In the previous posts we have spoken about The New Zealand Villas and Bungalows and Art Deco, now we get into the era of The State Home (1930’s – 1960’s).
The first state houses in the 1930’s were designed and constructed to the highest possible standard budgets permitted. They were built so that no two houses would be exactly alike, so that their occupants would not be identifiable as state tenants.
Similar sentiments guided the first Labour government’s scheme. State housing areas would contain both better-off and poor workers to avoid the creation of single-class neighbourhoods. As with the workers’ dwellings, each house would be constructed using quality labour and materials, and designed to last for 60 years and more if maintained.
Internal planning was important. Kitchens would face the morning sun and living rooms would form the centre of family life, arranged so that easy chairs could encircle the fireplace. This is the typical design of the New Zealand State House.
· The construction was always done by well trained people.
· Building material was strong, usually brick, matai and tawa – rimu was used as well.
· Eaves were still large which means the homes are very watertight.
· Mostly single storied with simple floor plans.
The Not so Good:
· Properties are usually small and not suited to larger families.
· Style and shape often don’t suit modern lifestyles – no indoor outdoor flow and spate kitchens and dining rooms.
· Bathrooms often face the road and are next to the front door.
These houses are easy to change and are made to last. A well looked after state home can be one of the smartest buys you can make as the costs involved with maintenance can be less than the previous styles of homes.