Like many kiwis, my wife Angela and I have often dreamed of building a holiday home to enjoy with family and friends as we grow older. A bach to make the most of this beautiful country, a private paradise to escape the daily grind with little notice, a home away from home to create memories with our family. About 12 years ago we were very close to making that dream a reality, very nearly purchasing a site, but after some considerable deliberation; we determined it simply wasn’t the right time. More recently, during the planning of our 2015 Christmas holiday, I began to contemplate the shortness of life and reflect on the immense changes that have occurred since we first shelved the idea.

12 years ago we wanted the time and money to travel with our young family and provide our girls with global experiences to create a lifetime of memories. Whilst we have continued to enjoy travelling with our girls, as they have grown older we notice that our holidays are beginning to change. Whereas once we would visit many cities and towns in a short space of time, we now prefer to put down roots in one place and become truly immersed in the culture and environment.

However, as our girls venture through high school, it becomes harder from them to take holidays in the school term as it is progressively more difficult to catch up on their return. Although, we are very conscious of the fact that by having a holiday home in New Zealand, the opportunities for long-distance travel may be restricted. We have also realised that as our lives change so do our needs and the idea of disappearing on a family holiday, without the girls needing time from school and without a great deal of planning and preparation, is becoming increasingly desirable.

The concept of leaving behind a legacy for our girls and their families has always appealed to me, but I’ve never been clear on what I wanted that legacy to be. However, as the thoughts of building a holiday home once again began to seriously enter our minds, I have come to the realisation that the holiday home that would provide my family with memories and shared experiences could also provide them with a lasting legacy.

And thus, the decision has been made, after weighing up the pros and cons; we have decided that 2017 will finally be the year we will build a holiday home to be enjoyed by generations to come. In hindsight, the decision seems to be the easy part, now comes the questions… the where, the what and the how….

Over the coming months I will share with you the highs and the lows, from dream through to reality and every step in between. After years of advising clients how to confront challenges faced during their design and build journey, I will encounter similar trials during this project. Being the first building project I have embarked on for myself, I wonder if I will tackle issues in a similar way to my clients and if what I learn from the experience will alter the way I approach design or the advice I give to my clients and colleagues.

Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016