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Highly accoladed: Red and Black Construction

Red and Black Construction Ltd needs no introduction to those who recognise quality builds and award-winning craftsmanship in Canterbury. Talking of awards, the company has recently been awarded the highest honours at the 2019 Registered Master Builders Awards for their work on what judges have described as “a haven for the family”.



This haven has been awarded the RMB Gold Award within the $700,000 to $1 million mark in Canterbury. Basically, praise does not come much higher than that. Obviously to be honoured with an award like this, one has to be the best at what they do; such is the case with Red and Black Construction which, as the name suggests, knows the building industry better than almost anyone in Canterbury.



Combining the latest building techniques, both indoor and outdoor, Red and Black Construction’s award-winning home has to be seen to be believed. With four bedrooms, two bathrooms and separate living areas, there is more than enough room for this busy household. Outdoor living has also been maximised with decks on either side. The house’s foundations were also set slightly higher than normal to give a floating effect.

For more information on this stellar home or what Red and Black Construction can do for you, visit




Building firm’s new home: NKR Builders

Nathan Roberts left school and became a builder; that was nearly twenty years ago. Since then, having worked for a couple of well-established Canterbury building firms and created a partnership, he now heads his own company.



NKR Builders is an award-winning, Canterbury-based building firm. It has earned multiple Gold Awards in the Master Builder’s House of the Year competitions and won Gold Reserve for a client’s home in Southshore. Nathan’s in charge, leading two teams of qualified builders and apprentices who have been with him for the long term. Those relationships are important for the company, he says, and even more so for his clients. The experience and trust entrenched in those working connections is at the heart of the success the company enjoys.

From large farm sheds, small (or large) alterations, shop and office fitouts, and residential builds, Nathan’s focus has become high-end architecturally designed builds. That’s where he feels at home. Literally. For the past three years, he and his wife Julia have been running NKR out of their home in North Canterbury. The (until recently) office of NKR was their 2017 Master Builder’s House of the Year Gold Award ‘Builder’s Own Home’ category house in West Eyreton. From there, Nathan organised the building teams and accountant Julia managed the accounts and, as the business grew, implemented systems to make it more efficient.



In July of this year, however, NKR fitted out and moved into a newly leased space in Sydenham, which is made up of new offices, a warehouse space where some stock is maintained and a swanky new conference room where Nathan and clients can relax with a coffee and discuss making dreams come true.

It’s a display place, too. While discussing the details of your new build, you can view and choose some of the things that will feature in it; window frames and extrusions, carpet samples, drawer fronts and handles, doors and handles, weatherboard and cedar cladding profiles, lighting and light switches, joinery, paint samples, piles of brochures and literature and much more.



Lest it be a little overwhelming, Nathan is there every step of the way. Whether you have a design already drawn up, a sketch on an envelope, or just an idea in your mind, he can make it happen. From start to finish Nathan manages every aspect of the project, assuring complete satisfaction.

To celebrate the move to the new premises, Nathan and Julia recently put on a spread for the team and a few of their suppliers. They fired up the mobile BBQ from Hagley Windows and Doors, fed everybody and posed for a few photos.

Contact Nathan on 027 950 8118 or via the website Sit down with him, have a coffee or tea and discuss your new dream home.





A Home with Hygge: Fleetwood Construction

If the Danish term ‘hygge’ is defined as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing, this Gold Award-winning home built by Fleetwood Construction has it, well, in bucketloads.



The home – a happy collaboration between the homeowners, Matt Gutsell of Sheppard and Rout Architects, and Fleetwood Construction – is the fourth Gold Award win in the Master Builders House of the Year competitions for Directors Sam and Charlotte Fleetwood, and is amongst the top 100 in New Zealand to get a Gold Reserve Award, putting it in the national finals for the competition later this year.

While it helps that one of the owners hails from Denmark, this home’s innate hygge is a reflection of the couple’s passion for the home and their detailed design choices, which included bringing light fittings back from Denmark. Feelings of home, comfort and welcome are encapsulated in the setting, exterior, and interior of the Governors Bay split-level design.

With the house as the stage, the view down Lyttelton Harbour to the heads leads a starry cast of features. “Matt did an amazing job of designing the home and maximising the view,” Sam says.


A stunning slender veranda acting as both viewing platform and outdoor hallway is fitted with attractive vertical metal privacy panels on rollers. “They look like a design feature but are actually practical for shade and wind protection,” Sam says.

