Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

'Boatsheds' house makes waves at awards

The three-bedroom Takapuna house lets in lots of natural light. The interior features cedar and plywood.
The three-bedroom Takapuna house lets in lots of natural light. The interior features cedar and plywood.

Think your home is a castle? This boat-themed creation on Auckland's North Shore, which has been crowned top new home in the upper North Island, boasts an interior glazed bridge, cedar ceilings and a hand-made fire place.

The three-bedroom Takapuna home, built for a young Auckland family, took out a raft of categories at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards for Auckland and Northland over the weekend. It was also crowned the regional supreme winner.

Builder Gary Bonham, director of Bonham Builders & Management, said the 15-month project, which took at least five months of planning, culminated in the most beautiful home he had built.

"It's a mixture of red cedar, yellow cedar and birch plywood," Mr Bonham said.

"It's created by four pods that are the same size with a pitched roof and it's all held together by steel frames covered in cedar."

The two-storey house, which also has a garage and workshop below ground level, has plenty of natural light due to its glass exterior, he said.

"It's got big electric-lifting windows that lift out of the way. There's a lot of natural materials, [including] concrete and timber, and there's no paint; it's all varnish."

The design of one of the home's three bathrooms was also recognised through the Bathroom Excellence Award, Mr Bonham said. "It's got a shower which is like the inside of the boat, and you walk over the deck on to the shower."

The couple who own the property also included a special space for their two sons, aged in their early teens.

"They've got their own wing with a connection [and] a ladder with a hatch on the floor where the boys can climb up to the two bedrooms," Mr Bonham said.

Visitors could also be accommodated in an "American-style" office space which had a cupboard with a pull-down bed.

Completing the house, which has been dubbed the "boatsheds" by its architects, the SGA Strachan Group Architects, was a team effort.

The building budget of $2.3 million was not exceeded, and it was also completed on time, Mr Bonham said.

"The architects and owners were pretty chuffed with that. The house is on an extremely tight site, just up from Takapuna Beach. They [SGA Strachan Group Architects] had to work really hard to get a house like that designed for the property.

"We've built some fantastic houses ... but this takes the cake."

A Devonport home, renovated by Absolute Building Services, won this year's renovation category for Northland and Auckland.

The awards' national category winners and the overall winners will be announced in November.

North Shore "boatsheds" house

*380sq m
*3 bedrooms
*3 bathrooms
*2 living areas
*Supreme Award winner in the Auckland and Northland Registered Master Builders 2014 House of the Year awards.
*Other regional awards include a win in the new homes over $2 million category, a win in the craftsmanship category and also in the kitchen category.

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- NZ Herald

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