Judges seeking a house of the year

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 24/05/2014
scott jury, graham coe
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
SEEKING WORKMANSHIP: Registered Master Builders House of the Year judges Scott Jury, left, and Graham Coe assess a house in Timaru.

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More money does not necessarily make a better home, according to two House of the Year judges.

Scott Jury and Graham Coe are in Timaru as they continue judging more than 90 buildings nationally.

Jury is looking at the architecture while Coe checks out the building side in the category 6 ($350,000-$450,000) and category 7 ($450,000 and $650,000) sections.

Coe has a background as a master builder and has been a judge for the Registered Master Builders competition for 16 years. He estimates he has judged between 1500 and 2000 houses in that time.

He has noticed that over the years home owners have become more energy conscious.

"They are using more insulation. There is more emphasis on clean heating. There are more heatpumps and sustainable building products."

The most expensive home he has judged was valued at $30 million but he said it did not make him covetous. Spending money did not necessarily make a building better than one that was cheaper.

"We judge each one on merit and do not compare. We are looking at what the client wants. This competition is about builders' workmanship and construction excellence. The main focus is on how well all trades do across the board."

Marks are allocated out of 2000, with 1300 for workmanship and 700 for design and functionality.

"The standard has been very good in Timaru."

Architect Jury is working on his second contest. He said homes were limited in what they could do architecturally in the categories he was judging this year. It was about how the house was fitted on to the site including aspects like the entrance being in the right spot.

The top 100 local Gold Award winners proceed to National Gold Reserve Award status and are judged again by a new national judging panel.

After this, the Gold Reserve builders attend a national gala in Auckland for the national category titles and supreme awards.

Last year Timaru's Wilson Building Limited scooped six regional awards, including the Supreme Award for the House of the Year and the New Homes $1 million - $2 million category.

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- The Timaru Herald

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