Having built two homes already, Jason and Christine King knew the importance of good layout and attention to detail when they bought their Lake Panorama Drive section about six years ago.
The couple had a firm idea of what they wanted to achieve with the elevated site but called on architect Alistair Watt to help them fulfil their vision. With builder Stu Hollier on board, all the pieces fell into place
"Stu understood what we wanted in the house," says Jason. "He knew that we wanted something that was high-spec."
While they wanted a quality finish and fittings, the couple's priorities were fairly straightforward.
"We wanted an open-plan house with north-facing living opening up to outdoor living and a pool," says Jason.
They also got a home that has real street presence, with a dramatic, angled roofline and contrasting textures and colours in the walls, which are a mixture of black Linea weatherboards and pale grey plastered Insulclad plus some prominent stack-bonded blockwork in the chimney and feature walls.
Although the couple was prepared to sacrifice some of their plans to meet their budget, the pool was non-negotiable.
"People told us we would never put the pool in because the build is bound to go over budget and we'll use up the money for the pool to cover any blowouts," Jason says.
"So we saved up the money for the pool separately to make sure that we got one."
The heated, in-ground saltwater pool now forms the centrepiece of the outdoor living area, with the kitchen, formal lounge and casual lounge having wide bifolds that open up the house to the sunny courtyard prefacing the landscaping around the pool.
Pukas, native irises and grasses frame the pool and provide a backdrop that softens the fencing.
The bifolds were something the couple decided not to scrimp on and they are glad they stuck to their guns as they give the home a wonderful flow and sense of openness.
Nor do they regret the expense of putting in stacking cavity sliders between the kitchen/dining area and the casual lounge/TV room.
The formal lounge on the other side of the kitchen is another retreat and has a gas fireplace in the exposed stack-bonded blockwork.
Jason, whose work involves retouching photographs, was able to create colour palettes for the home to help them choose a cohesive colour scheme for flooring, benches and cabinetry. Pale laminate floors in the heavy traffic areas contrast with dark grey carpet in the lounges and bedrooms.
In the sleek, functional kitchen and throughout the home a monochrome colour scheme rules - echoing the exterior hues - apart from in their daughter's bedroom, which Christine describes as "more girly" with its splashes of colour.
Their son also has a bedroom on this level, and there's a guest bedroom on the floor below.
An internal office, which could be a fifth bedroom, has light boxes on opposite walls to soften the sense of enclosure.
The pattern on these mimics that on the glass balustrade at the entrance.
Sitting on the eastern side of the house, with a balcony overlooking the surrounding streets, the master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and tiled en suite with his and hers showerheads.
The main bathroom has the same grey tiles and quality fit-out as the en suite.
Downstairs is a separate laundry next to the guest bedroom, and access to the double garage. Beside the double garage is a single garage that has been set up as a workshop/gym.
Though they have laboured over every detail - down to stringing nylon line on top of the glass balustrades to keep birds off - Christine and Jason now have their eyes on another building project, at Waimauku.
As Christine says: "We enjoy building because then we know we can get exactly what we want."