Opportunity knocks

Opportunity knocks

Receiving the royal treatment from DJ Hewitt Builders, one quake-stricken home was given a second chance to shine.

Purchasing the two-storey family home 25 years ago, Helen and Lindsay Scott say the quakes presented a golden opportunity to rejuvenate their tired abode. Instead of accepting an insurance payout, the Scotts decided to embark on rebuilding their home, and incorporate a few new features and materials that would drastically improve their quality of life on the hill. 
Delighted to see DJ Hewitt on their insurance company’s list of recommended builders, the Scotts wasted no time enlisting them as their main contractor. And the first task on Daryl Hewitt’s list – even before construction began – was to navigate his way through the bureaucratic red tape on behalf of his clients.
Handing this task over to Daryl made the journey that much more enjoyable for the couple. And, with his guidance, Daryl says he was able to make ‘significant betterments’ by cleverly reassigning costs from the original specifications to give the couple and their home better materials, technology and a few key design aspects that would serve them for many years to come.
Providing the new home with a much-needed quarter-century update to align with demands of modern living, there was scope to introduce modern creature comforts like all-new integrated appliances in the kitchen and laundry, louvres over the outdoor dining area, and thicker insulation in the floors, walls and roof. The size of the balcony was increased, and the whole structure elevated to make the most of the spectacular cityscape stretching out across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps beyond.  

With the neighbour’s retaining wall butting up against the quake-damaged home, the experienced crew at Trevor Stevens Excavations worked methodically and sensitively around it so as not to disturb the existing wall. Following this successful manoeuvre, and subsequent demolition of the old home, Trevor’s team set about excavating the rocky hill site and backfilling it in preparation for the foundation to be constructed. 
One of the original home’s unusual features – the curved roof – was retained, and the building’s exterior was given a pristine new skin with the application of Rockcote Integra lightweight concrete from Resene Construction Systems. Providing the building with a superior weather-tight membrane, the treatment is both durable and low-maintenance. Hand-applied by Get Plastered, one of Resene Construction System’s licensed professionals, this high-performing material is cost effective and offers a smart cladding solution.
While Daryl was responsible for all matters pertaining to construction, his wife, Tara Hewitt, was on hand to guide the couple through all interior elements. This involved improving the layout within the existing footprint, as well as narrowing down the choice of colours, fixtures and fittings for the couple to choose from, and even extended to visiting suppliers in order to obtain the right price, within the couple’s budget, that also complied with insurance regulations.
Working alongside Tara, all bathroom fixtures and fittings were sourced from Oakleys Plumbing Supplies. Methven tapware from the Koha and Aroha collections were selected for the home’s master bathroom, en suite and powder room, for a sleek, classic-yet-modern look, and these were paired with New Zealand made heated towel rails by DC Short. 

Creating the ultimate oasis to unwind and luxuriate in, VCBC’s freestanding natural stone Sonit bath was chosen for its curvaceous shape, silky smooth finish and generous proportions. Hand polished, its stone composite form is both solid, yet elegant, and is offset by large format square Compact Grafito tiles with a vertical panel featuring Musestone Argento mosaics, both from Brymac Tiles.
Tiling the floors in the kitchen, dining, laundry and entryway, as well as all three bathrooms, Jeff Ellis of JE Tiling says the vertical tiled feature panel behind the bath in the master bathroom presented the greatest challenge. As the chosen tiles were irregular in nature, due to their three dimensional, textural quality, it required patience and painstaking positioning of each tile to ensure a perfect finish with no gaps.
For bespoke frameless glass solutions throughout the new home, Glassforce measured, manufactured and installed all frameless glass components. From the full-height glass panel on the deck, to all internal and external balustrades with stainless steel handrails, to the safety mirrors in the bathrooms and the white laminated glass between internal rooms, all Glassforce products are fully compliant with the rigorous post-quake standards.
All joinery components in the kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, as well as the stairs, window seat and internal doors were designed, manufactured and installed by Advanced Joinery. Working closely with Daryl’s wife, Tara Hewitt, who assisted the couple with all interior aspects, Advanced Joinery added its award-winning touch in all these areas.

The skilled workmanship provided by Broomfield Quality Stoppers ensured a premium finish on all interior plastering. High-end architectural builds such as this one present a number of challenging, yet rewarding aspects, says Director Paul Lally; and it is particularly satisfying working alongside a dedicated team of builders and subcontractors towards a common goal. With over 15 years’ experience working alongside Daryl, Paul says his team are dedicated to achieving a consistent premium finish in preparation for painting.
Graham Wilson of GreyTone Painters and Decorators used Resene Waterborne Enamel on all walls and oil based enamel on trims and doors to withstand daily wear and tear, and achieve a high quality finish. Graham's favourite aspect in the new home is the curved ceiling above the solid Rimu pivot-hung doors, which was painted in Resene Waterborne Enamel to match the walls throughout.
The living room maintains a comfortable ambient temperature throughout the changing seasons with a floor-mounted heat pump console from Daikin. Offering quiet, energy efficient heating and air conditioning, it was installed by the team at Active Refrigeration, whose highly skilled engineers work hard to create innovative heating and cooling solutions for homes across New Zealand.
Although their new home registers aspects of the original dwelling, both Helen and Lindsay say the new incarnation delivers ‘just that little bit of everyday luxury’, which has made the journey well worthwhile.

Words: Majka Kaiser       Photography: Mick Stephenson

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