Home Tours

The owners of a Waihi home knew just when to splurge and when to save

Clean-lined furniture and industrial surfaces are given rustic warmth to this family home in Waihi Beach with wooden slabs and bountiful botanicals 

Meet and greet

Mel Kaczon, florist and owner of Waihi’s Koru Florist & Home, John Kaczon, owner of engineering company Pinnacles Civil Group) Miller, 8, Janina, 7, and McKenna, 6, plus Brew the chocolate Labrador.

Mel and John’s house building tips 

  • Take time to communicate properly with your builder. We received great advice from ours along the lines of “Here’s a way you can do this for the same effect but less cost”. It was invaluable.
  • Take your time to think about things. Mum’s death made us slow things down and we rethought a few of our decisions as a result.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak out to your builders and contractors.
  • If you have a vision and you have faith in it, stick to it even if others can’t see where you are going (the wooden light fixture in the kitchen is a case in point).
  • Be prepared for some tough decision-making. We found choices were easier with our last home. Now there seems to be more great product around.


What did you spend in total?
The build cost $450,000 and the landscaping was $90,000.

How did your budget forecast compare to your actual spend?
John: We were pretty much on the money when it came to the cost of the house build. We added items and changed our minds on a few things along the way and felt quite comfortable spending money on those extras. As a result, we were probably about 10 percent out on our estimated cost.

What did you splurge on?
John: We splurged on the landscaping but we wanted to get it right from the start. That included the bollard-like fence at the front; it is shaped in height to mimic waves, and the same look is repeated higher up the property. We spent a little more on the kitchen than intended – the splashback brick tiles weren’t initially planned to reach ceiling height, but we love how it looks like a brick wall. The bathrooms were always going to involve some extra expense as Mel was keen for them to be different. And the steel canopy over the front door was another splurge; it adds an architectural feature and increases the house’s street appeal.

What did you save on?
Mel: Originally the pillars at the front were to be made from Linea weatherboard but in the end we opted for Titan panel, which wasn’t as labour-intensive and therefore not as expensive. We abandoned our idea of having timber flooring in the main living area; it would have been very noisy and we loved the look of the vinyl planking we opted for. I saw the Karndean planking on the showroom floor and thought, “I’m going to have that.”


Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Rachel Dobbs.

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