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6 things these homeowners learnt during their Scandi-style renovation

These homeowners share the top tips they learnt during their renovation and what they’d do differently next time

Meet + greet

Steve Job, 44 (head of engineering for an IT company), Kirsty Job, 40 (psychology student), Ellie, 8, Pippa, 5, and Cooper, 1, plus Sammie the Border terrier.

Kirsty’s renovation tips

  1. Get a landscaping company involved early. We didn’t, despite being told it was a good idea.
  2. There really are 50 shades of grey! At times the choices felt overwhelming, but now we’re in our home, we never long for the ‘other tap’ or the different shade of grey.
  3. Having an interior designer to bounce ideas off is great; they can help with all the choices and get you good deals on pricing.
  4. Spend time going over your electrical plan. Our electrician was awesome and we have power and USB sockets in all the right places. It makes a huge difference.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make a change down the track if you have to. Our skylights were a late addition and our architectural designer did a fab job of making them work.
  6. Our builders were great at offering little pieces of advice like adding storage under the stairs; we really appreciated their advice

Honesty box

DIY disasters?

Steve decided he could look after the landscaping himself. But it was a lot harder than he thought to grow and maintain a healthy lawn and gardens and he’s still working on it!

One thing you’d change if you could?

We’d have a recessed shower cavity in the family bathroom. We’ve got one in the ensuite and it makes the shower so much easier to use and looks tidier.



Steve: We estimated $850K in total – $720K for main build and $130K for other costs (demolition, earthworks, fit-outs, some furnishings, landscaping etc). We were pretty much on budget thanks to a good relationship with our builder and doing the project on ‘charge up’. Plus, Kirsty’s dad was on site most days to help the builders and he also single-handedly painted the exterior (with a badly injured shoulder!).

What areas did you save or splurge on?

We saved a lot on our kitchen fit-out. We went with a private cabinetmaker (recommended by our builders) who charged less than half the price quoted by some of the bigger companies. We splurged on some of the finishings: timber, tiles, bathroom fittings and hardware.

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?

A combination of both. A splurge was the Tim Webber Design Austin extended entertainment unit in our living room. We looked for bargains with other items: the oak dining table was a damaged second from the Citta outlet store, which our cabinetmaker repaired for us; our dining chairs and bar stools were good deals from Zuca and Mocka.

See more of the Hauraki home below

Contact list

House design Shaun Stewart, XLN Design, xlndesign.com
Builders Guy and Phil Davis, Supercity Homes, 021 506 800.
Interior design Rachel O’Connell of Style My Abode, stylemyabode.co.nz
Cabinetmaker Alex Madgin, AM Joinery, amjoinery.co.nz
Electrician, James Smith Electrical, 021 254 9737

Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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