Nathan Lodge of Coastline Construction Group was completing a "spec" build in Tindalls Bay when he and his wife Kerri went for a wander. The area reminded them of where they had grown up on the North Shore, in the 1970s.
Impressed with the beautiful beaches of Matakatia and Tindall's Bay "just a hop, skip and jump away", as well as the proximity to shops and excellent schools, they started talking about buying here.
About 100m from the beach, they came across an original 65-year-old bach, a deceased estate that had come up for sale.
Though they didn't move on it straight away, they were curious to know what it had sold for at auction, so they rang the agent.
Fortuitously, it had been passed in. So they made an offer and, to their delight, it was accepted.
After renting the property for several years, they approached Matt Hagan of Red Rabbit Architecture to design a modern coastal family home with plenty of sunny indoor/outdoor living.
"We didn't like the generic paint and weatherboard look. We wanted to use natural timbers where we could," says Nathan.
"We were really trying to capture the light and those beautiful north-east-facing ocean views. We wanted open-plan living and big, spacious rooms, not just the standard height ceiling."
Everything in the house, he says, is oversized with generous rooms, large windows and sliders that open to expansive decks enclosed with glass balustrades — 150sq m in total.
They were keen also to recycle timber from the old bach to add a sense of provenance. It took a lot of work –— "a lot more than people appreciate" — turning un-machined heart rimu that had been in the house for 65 years into a beautiful staircase that rises from the entry to the generous entertaining area above.
Natural timber abounds throughout, complementing the heart rimu with solid European oak floors in the living area, on the kitchen cabinetry and under the kitchen island, as well as in the bathrooms.
Although the design is open-plan, Nathan likes the fact it has quiet spaces "where we can get away from each other", including a second living area especially for the kids, central to the four upstairs bedrooms.
Having a large rumpus downstairs with a third bathroom adds another versatile place. It is filled with light and looks out to surrounding decks and lawns. "There is a whole lot of outdoor living in this house," says Nathan.
Everything went to plan during the building process, apart from dealing with Mother Nature and the costs, says Nathan. Unfortunately, it worked out too expensive for the Lodge family, so they won't be moving in.
However, he recalls some great moments, especially after they removed the old house, laid the foundations and got up and looked at that view. "You can see the ferries coming and going and the boats from the marina. The view is always changing."
Nathan says neighbours were amazing throughout the build. "They made it easy. It's a fantastic little community here with a shopping hub 500m away at Manly — an iconic Whangaparaoa town."
He also recalls interesting finds under the floorboards. "We found some old newspapers with an article from 1960 with complaints about contractors delaying the start of the international airport. There were so many jobs in the situations vacant with some very un-PC advertisements that you just couldn't get away with these days."
1043 WHANGAPARAOA RD, TINDALLS BEACH
• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• Land 809sq m, house 349sq m, plus 100sq m decking and patio.
• Price: $1,600,000-plus. Sale by negotiation.
• Inspect: Sun 2-2.30pm or by appointment.
• Auction: Oct 6, noon, on site (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Whangaparoa Primary, Gulf Harbour Primary, Whangaparaoa College & Wentworth College.
• Contact: Calvin Howarth, 021 0278 0341. Calvin.email@example.com, harcourts.co.nz/OR9688
*Plus 2 OSP