes’ fixed price contract and guaranteed move-in date, so we visited Generation’s show home and met the team. We went through about seven or eight different plans, and then we saw one section with a house plan on it which suited us, so we signed up. It was that simple.   

GH

What attracted you to build a new home in Riverhead?

BROEKHUIZEN

We wanted to stay still slightly rural plus enjoy an area that offered a set of shops nearby along with a few local restaurants and some really good pubs. It’s closer to Auckland than our previous property and had a really good feel to it. We looked at other subdivisions including Kumeu and Huapai, and while they were only five minutes away, they were massive developments. When you go into Riverhead, you have a boundary of the river on one side and the golf course on the other side that wasn’t going to be built on or sold anytime soon. It just felt a lot more relaxed and we really wanted to build in a smaller, close-knit community.

GH

How has your experience renovating properties compared to building a new home?

BROEKHUIZEN

The thing about buying an existing house is that you have all the hassles that goes with an old home and having to do it up while you live in it. You have no 100% idea of what your costs are going be and budgets can be easily blown. I bought my first house when I was 23 and I did many renovations on it and just when it was finished and looking great we sold it and moved to another property which was a complete do-up. Although it was a beautiful house in the end it still didn’t have all of the newest and greatest features that a new house comes with. New home have all the mod-cons – you have double glazing, a centralised heat pump, full insulation and you can just move in and you don’t have to worry about anything.

GH

What colour palette did you choose for your home?

BROEKHUIZEN

Inside we went for a colour called Lace for the carpet, which I guess you would describe as a light donkey brown. The walls are Mt. Aspiring which is a grey with a very slight green undertone to it, and the kitchen cabinetry colour is called Seasoned Oak. I had always said that I was going to have a white kitchen so it wouldn’t date but we have always liked different colours and textures so we decided to get a bit brave and chose the coloured cabinetry with a teal coloured splashback. It works really well, and we are really happy with the other neutral tones used throughout the house as we have a lot of art and sculptures that really pop with our colour palette.

BRACKEBUSH

 

We wanted a different coloured exterior to contrast with the white houses on the street, so we chose a grey-green colour. In hindsight we wish we had have been more brave with our colour choices. We also stained our timber fences black to reduce the visual impact of them whilst enhancing the plants and foliage in front.

GH Did you make any modifications to your house plan?

BRACKEBUSH

 

The main modification that we made involved taking out the dividing wall between the formal lounge and dining area and close in the doorway to the side of it. This served two purposes, it gave us a separate entrance way and also gave us the open plan living area from the lounge right through the dining and kitchen to the family room.

BROEKHUIZEN

 

Having lived in previous houses with single bathroom sinks, this time around we added another sink, so we have ‘his’ and ‘his’ sinks, in the ensuite bathroom. We added quite a few spotlights in the house; we reconfigured the tile layout in the family bathroom and installed a set of ranch sliders leading to Guy’s office area.

GH

What are your plans for the outdoor area?

BROEKHUIZEN

Well since Guy is a Landscape Architect, he is taking charge of the design of all exterior spaces, and we haven’t finished. There’s still quite a lot to do.

BRACKEBUSH

 

Straight out from the front door, we are going to have a rectangular boardwalk, which will be as wide as the entrance doorway that will come out about five metres. At the end of the boardwalk, we will build a feature wall with a piece of artwork that will be lit up at night. A gravel path will link the boardwalk to both the street and the side garden. Layered hedges will give us both structure and privacy from the street.  We want to create the effect of walking through different spaces. I am really enjoying being able to design my new garden from scratch.

GH

Were there any challenges to overcome during the design or build process?

BROEKHUIZEN

No, everything was very easy with Generation Homes. If you wanted to make a change, you had a certain amount of time to make those changes. As long as you’re organised, it is all very easy to do. As a Facilities Manager I look after many properties, so I’m used to refurbishing buildings and I know how these processes work. You have to make a decision, and then you have to stick to it so there were no challenges for us at all.

BRACKEBUSH

 

I had clients that started their new build a couple of months before us in a different area and with a different company. Their build started around mid-February and they didn’t move in until almost Christmas. Meanwhile our section was cleared on April 25 and we moved in four months later on August 24. Lots of people couldn’t believe how fast our build was. Our construction manager was very easy to deal with and he kept the project on track. It was just really easy.

GH

What is your favourite feature in your new home?

BROEKHUIZEN

Mine would definitely be the kitchen. I love to cook and we love to entertain, so the kitchen is positioned in the centre of everything. It has a butler’s pantry and lots of storage – and all the little details we added makes the space so much more enjoyable. We changed our kitchen island bench so that it doesn’t have a breakfast bar and we have cupboards at the back of it instead. We have mirrored toe kicks at the base of the cabinets to reflect the floor so the island looks like it is floating. We also added an LED light strip along the top of the splashback which throws light down the wall to the bench. This has the advantage of giving the kitchen an additional splash of colour.

BRACKEBUSH

 

One of my favourite features would be the indoor outdoor flow from all of our living areas.  The house faces north so on a beautiful day when the doors are all open it basically doubles the living space.

GH Do you have any advice to other people thinking about building their first home?   

BRACKEBUSH

 

Be a bit brave with some of your choices, be organised, stick to your budget and choose Generation Homes. Also just enjoy the building experience. Get advice, look online at other pictures of houses, and put together a wish-list of what you want.

BROEKHUIZEN

 

Be brave and don’t fall into the trap of everything must be black and white to be stylish. Black and white is very safe and easy. Plan for your future, save like crazy and get the biggest home deposit possible – and remember that a goal without a plan is nothing but a dream.

GH

Would you build with Generation Homes again?

BRACKEBUSH

 

Yes, we would. The beauty about Generation Homes is there are no hidden costs. The figure that you sign on the contract is the figure that you pay at the end, and they are super organised with their build schedule. I’d happily build a new home again with Generation homes.

BROEKHUIZEN

You often hear people saying it is a nightmare to build a new house, but Generation Homes made it so easy that I would absolutely do it again.