The custom-made floating staircase leads you to the entrance of the home and in to the combined kitchen living area which reveals the amazing view. The chic kitchen shows great attention to detail and is a perfect design fit for the style of the home. “The island bench in matte black with a slim stainless steel bench top and modular detailing really draws you in, the hygge is here,” Sam says.

Sleek floor to ceiling sliding doors frame the living rooms’ view and again in the master bedroom, “you just don’t want to leave”.

Sam says skilled hill-builders Fleetwood Construction loves building architectural homes. “The team loves the attention to detail and craftmanship required.”


With Sam onsite every day overseeing the details, any challenges run smoothly and it gives clients confidence and the great service they deserve. “This home had eight different types of foundations and retaining walls, a 22-metre long steel frame and a 4.6-metre precast concrete panel, which all had to be fitted with precision. The access to the site made this challenging but the team totally nailed it. It was great to have this hard work and craftmanship recognised at the awards.”

With plenty of architectural masterpieces in the pipeline, Fleetwood Construction is looking forward to next year’s competition. “We work hard everyday to create Christchurch’s most personalised building experience.”



Putting the heart into home: Jim the Builder

The A-team that created this St Andrews Hill home love it when a plan comes together and the judges of the Master Builders House of the Year are in full agreement. The house has received not only a Gold Award in the ‘New Home $1.5-2 million’ category, but best home in the category also.




This striking house replaces the original 1938 bungalow, sadly written off by the earthquakes. With such wonderful memories of raising three children here, plus the unrivalled views, leaving this site was never an option for the client.

The task of bringing to life a home that could replace the original in its owners’ hearts fell to Jim Stenberg, Director of leading Canterbury building company Jim The Builder. Jim has been on board with the owners on this project right from the process of working through the options with the insurer.

A rebuild was in order and, while this is a spectacular home, it retains the spirit of the much-loved bungalow. “This is an elegant house but without pretention to grandeur – Nott Architecture has come up with an attractive simplicity of line that speaks for itself and is all about lifestyle,” say its very happy owners.



The house has been future-proofed to ensure the owners never have to move on. “Often people need to come off the hill as they age, but we never want to, so we have future-proofed by maximising access throughout.”

On the lower level, a large bedroom has a sleek but practical bathroom ensuite. “All the bathrooms are designed with absolutely level floors, space to move and wide access to showers and toilets,” Jim says.

Across the hall is the lift, which is located in the triple garage; compact yet easily holding a wheelchair, it provides access to the upper level.

The owners requested a show-stopping entry way and the floating staircase in solid American Blonde Oak, backlit by LED, fulfils this brief in spades. Hinting with their intrinsic beauty at the delights ahead, the stairs invite you up to a world of light and space.


The cantilevered upstairs living is oriented as a platform to take in the stunning view. The truly panoramic view takes in 270 degrees, from the Kaikoura Ranges to Mount Hutt, across the estuary and the city.

The owners say they “live around our kitchen”, and why wouldn’t you when it is oriented to the breathtaking view? Any cook could not help but be creative given the outlook for inspiration, working at the generous island bench with a large breakfast bar attached. The generous pantry behind holds a second sink and fridge, while a gallery of high windows runs the length of the house, capturing the sunrise. They can also be opened electronically to provide ventilation.

With an eye to future grandchildren, a study/TV space can be closed off, and with a nod to the past, the dining table is fashioned from beams of the original 1938 home.


A to-die-for and absolutely private west-facing balcony is accessed through glass doors, which can be slid right back so that the balcony becomes intrinsic to the living envelope.

The balcony can also be closed off to poor weather or for security by steel louvres, which can also be tilted for shade. The owners love this feature which “gives the front of the house a unique design”.

Jim’s favourite two features are the skillion roof which has been masterfully clad internally with cedar. It creates a harmonious flow from the exterior soffits, across the interior ceilings and then out to the opposing exterior soffit. “It brings such warmth to the house.”

“It also changes character at night,” say the owners, “when different wood tones come out, and it varies again depending on the lighting used”.

The other striking feature is the main entrance way, a true floating stairwell. This is a feat of engineering, architecture and most importantly, a bloody good builder, all collaborating to create this “spectacular piece,” Jim says.



