Alan and Liz Butler had to move – their house was old and needed a lot of work. And when you race lawnmowers and build hovercrafts in your spare time, as Alan does, a regular house just isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Initially, they looked at renovating but realised that if they built they’d get exactly what they needed – man cave and all.
“If we sold, we could move, buy land and build,” Alan explains.
They saw they could get more bang for their buck in beautiful Ōmokoroa, so found a spot with stunning views and began the search for someone to build their dream home.
Alan and Liz had long meetings with other building companies but felt they never got the information they wanted. Things felt different with Sentinel Homes.
“Sitting down with Shane from Sentinel Homes Bay of Plenty for just an hour and a half, we got more info and a good feel from it,” Alan tells us.
When they visited the Sentinel Homes show home at The Lakes, everything fell into place.
“We opened the front door and that’s when we really felt the wow factor. We had been to other show homes and we didn’t get the same feeling, that feeling of expanse,” Alan adds.
The inclusive prices at Sentinel also appealed to Alan and Liz. They’d found with other companies there were many hidden costs, and the build quality just wasn’t up to scratch.
“With Sentinel Homes, everything is above board and all the features in their homes come as standard, whereas with the others it was an upgrade,” Liz enthuses.
Anyone who has built a home knows that even with the most careful planning, there can still be some surprises (especially when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic).
For Alan and Liz, that meant delays as the lawyers dealt with contracts through the lockdown periods. The global supply chain also threw some curveballs, but Sentinel Homes did what they could to stick to timelines.
For example, Alan and Liz couldn’t get the cabinets they wanted, so Sentinel upgraded them without question.
“They wanted to make sure they could finish the project on time,” says Liz.
When other obstacles came up, the couple was relieved that Sentinel Homes had a ready solution.
“The doors were hitting the shower door, so they put in a slider, for example.” No matter what arose, Sentinel found a solution that worked for everyone.
Alan and Liz can’t fault Sentinel’s eye for design and impeccable attention to detail. Their home design was based on another plan, but Liz says they made it look completely different.
Before it was designed, Sentinel Homes went through every single room with Alan and Liz to ensure they understood exactly what the couple was after. Liz says they nailed the designs first time.
“When we saw the designs, they said, ‘Let us know changes.’ But we didn’t change anything. They heard what we wanted in a home, and delivered on that.”
The Butlers say their finished home is a delight. An open foyer welcomes you as you enter the front door, with a beautiful open kitchen, dining and living area on the left that flows onto the back deck.
“I especially love how the kitchen turned out – the flow is great. You can have three or four people in there and you don’t get in each other’s way,” says Liz.
To make the most of the glorious view, Sentinel designed and built the home to overlook the Katikati hills – one of Liz’s favourite parts of the house.
“It’s like a picture going right around the windows,” she says.
On the other side of the foyer are the main bathroom, two kids’ bedrooms and the master suite, complete with walk-in wardrobe and ensuite.
Outside, the double garage is for the family cars, but the second single garage is Alan’s private domain. Doors in the front and back of the garage let him drive all the way through to the backyard.
“It’s my man cave,” he laughs. “It allows Liz to enjoy her space, while I enjoy my hobby area.”
From groundworks to the turn of the key, Alan and Liz were given a very reasonable build time-frame. The Sentinel Homes Bay of Plenty team pulled out all the stops to stick to that timeframe, and the Butlers say they felt reassured through every step.
“I think the builder’s style and process were exemplary. He knew what he was doing. Any questions I had he answered promptly,” says Alan.
He appreciated the seamless service they received throughout the build. If there were ever any issues, Alan knew he could call and they’d be dealt with.
“I felt like we had a good rapport with Shane and Todd right away. They were brilliant to deal with,” he explains. “The build itself was good, it was pleasant! We’ve all heard the nightmares, but there was none of that.”
Sitting in their finished masterpiece, watching the sunset over the Katikati hills, Alan and Liz are chuffed with their new home.
“There’s so much we love about it, absolutely no regrets.”
If you’re considering building and want to find out more about Sentinel Homes Bay of Plenty call 0800 456 321 today.
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