Subtle air of comfort
WHEN Penelope Haley bought part of the last lot of land to be subdivided in the Coles Bay village 15 years ago, she was a 24- year- old single woman about to embark on a three- year trip overseas.
Now that land is occupied by a modern, energy- efficient residence which is a second home to her family of five.
With views of the East Coast’s Hazards mountains, the home has Freycinet National Park practically in its backyard.
The Haleys did their homework before approaching architect and builder Warren French to help turn their vision for a solar passive property into reality.
Penelope and her husband Dean were not newcomers to the building world before starting the Coles Bay home last year.
In 2002, they purchased two derelict houses in Glebe for $ 85,000 and renovated both into a three- storey contemporary home. ‘‘ How we convinced the bank to do this, I have no idea,’’ Penny recalled.
‘‘ It was back before the GFC, but still we were a young family with only one income.
‘‘ I remember coming home with our first child Ebony from hospital and having only a microwave and frying pan to cook with.
‘‘ By the time our son Finn arrived we were well into the extension.’’
Bringing back the same architect for the Coles Bay home a decade later, now with a budget of $ 250,000, the trio worked to overcome the challenge of building a house in such a remote location.
All the walls were prefabricated off- site in northern Tasmania. It took three days to erect them and the roof was added on the fifth day.
From this point, the husband and wife team managed the project while juggling a young family, work and myriad other responsibilities.
Using new products to give the abode an excellent thermal rating was something the Haleys were keen to try from the start.
Floor- to- ceiling windows allow the light to stream in from every direction while offering spectacular views. A curved rectangular window in the master bedroom looks on to the national park.
‘‘ Through intelligent design we have managed to quite naturally be thermally and energy efficient,’’ Penny said.
‘‘ Engaging an architect to do our thinking for us was one of the most energy- efficient things we could have done.’’
The innovation and consideration taken to build this house has not only saved time and money but created a home that reflects the wants and needs of a growing family.
‘‘ A well designed house is subtle,’’ Penny said. ‘‘ You enjoy being there, because it is new and modern, but there is something else, something very subtle.
‘‘ It is not until you stop and think or someone asks you the question and you realise that light, view and sunshine are a necessity to a peaceful, tranquil home.’’