Articles / New homes

Dining al fresco

Want to know more?

Contact us

With two courtyards and a large living space that opens right up, this holiday home is built for outdoor living

Dining al fresco


Building a home from a concept plan works well if you're building on a flat, square section. But if you're building on an unusual site, it's useful to have the flexibility to modify the plans to suit your needs.

This Omaha holiday home was built by GJ Gardner Homes, on a section with views of the estuary and the sea. However the irregular shape of the site posed potential problems, says homeowner and GJ Gardner franchise owner, Steve Bull.

"In our case, it would have been virtually impossible to use a concept plan, because none of the boundaries on the section are parallel, and the shape of the section is unusual.

"One advantage of a GJ Gardner home is that the company is very accommodating of modifications to their plans. It's all part of the service," he says.

Steve and Fiona Bull spent some time designing a central open-plan living space for their holiday home. It is divided into different areas for the kitchen, lounge, dining and television room. Bifold doors at the front and back open this space up to two courtyards. The rear courtyard has an outdoor fireplace and dining table, which is perfect for outdoor entertaining. The front courtyard offers an alternative place to sit, depending on the angle of the sun and the direction of the wind.


"We frequently use the rear courtyard in the evenings. With the fire going you can sit out there in winter quite comfortably," says Steve Bull.

GJ Gardner Homes has independently owned and operated franchises across the country. All of its members are certified or master builders.

For further information, contact GJ Gardner Homes, phone (09) 415 2488. Email:, or visit the

First published date: 31 March 2007

More news from Trends