The owners’ flair for design is nowhere more apparent than in the master bedroom walk-in-wardrobe, where a corner carousel for shoe display and storage really should be trademarked, and there is a clever fold-out ironing board for sprucing up clothes in situ. Under the heading of ‘how could you ever live without it’, a knee-height footrest is built into the shower.


A balcony runs the length of the upstairs bedrooms, with a secret door at the end which leads to the spa and sauna courtyard, in turn opening to the raised vegetable garden beds, and alcoves built into the house for a garden sculpture.
The dream of a forever house has been realised and when they sit in their cantilevered living room, looking at a view you could never get tired of, the owners feel as if they are “on holiday”.




The house with everything: DJ Hewitt Builders

Celebrating 25 years in business building outstanding houses, DJ Hewitt is thrilled to enter a superlative home in the 2019 Master Builders House of the Year regional competition in the category: House over $2 million. Having taking a sabbatical from House of the Year entries for almost a decade, this stunning entry brings DJ Hewitt to the forefront of competition once again.



Anchored into the hill high above McCormacks Bay, this is a house with everything: views for inspiration, volcanic rock for grounding, steel for strength, glass for insight and cladding in cedar wood for dreams. Its impeccable dimensions by O’Neil Architecture draw the gaze and hold it: the flat roof combined with the deep-set eaves, the geometric pattern of the black window framing, the snappy white surround to the second and third stories, volcanic rock cladding the ground floor and warm cedar above. It makes for a pleasing and harmonious whole: looking at this house could become addictive.

The stunning home was a 20-month build that saw the tight-knit team overcome all the challenges associated with the hill site, as well as everything that mother nature had to throw at them. For Director Daryl Hewitt, the whole project is a stand out, “for its placement on the site, its architectural merit, its design and flow, the materials used – all the boxes are ticked”.



At three stories it is an impressive home as you look up from the causeway and, once on site, the commanding 220-degree view takes you to another world. The panorama of the Kaikoura ranges around to the Heathcote Valley constantly feeds the soul with a palette of changing light and seasons. DJ Hewitt has been working with Fox Surveyors for years. “We always get them to set out our homes, they are professional and helpful,” Daryl says.

There are four forms of cladding on the house – cedar planking, adjustable steel louvres by LouvreTec, Rockcote, and the local volcanic stone which is continued into landscaping and retaining walls, specially laid to resemble the dry stonewalling technique of interlocking stones, any mortar used barely visible.



The double glazed and laminated aluminium framed windows from the Vantage Metro Series were manufactured and installed by Hagley Windows and Doors, while the spacious deck in Innowood, a sustainable alternative to timber, is protected from prevailing winds by Glassforce structural frameless balustrading held with spider brackets, which is also used for the full height of two levels up the stairway, to stunning effect.

The sleek interior feels band-box fresh in a neutral palette, with a luxurious range of textures chosen by the owners in conjunction with interior co-ordinator Tara Hewitt. A hotel-style lift to accommodate six is paired with the steel and glass staircase, an art installation in its own right. Systems within the house are all fully automated and can be controlled from a smart phone.



The wine cellar occupies the bottom level of the house along with a spacious storage area, accessed through a secret door. Engineered by Powell Fenwick, the house is set into the hillside and sits on a complex foundation of steel and concrete approaching commercial levels. “It is a very strong home,” Daryl says.

Happy owners of the house Russell and Mary love the whole thing. “We love the wine cellar, the stair well, the orientation and layout that takes full advantage of the view.” Russell was hands-on in the wine cellar design. “It is the ideal spot for a wine cellar – it is naturally cool down there but actually it is mainly a whisky display,” Russell says, “not because I am a particular whisky aficionado, it is more in homage to Scottish ancestry”.



Mary and Russell chose Daryl and his team to bring their vision to life because they had visited a DJ Hewitt show home “which stood out to us as so well designed and immaculately finished”. They had also got to know Daryl on the local dog-walking circuit, and of course were aware of DJ Hewitt’s unrivalled reputation as a specialist hill builder.

“It was wonderful to have the help of Tara Hewitt’s interior design skills as a part of the wrap-around, start to finish service we received,” Russell says. “It was Tara and Daryl’s idea to paint the ceiling black above the full-height void which contains our kitchen, living, dining and gallery. We are thrilled with how it looks, it’s just fantastic and Tara’s help with things like the wallpaper selections was invaluable.”



