How did your budget forecast compare to your
actual spend? Ana: Badly! With a rebuild or renovation, the unknowns are unavoidable. For us, lifting the ground to the same level as the house to provide unobstructed indoor-outdoor flow, and renewing all the drainage at the same time, were huge unavoidable costs.
Total spend – $400K
> Best lessons learned along the way? Don’t try and live on site. What you save in rent, you pay for in sanity and the momentum of the project.
> Any DIY disasters? Having to remove part of my beautiful wall after not being fully clear on council regulations despite researching. > What’s the one thing you would change if you could? Having a bigger walk-in wardrobe. But in this project, it’s simply not possible.
> Most memorable experience? Christmas Day with family – present-opening in the rear courtyard and the absolute ease of moving through to the courtyard on the other side for a sit-down Christmas meal, following the sun and changing atmosphere seamlessly.
> Building materials jameshardie.co.nz, 0800 808 868. Johnny and Ana: “The materials fit with our brief of having an easy-care, low-maintenance home.”
> Design and build Tony Karsten, Karsten Architectural Design, kad.co.nz, 03 539 1066.