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When builds go bad

How Sentinel Homes came to the rescue for Viv and John

When Viv Burnett and her husband John were planning to build their first home in Auckland, they had a specific design in mind, one they’d come up with themselves. Their first builder told them they had gone over budget, and decided to strip out $50,000 of materials. Unhappy with that, the Burnetts went through a year of nightmare stress and litigation to take ownership of their plans. Then a friend recommended Sentinel Homes.

Stuart from Sentinel Homes, Viv says, really understood what they had been going through and took a personal interest in their case. As Viv explains, that’s what sold them.

“He was such a good guy. He said ‘I hate it when companies do this – it gives the building industry a bad name!’ Then he took our plans and righted the wrong. He bent over backwards to help us be able to build the house we really wanted!”

A personal vision, luxurious space

The Burnetts had some really specific and personal details that they wanted to include in their dream home’s design – where light switches would go, towel rails in just the right places, and quality fittings throughout. Sentinel’s process allowed for those changes, rather than locking them into a cookie cutter design.

That was important, says Viv. She and her husband felt they were investing not just their hard-earned money, but also a lot of emotion into the new build, so it was important to get it right.

“It’s really hard to explain unless you’ve done it. Building your own home gives you an enormous sense of achievement and pride!”

When the Burnetts moved into their new home, they all felt like they were living in a castle. Previous dwellings for the family of five were never larger than 85 square metres, and with the new 230m2 house, they are loving the luxurious amounts of space.

“There was so much room, the kids could have friends over. It’s what we wanted to create – a place where other kids could come to hang out.”

And Viv is especially happy with the superb finishing of their new home, including the appliances.

“We expect to not have to do anything to the property for a minimum of ten years. Sentinel Homes don’t cut any corners – they take care of your home for the long term.”

Honesty, integrity and great communication

Viv was most impressed by the genuine people at Sentinel Homes. Throughout the build, Sentinel kept in close, prompt communication with the Burnetts. She says that excellent communication meant inevitable hiccups were discussed openly, making them much easier to cope with.

Compared to their previous experience, working with Sentinel was like night and day.

“Hiccups can be either monstrous and stressful, or just ‘okay, how do we deal with this?’ We dealt with it all together and we moved forward. If only we had found Sentinel right at the beginning!”

Friends had warned the Burnetts about the stresses of building a new home, but Viv knows that with Sentinel, she could do it again. She would recommend Sentinel Homes for anyone looking for a quality family home – without the intense stress.

“Sentinel have that integrity. They’re ‘people’ people. They care about the experience you’re going through.”

Thinking about a new family home? Give Sentinel Homes a call.

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