100 little things
The faultless craftsmanship on this Christchurch home built by Casa Construction suggests a company at the top of its game.
A mix of interesting forms, materials and clever details that both delight and surprise were meticulously executed by the Casa Construction team. The result was so impressive the home has been dubbed ‘light luxury’.
When the original house was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and had to be torn down, the owners decided to rebuild on the site. The vistas over the city, along with its central location, ‘far enough up the hill to get views, but not so far as to feel disconnected from the city below’, prompted their decision to stay.
The brief to the architect, Thom Craig and Casa Construction was for a simple, pared-back design with beautiful elegant lines.
The owners say their new two-storey home ticks all the boxes. It is modern yet homely and allows for expression. Nestled into the hillside, its timeless black cedar and white James Hardie Stria cladding preludes the light-filled and spectacularly detailed interior.
The detail-rich house includes: large and robust glass sliders that open to create seamless flow and make the most of the magnificent views; beautifully crafted joinery that defines rooms and living zones; a stunning oak kitchen with open shelving featuring hand-selected dinnerware that doubles as art; and skylights that flood the rooms with light.
The success of the project came down to an extraordinary amount of preparation time. The Casa team ensured every aspect of project was checked and checked again. It’s what the company calls ‘100 Little Things’, Casa Construction’s owner Jeff Root explains. ‘Anyone can build a house. It’s the details and the interaction with the homeowners and design team that count.’
And there were at least 100 little things that Jeff oversaw during the 12-month build. Working with the homeowners and the architect, Jeff and the Casa team were able to add significant value to the project, leading to meaningful cost savings without compromising the design in any way.
Throughout the build Jeff was there, often talking to the clients several times a day to ensure every aspect and detail met with their expectations. He says it was great to have a homeowner so involved and keen to understand every aspect.
Changes were made as the build progressed. For instance the clients wanted roller blinds in the living areas, so the plan was reworked to ensure these were cleverly concealed. When some fixtures in the bathrooms were not available in black, for instance heaters, hinges and flush plates, it was Jeff who arranged a painter to get them powder-coated.
The owners say Casa Construction brought the architect’s vision to life. ‘There were some tricky elements to the build that required a lot of problem solving. These were overcome by Casa’s ability to work with us and the architect to find solutions that worked for everyone. They had a very pragmatic approach to working with the teams and this ensured a smooth build.’
The owner’s favourite aspect is definitely the statement kitchen. Designed to be the heart of the home, it connects not only people but spaces too.
Innovative company Nextdore worked with Jeff to choose flooring that matched the home’s aesthetic. Pure Oak Engineered Timber from Floorscape was chosen for its low maintenance and robust surface. The timber needed to be strong enough to allow the team to create custom-made stair finishes without visible fixings, yet thin enough not to negate the benefits of the underfloor heating.
The show-stopping bathrooms have been styled boldly, and the effect is stunning. Oakleys Plumbing Supplies stepped in to supply the high-end Plumbline Buddy tapware and accessories in matt black. These are teamed with the white solid surface basins and a natural stone bath to create an exquisite black and white combination. The moody powder room is edgy yet refined with its Robertson Box black basin, and black and gold pelican wallpaper.
Light-filled living areas are effortlessly achieved with the full-height aluminium joinery, custom-built by the experts at GA Aluminium. The sliding doors, from the Fairview Architectural Linear Series, are recessed to be flush, complementing the home’s clean lines and creating a smooth transition to the deck - which was a stipulation in the design brief.
An arresting feature is the bi-parting corner stacker, which needed to be custom-made to work around the steel corner post. The reward is a super large opening that maximises flow from inside to out and makes the most of the stunning views over the cityscape.
Painting experts from Aspect Group were a vital cog in the wheel of this project. Charged with creating a superior paint finish to this high-end build, the team chose Dulux Wash & Wear paints in a variety of white hues. The paint’s washable quality means that any surface marks can simply be wiped off.
A key partner of the build was PlaceMakers, supplying all the materials for the home’s construction. All the frames and timbers, decking, James Hardie underlay, insulation and cedar cladding were provided by this stalwart of building supplies. The company also stepped in during the landscaping stage to provide a crane to collect and lift large bags of topsoil up onto the steep site.
Reflecting on the build, Jeff says the house’s success is a tribute to all those involved. ‘You know you have done a good job when the owners are beaming when you hand over the keys.’
The owners appreciated Jeff’s dedication to the build along with his pragmatic approach. And, if this isn’t enough of an endorsement, Casa Construction is now building the family’s holiday home.
‘You don’t work with someone twice unless it went well the first time’, says Jeff.
Words: Krista Coupland Photography: Iain McGregor