Decades into retirement, this couple decided to make their lifelong dream a reality and started to build their new home as owner-builders. One partner
was a chemical engineer during his working life and had never built anything before. His wife was a medical practitioner, again with no building experience.
But the love of creating something with their own hands that was beautiful, and most importantly sustainable, made them take the plunge.
In 2013 a house block in a rural town came up for sale with a wonderful view. A steep location but a suitable house site had been cut into the slope in preparation for a new build, and the purchase included stacks of concrete panels and other possible building materials that were residing on the block at the time.
Downstairs is now completed and provides the couple with living quarters while the crowning glory, the upstairs, will be at lock-up stage soon. Just recently they began installing Paarhammer triple glazed windows and doors, doing all the work by themselves.
Occasionally, we have builders thinking that because our windows are a European design and energy efficient they must be tricky to install. However with this project, with no building experience and in their ‘twilight’ years, the couple has found the process to be one of the easier tasks of their owner-build.
Reusing and re-purposing is their motto, and nothing goes to waste. Items found on the side of the road, which other people discard, get a new lease of life. ‘Only by being very mindful can we live a truly sustainable life with a tiny footprint’ they say.
They chose Paarhammer windows to save on energy costs and have a comfortable indoor environment without temperature fluctuations and drafts from heaters and air-conditioners. Custom made from FSC® certified timber and made in a factory with many sustainable features, they were the perfect choice.
The kitchen and living area will receive northerly sun in winter through large glazed areas and from an eastern balcony reached through French doors, with gorgeous countryside vistas that include a cluster of elegant windmills in the distance.
We wish them all the best with the remainder of their build and can’t wait to see the completed project.