Every new home M O Brown Builders creates is bespoke, using traditional, old-school values of quality workmanship. It’s no surprise this well-respected company received three golds in the Master Builders House of the Year 2018 for Canterbury. To earn a gold, a build must achieve more than 90 percent above industry standard, comprising of 65 percent workmanship, and 35 percent design, functionality and style.
A stunning home in Mays Road, Papanui, achieved both gold, in the Nu Look New Homes $700,000-$1 million category, and gold reserve award – one of only 100 homes nationwide to go to the finals in November. Classical-pitched roofs frame two pavilions of random-width cedar and white-painted brick veneer. A central entrance proceeds to a sunken lounge, while a full-height glass gallery leads to the library. Four bedrooms are ensconced in one pavilion, with living in the other, encompassing 328sqm. The open-plan kitchen opens to a large deck with a louvred pergola, the scullery and an alfresco bar. The sound Armadillo engineered foundation system, thermal-broken double-glazed windows, passive solar design, and upgraded insulation all future-proof this beautiful home.
Two further gold awards were for hill-site abodes. In the Nulook New Home $700,000-$1 million category, judges deemed an intricate, multi-level Westmorland build as a work of modern artistry. Nestled into a steep site, four-levels feel more like two with its clever flow. Copper tones and glass cladding embellish the entranceway, then down a timber staircase via a glass-panel cavity slider is the kitchen, dining and lounge. Another in-wall sliding door opens to an entertainment room and a north-facing deck’s frameless glass wall blocks high winds, but not the stunning views.
A Huntsbury house achieved gold in the New Home $550,000-$700,000 category. This earthquake rebuild has maximised views, staying sympathetic to the original Wayne Seebeck design and 258sqm layout, while modernised with warmth, light and space. Now of seismically-sound lightweight concrete and schist, it retained the stunning spruce timber beams and beech tongue-and-groove ceilings at its heart, with the added warmth of timber flooring. Third generation builder owner Mike Brown, has been in the trade for 32 years with Christchurch new builds, rebuilds, repairs and alterations, from Selwyn to Sumner. “We offer a full contract with a fixed price,” he says. “Our small company size ensures we can focus on client relationships and retain our quality.”
Now his son has joined the team, there’s four generations of builder DNA behind the family-run business. Mike’s wife Lisa runs the office, where new clients are welcome. “Good subcontractors and our own carpenters have been with us a long time. Tom O’Connell, our project manager who has been with us for eight years, did his apprenticeship with us. Our close-knit team work well together, offering consistent, personalised service.”
An award-winner most years, Mike achieved a national award for his own Spencerville home in 2010, shortly before it became a quake casualty. He’s been contributing to the city’s rebuild ever since, but soon it’s time to rebuild the family home – perhaps the next award winner!