Building Their First Home: An interview with clients Zane and Amber NZ
Building Their First Home: An interview with clients Zane and Amber

Building Their First Home: An interview with clients Zane and Amber

When first homebuyers Zane and Amber struggled to find an existing house that met all their needs, they turned to our team at Nixon Homes to build them a home that ticked all the boxes. We chatted to the couple about their experience building a dream home for them and their two teenage daughters Lexi and Billie

Words by Nixon Homes

Why did you choose to build with Nixon Homes?

Amber: We’d been looking at buying a home and it actually worked out better for us to build so we could get exactly what we wanted. With buying, we couldn’t find any homes that had decent sections, were the right size or were in the right area, so in the end it was a no-brainer for us to build. We’d known Cam (Nixon Homes co-owner, project manager and building consultant) for quite a while and we knew he was a great builder, and once we went to the showhome we just knew we wanted him to build our house.

Zane: We were genuinely blown away with how well the whole showhome was put together. After looking to buy existing houses for quite a while, once we walked in to the showhome it just felt right to build with Nixon Homes.

Tell us a little bit about your build brief. What were the areas you wanted to focus on and what was important to you?

Amber: Our brief was a family home – we wanted four bedrooms, two bathrooms, decent-sized section and nice open living.
Zane: Living and entertainment areas were a big deal for us.

How did you choose your materials?

Amber: We chose the materials with Cam and Kerryn (Kae Interior Designs), so it was a huge help for us having an interior designer take us through the process and having someone to tell us what was going to work and what wasn’t. We’d often have an idea and Kerryn was able to say ‘yes’ or ‘that might not work’ and guide us along.
Zane: Cam walked us through and took us to the meetings so it was great to have his input but at the same time he’d step back and let Kerryn do her thing which was cool. She was very helpful because I think we went in a little blind and we were guided really well by her.

We imagine it could be quite a scary process for your first home to go straight to building – how did Nixon Homes help you through the process?

Zane: It was extremely easy – I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult and had prepared Amber for that, because through my job I knew that unexpected things can pop up when building, but it was surprisingly easy which was great. Nixon Homes made the whole process enjoyable.

Now you’ve been in your home for a few months, what are your favourite features?

Amber: It’s the little things we didn’t have before like heated floors in the bathroom or being able to close our curtains with a click of a button.

Zane: The digitized lock is definitely a favourite feature of ours – I think it is the kids’ too, they show it off to their friends.
The heatpump in the master bedroom is also an absolute godsend and I also really like the attic. Cam’s showhome had an attic space that provided additional storage upstairs and I thought it was a great idea. Storage was something we didn’t think about initially and when it came to moving we quickly realized how much stuff we really had, so it was great to be able to put it all away in the attic space.

Lexi, tell us what you love about your new home?

Lexi: I thought with moving into a new home it was going to take a while to get used to it and that it wouldn’t feel homely at first, but it was actually really nice straight away. It didn’t take long at all to feel like our home – once we moved our things in it basically felt like we’d lived here for ages.

And were you and Billie able to be involved with any of the decisions?

Lexi: We definitely got involved in lots of the decisions they were making for our house – it was a really fun experience.

How did you find the overall build process with Nixon Homes?

Amber: It was a lot easier than I expected going into a build. When I told people that we were building the first home we’ve ever owned everyone was like “what do you mean you’re building your first home?”. For someone who was going in not really knowing much about it at all and suddenly building a home, buying land and picking things out for a house it was way easier that I thought it was going to be.

Zane: Nixon Homes use an application called Buildertrend which allowed us to have consistent updates weekly. We received things like aerial drone shots of the section as the house was going up and the foundations were being poured. We loved getting weekly updates and we were down here almost daily anyway because it was so exciting for us, but it was really cool to be able to show our family and friends through the app.

Amber: I think the hardest part was getting council consent but other than that Nixon Homes helped us through designing the house and the plans – we even came to the section and stepped out the house on site. They kept us involved so much that there wasn’t any time that we felt out of the loop or didn’t understand what was going on so it was almost too easy.

Nixon Homes kept us involved so much that there wasn’t any time that we felt out of the loop or didn’t understand what was going on so it was almost too easy.
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