Hamilton entry in Master Builder House of the Year a builder's dream home
When builders build their own home, no detail is spared.
Nick Holcroft is hopeful his Chartwell home, tucked on to a 400-square-metre site above the Waikato River, will please the judges of the 2017 Master Builders House of the Year awards.
Holcroft's company, Holcroft Prestige Ltd, built the house with a simple life in mind.
But after almost two decades living in the country, it's not exactly a simple home for the single father and his daughter.
* Judges hit the road in search of the Master Builder House of the Year
* Master Builders Awards showcase the best New Zealand Houses of 2016
* A mix of materials catch the eyes of Waikato House of the Year judges
* Master Builders Awards for 2015
Knocked together in a quick five months, it sets the standard for a company which constructs high-end houses.
Foreman Scott Evered was on site during the week, Holcroft was on the tools in the weekend.
Building for his boss wasn't too stressful, Evered said, but for "this sort of thing ... there's no hiding".
Holcroft said there were a few things that had to be done two or three times.
"But that's it, you expect quality, you expect the builder to get it right."
The house which ticks all the boxes is spacious, light-filled, strictly monochrome and high-spec.
The ground floor is consumed entirely by living space. A kitchen is at the centre and the home theatre sits in the front of the house, the lounge at the back.
Black-oak cabinetry hides the fridge and frames the white walls. It's embellished only by natural oak floors and doors.
A large sliding barn door closes off the home theatre, or man-cave, "whatever you want to call it", from the rest of the house.
"I needed the two living areas. Just to give separation from the kids, have your own space. Otherwise you'll just be having arguments over who's watching what on TV."
Floor-to-ceiling ranch sliders in the living area open on to a compact backyard decked with wood, right up to the edge of a small rectangular pool.
"It's a beautiful sun trap in here. We can sit out here in the afternoon in the summer, open those doors right up."
In the winter, the gas fireplace in the lounge radiates towards the deck outside, where another gas fireplace radiates back.
A partition of black oak beams in the centre of the home rises from the kitchen floor, through the glass balustrade upstairs.
The upstairs floor has four bedrooms; the master bedroom and ensuite offer glimpses of the river.
While no fine detail has been left unattended, Holcroft insists the house is designed for function.
The black blades on the exterior provide privacy for the street-facing bedrooms.
Small pop-out panels in both the hallway and ensuite open into a laundry shute.
Instead of a fifth bedroom downstairs, Holcroft has opted to expand the double garage.
He wanted the house to have a "gruntier" commercial appearance. The result is reminiscent of Matt Stark's Riverbank Lane and Southbloc buildings in central Hamilton.
The black corrugated Colorsteel that clads the house is reversed; the broad ridges face outwards. It gives a more robust appearance. Cedar cladding provides a natural warmth in contrast.
The judges spent over an hour in the house on Tuesday afternoon and didn't say much.
"They didn't want us to walk around with them or anything," Holcroft said.
Judges for this year's awards have been traversing the country to view more than 370 homes in contention for 10 regional awards.
Registered Master Builder chief executive David Kelly said the House of Year awards is evolving with trends in the market.
"The focus on sustainable building over the past few years is a key example of this. We are now moving into a period which will see a major rise in multi-homes and apartments."
The winner of the Waikato Master Builders House of the Year award will be announced at the Claudelands Events Centre on Friday, July 14.