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The transformation of this leaky Waikanae bach was a labour of love

The transformation of a rundown Waikanae bach into a relaxed, chic abode has been a thing of joy for this Wellingtonian family

The transformation of this leaky Waikanae bach was a labour of love

The first summer Rach Annett spent in her Waikanae bach was a tad overwhelming. The ceilings leaked, the walls filled with water and the whole place was pretty basic.

They thought they’d made a mistake but fortunately, the positives outweighed the negatives: Rach and husband Tristan could see the potential of the two-bedroom holiday home they’d bought in November 2013, plus they loved its location, close to the beach and a 45-minute drive from their Wellington apartment.

The problem 

  • There were major leaks in the roof.
  • There was just one bathroom (including the sole toilet), which could only be accessed through Rach and Tristan’s bedroom.
  • The bach was dark and felt cramped.

The solution

  • The roof was replaced and the couple also took the opportunity to replace all the ceilings at the same time.
  • A toilet was installed next to the kitchen, and the bathroom was turned into an ensuite. (Later, a family bathroom – along with a family room and laundry – was added when the new addition was built.)
  • Surrounding trees and hedges were cut down, allowing natural light to come in. Also, French doors took the place of windows in the main bedroom, and a large bifold window was installed in the kitchen, making the space feel twice as big.


Q&A with builder Mike Stewart of Moana Construction

How long were you involved with Rach and Tristan’s renovation?
I met them in early 2014 when Rach came into my partner Anna’s flower shop. Stage one of the renovation started shortly afterwards, with the second stage finishing at the end of 2015. Rach and Tristan have now become good friends.

What were the main challenges you faced on this project?
Timelines with the new build, mainly due to consent issues which delayed our start. Unfortunately, Christmas holidays can’t get put back, so it got a bit hectic. Poor Todd (Wagner), the landscaper, had to work some magic with the grass and landscaping but we got there in the end.

What part of the project are you most proud of?
The end result. Rach and Tris had a party for the team and families at the end, and it’s great to see projects when the clients have moved in. Playing cricket on the lawn and seeing how the buildings complemented each other made it all worthwhile.



Words by: Sharon Stephenson. Photography by: Nicola Edmonds.

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