It's often said that buying a builder's own house means you're guaranteed a quality property and that's certainly true of 1A Dorset St, a neat 1920s elevated bungalow, which has recently undergone a major, impressive renovation.

Clint and Tracey Lockwood had an ideal background for the task: he as a builder, and director of a construction company and she as an architectural technician.

That their baby boy was on the way when they began the job midway through last year didn't faze either of them.

Now 5 months old, little Parker is used to having lots of activity going on around him.


"The house was pretty original and we liked that it was in good condition," says Clint.

"The layout was okay but we could see possibilities that others hadn't."

Throughout the project Tracey and Clint vowed to maintain and showcase the period details that make bungalows so distinctive - and did so successfully.

The front door opens into the living room, which is large and light. Here, Tracey has painted the panelling grey instead of the white so often found in similar renovations.

"I wanted a colour that I could repeat throughout the house and I felt grey was nice and intimate," she says.

Directly opposite is the kitchen/dining room, modern and high-tech, yet still in keeping with the rest of the house. Clint and Tracey chose earthy, almost industrial materials such as slate and stainless steel plate.

The main bathroom is well-appointed, with neutral decor and through the spacious master bedroom is the ensuite, featuring striking white tiles.

Both bathroom floors are heated.

"That's what you want in winter," says Clint.

There are three more bedrooms - one of which the couple currently use as an office, and which could be additional living space.

Then there's Parker's bedroom and another smaller one, which was originally the laundry.

"We've just put the washing machine, tub and dryer neatly in a cupboard, because it made so much sense to get a fourth bedroom out of that space," says Clint.

While the interior of the house has been completely revamped with the addition of central heating, major changes have been made outside, too, with the addition of a front deck with louvre sides. It complements the back deck with its glass roof and means the owners can follow the sun throughout the day.

The house has a double garage, unusual in dwellings of its era, especially in this neighbourhood, and there's off-street parking for a further two cars.

A built-in barbecue makes summer entertaining a breeze and there is minimal lawn to mow. You won't need to take up a paintbrush either, as Clint had the fence painstakingly re-plastered, restoring and retaining the original gate.

They've lived here for just over a year, but already the Lockwoods love the community, saying they couldn't possibly be better situated for amenities, with Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Western Springs, the zoo, Motat and the motorway all nearby.

"There are plenty of places to go when we take Parker out for a walk," says Tracey.

With this project now complete, the couple are itching for a new challenge, but they're definitely keen to stay in the neighbourhood.

"Hopefully it will be somewhere very close to here," they say.

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