The homes of two Bay of Plenty families have been announced as finalists in this year's Lockwood House of the Year competition.
The Pugh family, of Pāpāmoa, and a second couple from Pahoia in Western Bay of Plenty, join four other finalists from throughout New Zealand in the annual competition, which opens for public voting today.
From seaside to lush bush, the designs of each of the houses have been crafted to make the most of their different settings. However, one consistent feature remains the same for each - the desire to take advantage of each location's spectacular views.
Having had their Pāpāmoa section for nearly 12 years before building a permanent structure on it, the No. 1 priority for the Pugh family when designing their home was to take advantage of the site's commanding 180-degree sea views.
"For many years we holidayed in relocatable cabins that we put on the site, but once we were able to, we decided to take advantage of the views by building a two-storey home that had all the living space on the top floor," Jo Pugh said.
The family also wanted the top floor of their home to be open plan to allow extended family to be able to gather and enjoy the space together.
"We wanted a fun house where we can all come together, where the grandkids can play and where we don't have to worry about sandy feet," Jo said.
The Pahoia couple have a similar story, having lived at their present site for many years before deciding to have their previous home – also a Lockwood – relocated to enable them to build their dream home on the same site.
"This is actually our third Lockwood home, we've always loved them, however, this time we opted for the bespoke design-and-build option to ensure the design fitted exactly with our needs and to ensure we took advantage of our expansive view," one of the owners said.
The couple also ensured the design of the home was adaptable for present and future needs, with a covered alfresco area providing shade from the sun, airconditioning in both main bedrooms, and a larger roof area to capture more water because the property relies on tank water.
Because the home is at altitude, heated concrete floors, along with the excellent insulation that Lockwood Homes offer, ensure it's warm and cosy.
Both homes were built by local Lockwood contractor Seaside Homes.
To celebrate Lockwood's 70th birthday this year, anyone who places a vote in the House of the Year competition will go into the draw to win a Smeg kitchen appliance package.
Lockwood House of the Year has been running for five years, but judged on a public vote since only last year.
The Bay of Plenty homes are up against four other finalists in Kapiti Coast, Tokoroa and Coromandel.