When doing up their home, a couple had their minds on the future.
Timing was everything for Justine Verrall and Logan Granger when they decided to focus on starting a family rather than just following their careers.
The couple's return to Auckland from Wellington in 2000 coincided with Logan's grandmother wanting to sell her home. The opportunity was too good to pass up as Granger had grown up in Devonport and he used to visit his nana, just a few streets away.
"We'd been following our careers for years, doing 60-hour weeks and having to make dates to see each other for dinner," says Verrall.
"Here was the opportunity we'd been waiting for. We wanted to start a family, and moving back to the neighbourhood where Logan grew up just seemed so right."
The attractive Californian bungalow was sound but small, with a "one-person kitchen" and no access to the north-facing rear garden. The couple always planned to renovate but bided their time for a few years while Finn, now aged 6, and then Mollie, 4, were born. But with a growing family, they knew it was time to move on to the next stage.
"Once we had two boisterous toddlers, we had to get moving on the renovations," says Verrall.
"We loved living in 'Nana's house' but over those years we had also been making plans as to how we would extend and renovate it while honouring both the family and the architectural history."
The bungalow was lifted on to the back of a truck and parked on the front of the site while a huge hole was dug for the footings and slab of the new rear and basement extension. This would eventually double the size of the house.
Gradually the north-facing kitchen and family living area on the upper level at the rear of the original bungalow took shape, while what had been the hole in the garden below became the two-bedroom office, playroom and utility space.
The floorplan of the original bungalow has been reorganised to contain the three main bedrooms and the two bathrooms that service them, alongside the kitchen and living areas of the addition.
"Upstairs was always going to be our bedrooms and living space but downstairs was where we, as a family, would expand to when the children grew older," says Verrall. "We had to think hard about future use, how it would work as the children needed more independence."
Would the couple make any further changes? "No, we wouldn't change a thing. Both Logan and I are quick decision-makers and we had also thought things through for a long time before we started. Knowing the house so intimately helped," says Verrall. "Now we get to enjoy it. We're here for the long haul."
Economies of scale: By having three identical bathrooms, Verrall and Granger achieved huge savings. "We asked for three of everything and that impacted on the final price," says Verrall. "We also didn't see the need for spending big money on designer furniture or fittings. After all, we live with young children and pets and everything takes a beating."
Honour heritage: To achieve a seamless addition, build in sympathy with the existing home. New joinery can be made to match the original, and try to recycle old doors and any floorboards that are ripped up. Continuing the same colour scheme throughout helps blur the line between old and new.
Leanne Moore is the editor of Your Home & Garden. For the full story on this house see the latest issue of the magazine.