Mary and Russell lived on this site in a previous home so were well aware of its challenges and advantages, as well as where best to capture the views. “Both designer and builders’ attention to detail has been amazing, and we’ve become friends with the team; they are really great people.”

“Every house we build sticks in my mind – any house you have great clients, working closely to fulfil a dream,” Daryl says. However, this house is very special. Daryl particularly loves the lift – they are becoming more popular in private homes – as well as the full-height void with its signature black ceiling and the automated louvres on the walls and roof.



Specialist hill and architectural builders, new projects come to DJ Hewitt through word of mouth and architects’ request. “The truth is that houses don’t have to be large to be good. Often these days we are building more compact homes which follow the movement to being very thermally efficient, although all our homes have been insulated to above the code, ever since I’ve been in business.”

Constantly busy building dream homes with several architectural projects on the go at any given moment, DJ Hewitt found time to celebrate their 25 years of business with an awards night held at Hagley Windows and Doors with All Blacks motivational speaker Gilbert Enoka addressing attendees. Highly valued subtrades that have worked for DJ Hewitt for 25, 20, 15 or 10 years received appreciation awards.



“We are like a big family,” Daryl says. “Everyone knows what to do and we turn out fabulous homes for great clients.”



A slice of inner city paradise: Parker Group Construction

Parker Group Construction is a family-owned building company which prides itself on its history of building diverse, quality homes. The company only employs builders with an eye for detail and ensures the customer feels included and satisfied throughout the process, something which is clearly evident in a suite of six high-end inner city dwellings in the figurative and literal heart of the city.



Working alongside Borrmeister Architects, Parker Group Construction is currently building six distinctly different, high-end, inner-city dwellings right in the CBD. These dwellings are within walking distance of all the luxuries that inner-city living brings. Although they are so close to everything, you’ll relish the privacy and tranquillity these inner-city dwellings provide since they are nestled down a private lane behind a well-maintained Council Reserve.

Parker Group Construction has thoroughly enjoyed building these architecturally designed dwellings as each of them is so unique. Each dwelling exceeds two-hundred square metres, have eco-friendly, large windows providing warmth and natural light, but with the utmost privacy designed in. What’s more, each dwelling boasts designer kitchens with European appliances, two separate lounges, three large bedrooms and ensuites. All in all, these homes are irresistibly spacious with serious appeal.

Once you arrive at this complex –either down the secure laneway or through the reserve and private access– you will be amazed by the large decks and extended outdoor living areas. You’ll appreciate each home for its own merits as they all have distinct differences that make each of them striking and alluring.

Enjoy city living for yourself at 362 Durham Street North. For more information about any of the six homes available, phone Sara Ashcroft from Bayleys Real Estate on 03 375 4700. If these homes have sparked some building ideas of your own call Barry Parker from Parker Group Construction on 027 243 9464.


A trusted choice: Angus Chisholm Builders Limited

For more than 16 years, Angus Chisholm Builders Limited has been a trusted choice for Cantabrians when it comes to quality new builds, renovations and alterations.



Every step of the way, the locally based residential building business, founded by Angus Chisholm, provides a wealth of experience and offers specific understanding and knowledge of the building requirements in and around Christchurch. Projects have also been completed further afield in Wanaka, West Coast and Marlborough Sounds. Recent work includes two two-storey Sheppard and Rout-designed townhouses in Wanaka, an architectural home in West Melton and the design of a new build in Halswell Downs.

Operating the company as a family business with wife Laura Chisholm since 2014, Angus is a Registered Master Builder and Licensed Building Practitioner. Together, they have built the company up to offer full build packages from design to completion, as well as house and land packages, forming close relationships with chosen suppliers and subcontractors.

So, if you’re looking for a building team that works on architectural homes, townhouses, decks, fencing, or farm infrastructure and specialises in steep terrain or hill sites (including block wall foundations, pole foundations and retaining structures), Angus Chisholm Builders is the Christchurch company to help you get the job under way.

If you’d like to discuss a quote, or how they can assist with your next project, call them today on 027 477 8270, email, or check out their website portfolio and much more at


Magic on Merrin

Magic on Merrin

For the last 15 years, Grant Price, Ruben Bunting and their small handpicked team of professional builders have been at the forefront of giving people the best quality home builds at the right price.


Magic on Merrin


With the Howard Barrington Group, there is no middleman or committee you have deal with. Grant and Ruben have 60 years’ experience between them and deal with you direct, taking you through every step of the build process from start to finish. To get an example of their skills and professionalism, you only need to look at 12 Merrin Street, Avonhead. With a neutral palette, a stylish floorplan, quality fixtures and fittings, your own décor will allow you to make it your own.


