Prior to building and moving into the double gold-winning home in Dannemora, the Seward family - with boys Nathan, who is 15, and 12-year-old Ryan — had moved every two years around East Auckland. The family have now been in their home for 16 months with no plans to move on or make any changes. Instead the family has fallen in love with every nook and cranny of the house.
“I still walk around this house and think to myself ‘this house is so cool’, just like I did the day we moved in,” says Liz. “I love the simple, neat, tidy lines and we got that with this house, but above all we got a family home.”
The Sewards moved in during July 2009 after working with Jalcon Homes on every aspect of the plans and process.
They even had unlimited access to interior designers from Duo Design to help decorate inside, a unique feature every Jalcon Homes customer receives.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom and double-garage home was tweaked from an existing Karaka Lakes home design to take into consideration the Sewards’ special requests and budget constraints.
The kitchen and living area flow through floor to ceiling, with retracting windows to the outside patio and pool making it the perfect entertaining area. From the kitchen you can relax while preparing food and drinks as the sparkling blue water of the in-ground pool reflects off the glass windows.
The large bedrooms are upstairs, with special walk-in-robe and spacious en-suite for the main bedroom, which is slightly secluded off the landing from the boys’ rooms.
There is also a retreat TV room for the boys, and guiding lights inset on the walls of the staircase add an extra special touch to avoid late-night fumbles up and down the stairs.
An extra guest room and toilet remain downstairs, along with access to the double garage and a separate laundry.
Thanks to the tidy lines of the property, it flows effortlessly from room to room, indoors to outdoors and upstairs to downstairs. There’s also plenty of storage and cupboard space that takes nothing away from the spacious design.
Outside the shrubs, large palms are starting to establish themselves among the green grass, while a vegetable garden with easy access from the laundry exit provides a terrific family appeal.
Inside, the wall, floor and tile colours are neutral, which made it easier for Liz and her keen interest in interior design to sit with Duo Design consultants and her myriad of Trends magazines to accessorise with bolder colours of red, modern abstract paintings and large, simple wall ornaments and hangings.
In short, it’s a family home, minimalistic on design, tasteful.
It was probably because of these touches the home won gold and gold reserve in the Master Builders House of the Year awards for new homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000. The double honour meant Jalcon Homes’ award count came in at six for the night, and makes the family-owned company the proud recipient of 37 medals in the past seven years.
“Jalcon Homes has no set plans, which means every house is different,” she explains. “We believe every family is unique and so every family home should be unique.
“We know everyone’s financial situation is different and we work to accommodate this with each family. For us it’s not about duplicating multi-million dollar show homes across the country, it’s about building quality and unique homes for families.”
This is a sales line Mike finds difficult to argue with. The Sewards had previously built houses with other companies, but the experience with Jalcon Homes was different.
“Believe it or not this wasn’t as stressful at all,” says Mike. “It was an easy process because Jalcon took all the hassle away. I knew from the start it was going to be quality workmanship and I had confidence in them because nothing was an issue.”
Even visiting the building site every day to see the progress was no hassle.
Most homeowners are told to avoid doing this, but the Sewards had a terrific relationship with the tradesmen. There was even a celebration party with them when the home was built to lock-up.