Susie and James Mackie pictured with their daughters Lucy, 3, and Emma, 15 months, run Mackit Architectural Design and Construction in Greytown.

Susie: “We get people slowing down and looking, or stopping across the road and pointing at the house. There was a lady taking pictures outside once – she used to live here and raised her family here. We’ve completely rebuilt the house and we offered to show her around. She used to have her hair salon in the front bedroom, and it turns out the joiner who made our new kitchen used to get his haircut there. It’s amazing how many people we meet have some sort of connection to the house. I guess that’s part of living in a smaller community.”

James: “When we first looked [at the house] you couldn’t actually see it because it was so overgrown. The massive oak tree had really low hanging branches and other people I’ve met since who also looked at the house said that it was really dark and they couldn’t really see what they would do with it. Since we’ve rebuilt [the house], opened up the back and trimmed the tree, it’s a great feature.”

Susie: “Yeah, the tree has been here a lot longer than we have and it’s a life-saver in summer.”