Go With the Flow

NZ Builders

This classic New Zealand bungalow has had new life breathed into it thanks to NZ Builders, who picked up a regional category win at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year 2023.

This was also the first time the Auckland company had entered the awards, and co-owner Blake Cooper said while optimistic, they were pleasantly surprised at their win.

As well as winning the Renovation ($750,000 – $1 million) category for Auckland/Northland/Coromandel, the company was also given a Regional Gold award, and have scored nationally in the Top 100.

“We’re really proud of the project and we knew we had done well with it,” he said.

The owners of this charming renovation are suppliers of the cafe industry, and their home gives off that same vibe – modern and fresh with great indoor and outdoor flow. They love their home so much that this is the second renovation, with the back end of the house upgraded 10 to 15 years ago, and now they have modernised the front of the home.

Knocking down the front of the old bungalow and rebuilding it, they have reclaimed most of the original native matai flooring and have recycled it into laminated benchtops and cabinetry units. “We used all of the original matai really well,” Blake said. It was such a pleasure to be able to build something like that.”

The new pavilion houses the kitchen, living and dining room, as well as cloak room and home office. The walls and vaulted ceilings are lined with tongue-and-groove timber paneling.

A series of vertical steel frames separates the living space and entrance lobby, creating a visual screen of floating timber and birch plywood cubes to house everything beautiful this family has to display. Skylights lend natural light to the kitchen, and large glass pendant lights in the dining and living areas were all made locally. Blake said it almost looks like a boat house and he really appreciated the vision that the owners had of their high-spec renovation.

NZ Builders might be a newcomer to the House of the Year awards but the team has a wealth of experience. Blake had been working in the UK and returned home to New Zealand to team up with Jessie several years ago. It made sense to join forces as both share the same work ethics and values in construction – bringing a commercial aspect to the residential sector.

They believe programming is a key point of difference in their business, where every project – whether it be a small commercial build or an architectural home, is delivered on time and on budget. The pair have experience across many different aspects of construction, and complement each other in many ways. They have a great team and many of their staff have been with them for years. Quality is key with NZ Builders – both in the set up of a project and in the details of the finish. They want their craftsmanship to stand out, and because of that they set themselves high standards.