Family Planning For Extended Family

How do you go about designing a home that can cope with sleep overs for ten grandchildren from two to sixteen – plus their parents – and still enjoy your own space with peace and privacy?

Retired farmers John and Beverly Lundy think they’ve got it just about right. Their brief for their new 450sqm rural retreat in the Waikato centered on two key words: Closeness and separation.

“The grand kids come around quite a lot, and we designed the home with that in mind,” says John. “One bedroom at one end of the house for us with the lounge, kitchen and everything else in the middle so we can shut that off from the other part of the house.

“We live in one part of the house and when the family come down, they have the other half. We can have close family time when we want and still enjoy some separation when we need a break from it all.” John and Beverly moved off their family farm in the Waikato two years ago, and their new home is certainly  a big step up from the traditional farmhouse they lived in for over forty years.

John explains: “Our last place was a small simple weatherboard farmhouse. We shifted there in 1970 and we renovated it a couple of times as the family got bigger. “We went up two storeys on that one, but with this one we’ve stuck to one storey. As we get older, we didn’t want to go up and down stairs.”

John and Beverly have three grown daughters and a son. Some of the family live close by and visit regularly while others live in Auckland and visit less frequently.

Sense of space

Having been in their new home for just over two years, the Lundy’s are delighted with how their planning ideas turned out, as is everyone else in the extended family. John particularly likes the sense of space in the new house.

“The ceilings are a bit higher than normal. They vary from 2.7 to 3 metres and it gives the whole place an airy feeling inside. We’re in an elevated situation on 1.8 acres looking out over farmland so there’s a great sense of spaciousness all round.

“There’s a large outdoor area at the front of the house, with bi-folds that open from the main living area and from the separate formal lounge. So it’s quite a big area and we can open it all up for family get togethers.

“The way it turned out, we’re really happy. It’s even better than what we imagined when we were planning the house.”

Timeless design

While the home has a grand visual presence, designer Grant Jury is reluctant to put the house into any kind of box in a design sense.

“Certainly it’s contemporary in terms of materials and some of the lines, but it has a slightly traditional air about it. The word I think best sums it up is ‘timeless’. It won’t date. It’ll still look good twenty years from now.”

Based in Morrinsville, Grant has been a builder and designer for over 39 years and has built homes throughout the Waikato.

“I started as an apprentice when I was fifteen, then started my own business at twenty one. I do the designs myself, but I also worked on the building of most of the homes until the last few years.

“I used to swing the hammer up to about seven years ago when I decided to step back and concentrate on designing and project management.

“These days, I use outside contract crews. Generally, we use the same contractors on every job.”

John and Beverly did considerable research before deciding to go with Grant, driving around looking at other new homes, visiting showhomes and talking with a
number of group home builders.

“We told Grant what we wanted, something with interesting angles on it,” says John. “We told him we didn’t want a square box house. We wanted the sun to come into all the rooms at some point from first thing in the morning until last thing in the afternoon. The angles of the house are good for that.”

Weather conscious

With intimate knowledge of the weather built up over 50 years of farming, John paid particular attention to how the home was sited on the section to maximize outdoor living potential and incorporate shelter from prevailing winds.

“We cut into the hill a bit and we created a bank to the west that we’re growing native trees on, and there’s another bank to the south and that helps protect us from the south westerlies.

“Even though it’s been very hot of late (February), we can open certain doors and we have a very nice breeze going through keeping the house very cool.”

According to Grant, most clients are very conscious of positioning their house for maximum sunshine, very few think about the impact of prevailing winds.

“The Lundy’s home was built on a hill, so we planned that it should face east rather than west where the prevailing winds come from, and we made a sort of wind block to the west and south. If you block the wind, you can go outside any time of the year and leave your doors open. There’s no point in having outdoor living areas if you can’t get out and enjoy them.”

Striking the right chord

So how was the design and building experience?

“Grant struck the right chord straight away and he is extremely easy to get along with,” says John. “He knew what we wanted and he delivered.”

“We did the colour work ourselves with some help from a colour consultant. I’ve done some building myself in the past so I enjoyed the experience and we’re really happy with how it all went.”

Grant says the Lundy’s came to him with a whole lot of ideas but no sketches or rough plans.

“We had a thoroughly good look over the site, then we just sat down and they told me what they wanted and we did some rough sketches on the spot. That way, we got all the rooms in the right position and worked out the general layout. So from then on, we were all talking about the same thing, on the same page as
it were.

“They wanted the plaster look and that’s what I recommended. The cladding is brick plastered over.” Last minute change to Gerard Roofs According to Grant, the only significant change to his original design was the choice of roof.

“It was going to be asphalt shingles but when we started doing sketches, the Lundy’s did a lot of driving around looking at different roofs and they really liked the Gerard Corona Shake look. And it does looks good, it really sets the house off.”

While cost wasn’t a major factor, choosing the Gerard Corona Shake roof did achieve significant savings compared with asphalt shingles.

“It was a lot cheaper than the asphalt shingles – around 40% cheaper, and it’s a big roof and it has lots of angles,” says Grant.

“We’ve used Gerard quite often before. It’s a good roofing product. I wouldn’t go any other way than lightweight.”


Design: Grant Jury Design & Build
Telephone: 027 474 0825

Roofing: Gerard Roofs
Telephone: 0800 104 868

Profile: Corona Shake

Colour: Ironsand

Roof Installer: Westgate for Roofing
Telephone: 07 850 9407