Magic on Merrin

The kitchen sports a generous helping of natural light thanks to the skylight; and large sliding doors open seamlessly to the outdoor patio, giving you that often-needed shelter and privacy. A fully tiled bathroom with underfloor heating, vanity, toilet and glass shower and a second separate toilet and basin will allow privacy for guests should the need arise.


Magic on Merrin


These units are also walking distance to two of Christchurch’s most sought-after schools, Burnside High and Merrin Street Primary. With one already snapped up, units 12 and 12a won’t last long. For more information contact Nicky Brownlee on 027 498 7181, or Tim Sprott on 027 435 9318 from Harcourts Grenadier. To contact Grant and Ruben about the home you have always wanted, phone 027 452 0163 or email

Fraser Thomas Ltd

Raising the engineering bar: Fraser Thomas Ltd

Since opening its Christchurch office six years ago, Fraser Thomas Ltd has gone from strength to strength. Established in Auckland in 1969, the company has earnt a sterling reputation for engineering surveying excellence throughout New Zealand, raising the bar when it comes to geotechnical, civil engineering, land surveying and land development projects.


Fraser Thomas Ltd


Operating out of its new offices in Workstation 55 Business Park on Princess Street, Addington, Fraser Thomas Christchurch has experienced rapid growth over the last few years, especially the growth of the team of engineers and surveyors which is now 15 staff (which has doubled from the previous year).

With this kind of continuous growth, which also coincides with the company’s 50th anniversary this year, Fraser Thomas is looking to expand in a big way. With potential offices in Queenstown, Nelson and Hawkes Bay on the cards, expect plenty of projects nationwide getting the Fraser Thomas treatment. Fraser Thomas is also 100 percent Kiwi owned and operated with nine directors, each specialists in their field.

Christchurch Director and Geotechnical Manager Mason Reed is proud of the company’s history and envisions a bright future for Fraser Thomas Ltd and looking to provide a quality service for the next 50 years to come.

For more information on Fraser Thomas Ltd and available engineering and surveying services, phone 03 358 5936 or visit



Jennian Homes

Building Dreams: Jennian Homes

“ We had an extremely successful end of 2018 with enquiries, signings and new builds,” says Dwayne Prendergast who, together with Sue Prendergast and Paul and Bubs Jenkins are the owners of Jennian Homes, Canterbury.


Jennian Homes


“We’ve built up a massive momentum and the whole team is buzzing for 2019.”  Owners since mid-2016, they are supported by a team of in-house sales and accounts professionals, and they are thrilled to have a fantastic set of skilled personnel in the key project management group. “We’ve all got such energy and enthusiasm for what we achieve here, and it’s because we work with great brands, great trades and we get great results.

“We’ve completed numerous homes for delighted clients, and we are proud of what we are doing,” Dwayne says. The team has expanded the area it covers and Jennian Homes Canterbury is now creating dream homes for happy clients from Kaikoura to Timaru.

Three key words drive this team: honesty, quality and communication. “We are open and upfront with clients about pricing and products,” Dwayne says and client feedback reflects the value of that. Communication is continuous, from sales to completion and excellence in communication has enabled the team to complete builds for clients based in Australia and Hamilton, and for mobility-impaired clients, each of whom could not regularly be on site. Other testimonials include: “adaptable, they were able to make adjustments as we moved through” and, “efficient with timeframes, all the way from sales to completion”.


Jennian Homes

Jennian provides a range of designs unique to the company and covers everything from first homes, to batches, to architecturally designed homes, and of course they work to client-owned plans as well. “All of these sectors are going full speed ahead and that’s the way we love it,” Dwayne says.

New plans were brought to the market in the middle of last year and these have been very well received, with three new show homes to be added this year. There is one to be built in Timaru, one in Rolleston, and the third at Ravenswood; a home featuring large open-plan living and a modern designer kitchen with integrated pantry, and clad in James Hardie products with a monopitch roofline.

With a career spent as a builder, in building supplies and in building companies, Dwayne has “done pretty much everything in the industry”. His favourite part of the whole new-build process at Jennian is “completing dreams”.  “We love to see the smiley faces, to help young people into their first homes, and to build the ‘forever home’ for families.”