Our Build


A Look Inside

We both love Scandinavian style, so that means we’ll have lots of pale timbers, natural finishes, raw concrete and soft colours throughout the inside of our house. We’ve changed our minds on some of the furnishings since this 3D model was done, but it’s pretty close to how we hope the finished room will be. But with full height doors out to the deck. :)

As we start to finish the inside of our home we’ll begin to share each room with you. What we’ve done along with the materials, colours and furniture we’ve used. I’m not sure about you, but we can’t wait! :)



20 Comment
  1. Hi Guys,

    Have been reading your blog in the NZ Herald on Sunday.
    Very entertaining, so I look forward to the next week to see how you are getting along.
    But now you have decided to take a break, I mean this is a very poor tease and I think you should get back to work quick smart.

    No, enjoy your break but remember it’s only a coffee break.
    Have a great Christmas & New Year and will be watching out in 2015


    Alan Leipst
    Palmerston North

    • Thanks Alan! Great to hear you’re enjoying the read each Sunday from down in Palmy.
      Haha, don’t worry, we’ll take a wee break, but will be back into it quick smart. Next update will be on the 11th. But our awesome builders will be in action before then.
      Have a great Xmas and NY too.

      • Hi Folks
        Just waiting for the next instalment of the build. Have a great New Year, keep safe, R&R then back into it.

        Palmerston North

  2. hi there. absolutely love your design ( i’m into swedish prefab as well ). you couldn’t have made better use of the section, i think….can i ask you two, three little questions, please? i’m currently doing my own homework on building our home.

    > have you had any issues/hesitations at all from the council regarding permissions, or are they aware now of how good sips are?
    > have you considered clt at all? those are the most common prefab structures in europe. was it a cost-based decision to go sip instead?

    many thanks, guys, i really look forward to your house updates…best, toby

    • Hey Toby, thank you. Yeah, now we’re well into the build we’re stoked with the way the house works perfectly with the land. Can’t wait to move in!

      Awesome, and sure, happy to answer any questions.

      We didn’t have a single question or hesitation from Auckland Council around using SIPs. And as far as I am aware, if not the first, we are one of only a handful that have had a SIPs house consented in Auckland. So I would say that yes, they are aware of SIPs and in our case, had no issue with them.

      No, we weren’t even aware of CITs at all. How does that system work? Be keen to see.

      And if you have any other questions along the way, feel free to ask away!

      All the best with your build!

  3. hi ben. sorry for the late reply, i was off on holidays. clt stands for cross laminated timber, which is structural as well, so the building process works exactly as yours. sips are great too, of course. good to hear the council had no issues…
    all the best, toby

  4. Hi guys! Have been following your build since the beginning and it looks like it is coming together wonderfully.

    Will you two be doing any other exposure for your house being completed other than through your own websites and social media? As in will there be a day that you guys will set up for people to come have a look at the finished product.

    All the best,

  5. Just read the latest edition of your gorgeous home build. The keyless entry could be a problem and so maybe you could get the electrician to invent a Faraday cage for the keys when in the home. We have two cars with keyless entry!
    An extract from the Sydney morning herald:
    When I told him my story, he knew immediately what had happened. The teenagers, he said, likely got into the car using a relatively simple and inexpensive device called a “power amplifier.”
    He explained it like this: In a normal scenario, when you walk up to a car with a keyless entry and try the door handle, the car wirelessly calls out for your key so you don’t have to press any buttons to get inside. If the key calls back, the door unlocks. But the keyless system is capable of searching for a key only within a couple of feet.
    Danev said that when the teenage girl turned on her device, it amplified the distance that the car can search, which then allowed my car to talk to my key, which happened to be sitting about 50 feet away, on the kitchen counter. And just like that, open sesame.
    “It’s a bit like a loudspeaker, so when you say hello over it, people who are 100 meters away can hear the word, ‘hello,'” Danev said. “You can buy these devices anywhere for under $100.” He said some of the lower-range devices cost as little as $US17 and can be bought online on sites like eBay, Amazon and Craigslist.
    Danev said his company was in talks with several car manufacturers to install a chip that can tell how far the key is from the car, thereby defeating the power-amplifier trick.
    While I can’t be 100 per cent certain this is the device they used to get into my car, until car companies solve the problem, he said, the best way to protect my car is to “put your keys in the freezer, which acts as a Faraday cage, and won’t allow a signal to get in or out.”
    Which is why my car key is now sitting next to a tub of chocolate ice cream.

