Weenink Family Home, Tauranga | Lockwood Homes

Property size: 363.5m2

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2

Living: 1

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Weenink Family Home, Tauranga

Sustainability was a huge part of Steve and Lorraine’s decision to build with Lockwood. Having owned their site in Tauranga for 14 years, they had taken it from bare land to an organic orchard, planting and tending green and gold kiwifruit along with running their successful beekeeping business. For over ten years they had dreamed of an off-the-grid new build with a focus on using sustainable materials.

Before visiting Soren and the Seaside Homes show home, they were aware of Lockwood but were surprised and impressed by the light, open plan style of a modern Lockwood. The sustainability credentials of the Lockwood building system were also a huge plus.

Steve and Lorraine went away with plan book in hand and started to consider the design and layout of the home. They liked the Kaimai design with its gable end wings suiting their rural site and views. “We made changes and expanded the plan to fit what we wanted.” Says Lorraine, “The original Kaimai floor plan was extended through the living space and the guest bedroom wing.” They also changed the entryway placement and removed the second living space to create an impressive main suite with a walk-in-robe and ensuite.

Steve and Lorraine started the build a year later, waiting on a final kiwifruit harvest before clearing the site. From the foundations to the solar heating system on the roof, every material used in the home was carefully considered to make it as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. The concrete foundation used Cupolex domes made from 100% recycled materials, a much greener alternative to traditionally used polystyrene. The home has its own bore and septic tank, allowing it to operate off-grid, along with solar panels to provide electricity. An additional solar system installed on the roof provides hot water heating, and the overrun heats the spa. In winter, the wetback fire will also provide water heating.

“We haven’t had a power bill since we have been here,” says Lorraine, “We are also able to provide electricity back to the grid.”  As the Lockwood components are made for the home and are processed and cut to length, there was minimal waste onsite. Throughout the build, Steve assisted the builders in disposing of any waste from other products with minimal impact on the environment.

A dramatic schist stone feature wall greets you upon entering the home, which continues down one side of the open plan kitchen, dining and living space. “We spend quite a bit of time in Wanaka and love the schist work on the homes there. The feature wall looks amazing with the lights on.” says Lorraine. The natural stone complements the knot-free pine throughout the open-plan space with a high sarked ceiling and beam details. The clean and crisp white kitchen cabinetry and island with waterfall benchtop are offset by a bright pop of colour in the splashback. At the opposite end of this grand space, the living area with gable end windows and sliding stacker doors opens onto the deck, looking out over the orchard below.

Both bathrooms in the home are painted white with grey tiles offering a soft, calm colourway. The main suite has an ensuite bathroom with a luxurious freestanding bath, and an open tiled shower and toilet cleverly tucked away behind a double vanity.

The home has excellent outdoor living space afforded by the expansive deck. A dwarf cherry blossom tree planted into the deck is a novel feature that will grow to provide shade and shelter in the outdoor space. “The deck is a lovely place to spend time. It is sheltered from the wind and gives a great connection to the orchard.” Says Lorraine, “There was some debate about where to put the spa. We eventually decided to put it under the deck so we could have uninterrupted views. I love going down there now!”

The Weeninks were very impressed with Soren and the Seaside home’s team. “They consulted with us on everything throughout the build. Nothing was ever a problem.” And they are over the moon with the outcome, “we just love it, it’s everything we wanted”.

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