With a close eye on her budget, Jessica looked for a way to build from scratch that avoided the possibility of spiralling costs.
She settled on Advance Build, a Northland-based company which specialises in prefabricated homes built in a factory then transported and completed on site. Advance Build has a clear commitment to community and good design – two things at the top of Jessica’s list.
Key to the success of the home was being able to tweak off-the-shelf plans to suit her lifestyle and design aesthetic.
Once she knew the features of her site (elevated, north-facing), the next step was to customise the house to suit. She flipped the kitchen layout to soak up a sunny, tree-lined outlook, and also reclaimed space from the laundry to create a separate bath area (a cupboard-style laundry was incorporated instead). This also allowed for a formal entrance, which gives better access to the driveway and parking area. “I flipped the layout of all the bedrooms to take privacy and the sun into account,” says Jessica. “For instance, Grace is on the east side of the home so her bedroom stays cooler in the summer evenings.”
Luckily Advance Build was more than happy to make changes and allowed for special requests in the early stages of the build. “I didn’t have to compromise at all with my plans,” Jessica says. “Most people think that building with a pre-fab company means you are restricted – my only restriction was my budget! I worked closely with the company when it came to the layout and design. I started with one of their plans, then was able to change pretty much everything to suit our lifestyle.”
Running a work-from-home business meant it was important for Jessica to have a dedicated work space integrated into her open-plan area rather than being relegated to a spare room – especially as she often has guests visiting from Auckland. The design details were carefully considered and, as a result, the house avoids looking like every other prefabricated home.
A bespoke colour palette of Taubmans ‘White Clay’ and ‘Silver Fox’ created a neutral canvas for the home and was complemented by whitewashed oak flooring to ensure the aesthetic remained light and bright. Additional changes to the standard plans are evident throughout the home including Ikea kitchen handles, exposed ply-edge countertops and handpicked pendant lights.
Jessica’s home was built on time and on budget in less than six months during the winter of 2015. The majority of the build took place in a large factory in Kaitaia before the home was driven to Mangawhai and completed in early December 2015 – just in time for Christmas.