    • woops, anyway, I have been following your video series and I love it. I am really into design and looking at becoming an arcitect. I ablsoulutly LOVE that room, scandinavian is my fav too. Good luck with the rest of the build!!

      Sorry if there are any mistakes, english isn’t my first language..

  6. Hey Ben
    After a very protracted design phase we too are finally about to start building with sips. Going full passivhaus.
    Have just hit a little hump on interior design. Thought you may be able to throw in your five cents worth. Have you ever thought you may have had too much wood in the kitchen with both floors and cabinetry? We also like the Scandinavian look and have specified oak floors and also oak cabinetry. Just a little concerned now that it might be wood overload. Then remembered you had oak floors and okume cabinets. We will have white walls and larch window joinery.
    Cheers Richard

    • Hi Richard. That’s awesome…what’s your estimated completion date?
      No, we have never thought that we have too much timber. We’re very happy with how everything turned out and how all the elements came together.
      We did however spend a lot of time deliberating over the timbers we chose and how they would work with the counter tops, joinery and our furniture. Our flooring is a light oak so quite blonde I guess, then we went for a slight contrast with our cabinetry – although we adding a blonding stain to it to get it to the colour and tone we wanted. Then we contrasted it heavily with the ironsand aluminium joinery, concrete tops, marble/slate tiles and dark sofas and white dining table legs and chairs.
      Hard to tell without seeing your samples, but best advice would be to go and take all your samples to site and see how they are working – get the joinery, cabinetry, floors, fabric, tops all together and see what works best. And try in different light conditions as they do vary a lot. Try to ensure you have plenty of contrasting elements to break the wood up – even LED strips along the kickboards of your kitchen will wash light over the floor and along the bottom of the cabinets – given a subtle break between the elements even though they are similar colours.
      Hope that helps!?

      • Cheers Ben there certainly are plenty of decisions to make. Plans are due out of council this week and builder is chaffing the bit. We are hoping a November completion date.
        We are aiming for 6mm solid stainless counter tops with recessed handles on the cabinets. Kitchen guy thought wood cabinets & floor might be a bit much. But I agree with your notion of breaking it up a bit.
        many thanks for your ideas.

  7. Hey guys,
    The house looks great! I bet you are enjoying your new home.
    It was interesting to watch the episodes and see progress and what went into the build. I guess the big question is …how much did it cost to build? (Sponsor perks aside!)
    Also, is this your first house?

    • Hey Claire, thank you, we’re so happy with our home. It wasn’t cheap, but it cost us a lot less than it’s worth :) Yes, it’s our first home we have built.

  8. How happy are you with the Formance SIPs in terms of airtightness? (i’m looking into their product for my next build) I’m a firm believer that the performance of a house is only as good as the weakest link, and while any house can look stunning inside, it’s the things you can’t see that determine the performance.

    Can I ask was there a reason for going with the Fletcher stacker sliding doors? I know they have a flat seamless bottom sill but i’ve never known any aluminium framed sliding door to be airtight sealed. At best all the ones i’ve seen rely on felts along the guide track or along each side of the sliding door edges to make a seal.

    • Hi Lee, thanks for the message.
      Yes, very happy with their airtightness. Pending your other design decisions, they would allow you to build a fully airtight envelope. Each panel interlocks creating an airtight seal, then depending on the thickness naturally determines the r-value. Given the volume of glass we hold the heat well in winter and cool in summer.

      Re why we chose the Fletcher sticking doors – we like them and wanted the full wall to slide away. If you’re looking for perfect airtightness, they aren’t, and like you say, they have felts along the track and to allow the stacking functionality. We weren’t trying to have a fully airtight house and are very happy with the decision we made here.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers, Ben

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