holiday home


Researching the design and getting this holiday home built was one of the most enjoyable projects we (my wife and I) have done. The thing with a holiday home is that you tend to be less conservative in the colours and décor and take a few more design risks.

I was employed in a job that had me travelling around the region a lot. I soon knew every second hand shop and recycling depot in every rural town. It was great fun familiarising myself with what these places had to offer.

As we planned I knew where to go to purchase the items required. The French doors, the door handle fittings for the Rimu doors, all the inside light fittings, the stainless steel shower tray, the 8 dining room chairs, the sliding door between the kitchen and laundry. We bought second hand wooden kitchen units that could be altered to fit, stripped and repainted to match the walls. Chance had it that I was in the right place at the right time to buy a trailer load of recycled *Rimu **T&G panelling which I used to make the internal batten doors.

*A NZ native timber
** Tongue and groove

Choosing The House Design

I was at the annual Mystery Creek Agricultural Field Days a number of years ago when I picked up a brochure of a rustic looking barn that appealed to me. I felt it had potential to convert into a house. When we found a section at Raglan (a seaside town 40 minutes west of Hamilton) I fished the brochure out of my filing cabinet and contacted the company - Customkit Buildings. As it turned out they supplied cottages as well as barns. The section was quite small. They had a cottage with a 9m x 6m base. The extra room was gained by having two upstairs bedrooms. They sold kit sets and were based at Pukekohe a town 60 minutes north.

holiday home plans

After slight alterations to the plan we accepted their quote. It was ideal. The outside was lined with ply and batten; windows had coloured aluminium frames and the roof colour steel. This meant no outside painting was required. Our theme was going to be a contemporary cottage.

holiday home plans

custom kit buildings log

holiday home flooring

Choice of flooring

Don't overlook the fact that there are some pretty exciting floor finishes that can be used in houses these

You do not have to have the standard vinyl and carpet. What made us look around was that, being a beach house, there could be sand walked inside and carpet was not the ideal. We decide to have coloured concrete with a finish that looked as if it was large floor tiles.

We got a concrete cutter in then grouted the grooves before having the floor sealed and lacquered. The end result was most impressive and got a lot of positive comments from visitors: but there were challenges.

The coloured concrete is best done in one pour if possible to get an even colour. The local concrete truck was too small so we had to use a larger truck from the city 40 minutes away.

holiday home flooring

The builder has to be sympathetic to what you are doing. There can be no spillage of anything that could leave a mark in the unsealed concrete or dropped tools that will chip it. We covered the concrete during construction with plastic then cardboard.
While doing research for the floor I visited a home that had a coloured concrete floor. They had put under-floor heating in. You could walk around in stocking feet and it was so warm. Being a holiday home we felt we could not justify that expense. We, instead, put 25mm sheets of polystyrene under the concrete for insulation. A poor man's compromise!

holiday home lighting

Selecting Light Fixtures

To go with the general theme of contemporary cottage I bought a number of light fittings from second hand shops that had a cottage feel to them. I then laid them out on a sheet of old ply wood and using an aerosol spray, painted them black.

holiday home backyard

Landscaping the Backyard

Developing the small backyard was an afterthought but ended up being a heavily used area because it was such a lovely place to chill out. It was sheltered from the prevailing wind, sunny and private.
holiday home backyard - pre-landscape
Once the house was built we were left with the dilemma of the back door going out to nowhere. After a bit of thought we decided to get the digger back in to level out the area.
holiday home backyard contouring
There was a bit of ground seepage coming out of the bank and the concrete was sloping away from the house so the concrete was kept back from the bank on the two sides. The small drain between the concrete and the bank was filled with pebbles, the water drained into a plastic drainage pipe which ran under the lawn into the storm water system.
holiday home backyard - bank retention
The sack sheeting was wire pegged onto the bank to stop the clay falling down onto the pebble drain at the base. The ivy soon grew over the bank and held everything in place as the sacking rotted away.


Related Sites