For this post we thought we would side-track a little from the build to introduce ourselves properly and give you some background to our Homestar renovation.
We are Zane – a licenced builder, and Suzanne – a stay at home mum. Parents’ to 2 girls -Imogen aged 6 and Trinity aged 3.
Before acquiring this extreme ‘do up’ we had only ever owned one other home which we purchased as newlyweds some 18 years ago. That property provided us with our first big renovation to cut our teeth on. We lifted the 1960’s 2 bedroom bungalow and put a storey underneath, converting it to a 3 bedroom main dwelling with a granny flat downstairs.
To our part of the house we added a double garage and an extra bedroom, we modernised the bathroom and reconfigured the living areas to make them more “open plan”. The one bedroom flat downstairs was built specifically for Suzanne’s parents to live in. It was a massive renovation and a brave move on all accounts but we did it and went on to enjoy 15 years of living together in that home.
Our decision back then to coexist with family was not one we made lightly but was certainly made easier knowing that they too had lived for many years (and raised children) on the same land as their own parents. We have come to love community living and the multi-generational approach fits with our values and suits us all well. The girls, especially, really thrived having experienced living with Grandma & Grandpa. Once Suzanne’s father’s health started to decline it was easier to offer the extra support that was needed with them at home.
As well as rebuilding that house, we gradually landscaped the land, putting in fruit trees and making veggie gardens that we enjoyed regularly harvesting from. We even had chickens for a while which was a lot of fun. In many ways it was idyllic, and we only considered moving from that house when (after years of trying) we finally managed to have children. At this stage we found that living upstairs with toddlers was just way too awkward. Thankfully, once we did decide to move, it didn’t take long to find this -Our Big Renovation Project Mark Two!
Past experience told us that we would be in for a lot of hard work again, but we hoped that being older and wiser might help and this time we would be able to pay for builders to do the bulk of the labour, then would come in ourselves after hours to clean up and do certain jobs to help push the project along.
As soon as we saw this property we felt excited about its prospects and we were motivated to make it our own. We love the area it’s in, the big backyard and the layout of the house which was not far off ideal (even if most of it would have to be stripped right back).
When we sat down to talk to Allan from Buildology and shared our plans he introduced us to the home star rating and from the get go we were keen! We are motivated to live in a more energy efficient, eco-aware and self-sustainable way. To learn more about these things, to adopt what is good and what works where we can, and to pass on these values on to our girls. This property has provided us with a fresh start and a better means to achieve all this. So far this process has taught us a lot, and hopefully this property will be the catalyst for more positive changes as time goes on.